Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), the trio of overworked, underappreciated mothers from 2016’s surprise hit Bad Moms, return in this equally raunchy and insipid sequel. Adding to the fun (if you can call it that) are their own difficult moms, who all show up to spend Christmas with their daughters.
The story begins with “Blue Christmas” playing over a montage of trashed Yuletide decorations in Amy’s house, while she sits inside watching a camel (that’s right, a live, full-sized camel) pass through her foyer. She laments, in voice-over, that she’s ruined Christmas. How did she do it? To answer that question, Amy rewinds the clock to six days before Christmas, when her wealthy, pretentious mother Ruth (Christine Baranski) arrives and takes control of every aspect of the holiday, from decorating to cooking to caroling. Things aren’t going any better for Kiki, as her suffocating mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines) arrives several days early. She can’t bear to be apart from her daughter, which includes hiding in the dark in Kiki’s bedroom so she can watch Kiki and her husband have sex. Even worse, Carla’s ne’er-do-well mother Isis (Susan Sarandon)—“like the terrorist group,” she explains proudly to anyone who questions her name—unexpectedly shows up to borrow money. Isis’ idea of a good time is to stand outside of a grocery store and pretend to collect food for charity, then abscond with the goods.
Carla, for one, has had enough and tells Amy and Kiki, “Let’s put the ass back in Christmas!” (It isn’t any funnier when you hear her say it.) What follows includes an alcohol-infused rampage through a mall, a highly inappropriate photo shoot with ole St. Nick, a visit to a strip club for a Sexy Santa contest, and an extremely embarrassing night of caroling. Whenever a scene starts to falter, which is often, the filmmakers’ solution is to drop a barrage of F-bombs (including some said by a nine-year-old girl) and insert a plethora of penis jokes.
Just as in the original movie, no one here resembles a real person. Everyone and every situation are way over-the-top, which is supposed to be funny but isn’t. Hangover scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are back again to write and direct, but they clearly still haven’t signed up for Aaron Sorkin’s MasterClass in screenwriting, which this reviewer suggested they do after seeing the first Bad Moms.
Having said all that, anyone who enjoyed Bad Moms will find much to like here, as the sequel is even more vulgar, debauched, and degrading than the original. For everyone else, it’s a blue Christmas indeed.