The festive season is upon us and the film Almost Christmas has arrived. The movie starts with a brief opening montage showing the history of the Meyers’s, a middle class family living in Birmingham Alabama.
Sadly, Walter Meyers (Danny Glover) is having his first Christmas without his wife. Glover brings dignity and class to the role, his charm and love for his wife is shown throughout. We are reminded of what a wonderful cook and mother she was and her loss is one of the running themes throughout the film. Danny Glover exceeds in his portrayal of an awkward, loving old man, who is passionate about his community. He carries the true meaning of Christmas and he is a great mediator for his family.
The movie begins five days before Christmas. Walter invites Aunt May (Mo’Nique), his four children, their spouses and his smart and curious grandchildren to gather together. The talented all-star cast demonstrate a natural connection, however, there are missed opportunities to develop more truthful characters with more relatable feelings. We see a significant number of characters and at times it is challenging getting to know them all.
Tensions are high, with the many subplots often causing chaos. We witness, drug dependency, marital infidelity, sibling tensions tied in with the comedy out weighing the seriousness of these issues.
Mo’Nique played the character of Aunt May. Her style and sassy mouth brought laughter to the film. Her worthy lines and her ability to lift the film in moments of bedlam were remarkable. Aunt May is the type of Aunt that won’t hesitate to tell you how she feels, but whatever you do don’t try her cooking, as it might just be your last Christmas.
Gabrielle Union, (Rachel) performance wasn’t impressive. It seems as though she has been typecast as the ‘mean girl’ and it was disappointing to see her in the same role. Her character failed to come across and her lines were hard to believe.
Rachel presents as fairly immature. She has an adolescent daughter, who provides her with very grown up relationship advice, and at times Rachel appeared more like a sister than a mother. However, her stuck in the window scene was very well done, and her character is very determined.
The sub plot with the most impact has Walter throughout the film trying to reproduce his wife’s sweet potato pie recipe. It’s one of the many beautiful moments in the movie and Glover connects with audience in a warm and delightful way.
With the many subplots the film has a lot going on. The son running for congress felt slightly random, the anger from Jessie didn’t deliver and the conflict between Union (Rachel) and Elise (Cheryl) wasn’t clear enough.
Regardless of its faults this is a really nice movie combined with a great cast . Almost Christmas is best experienced over the holidays or on a Sunday evening with your family. It’s an easy going type of film that will present you with a few laughs. It’s a nice reminder of how important family is and the drama that comes with them over the Christmas Holidays. Almost Christmas is out now check your local Cinemas. See the trailer below.