Mr Moody Reviews A Bad Moms Christmas starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines, Jay Hernandez and Justin Hartley. Directed and Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
There are times when it gets lazy, including a few glaring plot holes, subpar gags, and other things that ring false—a symptom, perhaps, of the film getting thrown together so quickly. But overall, if you enjoyed the first movie, you’ll probably like this one, too.
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn all return as the titular moms, joined this time by their mothers (played, respectively, by Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon), all of whom visit in order to torment their daughters over the holidays. Hahn, as in the previous film and most roles of her career, is the funniest and most appealing of the bunch.
Baranski plays the part of Kunis’ mother as a materialistic control freak, running roughshod over both her daughter and hapless husband (Peter Gallagher) and getting to deliver some delightfully cutting lines; Baranski just about steals the movie. Hines, only about 15 years older than Bell, plays more of a creepy, clingy type, while Sarandon portrays something of a Ghost of Christmas Future for Hahn’s loud-mouthed biker-type. Neither of the latter two mother roles are especially well-written, but the actresses power through with their winning charm.
Rounding out the supporting cast is Justin Hartley, who’s never been impressive as a regular on the hit drama This is Us, but here he shows impeccable comedic timing as a male stripper who romances Hahn; they share what’s likely the first funny waxing scene in a movie since the 40-Year-Old-Virgin in 2005.
However, there are some little plot details that are head-scratching, the film also does that annoying trick where it gives a mostly indefensible character an out-of-nowhere redemption arc, which in this case requires the character to undergo a one-scene personality transplant- following a long expository speech by someone else. This gives the plot a wildly abrupt and tidy resolution, even by studio comedy standards.
Even so, the witty script and charismatic cast combine to deliver what A Bad Moms Christmas is promising: an unvarnished good time at the movies.
A Bad Moms Christmas gets a 6/10