Another Christmas film…needed? Not sure, but it has been made so it must be reviewed. As with many other Christmas films this one focuses on the joys of being part of a family. It is a concept that has been used before so you go into it hoping that director/screenwriter David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim, First Sunday) brings something new(ish) to the table.
After his wife of many years and the love/light of his life dies, Walter Meyers (Danny Glover – Lethal Weapon, Death at a Funeral) decides to carry on his family’s Christmas traditions as they have always been. That includes inviting his 4 adult children and their families to spend 5 days together, put up all the decorations and attempt his wife’s delicious sweet potato pie. Sounds simple, no? But when you have sisters who are always at each other’s throats and a son who is having trouble taking time out on his political career and the sweet potato pie turns out inedible each time you try then you realize it might not be a holly jolly Christmas.
Plenty of faces you will know in this like Glover, Mo’Nique (Precious, Soul Plane), Omar Epps (from television’s House), J.B. Smoove (Date Night, We Bought a Zoo), John Michael Higgins (Bad Teacher, Pitch Perfect 2), and Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys II, Bring It On). They all show they are capable of handling the demands of comedic acting and all have their moments in the film. For me, Mo’Nique was the highlight of the film. Each time she is on screen something utterly ridiculous comes out of her mouth.
That being said, there were plenty of cliche moments here. A large pitfall of holiday films, unfortunately. You get every stereotype family member you can think of – the cheating uncle, the overachieving sibling, the sibling who is so immersed in work they don’t see what is going on around them, the jock, and the crazy aunt. The story is quite generic as well.
Despite all its flaws this is the type of film that is typical of a snowy Sunday afternoon viewing.
-Even More Gags
-Aunt May Unplugged
-Home for the Holidays
-The Director Diaries
-Walter Meyers’ Sweet Potato Pie
-My Favorite Scene Is…
-Working with Actors
-Feature Commentary with Director David E. Talbert, Editor Troy Takaki and Apprentice Editor Gene Lewis Jr.