Even though Halloween feels like it just happened…wait, it did just happen, focus has already shifted to the most wonderful time of the year. Poor Thanksgiving. There are probably more Christmas movies than all other holiday themed movies combined. Bad Moms (2016) was a major box office success when it was released last summer. A sequel was inevitable, and why not? A short 15 months later, writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have bestowed upon us a very early Christmas present. A Bad Moms Christmas hopes to bring some early holiday cheer to theaters this November.
Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) have settled back into their domestic goddess lifestyles as the biggest holiday of the year is less than a week away. Juggling their hectic lifestyles becomes even more complicated this time around when their moms come to town. Amy’s overbearing mom, Ruth (Christine Baranski), is a pretentious control freak. Kiki’s mom, Sandy (Cheryl Hines), has severe boundary issues. While Carla’s mom, Isis (Susan Sarandon) may be more of immature than Carla’s teenage son. From the second the older generation of moms come into the picture, it’s one moment of drama after the other. While Amy, Kiki and Carla try to regain their independence, along the way they will all learn a few valuable lessons in being a functional family.
Sequels often struggle to find their own identity while also trying to stay true to the original. A Bad Moms Christmas suffers from this same affliction. In the 2016 original, the moms went through some painful ups and downs while providing lots of laughs along the way. The same can be said for this new movie, but with far fewer laughs. If you believe what Hollywood’s selling, the Holidays are always the most stressful times of the year. Many will be able to relate to some of what goes on in this comedy, which will give it some added flair. The actors looked as though they are truly enjoying themselves throughout, and that type chemistry is infectious. The biggest problem is that there are so many people and subplots to keep track of. There’s not enough time to get sucked in. That being said, this is a comedy so how much substance can one expect?
Kathryn Hahn gives probably best performance out of the original moms. She just goes all-in on her character’s crassness and that’s where the laughs are. Christine Baranski is the big winner from the elder mothers. She will boil your blood and still make you chuckle. Even though he only has a smaller part (so to speak), Justin Hartley makes the most of his onscreen time and many of the eye candy enthusiasts going to check out A Bad Moms Christmas, will definitely have something nice to oogle.
Aside from those few positives, A Bad Moms Christmas falls relatively flat. There’s simply too much familiarity with these types of characters so there’s nothing that warrants sustained laughter. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore bring in some new blood and hope to switch things up a bit but this sequel only simmers. Thankfully the fact that it’s rated R should allow for a few more laughs due to the raunchiness of the jokes but it only works so many times. This is probably one of those movies that’s best served as a ladies night out rather than a date night movie. So keep that in mind when making plans if you’re hoping to get the best out of your experience.
Still, at the end of the day, A Bad Moms Christmas is probably the best comedy out in theaters right now. That’s more of an indictment on the lack of entertaining comedies than anything else. If you enjoyed the first one, you might find some entertainment here. Maybe this is a better experience to be had while at home for everyone else. You can catch it in theaters now.