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Queen Latifah is the reason we attended the advance screening of
PERFECT HOLIDAY in our area. If she is your only reason for viewing
this movie, you might be as disappointed as we were. My husband would
have bolted after 15 minutes, but in deference to me, he sat through
the entire movie. He did laugh once, towards the end of the movie, at a
cryptic comment uttered by Terrence Howard's character in front of a
closed outlet mall. I won't spoil the movie for you by telling you the
line, but you will probably laugh, too. Speaking of Terrence Howard, he
must have owed Queen Latifah BIG TIME to appear in this movie,
especially as the humbug to her holiday.
The movie has some warm, touching moments, with a little bit (very little bit) of comedy and (more than a little bit) love. It is just too bland and average to warrant a night out, especially at today's ticket prices. Wait for the DVD, or better yet, wait for cable (unless you really have to see the Queen). Please don't spoil your perfect holidays by going out of your way to see this movie.
I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed to see this film getting a below average rating. Being quite a romantic man I have seen most of the Christmas romantic comedy such as 'Christmas in Boston', 'His and Her Christmas', 'Christmas do over', 'The Twelve days of Christmas Eve' etc and I am adamant that 'The Perfect Holiday' stands level with these and in some cases it's better. The story is simple and real to life and believable and the acting is excellent. Gabrielle Union is one of the best romantic comedy actresses around, probably the Afro American equivalent of Katherine Heigle. I just wish she got more starring roles, Gabrielle Union is a truly beautiful woman. I gladly give this film a seven out of ten, my only concern is what was the Queen Latifah and Terence Howard characters. Nevertheless I loved the film and I am watching it again as I write this review.
The movie was a great movie. Was it predictable? Yes all family movies are. It's wasn't a mystery or action flick. But it was very good. Morris Chestnut was good. There was just enough comic relief to make some parts funny. I liked the way they really focused on the older son's dislike of the "new guy" in his mother's life. The supporting cast members were very good. Lots of stars with little roles that made me laugh. They showed a lot of depth in the characters. Queen Latifah, Katt Williams, among others were great! If you are looking for a nice wholesome feel good movie. This is the one for you! Not Oscar worthy but definitely a good DVD Christmas movie.
One thing you can say about The Perfect Holiday is that it's slightly less idiotic than most of the recent crop of holiday movies. It doesn't suffer from the same juvenile slapstick bits as Deck The Halls, Surviving Christmas, or Christmas With The Kranks. Furthermore, it's nice to see people of color getting a story they can call their own, while all of those other titles (forgettable as they may be) depict Christmas as something that exists entirely in a white-bread suburban world. It's a shame that this movie isn't more original. It's filled with talented actors, but the script is at the level of a TV sitcom holiday special. Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union do they best they can with their cookie-cutter parts, but the audience knows from Minute One exactly where the jokes are going.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union make a fine team in this holiday
movie, which by the way is moving. Thanks to 3 nice children, this
picture attains its objective.
It's Christmas time and the 3 children adore their singer father, divorced from mom, and totally indifferent to their needs.
Enter a store Santa Claus into Union's life. He is an aspiring song writer, who unknowingly, tries to get her ex-husband to buy his song.
As to be expected, the oldest child, John-John can't stand Ben, the boyfriend. He is loyal to his father.
The picture spirals to the usual events where the boyfriend gives up Gabrielle to placate the son, and the usual crisis in these kinds of films, which bring about the true holiday spirit. Even the dad at the very end, isn't all that indifferent. He just wasn't cut out to be a family man.
The picture, though cliché, is warm for the holiday season.
Queen Latifah narrates as Mrs. Christmas and Terrence Howard plays an angel. Their parts weren't really needed. It's really all about the children, but shouldn't that be true circa December 25th?
THE PERFECT HOLIDAY is another one of those typical holiday films that
some have touted as the "first African-American ensemble" that plays
like its a television special than a theatrical release. This is
another one of those hair-splitting claims that requires us to consider
another movie about another over-the-top out of control
African-American family going through the motions around the most
joyous time of the year. For one,Gabrielle Union and Morris Chestnut
make a sexy caramel couple. Maybe that explains why they're always
paired up in movies. In this case you didn't get enough of their
chocolate combo work in such films as "The Brothers","Two Get Play That
Game",and "Breaking All The Rules". This time around they're back in
"The Perfect Holiday". "Holiday" has Chestnut playing a struggling
singer-songwriter working part time as a mall Santa. Apparently, this
must be at the progressive mall if they're hiring a brotha to play of
the traditionally alabaster St. Nick.
When a little girl(Khail Bryant)hops on this fake Santa's lap,all she asks for is a man to pay her mom(Union)a compliment she tells her friends she would like. Once our Kriss Kringle sees how mochalicious this girl's mama is,he decides to fulfill the wish himself. This sets off a farcial courtship between the two,which mostly has him keeping an eye out for one of her other children(Malik Hammond),who tries to prank this fool out of his mom's life(Fortunately,baby girl hips him to her big bro's tricks whenever he's in Santa mode.)The boy wants his mom to get back together with their father(Charlie Murphy of Chappelle's Show),an egostistical rapper our part-time Father Christmas-who doesn't know he's going out with his ex-is also hoping to work with. As cute and cuddly as this sounds,I have seen better movies with the same plot line and it is basically forgettable. What follows next is a series of events so uninspired and delusional that an old soul like Father Christmas couldn't save this fiasco of a film with a strong black cast. And speaking of the supporting cast,the actors are mostly made up of former UPN and WB sitcom players not to mention former comedians(Faizon Love from WB's "The Parenthood"and was also in the first "Friday" film opposite Ice Cube and Chris Tucker;Rachel True from "Half and Half";Jill Marie Jones-aka Toni Childs from "Girlfriends",and I know some of you wonder whatever happened to her after her departure from that show...;not to mention comedian Katt Williams and a host of others from "BET's Comicview")who look as if they took the job because,they didn't have much else to do.
The baffling parts of this are the special guest appearances by Queen Latifah and Terrance Howard as the night-and-day spirits who decide the fate of these characters. Terrance Howard is totally waste here(who looks like he doesn't want to belong in this in the first place and for an actor with an impaccable capacity of playing good roles),and it shows in some of the performances since the only saving grace here is Latifah herself who keeps this movie afloat,since Latifah's production company Flavor Unit films produced this movie which explains why she is there(Latifah serves as executive producer). But it is nice to see Union and Chestnut once again on the screen making black beautiful which is the only saving grace here.
Love In The Time Of Christmas. Good clean Christmas family humor.
Love it! Love it! Love it! Family friendly. Not over the top. Funny, emotional etc. Real. My favorite actors, Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle, who have amazing chemistry when they collaborate, brought it once again!!! They are truly great actors, who aren't getting the recognition they deserve. Love it!
This movie was such a wonderful love story at Christmastime. A divorced mom who just wants to get on with life and love, daughter who wants Santa to make her mom's wishes come true, and a teenage son who just wants his parents to get back together. Well, Santa delivers, though the sleigh ride to love was not easy!!!
GREAT XMAS MOVIE TO WATCH WITH THE FAMILY
danceability-1, Amsterdam Holland
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Perfect Holiday is not necessarily a bad movie but its far from a
great one too. While I admire a movie that does not try to be offensive
and wants to be positive there is a thin line from being a little
schmaltzy to laying it on real thick. The movie is not unwatchable. It
has a talented all-star cast that do a decent job acting but the script
is hackneyed and cheesy to a fault plus its pretty bland.
Spoiler Alert! The story: Gabriell Union plays Nancy, a newly divorced woman who's daughter overhears her conversation about what she wants from a man: a compliment. The daughter goes to a mall Santa(played by Morris Chestnut) named Benjamin and wishes that her mom gets a compliment by her man. Benjamin(Chestnut) gives Nancy a compliment and soon they begin to date. Problems arise when Nancy's naive son, John John gets annoyed by Benjamin because the little tyke misses his arrogant and thoughtless wannabe-rapper father J-Jizzy(played by Charlie Murphy)who would rather be large than be with his family. Then things get even more complicated for the relationship between Nancy and Benjamin when J-Jizzy asks for Benjamin, who also sings to record with him. Queen Latifah plays Mrs Christmas, an angel who is also the narrator of the movie.
Opinion: Positive: this movie is not terrible. Negative: but its not memorable either. Positive: it has an all-star cast. Negative: they are all wasted on a script that pulls every Christmas cliché out of the book. Positive: The Perfect Holiday is earnest and has a heart. Negative: its syrupy to the point of cheesiness. Positive: it makes an effort at humor. Negative: The humor misses more than it hits. Positive: Its the least offensive Christmas comedy ever made. Negative: It wallows in mediocrity like pigs do in mud. Positive: Its great to see a movie especially an African-American film that is not based on sex and violence. Negative: Its kind of bland and the schmaltzy scenes are a bit much. All in all I would recommend this movie to you if you want to see a Christmas movie starring African Americans that is not offensive but Last Holiday and This Christmas are much better. Perfect Holiday is far from a stinker but when compared to great movies like This Christmas Soul Food, The Wood, The Inkwell, Love Jones, Brown Sugar etc Perfect Holiday can easily be forgotten.
Queen Latifah vanity project (she produced) story of a single mom with
three kids looking to find a life beyond her kids and ends up with a
guy playing Santa.
Manufactured "feel good" flick with Latifah in a Greek chorus/on screen narrator role. Its not bad as such but awfully artificial in a way that is more ideal than real. take for example the opening bit of the guy chasing the money down the street, its a cutesy idea that is too artificial to illicit any reaction other than "Oh Please". Actually that kind of sums up the whole movie "oh please". This is holiday "goodness" so plastic as to squeeze all of the life out of it.
If you must see this wait for it to show up on cable where you won't have to pay ten bucks a head for something you can't get away from by changing the channel
I saw "Perfect Holiday" and "I Am Legend" on the same day and to tell
you the truth after the dreariness of "Legend", this was a nice movie
to cheer me and my wife up. I mean we enjoyed Legend too, but this one
made me feel better with the touching love story between Gabrielle
Union and Morris Chesnutt and how the small children interacted in the
The story line was predictable going in to it, but it was better than I expected and if you rely on others comments, you are missing a nice charmer. The writing or character development isn't as profound as the other two African -American themed ensemble movies of the past two months, "This Christmas" or "Why did I get married?, but it is still charming enough for families and probably geared more toward younger families with kids where the other two movies were for more of an adult or older teen audience.
Although both Queen Latifah and Terrance Howard have small roles, I hope no one was going to the movie expecting to see them. As someone stated earlier, I believe Howard just did it as a favor to his friends.
As far as the box office receipts and interest, this is a movie that got lost in the shuffle of other so called black movie releases. Either there are none or too many. It probably should been released the Friday before Will Smith', I Am Legend and when "Awake" was the only new movie debuting and it probably would have made a few more dollars. Unfortnately even though it open two days before "Legend", it got caught up in that juggernaut and got lost like all other movies did with the exception the "Chipmunks". With "The Great Debaters" coming out Christmas Day, the Perfect Holiday will be gone from theaters before the holidays are over. Rent the DVD when it comes out and watch it with your toddlers...you all will enjoy it!!
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