Yes, I realise it’s November. However, Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I’ll be damned if I’m missing out on all of the festive joy if I can. Christmas films are a key way of getting in the mood (Love Actually any one), so when my housemate mentioned she was going to see this I was definitely down.
This is a sequel to Bad Moms, which I did not see, and I think you can definitely watch this without seeing the previous film. It follows three younger Mums whose Mums turn up for Christmas. There’s Amy (Mila Kunis), who just wants a lowkey Christmas with her children and new partner Jesse (Jay Hernandez) whose plans are scuppered by the arrival of her perfectionist mother Ruth (Christine Baranski); Kiki (Kristen Bell) who just wants some space from her overbearing mum Sandy (Cheryl Hines) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), who actually wants to see her mum Isis (Susan Sarandon) for longer than it takes for her to request a loan.
This is one of those films that I can only really describe as fine; it’s unlikely to be competing with my other Christmas faves as a must-watch. It did pass the Wittertainment six laugh test for me, but there were points in the film where it did feel like it dragged a little. It’s also a tiny bit disappointing that a film about mother-daughter relationships is written by two men (Jon Lucas & Scott Moore), who do get some elements of this complicated relationship right, but it does feel a bit surface level. It does also get a bit schmaltzy towards the end, but then, it is Christmas.
However, it’s clear the cast probably had a great time filming this. Christine Baranski is always good value, and she is great as the perfectionist mother who comes armed with Xboxes, iPhones, ridiculous Christmas decorations and a military-level plan as to what makes a perfect Christmas. Kristen Bell also does well with a character which could just be really ‘dumb blonde’, who just wants to avoid conflict at all costs (and Cheryl Hines is great as practically her older version). My favourite of the Moms was probably Kathryn Hahn as Carla, who is pretty rude and brash, but has a heart of gold when it comes to her son, her Mum and her improbably love story with an impossibly attractive male stripper Ty Swindel (Justin Hartley).
This isn’t really a must-watch, but if you do want a fun film to see with your friends that will go along well with your sugar-rush from the pick ‘n’ mix.