“Bad Moms Christmas” a passable, sometimes tedious sequel
In January 2016, the movie “Bad Moms” hit theaters and, while it wasn’t a critical darling, it got enough laughs to warrant a sequel. Now, almost two years later, that sequel has come in the form of “A Bad Moms Christmas,” a Christmas-themed redo of many of the ideas from the first film.
“A Bad Moms Christmas” introduces the three main moms’ own mothers and focuses on their own attempts to “take back Christmas,” as all the work they have to put into it every year has made the holiday no fun for them. It features a nice, if predictable, message about how the holidays aren’t about all the decorations and presents, but about spending time with your family. That’s not why people will go to see this movie, though; they’ll see it to get a few laughs in during the holiday season.
This movie features great performances from Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn. Baranski did an amazing job as the well-meaning but controlling grandmother while Hahn managed to take the role of the alcoholic stereotype of a bad mother and turn her into a multi-faceted character who means well but still has more flaws than most.
However, Hines was truly the standout of the show, playing someone who is so attached to her own daughter that she essentially refuses to let her have her own life. The performances all around were great, even if some of them played their characters pretty much as the standard mom stereotypes (the put-together one, the stressed mother of five, etc.).
The children did a good job, too. While some child actors can be hit-and-miss, these ones all did a decent job with what they were given. One gag that occurs toward the beginning of the movie, given by a small girl in which she describes a “fight” her father had with Kunis’ character, couldn’t have been done better, and really set the tone that the movie would take.
This movie really was a comedy so the most important factor in whether it’s worth seeing is whether or not it’s funny. The thing that makes a movie like this enjoyable is whether or not the characters are funny enough to sustain it for the entire runtime, and with this show, they do just that.
The characters all have personalities that play off each other in interesting ways, sometimes predictable, sometimes not. The dynamics come from each of the mothers and their interactions with their own mothers. Each pair has problems that manage to spiral out of control in the most hilarious way possible. While some people might find this kind of interpersonal comedy funny, it might not get a laugh out of everybody. Those who enjoy it certainly won’t find this movie to be a waste of money.
There were a few problems, though.
Several jokes, which are funny when first presented, are reused throughout the movie, always to diminishing returns. One character has a name that is brought up every few minutes due to how funny it is, and while it might get a chuckle the first couple of times, having the same punch line to a joke over and over again can get stale.
This sort of thing happens throughout the movie, and while it doesn’t ruin it, it is something to be wary of. There were also some jokes that simply didn’t hit home because they didn’t make sense. While absurdist humor can work in certain situations, this wasn’t the place for it, and yet it crept up every once in a while, really taking the viewer out of the movie.
“A Bad Moms Christmas” is a funny movie with interesting character dynamics, and while it isn’t the best movie ever made, it is easily relatable while also having quite a few funny jokes. If you’re a fan of comedies about family dynamics you should definitely see it.