The realisation of how bad this film was going to be should have dawned on me with the line “I’ve had 27 years of therapy trying to recalibrate Christmas after our father abandoned us on Christmas day.”
Essentially that is all you need to know. The film follows four sisters who hate each other so much I refuse to believe the set-up that they always spend Christmas together at, wait for it, Humphrey from Death in Paradise’s Yorkshire mansion. Their dad then shows up after 27 years with his much younger American girlfriend and everyone must find the true meaning of Christmas in about three days.
Oh yeah, and their surname is Christmas.
I really can’t say anything positive other than John Cleese and Kris Marshall are trying their best with what they had to work with (I really don’t know how either were roped into this film). The acting is shockingly bad but I’ll give the actors some credit, the script or the staging didn’t give them much to work with.
The main problem with the film is the pacing and the message in it. The whole thing is over the course of three days and everything happens so fast but also slow and as a result, every conversation is littered with random exposition that feels incredibly awkward. For the most part, it’s long conversations with their mother shoved into random Christmas settings as she tries to get the girls to forgive their dad for leaving. Not too sure when the spirit of Christmas just meant forgetting 27 years because everyone got drunk at a pub on Christmas eve but hey Jingle bells and all.
It’s not even ‘good bad’ in the sense of it’s silly and there are plot holes and it’s fun and ridiculous. I can appreciate a fun Christmas film like that. This is just a bad film. Unless you want to turn into the Grinch this Christmas, watch something else.
PG/13, Available on Netflix if you really want to torture yourself
Featured image credit: Netflix