With the jolly season almost upon us, Netflix has already decked their halls and dusted off their baubles with another bumper list of Christmas movies. Tasked with watching one of their new releases, Father Christmas is Back, I grabbed my usual movie-watching fare of chocolate and wine, and then chose my favourite spot on the lounge, eager to adopt the Christmas spirit.
Whats it’s about
A family reunites at Christmas amidst a lot of drama and misunderstandings and a secret that ruined their lives years ago.
The movie starts with an actual montage of each person, which is positively cringeworthy and should have been the tip-off to what was to come. But alas, I continued and recognised four of the actors, Kelsey Grammar, John Cleese, Elizabeth Hurley, and that British guy from Love Actually, who went to America for sex. Yes, it’s clear I don’t watch a lot of British shows.
** this man **
The Christmas sisters (yes, that’s their actual surname) were abandoned by their father 27 years ago on Christmas Day (great timing, Daddy) and he has now returned to make amends (hence the movie title and the only thing that I actually liked).
One of the sisters, Caroline is the excessive Christmas schmaltzy type, who plans everything to the nth degree, which, given her dysfunctional family, is laughable (and by no means in the comedic sense). Put simply, Caroline drove me nuts.
Joanna Christmas, played by Liz Hurley, is the snooty, designer aficionado, who acts like a bitch, but her insults are frankly abysmal. As are her facial expressions.
Paulina Christmas is obsessed with The Beatles, which is reflected in her mop-top hairstyle and the interjection of their song titles within her dialogue. And I winced every time.
And then there’s the younger sister, Vicky Christmas, whose bad-girl image leads us to believe she’s only there to shake things up, which she does well enough, and mostly towards big sister Joanna. Vicky is also integral to the long-buried secret plot.
Early on I realised this movie is trying way too hard to be The Family Stone and its nowhere in its league. Honestly, there is just way too many subplots and a lot of unnecessary moments that only drags everything into a quagmire of total despair.
- Trying to pass Liz Hurley off as forty-five. Especially as the two actors that play her parents are only ten and four years older than her in real life!
- John Cleese and Kelsey Grammar having a fisticuff fight scene that was supposed to be funny but had me reaching for more wine to dull my senses.
- The kids —a daughter and son — who share a bedroom when they live in a freaking castle!
- And the over-the-top acting from literally EVERYONE.
What it’s not
Funny. Clever. Enjoyable. And a waste of 105 minutes. Father Christmas is Back and it’s bad and bonkers and boring (you get the drift). My only recommendation: go watch something else!