Capsule Review (Minimal spoilers):
A Bad Moms Christmas is a sequel to last year’s surprise success, Bad Moms. The gist of that film focused on Amy (Mila Kunis) and her frustration about trying to be the perfect mom. Along the way down, she meets up with Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), who resolve to accept their lack of perfection and just go with the flow.
It’s a year later, and Christmastime is upon us. Amy commits to having a low-key Christmas, when her mother and father, Ruth and Hank (Christine Baranski and Peter Gallagher) show up for Christmas, as do Kiki and Carla’s moms, Sandy and Isis (Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon). Each mother drives their daughter crazy, in different ways. This is the year it all comes to a head.
It’s a passable film, if formulaic. There are a couple laughs here and there, but it’s not enough. You don’t need to see this in theaters, and can definitely wait until it’s on cable.
Standard Review (with minor plot spoilers):
This film hits most of the same notes as the first. The three women resolve not to let their mothers get to them, but, as you are all aware, family has its own special way of getting under your skin.
Amy and Ruth are the center of this film. Ruth is striving to be a variation of Martha Stewart, and trying to impose her will on Amy. Christine Baranski plays a slightly softer motherly role than she plays as Leonard’s mom on The Big Bang Theory, and it kind of works. The problem is the story. It’s too close to the original, overlaid on a Christmas theme. It goes for Schmaltz and gets there in a standard way. The resolution is as you’d expect.
There is a good and funny/awkward scene Carla has with one of her spa clients, and it helps to set up some of the later bits in the film.
This film also gets dinged for mentioning the pseudo-Christmas movie, Love Actually, which I personally hate. (Just consider the women with substantial roles, and how their stories turn out, and you’ll understand why I’m not a fan. But, I digress).
Don’t bother rushing to see this film. While it definitely passes the Bechdel Test, it’s not unique enough of a filmgoing experience to make it a must-see. If it’s any indication, I was the only person in the theater.