Director: David E. Talbert
Writer: David E. Talbert
Starring: Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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A dysfunctional family gathers together for their first Christmas since their mom died.
I have to admit, I lost my Christmas spirit many years ago. With that said, I haven't been watching many Christmas-y movies in years or been doing much of anything to "get in the spirit". Yet, when I was asked if I wanted to review this movie, I said, what the heck...and I am glad I did. The movie, despite it being a cookie cutter Christmas type of movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
First of all, the chemistry between Mo'Nique and Danny Glover was palpable. You could tell they're good buddies who have known each other for a very long time and love each other like brother and sister. Not only that, but Mo'Nique absolutely steals the show! She is, hands down, the funniest person in the whole movie with her quirks, one liners, and sometimes just facial expressions. But I have to say that all the actors did a good job. I love Gabrielle Union and she was as sassy and funny as can be; hers was my favorite character after Mo'Nique's. Then, after these two great ladies, the funniest one was Nadej K Bailey (who plays Gabrielle Union's daughter). That little girl's acting skills are promising!
After that, the story itself was a good one. It's one of those that family is family no matter what and we should stick together, despite our differences. The synopsis of the movie says "a dysfunctional family", but what family isn't? There are extremes of course, but no family is perfect: every family fights and argues and disagrees, and has clashes of personalities/opinions/views. This one was no different, but the important thing is that, despite all of that, they love each other and came through when most needed -like most Christmas or feel good movies. But, if you pay close attention, it's to teach us a lesson about how we get so caught up in our own heads and problems and ideals that we forget to stop being selfish and look at the big picture (if you've read my other movie or book reviews, you'll know I always talk about the moral of the story because those are my favorite). This family's arguments and disagreements all become hysterical moments, with Mo'Nique always stealing the show! She is something else!
One thing I noticed about the movie is that all the kids (aged between about 7-11) are more focused on being on their phones and snapping and posting what's happening than anything else. Except for the moment in which Niya (Nadej K Bailey) is giving a very mature and good speech to her mom (Gabrielle Union), they are always on their phones! And I know that's how these new generations are now, but my observation was that we need to teach our kids to be less on the phones and more focused on actual human interaction and family time. Just a little observation.
Anyway, if you are looking for a light, feel good, but also funny movie that will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit, then go watch this movie! It had moments in which you would bend over from laughing mixed with heart warming ones and others very moving that made the entire audience cry. It shows morals we need to keep and real problems our society and families deal with, and how love is way more important than that. Oh! And it has a dash of romance that even made me smile.
Oh! Don't forget to stay after the credits start rolling because they show bloopers throughout, and some of those are even funnier than some of the scenes in the movie (and of course Mo'Nique's bloopers were also the funniest -even Danny Glover was bent over laughing in one of them!)
PS: I fell in love with their family home and wish I could have the kitchen that home has! Wow!
Enjoy it and Happy Holidays!