Almost Christmas full movie review - A New Holiday Film Tradition?
We just got finished stuffing our faces with turkey, pie, yams, macaroni and cheese and stuffing. Before we can even go back for seconds, and pack away some leftovers, we get flooded with holiday themed entertainment.
Almost Christmas, is the first holiday themed movie to hit the big screen. It is the latest Christmas film that represents the entire dysfunctional family getting together for Christmas. I know what you are thinking, and the answer is yes. This type of film has been done so many times before. The dysfunctional family ripping at each other's throats, using profanity at each other and by the end of the movie, they are all smiling, drinking eggnog (elf cum just kidding) and singing Kumbaya while looking at a glaring Christmas tree. On the other hand, this film truly does have an all-star cast, the director has improved from his last film, it is entertaining, and this film is a nice way to start the holiday season.
Written and directed by David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim), the film depicts a family coming together for the holidays soon after their beloved matriarch has died. Widower Walter Meyers, played by Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple), a well-off, retired automotive engineer, hosts the gathering at his comfortable home in Birmingham, Alabama (Even though the movie was filmed in Georgia).
The attendees include Cheryl, played by Kimberly Elise (For Colored Girls, Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Walter's oldest daughter; her sister Rachel, played by Gabrielle Union (Meet Dave, The Birth of a Nation), with whom she has a contentious relationship; oldest son Christian, played by Romany Malco (The 40 Year Old Virgin, The Love Guru), an ambitious politician running for Congress; and much younger son Evan (Jessie T. Usher), who's becoming hooked on painkillers while recuperating from a recent sports injury. Along with other cast members J.B. Smoove, Mo'Nique, Omar Epps, Gladys Knight, John Michael Higgins, and Nicole Ari Parker.
So, the first thing I would like to talk about is the cast. Oh my God, this is a good cast, and it is the cast that makes this movie so much better than what it should be. I know I mentioned how this films plot is something a majority of people have seen, especially in the Christmas genre. But, the cast really lights things up this holiday season (that pun wasn't intended, and if it was it was pretty lame). The real stand out cast members are J.B. Smoove (Hall Pass, The Sitter) and Mo'Nique (Precious, Phat Girlz). Mo'Nique is hilarious as the wig-wearing, ready to fight, drunk, name-dropping Aunt May, who has "performed" for Mick Jagger and Chaka Khan and enjoys imparting all of her wisdom to Walter and her nieces and nephews. I never thought I would say this, but Danny Glover has literally been out performed by everyone! Really, the cast is the redeeming quality for this film. One thing I have to get off my chest is the character Jasmine, played by Keri Hilson. God Lord was that lady fine!
Also, this film is a comedy and a drama. The movie does have some decent laughs, but nothing really very new. The best comedy bits really do come from Mo'Nique and J.B. Smoove, and it is usually through dialogue. The director did improve from his last film, so I feel like he is getting more efficient with filmmaking. Where this movie falls flat is the script. The script is so generic and been there done that type of story, even for a holiday themed movie. Similarly, I would consider this more of a comedy than a drama. The drama is a little bland. Its most dramatic plot elements revolve around Walter's ability to replicate his late wife's sweet potato pie recipe and his decision to possibly sell the family house without informing his children. Danny Glover's youngest son Evan is addicted to painkillers in the movie, and that should have been a little more dramatic. When a pie is more in depth with development and more dramatic than his son being an addict, I think, that is when the script should have some re-writes. Maybe, the son could have overdosed, become more violent towards family members, clutch his chest while singing deck the halls, fall backwards into the Christmas tree and suddenly stopped breathing, anything really. I just feel like that character was underwritten.
So these are my final B*tchin' Buddha thoughts on the film Almost Christmas. The films plot is a little weak, but has a cast that keeps it strong. We get all our usual Christmas movie moments. Putting a giant Santa Claus statue on the roof that doesn't go according to plan, kids giving words of wisdom to adults in need, a character putting his family first and work second, joyful dancing in the living room, and the big surprise at Christmas dinner. I hope I didn't spoil the movie for anyone, because none of these elements in a Christmas movie are new. On the other hand, families will enjoy it, it will get you in the holiday spirit, and I personally had a good time. I am going to give Almost Christmas a?
7 out of 10!
Thank you all so much for reading and or viewing. The holidays are around the corner, so I hope you all enjoy yourselves. Don't worry, after the holidays it is back to work, school, and hittin' the gym to shred off all that turkey weight. I hope you all enjoyed this quick review, and remember don't just get down but get Boogie. :)