December 8: This Christmas (2007)

This Christmas. Directed by Preston A. Whitmore II. Screen Gems, 2007.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • Not only have I never seen this movie, I also kind of forgot it existed
  • Movies based on song lyrics don’t tend to have a great track record, so my hopes aren’t too high for one that is tied to a Chris Brown cover, but I do love me some Regina King

Post-Screening Snippets

  • This movie opens with a gorgeous, jazzy rendition of “Santa Baby” and is one of many great songs to come
  • I was not prepared for Idris Elba! Talk about Santa, baby
  • Awh, remember back in the old days when Chris Brown wasn’t a garbage person? Turns out he wasn’t a good actor even before that
  • When the characters get the chance to just interact around the house, we get wonderful family drama that captures the love-bound tension of the holiday season
  • Loretta Devine is delightful as the matriarch, Ma’Dere; we love a mama bear moment
  • Half of the score is infused with jazz, half is cheesy 2000s comedy – no surprise which half is better
  • Idris talking dirty to a cake is the truth I wish to live…but where I’m the cake
  • I get that this was the Chris Brown heyday, and he probably got to choose his own song to sing, but it seems odd that the first time he sings isn’t a Christmas song
  • I feel like pulling a gun on someone deserves more family discussion than learning your brother can sing
  • This movie is so overflowing with characters that the two kids are in three scenes and have maybe two lines; they literally get sidelined to a kid’s table in the final family scene
  • I’m definitely curious about the tension surrounding education
  • New rule: all movies end with the cast doing a soul train
  • To sum up the theme of the movie, I’d like to quote the stripper from The Office: “Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.”

The Final Hot Chocolate

Like many of us after Christmas dinner, This Christmas is absolutely overstuffed. There are about twenty characters who each have three secrets and two subplots. It’s like shoving an entire season of a soap opera into two hours. Luckily, like most buffets, the good dishes far outweigh the bad. Even with all of the extra dressing, This Christmas is a sweet little film! If you also forgot it existed, open Netflix and give it a stream with your family this year.

GRADE: B+

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