In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie release in theaters now including, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.
What is A Bad Moms Christmas?
The sequel to the titled-on-the-nose box office hit from last year, A Bad Moms Christmas sees oft-drunken moms Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) fighting to take back Christmas. From what, you ask? From the demands for spectacle and excess that give moms a living hell every December!
Of course, they can’t get off quite so easy: They must contend with their own moms: Amy’s ice queen mother Ruth (Christine Baranski), Kiki’s overly attached mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines), and Carla’s hellraiser mom Isis (Susan Sarandon). The movie becomes a comedy about the ways in which the expectations of the older generation chafe against what the newer generation wants.
Do I need to have seen Bad Moms to understand A Bad Moms Christmas?
Shockingly, there’s no dense mythology to the Bad Moms universe. You should be fine.
Why should I see it?
While certainly not everyone’s cup of tea (there are a whole lot of dick jokes in here), A Bad Moms Christmas manages the rare trick of being sweet without being saccharine, and R-rated funny without being too crass. (Except, you know, the dick jokes.) It’s maybe not for the whole family, but good for your chosen family of friends. Have a glass or two of wine before maybe sneak some in, too and have fun.
But how gay is it?
There’s an extended scene of This Is Us hunk Justin Hartley naked, with lots of talk about his giant dick. That, alone, would make this movie fairly gay-friendly. But that is, pardon the pun, just the tip.
In addition to bisexual bad mom Carla (who Hahn plays perfectly, raunch and all), A Bad Moms Christmas has a secret weapon to win over the gays: Christine Baranski. As the most seemingly uptight mom, Baranski surprises as basically the second lead of the film to Kunis’ Amy. She gets plenty of chances to go for the jugular, comedically, from her first scene critiquing Amy’s house (“Who knew Rite Aid sold Christmas decorations?”) to a mother-daughter fight for the ages (in which Ruth calls Love Actually a “dumb movie”). Every punchline is delivered perfectly, while she never stops making Ruth a fully fledged woman, with needs and wants beyond the comedy.
Baranski is an absolute scream, bringing to this movie what Tiffany Haddish did to Girls Trip, or Mo’Nique did to Almost Christmas last year. She is a marvel, and every bit worthy of the Oscar nomination she will not get for this.
Does Christine Baranski sing?
I’m glad you asked! She does have one musical number, though sadly, after telling us she’s going to sing “‘My Heart Will Go On,’ by seven-time Grammy winner Céline Dion,” she never does. It’s the one truly disappointing part of the movie.
I hate Susan Sarandon because of her anti-Hillary Clinton positions. Will I have problems watching her?
Honestly, Isis almost feels written out of the movie. She gets much less screentime than Ruth and Sandy, and her daughter, Carla, is the only one with a plotline separate from her (with Hartley’s exotic dancer). If you want to see the movie, don’t let Sarandon be what keeps you away.
How are the younger moms?
Good, fine, and kinda bad, respectively. Hahn has Carla down, and only doesn’t steal the movie because Baranski already ran away with it. Bell is OK as Kiki, but never gets to do much more than play straight-woman to Hines. Kunis has the unenviable task of sharing most of her scenes with Baranski, and frankly, the elder actress flattens her in every one. The end of the film teases a potential spinoff with Sarandon, Hines and Baranski; quite frankly, I’d rather watch them next time around, anyway.
What else makes Christine Baranksi so iconic in this?
Her pronunciation of the words “Louis Vuitton” is life-changing. She introduces herself as “Ruth, like Bader Ginsburg.” She plays dodgeball on a trampoline. She wears a gorgeous red dress that can be best described as that of a Final Fantasy fire witch character. By the time you get to her yelling “That’s moon ice, you nasty bitch,” you’ll have fully transcended.
Wait, Wanda Sykes is in this?
Oh, yeah, but don’t get too high of hopes. It’s a fairly small part though she does have a monologue that had my audience hollering their support.
Is it not odd that a movie with an almost all-female cast is written and directed by two men, Scott Moore and Jon Lucas?
Yeah, no kidding it’s odd. This movie is fun enough, but it lacks the insight into female relationships of something like Bridesmaids. Who you have behind the camera matters just as much as in front of it even when talking about a raunchy comedy like this. Do better, Hollywood.
A Bad Moms Christmas is in theaters now.
Photography courtesy of STX Entertainment.