There is less structure and purpose to this one compared to the original but when Christine Baranski is onscreen delivering zingers it won’t really matter.
The first film was an unexpected breakout hit with something to say about the pressures mothers put on themselves, featuring three likeable leads breaking out from such constraints with hilarious results. The sequel takes place around Christmas and starts off following a similar theme but this time centred on the pressures of making Christmas a special day for the whole family.
The filmmakers seem to wisely know this would be a weak re-tread so instead they put their focus into the relationships between the trio and their mothers, newly arrived for Christmas and making their lives a living hell.
Amy Mitchell’s (Mila Kunis) mother is a hyper critical perfectionist (Baranski)who spoils her grandchildren, Kiki’s (Kristen Bell) mother (Cheryl Hines) is very clingy and suffocates her daughter with love whereas Carla Dunkler’s (Kathryn Hahn) mother (Susan Sarandon) is a free spirit who can’t be relied upon for anything. The plot may prove predictable but there are nice touches here including Peter Gallagher as Amy’s father who proves endearing as a very supportive member of his family who gets things done by not being assertive.
Some humour is played out, these women don’t seem to move that fast for people who create havoc and then run away never to be caught or face consequences. On the other hand the witty wordplay between the respective trios in conversation, either the original stars or their mothers, is a delight from beginning to end. Yet the scene everybody is going to be talking about is one where newcomer Justin Hartley pays a visit to Carla Dunkler’s workplace to get a wax. Kathryn Hahn was the breakout star of ‘Bad Moms’ and here still gets the best lines and definitely the aforementioned best scene.
It is fun to be around these characters again, some progression and depth is given to them by introducing us to the women who raised them. As a comedy, the film is jam-packed full of laughs. Sure, the originality of doing a gross out comedy featuring young mums is now gone but some of the laughs were bigger. With Sarandon, Baranski and Hines joining the mix there is certainly more star power involved too. There seems little need for a third entry as there was a little need for a second one. Yet in quick turnaround they’ve produced a satisfactory sequel for fans and who knows, maybe they can do it again.