Christmas comes early this year with Hollywood’s first Christmas comedy opening on November the 1st. And it is a nightmare – a nightmare before Christmas. When Publicity handed out sheets of an embargo to be signed with the embargo lifted at 9 am on opening day, the critics attending knew that something about the film must be amiss. A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS is really bad, and a major turn of events considering that BAD MOMS was really funny and that the entire crew responsible for the first successful comedy hit returned for this dud.
Once again, under-appreciated and overburdened moms Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) rebel against the challenges and expectations of Christmas. As if creating the perfect holiday for their families is not hard enough, they will have to do it tho time around while hosting and entertaining their own respective mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon) when they come to visit. But in the moms’ own words, they want to reclaim Christmas for themselves, very much the same way they did in the first movie.
When the three moms in the first movie decided to take back their own lives, it was funny and fresh. Here, the freshness has changed to stale. All the perkiness and naughtiness, especially with the Kathryn Hahn’s character rubs totally the wrong way – especially in a Christmas movie. The stripper dance during the Christmas dinner (at the end of the film) with the kids present is the perfect example of humour gone wrong. Kahn is obviously trying too hard her and the directors Lucas and Moore given her too much to do after her first success. Waxing too many vaginas in her job at the spa where she works, her foul language, her way with men and her drunkenness and loudness in public have been reduced from funny to annoyance. The romance element of Carla and her new stripper boyfriend is both unfunny and silly. Also missing in this sequel is Christina Applegate who played the bitchy head of the PTA who fought with the BAD MOMS.
Also to keep with the spirit of Christmas films, the film has to bring in the expected sentiment of good cheer, with too much material falling into cliched territory. As expected, each mom is told off by each respective daughter, for whatever reason – not being able to let go of mommy strings; borrowing money and then comes the reconciliation, one of them done in the midst of a church service, as if no one in the congregation minded or noticed. The worst sentimental crap is Amy’s father (Peter Gallagher) given his daughter the speech on how special her mother is.
Oddly the moms’ moms are funnier. The only decent scene is the one where Sarandon, Hines and Baranski end up in church as they help each other out with their daughters amidst insulting each other. But the film ends with the three bad grandmothers heading for Las Vegas – which makes for a terrible thought – the possibility of two sequels in the making.