A Bad Moms Christmas is the sequel to the original Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as the three leads. I remember liking the first Bad Moms, so why does this sequel make me regret those kind words? A Bad Moms Christmas is a lazy sequel designed solely to profit from the goodwill of patrons to its predecessor and the holiday season.
The movie’s plot, or lack thereof, revolves around the “bad moms” of the first, pushing their complaints about how hard their upper-middle-class lives are around Christmas time. They resolve to have a mellow Christmas when, “Oh, No!,” their moms show up and awkward family hijinks ensue. As in the first film, most of the men in the story are useless, conspicuously absent, or handsome sex machines. Again most of the jokes revolve around the “bad moms” doing inappropriate things, but this time the jokes just aren’t as fresh. Worse yet, the jokes aren’t really funny. The moms get drunk and act like morons in public. Hilarious. In fact, it seems like the moms’ solution to all of their problems is to get drunk or do literally nothing. The relationships dynamics between the characters are only explored at the most superficial level. The only mother to mother relationship that gets any significant development is that of Amy (Mila Kunis) and her mom, Ruth (Christine Baranski) and even that seemed forced.
The one area Bad Moms 2: Moms 4 Lyfe does succeed in is its cast, which brings back the aforementioned three lead protagonists from the first film. The filmmakers also add their one new idea, which is to bring in some great older actresses as the mothers of the original “bad moms”. The producers actually made some pretty good casting choices here, and the actresses themselves, Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon, bring solid comedic chops. The grandmotherly trio does their best with the material that was given to them, but in the end, this silver lining is still at the expense of a bad movie with a terrible script. The great Susan Sarandon is criminally underutilized by the film’s director as the aging rocker mom, and her character is even more one-note than her daughter (Kathryn Hahn). She drinks, is overtly promiscuous, and does taboo things in public. Wow, really breaking new ground guys. Seriously, what's next? A goddamn A Bad Mom’s Easter with Betty White, Judy Dench, and Julie Andrews starring as the three bad Great-Grandmas?
Despite the film’s stellar cast, the only original idea the movie’s writers could come up with was bringing in the mother’s of the titular “bad moms.” The other ninety-nine percent of the film is a cliché comedy about family infighting during Christmas, with retread jokes that were done better the first time around. I’m forced to ask myself, why the hell did I like the first one? A Bad Moms Christmas’s only saving grace is that it's not the worst cynical, holiday-themed sequel this year. That dubious honor belongs to Daddy’s Home 2.
TLDR: A Bad Moms Christmas is a hackneyed, stale, cash grab movie that’s bearable only because, its contemporary release, Daddy’s Home 2, is even worse. 1.5/5 Stars.