The original Bad Moms was a movie that really shouldn’t have been good or successful, technically speaking. During the lead-up to its Summer 2016 release there was nothing glaringly wrong or cringe-y about it, but it just had an air of usual about it.
There was the poster with the catch phrase “Party like a mother.” Mila Kunis as the mom who’s always running late—and is that spaghetti in her hair? Christina Applegate‘s uptight PTA president, the bake sale Nazi. Casting a famous athlete in a promotional guest slot (Trainwreck wants it strategy back).
But then Bad Moms hit theaters and it became a cultural phenomenon. The R-rated comedy about three women completely fed up with the pressures and responsibilities to be perfect mothers resonated, and it resonated big.
The ticket-purchasing population of America agreed wholeheartedly. Bad Moms pulled in $23 million opening weekend, which was incredibly impressive for a movie with an R-rating that could also easily be mistaken for a family-friendly comedy. By the end of the summer it became the first R-rated comedy of the entire year to cross the $100 million mark, earning the studio a big profit and thus all but guaranteeing a sequel from the get-go.
The sequel, A Bad Moms Christmas, hits theaters this weekend and only expands on everything the first installment did. This time around, the three main mothers are now the best of friends (having formed an iron-clad bond over their PTA rabble-rousing and all those tequila shots) and staring down their first Christmas as newly-enlightened DGAF moms.
Each of their own mothers comes into town to crash the holidays (uninvited, of course) and brew up a host of other issues for the ladies to deal with—things like the fact that Hahn’s movie mother (Susan Sarandon) is a gambling addict, Kunis’ (Christine Baranski) is a insulting control freak and Bell’s (Cheryl Hines) has a penchant for copying her hairdo and wearing shirts with her face all over them.
Yet it seems right to continue the red-hot trajectory. The press tour is in overdrive, with its three stars fully winning the Internet at every turn—they’ve had big premieres complete with men dressed in sexy Santa suits, they’ve been on every talk show, and they even competed on The Price is Right. (Yes, that’s what you saw trending on Twitter).
(Or, as she joked to E! News, “If you’ve ever seen Justin Hartleyand wondered what he’s gonna look like naked, then Bad Moms is for you.”)
For her part, Kunis spoke during the film’s promotional tour about the draw she felt towards the story. “It lacks judgement and it has so much empathy towards women in the world,” she said. “Whether you’re a working mom or struggling mom or the mom who has it all together. When I read the script I was like, oh, I have to do this movie because I’m feeling A, B, C and D and so are all these characters. They get me and I get them.”
Bad Moms shows us that women have those inclinations, too—they get sick of responsibility, they want to shirk adult tasks, they want to go out and get drunk at the mall food court. But these women manage to do so while also keeping their lives (generally) intact. After those shots at the mall they get back to their families and make dinner for their kids. They answer the work emails they neglected. They just generally have fun without being complete a–holes, to be frank.
Instead, the Bad Moms show the beauty in realizing that no one wants to try to be that anyway. It’s so much more fun to be the one talking about balls in between tequila shots, isn’t it?