’Tis the season for Christmas movies, isn’t it? Even though I’ve been known to watch a Christmas film in March, July, or August, there is just something extra special about seeing one at this time of year, when the Christmas lights are up.
Christmas With You is the first Christmas film I’ve seen of the 2022 season, and I’m not mad at it. Today the mood was right. Plus, I hadn’t seen Freddie Prinze Jr. in a movie for quite some time. I reasoned that if the star of She’s All That (1999)– a fun film I enjoyed as a teenager is involved, there has to be something a little extra special about this story. Not always a fail-safe plan, of course. But luckily for me, I was right about director Gabriela Tagliavini’s story about a pop star who escapes to a small town to find inspiration after experiencing burnout in the city.
Christmas With You may not be my favourite seasonal movie of the year once the season ends. However, the acting is decent, the Christmasy atmosphere is ever-present, and, perhaps equally importantly, I enjoyed the Christmas song composed and performed towards the end of the story.
Give Christmas With You a chance if you’re curious. That mood for an easy-viewing Christmas film may hit you in the coming days and weeks. That’s if it hasn’t already.
I haven’t seen all the Christmas movies due for release in 2020 just yet. Especially since it’s not even December as I write this. Nevertheless, let’s just say that it’s going to take something very special to dethrone Happiest Season as my favourite Christmas film of the year.
I found plenty to enjoy in this Clea Duvall co-written/directed story about needing to be exactly yourself, wanting your family’s acceptance and trying hard not to ruin Christmas.
First, there’s the good performances by all, particularly Mackenzie Davis who I’ve been a fan of since Always Shine (2016). Then comes the musical score that I believe is near perfection.
Additionally, Happiest Season manages to feel fresh, even though the holiday/romance/comedy film category is far from new. And the ‘freshness’ is, in part because the central characters are a young lesbian couple. However, it’s simply good writing, editing, acting, music and all else necessary that makes Duvall’s movie the perfect holiday film experience I’ve been needing. Happiest Season is also funny in all the right places. Plus, it features a good mix of memorable dramatic moments too. I say, watch it at once! Because it’s good.
Lastly, like myself, by the end you may feel that you’ve finally come across your favourite Kristen Stewart performance. Especially if you’re not too busy appreciating the noteworthy family wisdom, plus the good examples of friendship and kindness in the story.
When I decided to watch The Princess Switch 2– Switched Again, I wasn’t expecting great things. I was hoping for a sort of watchable Christmas movie experience that I’d be able to get through with a smile on my face, in part thanks to the Christmas filled mise en scene.
Instead, what happened within 10 minutes of the viewing experience gave me a strong urge to reach for my phone and do other things while it played. I definitely could have aborted the whole experience, but something told me to leave it playing. Nothing improved with time, of course. But at least it made the room look extra ‘Christmassy’.
What exactly is wrong with The Princes Switch 2 – Switched Again? Let’s just say that it’s the kind of story and execution that’s really best enjoyed by preteen girls/children. I should have known.
Nevertheless, in the event that, like myself, you often leave less than great Christmas movies playing in the background because you like the ambience they help create, maybe, for that reason alone, hit play on The Princes Switch 2 – Switched Again. You could even leave it playing with the volume down while you pick a Christmas soundtrack to blast through your home. Now that’s an idea.
Klaus, Netflix’s 2D animated story about the origins of Santa Claus is a movie I wanted to love more than I did.
I really like the above image because it reminds me of Christmas cards I’ve received in the past. I also definitely like the films central message: ‘A true selfless act always begets another.’ I just didn’t thoroughly enjoy the way it was all executed.
Part of the issue for me is the lack of newness and surprise in the story. And when the story did unfold in the expected way – since almost everyone knows Santa’s story, the delivery wasn’t such that I was enthralled or delighted by much of it. I’ve now realised for better or worse that I’ve come to expect a certain level of delight when watching animated movies and Klaus just didn’t bring it for me.
Lastly, I found that the combination of the animation style, highly muted colours – most of the time, and the pace of the story just didn’t help matters.
Give Klaus a chance if you’re really curious. Perhaps you’ll be more enthralled and even moved than I.
Home For Christmas is the 6 episode story of perpetually single Johanne (Ida Elise Broch).
Johanne is fed up with the constant comments on her relationship status, so she begins a 24-day hunt for a partner to bring home for Christmas.
Additional key cast includes Arthur Hakalahti, Hege Schøyen, Felix Sandman…
I can’t say I immediately understand why the lie at the beginning of this trailer happened, but I do like the idea of a story about a young woman choosing to live her truth, whatever that maybe.
Also, I have to applaud the start of this trailer because the opening dialogue caught my attention immediately. That’s definitely not something that happens frequently for me. Especially where subtitled movies are concerned.
Cat Haave, Loekke Calle, Kingsford Siayor and Oddgeir Thune also star.
Just yesterday I was thinking about two things. Specifically where I’d love to travel to next and what I need to add to my vision board for 2019. Little did I know that Last Holiday, the 2006 comedy about a shy woman who suddenly decides to change her life and live it up in a posh European hotel would offer me so much inspiration.
If you’re familiar with Last Holiday, you know that I probably don’t want to be in the main protagonist’s exact predicament. However I could most definitely do with a little more of the ’embracing life’ part.
Starring Queen Latifah, LL Cool J and Timothy Hutton; what I like most about this fun Wayne Wang directed comedy – besides the way it has inspired me is how much it made me laugh and smile. It’s exactly what I needed this festive season. Latifah and her natural charisma is the reason I tuned in at all. Other reasons I stayed watching include the many engaging characters; from Latifah’s Georgia, Chef Didier who’s well played by Gerard Depardieu, LL Cool J’s Sean and all the staff at Grand Hotel Pupp.
As for everything else in Last Holiday, key highlights include the cinematography, the way food is featured and all the well chosen fancy outfits worn by Georgia while in Europe.
If I had to pick a moment in Last Holiday that I loved that little bit less, I’d choose the not completely believable way the snowboarding scene played out. Overall though, Last Holiday is a fun and funny holiday/Christmas movie that will put a smile on your face and have you looking forward as you think about how to best live the coming year(s).
Watch it because it has a certain silly quality that’s good for your mood.
A week before Christmas, a Chicago baker meets a soon-to-be princess who looks exactly like her. They decide to trade places and before too long, they get more than comfortable in their new lives.
Directed by Mike Rohl; the key cast of The princess Switch includes Vanessa Hudgens, Nick Sagar, Suanne Braun, Sam Palladio…
As clichéd and overly cheesy as this clearly is, I’ll probably still watch it because the Christmas season is a time for cheesy, romantic movies that ‘I couldn’t possibly…’ during other times of the year.
Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar, Mark Fleischmann and Adi Gheo also star.
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn are back in the sequel to Bad Moms (2016), A Bad Moms Christmas.
Written/directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore; this time it’s the festive season and the mothers of the Bad Moms are in town…
Truth be told, I wasn’t best pleased with the first Bad Moms (2016) movie. There were a number of things about the story that disappointed me. As such, a part of me wants to steer completely clear of this follow-up. It’s just that there’s also a part of me that needs to know whether this sequel will be equally bad, worse or better.
Let’s just say I don’t want to give up on Mila Kunis movies just yet. I’m also a big Christine Baranski fan; so perhaps I can be sure that her character will at least put a smile on my face. At least!
Susan Sarandon Oona Laurence and Emjay Anthony also star.