Almost Christmas

A widower’s four adult children return to the family home for the first Christmas since their mother’s death, bringing heaps of drama and dysfunction.

Year: 2016
Certificate: 12
Director: David E. Talbert
Starring: Gabrielle UnionJB SmooveKimberly EliseMo’NiqueDanny GloverRomany MalcoJohn Michael Higgins

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Christmas is a time for family. It’s the one time of the year the whole family can come together, forget about work, school and all the other stresses of life and enjoy themselves. That is, of course, if the family get along!

Danny Glover plays Walter, a recent widow with a dysfunctional family, who gets all his kids and their families back home to celebrate their first Christmas together since the sad passing of the matriarch of the family.

With an ensemble cast of familiar faces, such as Gabrielle Union as ‘Rachel’, the independent mother who needs nobodies help; Romany Malco plays an ambitious Senator; JB Smoove li plays a retired basketball player who is still surfing on his success… kinda; and, possibly the best part of the film, Mo’Nique plays Aunt May – sister in law to Walter and his biggest supporter when it comes to getting the family together. She has a big personality, a big mouth and some big stories from her career as a backup singer for some of the most famous artists in the world.

As with all Christmas movies, ‘Almost Christmas’ is a light-hearted affair with an important message. As Walter counts down the days till Christmas, hoping for the Christmas miracle that his bickering family can get along, the film is littered with a few laughs and possibly for some, tears.

It’s a paint by numbers movie where you already know the likely conclusion but wonder if it can get you there before you get sick of cliche Christmas movie moments. ‘Almost Christmas’ almost doesn’t. The script is a little shakey and there is a background story that isn’t focused on it enough for us to care, but it’s there anyway. The direction is pretty simple and the set could have been in any other Christmas movie.

BUT, after watching the movie to its inevitable conclusion, my verdict is, I have seen worse films. The cast plays their parts well and has good chemistry. Again without Mo’Nique, I may have turned it off before we got to the special day.

Out of the films on Netflix right now about Christmas, there were only two films that were not animated that piqued, my interest. This one and ‘Best man Holiday’ and I didn’t get past the first 15 minutes. I think it may be a sequel where I haven’t seen the original and it lost me real quick! I think I made the right choice switching over to ‘Almost Christmas’.
And yes, Danny Glover says THAT line.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

Have a very merry Christmas!

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