Some say Bad Moms was the surprise comedy of 2016, however, I felt the film was a little disappointing. With the original making a massive $183 million worldwide, it’s no surprise that a sequel was quickly drafted into production. With the sequel released only 15 months after the original, this is a film that felt rushed and unnecessary. Although I do think elements of the film worked, I would have liked the film to come out next year and the jokes developed to help the film be funnier. Recent years efforts including Office Christmas Party and Daddy’s Home 2 and this film have tried to gain the title of a modern Christmas classic, but I doubt that any will be on people’s must-watch Christmas film list in the years to come.
Mila Kunis is a great lead for these films, but I prefer her character development in the first film. I enjoyed the relationship between her character and her kids, but we get little of that in this film, this is also the case with her relationship with Jay Hernandez‘s character. The best addition to the cast had to be Amy’s Mother Ruth played by Christine Baranski, who perfectly plays the dominating perfectionist who will stop at nothing to deliver her family the perfect Christmas. Her jokes landed the best with the audience, she clearly knows her way around a Christmas film, having starred in one of my favourites The Grinch. I was shocked at how little character development they gave for her husband played by Peter Gallagher and wonder why the actor even signed on for the film in the first place.
The biggest victims of this overcrowded sequel are Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn‘s characters. At one point during Kunis’ story arc I forgot that we hadn’t seen the two characters for a large portion of the film. This is a shame since Hahn especially had some of the funniest moments of the first film. Her jokes didn’t land nearly as much in the sequel, a prime example of how rushing this film into development might not have been the best decision. Bell is a great comedian and she is overlooked again in this film, her character is created to be weird in the first film and her Mum, played by Cheryl Hines, is even stranger! I don’t mind kooky characters, but sometimes her character feels a little unbelievable. Susan Sarandon was probably the worst character and having such a recognisable actress in this role did distract from the film. I didn’t like to rocker/roady style they gave her, I think it would have been funnier for her to have been a medical-marijuana store owner or something along those lines.
Credit where credit is due, moments of A Bad Moms Christmas did make me laugh and I understand why they wanted to carry on this franchise. The film almost sets up a sequel with the Grandmas which could be fun but I hope they take time to develop the film and make sure the majority of the jokes land. This sequel crams in new characters, some work but most don’t. One example is This Is Us actor Justin Hartley who seems to be stripped naked to help sell tickets from trailers, hopefully, the industry isn’t responding to the Fifty Shades Of Grey hype by using the ‘Sex Sells’ strategy. I like Kunis, Bell and Hahn but know that they are more talented than this film, hopefully, they can leave this franchise onto bigger and better things.
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