Released 2nd November (Australia)
Seen 2nd December
Directed & Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Produced by Huayi Brothers Pictures & STX Entertainment
Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon & Cheryl Hines
There is nothing that makes me more nervous about seeing a movie than it being a sequel to a comedy… or when it’s a specific holiday-themed movie… or when it has multiple names in multiple countries like this movie. This had everything going against it that makes me worry but lucky for me, it calmed my fears pretty quickly.
Bad Moms 2 (In America it’s called A Bad Moms Christmas, but the title I saw it under was Bad Moms 2 so that’s what I’m going with) had your standard plot, main character tries to make Christmas happen, mom comes in, everything get’s wacky, insert close up of penis, we’re done. It’s a simple plot which means that in order for this movie to work we have to rely on the main performers to sell the comedy to us as it comes and god damn do they deliver for us.
Every single one of the main trinity of mothers is genuinely great. Mila Kunis just carries the film, pushes the plot where it needs to go and manages to bounce off everyone and let them have their moment until she get’s to just let loose which is so fun. Kristen Bell is really great at holding herself back just enough that you can see the cracks barely forming, every little twitch and look she gives raises a chuckle. Kathryn Hahn just does everything asked of her, she’s easily the one who has to do the most extreme raunchy comedy and she just sells it. The scene where she waxes Justin Hartley’s balls could’ve just been a basic boring scene but her commitment to that bit is amazing, and it must’ve been such a hard job to spend hours just watching Justin Hartley naked with his legs up over his head so you could look directly into his anus… tough jobs.
The true stars of the film, however, are the mothers of our leads. Cheryl Hines is hilarious as the incredibly clingy mother to Kristen Bell’s character, she can walk around in an outfit covered in photos of her daughter’s face and you genuinely buy that she would do that. It feels natural even at it’s most insane, which is a lot to pull off. Susan Sarandon plays Kathryn’s mom and while they don’t give her a lot to work with, she takes it and runs with it. I genuinely wish they’d given her more screentime because I liked what she was doing. She was portraying something very similar to what Goldie Hawn played in The Banger Sisters and it’s so fun seeing her getting to really let loose and go for it. Lastly, and best of the bunch, is Christine Baranski who is freaking hilarious every time she’s on screen. She can cut you down with a look, it makes absolute sense why she’s always getting her way, anytime she is on screen she’s as cheery as could be even when doing some of the most extreme stuff but when she’s had enough? She lets you know it in no uncertain terms and it’s hilarious.
There are a lot of genuinely fun little sequences in this movie. There’s a really nice scene in Skyzone where everyone just lets their hair down and has fun, including a pretty funny dodgeball scene that shows off the physical comedy chops of the movie. The scene at the bar with the Sexy Santa’s also offered a few good laughs, though let’s be frank for a minute here. If you’re doing a raunchy R rated comedy and you have a scene involving strippers… go all out. Just have all of them dancing, focus on the hero character certainly, but go for a 10 and not a 7 if you’re going to do that. That is a little bit of a problem I have, there are times when they push the joke right to the limit and it’s a lot of fun, but there are times when they’re a little more restrained and I just feel like this kind of movie should be at a 10 all the time. Girls Trip had a freaking extended fellatio joke where they demonstrated a vigorous blowjob, that’s your bar for how far you can go so hit that bar!
That’s kind of the great thing about this movie, with a central cast this good you don’t need that much else. The filming is adequate, the setups work, the script could use a bit of a polish in some areas and maybe the title cards could go. Apart from that, it’s a strong movie with funny leads who work with what they have and sell the hell out of it. It might be my second favourite of this years “Bunch of women leading a comedy” movies, which there need to be more of because, with the amount of funny female actors we have, I think we could handle a lot more movies like this.
Oh, and the final scene sets up for a sequel that better goddamn happen.