I reread my BAD MOMS review because I couldn’t necessarily remember that much about the 2016 comedy. That’s not a dig against the film because while rereading the review, I did have a lot of the film’s jokes get unearthed in my mind. My memories, even before the reread, were fond. That’s because I not only viewed the film as a stepping stone for female driven comedies, but also saw it as more than riotous and raunchy. It was a subtle jab at white suburbia and upper middle class snobbery. A BAD MOM’S CHRISTMAS is a little riotous and raunchy, but nothing cleverly subversive or distinct that will come up if I ever take a trip down memory lane a few years from now.
A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS is like if a made-for-TV comedy was rated R. It has copious amounts of phallic imagery and drug use, and a sprinkling of well-known names that’ll make you go, “Oh look, she/he is in this.” This film has our three main heroines, Amy (Kunis), and Kiki (Bell) Karla (Hahn) attempting to “take back Christmas.” It’s their way of saying that moms in general are overworked and stressed out during the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but the establishing scenes show that Amy (who actually took time out of her busy schedule to buy a gift for her barista) is the only one who’s actually busy. Kiki simply has too many children to juggle at home and Karla is simply sick of the holiday influx of customers at her spa job.
The Christmas cheer they find (which is getting plastered at the mall and twerking on Santa) is short-lived as all three of their mothers show up. Amy’s mom, Ruth (Christine Baranski) is judgmental and ruthlessly nitpicky, Kiki’s mom, Sandy (Cheryl Hines) is creepily overbearing to the point she watches Kiki and her husband pre-coitus, and Karla’s mom, Isis (Susan Sarandon), is a gambling addict in need of some cash. The older mom’s personas are over-the-top and genuinely bring out the worst of our three main characters. So much so that they go from sympathetic to whiny and spoiled in their predicament.
The cast and crew behind the first film fail to make lightning strike twice with A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS. A lot of that can be attributed to an unnecessary need for the story’s continuation and a script that runs on comedic fumes when it should be firing off joke after joke, even if they miss more than hit. However, Hahn is once again the comedic highlight of this film’s universe. She talks like a horny high schooler and making references you’d find in films like SUPERBAD or 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN.
A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS is very much like other Christmas comedies, where there’s a message of family, unity, and acceptance. But it doesn’t quite have the staying power of CHRISTMAS VACATION or A CHRISTMAS STORY. It’s not because it’s raunchy, it’s because the characters are so unbelievable in the scenarios. It’s not a bad thing if you’re looking for a cheap comedic flick, but if you’re looking to make some room on your yearly holiday film watching list, you can leave A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS out of the rotation. But if you got some booze and need a break from the family, you might find some holiday cheer in this film.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:40:1) The bright ornamental colors of Christmas come through clearly on this blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) There are no audio problems as everything is balanced well.
Gag Reel (6:36): A self-explanatory feature that seems to compliment all comedy films.
Additional Scenes (3:52): There’s nothing additional about this feature. These aren’t cutting room floor scenes, more than they’re raw footage of actors improving some of their comedic one liners.
Crew Music Video (2:25): This is a music video featuring the film’s crew for some reason.