Hot Take: Formulaic, disappointing follow up to one of the best comedies of 2016. The main characters are great, though, which makes it kind of fun at times.
The first holiday film of 2017 is a rushed, predictable sequel to last year’s surprise comedy hit Bad Moms. A Bad Moms Christmas not only gives us the return of Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn in the titular roles but we get a new trio of “Bad Moms” when we get to meet the mothers of all 3 women. Joining Kunis, Bell and Hahn are Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon in the mother’s mother roles who all conveniently visit their daughters for Christmas at exactly the same time. The Christmas themed film has 3 new characters to play off of but it really is the only new wrinkle as A Bad Moms Christmas infuses the best bits of the original with Christmas spirit. For the hardcore Bad Moms fan, this will likely be satisfying enough but those who only liked the original or were on the fence won’t be blown away by this mediocre second installment.
Many theaters have now added a bar outside the theater to allow guests to imbibe before and during the film. A Bad Moms Christmas feels like it was designed for this type of theater and this type of theatergoer. The introduction of alcohol would likely make the audience more forgiving to the lazy, recycled plot devices that come off as familiar but less funny than the original movie. Luckily, Kunis, Bell and Hahn are great in their role and look like their having a ton of fun and the introduction of Baranski, Hines and Sarandon as the Bad Mom-Moms look to equally be enjoying themselves. Even though the storyline is tired and the plot is weak, the characters breathe enough life into this holiday movie that it’s somehow enjoyable to watch. Reaching that conclusion is likely going to require you to already have been on board with these characters but someone not on board or having skipped the first one might be wondering what all the fuss was about.
While A Bad Moms Christmas isn’t the uproarious sequel you might hope for, it still comes with a small recommendation thanks to the now 2 trios of women who bring these bad moms to life. They make it work even when there’s not much to work with and even when the film goes with 1 too many (or maybe 2 or 3 too many) montages and crosses a number of lines with some humor involving the young children of the families that some might not welcome. (Is a preteen saying “OH MY FUCKING GOD!” multiple times funny?) It’s the holidays though and it’s time to rejoice and maybe even forgive a little, especially something trying to bring some crass, crude holiday cheer into our lives.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Characters You Want to See Again
Even though A Bad Moms Christmas was a minor disappointment due to high expectations, I walked away wanting to see more of Kunis, Bell and Hahn in these roles. The same can be said for Baranski, Hines and Sarandon who also were game for a little crude humor.
- Another Good Soundtrack
The film uses music a lot throughout the film and doesn’t disappoint with another solid, pop-heavy soundtrack. There’s Kenny G too but that’s not necessarily…
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Kenny G
I’m not sure I get the Kenny G thing so this joke fell flat for me.
- Too Thirsty
I remember thinking that Bad Moms was restrained at times. The gloves come completely off in A Bad Moms Christmas and some of the more crude humor (a male stripper getting waxed, young children dropping the F bomb) is more cringeworthy than something that cracks you up.