Almost Christmas (2016)


Comedy | Drama


David E. Talbert




Danny Glover, Kimberly Elise, Romany Malco Gabrielle Union, Jessie Usher, Mo'Nique, J. B. Smoove, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps, Nadej K. Bailey, John Michael Higgins, DC Young Fly, Keri Hilson


A dysfunctional family gathers together for their first Christmas since their mother died.


After seeing the trailer - and some clips featuring Mo'Nique - I decided "Almost Christmas" was a movie worth watching. I really hoped it would be as good as "The Best Man Holiday" was, but deep down I knew that was only a utopia. And I was right. Nevertheless, the film is still a bit entertaining.

The story isn't anything special. Actually it's the typical, clichéd countdown to Christmas story revolving around a dysfunctional family which is also pretty much the stereotyped black dysfunctional family that we are used to see in movies, and it also features some pretty pointless subplots - especially Romany Malco's character. It could have been interesting if properly developed -, there's also a lot of fighting and, of course, romance, but after all it is enjoyable.

The drama though doesn't work at all. The film just tries to rely too much on Danny Glover's character ability to replicate his late wife's sweet potato pie, instead of focusing on Evan's (Glover's younger son) addiction to painkillers.

That why the film ends up being more of an average comedy than a dramedy. Yes, an average comedy, because you will have some laughs while watching this, but the comedy isn't anything new. But it's mostly delivered through dialogue, which is great.

"Almost Christmas"'s best element is easily the cast. The actors were able to transform the clichéd and weak story into something entertaining, and some of them give also nice performances. Like Danny Glover's strong performance as the patriarch. Or Mo'Nique who simply steals the show as Aunt May.

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