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.