Bad Moms Christmas is actually titled “A Bad Moms Christmas”, but as well as it being bad for SEO (search engine optimisation) – given the ‘A’ at the start, calling it that will just file it ‘incorrectly’ when it comes to Blu-ray and DVD, as people will be looking for it until ‘B’, when it falls under ‘A’. But as Homer Simpson would say, “File it under ‘R’… for arrivederci”, since this is a total stinker of a sequel.
Okay, so it starts off amusingly enough with a brief run-through about how Christmas is a royal pain for any parents having to go through it. I’m not a parent, so I’m missing none of that. Also, while there are people who buy Christmas presents for everyone they know, I just give money to my nieces and nephews, since kids like to save up for stuff or buy Steam vouchers. Still, I get the issues.
Then, with Amy (Mila Kunis) sitting alone, amongst a house in severe disarray, it goes back to six days earlier. And here’s where the jokes run out and things get pedestrian quite quickly. The first is how Amy’s daughter overheard her and her better half doing the do, and thinking the reason they’re effing and jeffing at each other is because they hate each other, so that’s one of the oldest jokes I’ve ever heard. The daughter then makes things worse by saying the f-word over and over. This ‘joke’ makes a comeback at the end of the film, too, so the writers should be locked in a dungeon just for that.
The idea this time round, is that each of the bad moms’ moms turn up for Christmas. Sandy (Cheryl Hines) is Kiki’s (Kristen Bell) mum, Ruth (Christine Baranski) is Amy’s mum, and Isis (Susan Sarandon) is Carla’s (Kathryn Hahn) mum. And yes, when the time comes to it, in a film where almost all the Jokes are spelled out, Susan Sarandon has to explain her name is “Isis, like the terrorist organisation”
Since ‘moms’ can be a royal pain to these girls, and since Xmas stresses them out, it’s time to “take Christmas back”, which involves being uncouth and getting absolutely hammered down at the shopping mall. What follows has a similar lack of thought put into it, as it’s yet another film which is more like a series of set pieces rather than a coherent movie. There are lame erection jokes, plus Sandy commenting on how Kiki’s husband is bigger in the trouser department than her own husband, as well as other ‘bedroom tips’.
Plus, since Carla waxes women’s privates for a living, she later meets fireman/stripper Ty, and when asked later how they met, replies, “I waxed his balls”. Laugh? I nearly asked if I could book early for Bad Moms 3(!)
Unlike most films, in this one it’s the men who get little to do. Peter Gallagher, as one of the husbands (I forget whose, quite frankly) just looks confused the whole time, while the character of Amy’s boyfriend, Jessie (Jay Hernandez), has the personality of a failing doorstop.
Early on, there are about 3 quite funny risque jokes amongst the schmaltz plus an amusing scene with saxophonist Kenny G, but beyond that, it’s nowhere near enough to justify a sequel which clearly hasn’t had enough thought gone into it. In fact, this is the kind of film which you’d expect a movie franchise turning out for its third and final limp, or an attempt at a new trilogy with a fourth movie.
Clearly the cast had a ball filming this, but it leaves this audience member cold. It tries to be ‘funny and touching’, but it’s about as touching as Louis CK.
The timing’s also screwed up, since when it says there are “5 days until Christmas”, Ruth states it’s December 19th, so that would make ‘Christmas’ happening on the 24th, so they’re a day out.
I really wanted to like Bad Moms Christmas, but the joke is definitely on us. In fact, one of the main problems is that there’s just so little we haven’t seen before, and you know they’ll all fight with their mothers and then make up. Also, it’s a shame we didn’t get a proper sequel since it sank to this level for a quick buck.
That said, the first film only cost $21m to make, with this one budgeted at $28m, so they’re cheap compared to most movies. No.1 raked in a stack of cash, so this will do the same over the festive season, so you really can definitely expect a third one. Let’s just hope they put some thought into it.
And that is NOT a joke, since “Bad Dads” is already planning, even though Daddy’s Home 2 already got there first.
Bad Moms Christmas isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but click on the poster for the full-size version.
Running time: 104 minutes
Studio: Entertainment Film Dists Ltd
Format: 2.35:1 (Redcode RAW (6K))
Released: November 1st 2017
Directors: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Producer: Suzanne Todd
Screenplay: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Music: Christopher Lennertz
Amy: Mila Kunis
Kiki: Kristen Bell
Carla: Kathryn Hahn
Ruth: Christine Baranski
Isis: Susan Sarandon
Sandy: Cheryl Hines
Jessie: Jay Hernandez
Ty Swindel: Justin Hartley
Hank: Peter Gallagher
Jane: Oona Laurence
Dylan: Emjay Anthony
Kent: Lyle Brocato
Dr. Karl: Wanda Sykes
Gwendolyn: Christina Applegate
Jaxon: Cade Cooksey
Lori: Ariana Greenblatt
Bernard: Jacks Dean
Clare: Madison Muffley
Himself: Kenny G
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.