The Bad Moms are back, and this time they are not only battling with the expectations of delivering a perfect Christmas, but also those held by their own mothers.
Bad Moms 2 (originally titled A Bad Mom’s Christmas) kicks off a little after the first film, with Kiki (Kristen Bell), Amy (Mila Kunis) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) planning to share their respective Christmas holidays with their mothers.
Kiki’s mum, it seems, has failed to cut the umbilical cord, and her desire to be besties with her daughter is plain to see (especially when she wears clothing with her daughter’s face plastered all over). But, it seems Kiki isn’t as keen.
Amy’s mum isn’t dealing with her daughter’s divorce, and her desire to see her grandchildren avoid any emotional fallout results in an obsessive determinism to host the greatest ever Christmas at her daughter’s house, complete with full Christmas décor, live partridges and Kenny G. Unfortunately, her excessive display isn’t met with applause.
And finally, Carla’s mum, who turns up seemingly unaware that Christmas is even a thing, is more likely seeking her daughter out for selfish, rather than festive, reasons.
Each daughter is struggling with their own mother’s presence, which sets up the sequel more as a tale of ‘bad daughters’. Like the original, it provides cheap laughs, contains a strong sense of self-deprecation, and manages to touch on the real and often oppressive expectations for women, not just as mothers, but as daughters.
True to form, the film attempts to debunk myths of perfectionism and provide a statement of permission for women to be their perfectly flawed selves—in all relationships. It also captures the perpetual standards one generation comes to set for the next.
As someone who has been known to turn into the Christmas equivalent of a bridezilla in Santa-sized proportions, I couldn’t help but share more in common with Amy’s mum than the rest. In search of achieving the perfectly balanced lobster bisque (despite having not one crouton’s worth of French cookery skills), I have turned more than one Christmas morning into a horror of merry proportions.
So, what did I take from Bad Moms 2? Apart from my resistance to American spelling, not a whole lot, but some easy laughs and a small sense that women are becoming increasingly comfortable with being imperfect.
Bad Moms 2 is a frivolous way to laugh off our flaws. Like most sequels, the film fails to reach the heights of its predecessor, but offers enough fun to make it worth your while.
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Stars: Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski
Runtime: 1hour 44mins
Release Date: November 2
Reviewer Rating: 3/5