"A Bad Moms Christmas" may be considered a disappointment for people, like myself, who enjoyed the original. This holiday sequel contains only about half the laughs and can be occasionally uneven.
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn are all back as the bad moms and this time around they have to deal with the most hectic time of the year for moms: Christmas.
Kunis’ character is stressed and obsessed with making her Christmas absolutely perfect, and her desire for perfection goes into overdrive when her mother (Christine Baranski) comes to town for the holiday season. Baranski’s character is very much a Type A personality who criticizes everything Kunis does and is always spoiling her grandchildren.
Bell and Hahn don’t fare any better as their mothers (Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon) join the festivities. Hines is mother to Bell and Hahn to Sarandon. Hines is such a clingy woman that she makes Norman Bates’ mother look sane by comparison. As for Sarandon, she’s a gambling addict who’s a bit of wild child. Fans of "Thelma & Louise" might notice similarities between the two. I just put both "Psycho" and "Thelma & Louise" in the same review as "A Bad Moms Christmas." Let that sink in for a moment.
The rest of the movie is a series of mishaps and predicaments that are cookie cutter: Hahn’s character falls for another man and so does Sarandon. Kunis and Baranski fight constantly over the lifestyles they both lead, and how it affects each other’s Christmases. And did I mention already that Hines is very much clingy, to the point that she moves in next door to Bell?
These ladies get only a handful of moments where they can bust loose, but overall they feel trapped by a script that is mostly lazy and uninspired and is totally predictable just like a lot of Christmas schlock. Not even the talents of Baranski, Hines or even Sarandon are excused of the same trappings. Their characters are nothing more than caricatures of a movie like this.
It isn’t the lump of coal we normally expect from this genre but I don’t think we’ll be getting "A Bad Moms Easter" or "A Bad Moms Halloween" anytime soon.
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some drug use.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.