A Bad Moms Christmas is taking Christmas to a whole new level. Strippers, booze, and tons of freakin’ cheer. Got your ticket yet?
I loved the first film because of its surprises, smart writing and all-in performances (Kathryn Hahn I’m looking at you!). So I was thinking, what could they possibly do next? I’m happy to report they found a way to up the ante with even more laughs, ridiculous moments, and heartfelt performances.
A Bad Moms Christmas follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers. By the end of the journey, our moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.
The relationship between mother and daughter is different for everyone. My own mom is so different from me that I often wonder if I should request a DNA test. But I have friends who say they would crawl back up in their mother’s womb if they could. The relationships in A Bad Moms Christmas are just as varied and hilarious as we follow our moms on their holiday adventures. Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) all vow to buck the norm for Christmas and “take Christmas back.” No fake caroling competitions, no perfect Christmas dinner, and no crazy decorations. That is, until their moms arrive with other ideas.
Christine Baranski plays Ruth, Amy’s mother who makes a perfect Christmas look like Neiman Marcus ad. She will stop at nothing, not even her daughter’s wishes, to create the perfect holiday. This of course drives a wedge between the two that leaves them struggling to reconnect during a holiday when family should be together. Christine Baranski is brilliant as the mom who gets everything right and outshines her daughter who seems to always get everything wrong. You spend most of the movie going, ugh, I’m glad that’s not my mom but in the nicest way possible.
I watched the film in a huge screening with a bunch of moms gone wild for A Bad Moms Christmas night out and there was a cheer that went up when Susan Sarandon came on the screen. She is a legend and believe me when I tell you, you’ve never seen her like this before. She’s dubious, scheming, sexy and the perfect person to play Kathryn Hahn’s mother Isis. Yes, Isis. Sarandon is so natural in this role as the bohemian trucker gal who’s never put down roots. She and Hahn play beautifully off of each other and could easily have their own show based on these characters. As an actress I watch performances like this and think, goals. Major actress goals.
And Cheryl Hines completes the opposite mom tribe as Sandy, Kiki’s mom. Her strange mom fatal attraction thing for her daughter is creepy, but so lovable. Every mom in the room could relate to smelling their daughter/son’s hair and wanting to recapture all of the little tiny things they did growing up. Hines has created a new phrase in my min, stalker mom. The moms who stalk their kids and obsess over them until they buy the house next door.
These women were the perfect choice to play moms for Mila, Kristen and Kathryn so I had to ask how they were chosen. Bell said,
“We kind of got to pick. And I think that what made this movie really worth it for me. I mean I would’ve done it anyway because I’ll do anything with these girls, but what made it intensely interesting is not just having another situation that we take back, but a situation where we’re taking something back, and we’re up against a wall because our moms come home.”
We see these women become closer as friends and find themselves through their experiences with their moms. One thing I loved is that Kristen Bell said something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: as moms we don’t have to be just one thing all the time. We can be conflicted, a paradox, and have two feelings at the same time.
“Self-care, and forgiveness and not feeling ashamed for anything and just being confident in your decisions is a really important part of life that no one talks about. And for me that’s what this movie is about.” Bell explained.
All the ladies agree that this movie gives moms permission to have a night out and let loose. We get so caught up in the-day-to-day grind of parenting, work, and life responsibilities that we forget we are human people who need a break. My best friend Amy was so excited to call me and ask about this movie. She’s already planning her own Bad Moms night out with her own mom and sisters. I told her to have some margarita’s and enjoy it because she works hard and could use a good laugh.
Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard during a press interview. Mila told me she just wrapped a film with Sam Heughan (Outlander) and as many of you know I had my own amazing encounter with him this year at Comic Con. This lead to a discussion about the show, sex on-screen, and in particular how all of these period shows have so much sex during a time when hygiene wasn’t something anyone did or understood. Do they brush their teeth or clean their bits? These are topics conveniently left out of Game of Thrones and Outlander type shows yet everyone is sex crazed and can’t get enough. Good to know I’m not the only one who thinks about things like that!
I digress. Mila opened up about how parenting has changed her and why, even though this is a comedy, it has a beautiful underlying message. She said,
“I feel like I’m very vulnerable after I had kids, but all that vulnerability ever did was make me be more confident in voicing it.”
Susan Sarandon is a powerful advocate for women’s rights and human rights. So I couldn’t be in the same room with her and not ask her about the current situation in Hollywood with more and more sexual harassment claims coming out every day. She said,
“It’s about economic disparity. It’s about the fact that women feel they don’t have a choice because so much hangs on to that and so we have to address how we change that so that young women find a way to not be beholden to sacrifice so much of what they hold dear in order to hold onto a job. And that’s happening in every job, not just in show business.”
The conversation then continued as Sarandon and Hines talked about empowering women and moms throughout the workforce. We were there to talk about a silly comedy but I left feeling more inspired than I ever though possible. People who say movies don’t affect us, or change us in someway clearly aren’t seeing enough movies. The fact that a raunchy comedy about moms letting loose can inspire, and create a movement is proof there is power when women come together. But make no mistake, this is one hilarious movie that is worthy a night out with your best moms friends.
A Bad Moms Christmas opens Nov. 1st and stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines, Jay Hernandez, Wanda Sykes, Peter Gallagher, and Justin Hartley.
Watch my interview with Cheryl Hines and the cast of A Bad Moms Christmas at the premiere!