The first Bad Moms caught me by surprise, and ended up being one of my favorite comedies of the year. It told the story of three over-worked and under-appreciated moms who decide to be ‘bad moms’ (they were still pretty good) in order to regain some of their sanity. It was made for very little and ended up a big hit, so inevitably, we get a sequel. This time, the moms are retaking Christmas in order to truly enjoy the season.
Amy, now in a serious relationship with Jessie, has decided that this year, it would be nice to have a slow-paced laid-back Christmas. Her parents, Ruth and Hank, suddenly come by and her mother immediately starts telling Amy what she is doing wrong – and that because it’s the first Christmas her children will have without their father – everything needs to be perfect. Ruth sets about scheduling parties and decorating without really clearing any of it with Amy.
Meanwhile, Kiki’s mother Sandy, who has been a little (a lot) clingy since her father passed years ago, also decides to come early for Christmas with her daughter. She proceeds to be completely unaware of any boundaries and gets way too close to Kiki as she tries to guide her family through the holidays. Carla is busy being Carla – still the wild one – when her even wilder mother, Isis, comes into town for the holidays. Well, actually to borrow money, but it happens to be around the holidays.
Amy, Kiki, and Carla commiserate with each other while trying to deal with the varying levels of crazy that each of their mothers bring to the table. Hijinks ensue. Really, that’s about it, there’s not too much of a plot, just a series of crazy circumstances that lead to funny situations, which is really all you want from a movie like this.
This one is written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who also did the first Bad Moms. It’s funny, not as funny as the original, but still pretty funny. As with the first movie, the best part of this movie is the bond of friendship between the three leads. It just makes me want to watch outtakes of the three of them together. Some of the jokes here are a little tired, and some of the situations go a little too far past funny, but adding in three fantastic actresses as the mothers of the moms is a great addition, and they are wonderfully funny.
- Mila Kunis returns as Amy still stressed, but managing everything just a little bit better. Kunis is really good in this role as a mom who just wants to enjoy the holidays with her kids and boyfriend when ambushed by her horrible mother.
- Kristen Bell returns as Kiki, and is just as high strung here as she was in the first movie, except that her husband seems to really be a better partner now. She tries to set up some boundaries with her mother, which doesn’t go well.
- Kathryn Hahn returns as Carla and while she stole the first movie, she steals some of this movie but isn’t quite as outrageous.
- Christine Baranski joins as Ruth, Amy’s mother, and she is just horrible. Nothing Amy does is good enough, and Ruth spends every moment belittling her. I know it was playing for comedy, but some parts felt like they were going too far, and her redemption almost felt like it came out of nowhere.
- Susan Sarandon joins as Isis, Carla’s mom, and if Carla was out of control, Isis is completely ridiculous. Her redemption comes after meeting the other mothers, and realizing she has some work to do.
- Cheryl Hines joins as Sandy, and is way too involved in her daughter’s life, but manages to hover just over the line between funny and sad.
- Jay Hernandez returns as Jessie, and he’s really just there to be the ‘good’ guy, which is fine, because he does that very well. The running gag of Ruth not remembering she had met him was pretty funny.
- Justin Hartley joins as Ty Swindel, a firefighter/stripper who is in town for a ‘sexy santa’ competition and wanders into Carla’s spa to get waxed. Sparks between them result in some hilarity and some cringing. I will tell you that he cannot dance, but he’s game to try.
- Peter Gallagher joins as Hank – Amy’s father - and honestly, he stole most of the scenes he was in for me. He’s the calm centering force behind Ruth’s crazy, and helps Amy understand why her mother is so cruel – but again, that felt a little like it came out of nowhere.
- Wanda Sykes has a brief cameo as Dr. Karl, attempting to help Kiki and Sandy figure out what is wrong in their relationship.
The movie is certainly funny, and I definitely enjoyed it. I absolutely wanted outtakes over the end credits, but instead there was a cast dance sequence that was entertaining, but not as good as outtakes would have been! For sure it is not nearly as funny as the first – and because the first came out of nowhere, expectations for this one were higher. It’s just fine for a holiday early morning weekend showing. Yes, they absolutely set up another sequel – this time of the three older mothers hitting Las Vegas, and I would definitely watch that!
7 out of 10 – gained points for the Kenny G cameo.