Maybe it's the beer and shots talking, or maybe the Christmas lights are casting a twinkly holiday glow, but this outing is a little bit sweeter than -- if just as filthy as -- the original. "Families coming together at Christmas" is, of course, one of the most done-to-death holiday-special plots of all time, but the Bad Moms Christmas cast is so charming, so compelling, that they wring some genuine emotional gold out of the clichés of trampoline dodge ball showdowns, elaborate "12 days of Christmas" holiday house-lighting schemes, and parents and children who could get along if they'd just learn to listen to each other. It certainly helps that all of the excellently cast grandmothers have sharp comic chops, most particularly Baranski, whose Ruth is so imperious that her husband irons her satin pajamas at night. (Hines' hilariously co-dependent Sandy is a close second). So the mom-daughter Special Moments never get too schmoopy; sensitive viewers may even find themselves shedding a tear or two.
And yes, of course, there are a whole bunch of Christmas-mayhem set pieces, most particularly a scene in which our mom-heroes vow to take back Christmas -- which turns out to mean guzzling liquor in a mall food court, dirty dancing with a game Santa, and ripping off a Christmas tree from a Foot Locker. A scene in which Carla undertakes a personal waxing job for an exotic dancer is another highlight, with her client tenderly expressing how much he'd like a date with her just before he asks whether she'd like him to part his butt cheeks for her so she can wax more thoroughly. No, the movie doesn't go anywhere you couldn't have predicted from the beginning, but it's fun, and funny, too -- particularly for viewers who know exactly what it's like to be overworked and underappreciated.