A modern day classic of a big family trying to get through Christmas Day. Each group has their own little story going on and they all converge for the family Christmas. Some great actors in this film make it a real favourite of mine. I think of it as sort of a Love Actually story but all the characters are related and have group scenes towards the end.
Each generation has their own story, there’s Charlotte (Diane Keaton) and Sam (John Goodman), the head of the family who are in a rut and thinking of separating. They also pick up Aunt Fishy from her retirement home for the Christmas Eve meal. She suffers with memory loss and is played by the delightful June Squibb (The Proposal).
Sam and Charlotte’s children are Hank and Eleanor. Hank (Ed Helms) and his wife (Alex Borstein) have separated and he has the children for Christmas. They are played by Timothée Chalamet, Maxwell Simkins and Blake Baumgartner. The kids all have their own adventures too. Charlie (Chalamet) is keen on a girl but has difficulties talking to her. His brother wants to find the perfect gift. Their sister, Madison spends the day with her grandparents and has trouble controlling her bladder.
Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) meanwhile doesn’t enjoy spending time with her family and is headed back via the airport when she connects with Joe (Jake Lacy), an army officer. They spend the day bonding at the airport and she brings him home as her boyfriend to impress her family.
There’s also Aunt Emma (Marisa Tomei) is looking for presents for her family and is arrested for shoplifting and taken downtown by Officer Williams (Anthony Mackie). She gets him to open up during their ride.
The last pairing is Bucky (Alan Arkin), Charlotte’s father goes to the same diner every day and bonds with Ruby (Amanda Seyfried), a waitress. When she decides to leave to pursue her dreams, he invites her to family Christmas.
I enjoy this film very much and will be watching it for years to come. I think the chemistry between all the characters really makes you believe they are a real family. The film has plenty of hilarious moments and some real family love. The story is completed by Rags, the dog voiced by Steve Martin who narrates the story and gives the viewer insight into the lives and thoughts of the characters. Overall I give this film 5/5.
No new post for a while, I know, but last week I finished my university course for the year, so I thought I would write a few posts before the new year. This post will be about the Christmas Films I’ve loved watching this winter season. Most of them I have seen before but there were a few new ones.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
I watched this film at the cinema this year, and even though it is a children’s film, I thought it had enough adult humour to keep the whole family entertained. The film is a retelling of the Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol with the Muppets and humans acting side by side. Michael Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge,the Bah Humbug of Christmas who is shown the error of his ways by three ghosts. Kermit the Frog is Bob Cratchit and his wife, Miss Piggy. Entertaining for all the family. It is advertised as a U but I would not let sensitive 4 year olds watch. 5/5.
Jack Frost (1998)
A classic Christmas film that I loved as a child. I watched it last month and even though it is a children’s film, I really enjoyed it. It is about a boy whose father reincarnates as a snowman on Christmas Eve. They have many adventures in the snow-covered Colorado town. Michael Keaton has great charm and charisma as titular character, Jack Frost, the front man of his band. When he was alive, he never could give Charlie his full attention but made of ice and snow, all he wants is to spend time with his son. 5/5.
Love Actually (2003)
Many people go to this Christmas romance written by Richard Curtis and starring many British favourites such as Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Bill Nye, Martin Freeman, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It tells the story of many different people in the lead up to Christmas. Hugh Grant is the new Prime Minister, trying to run the country, Emma Thompson is making lobster costumes for the nativity, Keira Knightley gets married and Liam Neeson tries to be a good step-father. There are so many little stories of love, loss and hope all set in London at Christmas time. I have watched this film every festive season since I discovered it. 5/5.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
A funny children’s animation for kids and adults telling the story of how Father Christmas, his family and the army of elves reachevery child on Christmas Eve. Steve, Father Christmas’ son has created a fully technological ship with a fool proof delivery system. However, when one present gets left behind; Arthur Christmas, the embarrassment of the family who has been designated to the’Letters to Santa’ department decides to help. He teams up with Grand-Santa and an old reindeer to make Christmas happen for every girl and boy. Filled with many jokes and gags, the film will make children and grown-ups believe in the magic of Father Christmas once more. One of my personal favourites. 5/5.
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! (2012)
The sequel in the franchise, Nativity 2 carries on the tales of St Bernadette’s Primary School as this time they want to compete in the Song for Christmas singing competition in Wales. When the headmistress says no, Mr Poppy, the ditsy, childish teaching assistant hires a boat bus and brings the children and Mr Peterson, the new class teacher played by David Tennant along for the adventure. Featuring babies, magic flying donkeys and mountains, this quest to be part of something special at Christmas will warm everyone’s heart. Filled with jokes and laughs to keep everyone entertained. 5/5.
Christmas with the Coopers (2015)
A large family coming together in a small American town at Christmas. They all want to have the best Christmas ever but are all hiding secrets. Sam and Charlotte are getting a divorce after 40 years, their son, Hank is divorced and is looking for love again whilst fighting with his children’s mother over presents. Charlie is crushing on a girl and his younger brother, Bo is looking for the perfect gift. Meanwhile, Sam and Charlotte’s other daughter is avoiding her family at the airport where she meets a soldier and convinces him to be her fake boyfriend. Charlotte’s sister, Emma gets arrested and Bucky finds out his friend at the coffee shop is leaving town. Full of disaster and Christmas crisis, this film will make your family appear like normal. I’ve seen this film several times and it is filled with many of my favourite actors: Diane Keaton, Ed Helms, Timothée Chalamet, Amanda Seyfried, Jake Lacy, Olivia Wilde, Marisa Tomei, Anthony Mackie, John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Alex Borstein. 5/5.
A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
One for an older audience of 15 or upwards, this Christmas sequel carries on the tale of Amy, Kiki and Carla as they decide at Christmas time to be ‘Bad Moms’ once again. With the arrival of all of their own mothers played by Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines, the three stressed out mothers just want their kids to have fun without the pressures of a perfect family Christmas. Filled with dirty jokes and gags, a raunchy bit of festive fun. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, three comedy queens star. 4/5.
The Princess Switch (2018)
A royal tale of finding love in unexpected places, The Princess Switch tells the story of Stacy and Margaret, one a baker from Chicago, just out of a relationship and the other the Duchess of Montanero, about to marry a prince she barely knows.When Stacy goes to Belgravia for a Christmas baking competition, she meets Margaret who wants to experience normal life for once. The two switch and quickly find there’s more to life than they originally thought while falling in love of course. The scenery of the film was breath-taking, and Vanessa Hudgens does great in both parts, but I found the film a little cheesy. Enjoyable watch though and great for anyone wanting to be a princess. 3/5.
The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
The best new Christmas film I saw this year on Netflix. Kurt Russell plays Santa Claus who crash lands in America after Kate and Teddy plan to catch Santa on Christmas Eve and accidentally disturb his delivery. They team up together to finish the job with a few bumps along the way. A heart-warming tale of family and loss and the magic of Christmas. Featuring a surprising cameo, Santa starting a rock band in jail, car thieves and the never-ending sack of presents, a lovely film that I definitely be watching again this year. 5/5.
Christmas Inheritance (2018)
Eliza Taylor (The 100) stars as Ellen Langford, a spoiled heiress to her father’s gift company. She is sent to a small town from the Big Apple to complete a Christmas tradition and to hopefully find herself along the way. In Snow Falls,she meets Jake who works at the inn and dislikes New York. With a fiancé back home, their chemistry can only spell trouble for Ellen. Starring Jake Lacy, Andie MacDowell and Neil Crone this story of humility and kindness at Christmas will remind us all what truly is important. Suitable for ages 12 and upwards.4/5.
Hope this gives you some ideas for Christmas films this holiday.