“A Bad Moms Christmas” stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski, and Susan Sarandon. Released on November 1, 2017, the film has Amy, Kiki, and Carla dealing with their own mothers during the holidays.
The film is directed by Scott Moore and Jon Lucas, who also directed 21 & Over and wrote The Hangover, and it is a sequel to the 2016 comedy, Bad Moms, also directed by Moore and Lucas. With Halloween out of the picture, it’s time once again to celebrate the holidays, and what better way to celebrate than a Christmas movie featuring the baddest mothers around? Bad Moms was released last year and became one of the most surprising box office hits of the year. While not a comedy classic, I thought it was an enjoyable and hilarious take on the struggles of motherhood, so a sequel wasn’t all that surprising to me. Instead of being a regular sequel, the directors decided to make it into an R-rated Christmas comedy sequel, a strategy that was also used for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas back in 2011. With the main cast back in the mother business as well as the directors of the first film, will this holiday sequel be able to break the streak of bad comedy follow-ups? I hardly doubt it, but let’s find out, anyway.
With Bad Moms centering on the pressures of being a mother, “A Bad Moms Christmas” decided to add some holiday flavor into its predecessor’s concept. The film’s story is obviously familiar to the original because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Only this time, the three main moms (played by Kunis, Bell, and Hahn, respectively) are dealing with the struggles of making Christmas perfect for their families as well as the arrivals of their own mothers. What I liked about the first film is how it comically captures the pressures of being a mom. While it didn’t portray its concept perfectly in terms of its debatable R-rated humor and screenplay, it did its job in making it relatable to those who are going through that phase as a mother. The sequel was able to apply that kind of concept again, but it is mostly about the relationships between the main characters and their own mothers. Some of the elements that worked in the first film were able to work their charm for the second time, such as the main cast. Compared to the chemistry between the cast in Girls Trip, the cast’s chemistry in here wasn’t exactly hilarious or somewhat over-the-top despite its R-rating, but I had plenty of fun watching Kunis, Bell, and Hahn together on-screen. Baranski, Hines, and Sarandon were good additions to the cast as the main characters’ mothers, although the moments that involve Hahn and Sarandon were just there for laughs compared to the scenes that involve Amy (Kunis) and her mother (Baranski) or the ones that involve Kiki (Bell) and her mother (Hines). Speaking of laughs, the humor didn’t exactly reach the high, raunchy levels like the other R-rated comedies (or in this case, the first Bad Moms film), but that doesn’t mean it failed to deliver some laughable, yet awkward, moments. If you like the humor in the first film, I would say that you’ll appreciate the humor in this as well, but for those are viewing this for the first time, it can range from being weird to just plain ridiculous, especially the personality of Kiki’s mother. There were also some moments that were just a bit overlong, but with the likable cast onboard, they’re hardly an issue for me. As for the storytelling itself, it offered some pretty obvious, but relatable, messages like its predecessor, but I think the first film did it a tad better.
Overall, “A Bad Moms Christmas” is a suitable, yet flawed, holiday gift to fans of the first film due to its enjoyable cast and humor. Like its predecessor, it won’t impress those who are into smarter R-rated comedies in terms of its story, but it offered some likable moments that I managed to enjoy, regardless. My better recommendation for a girls night out film is still Girls Trip, but if you like Bad Moms, this one’s a solid choice too.