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This Christmas (2007)

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A Christmastime drama centered around the Whitfield family's first holiday together in four years.
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Delroy Lindo ... Joseph Black
Idris Elba ... Quentin Whitfield
Loretta Devine ... Ma'Dere Whitfield
Chris Brown ... Michael 'Baby' Whitfield
Keith Robinson ... Devean Brooks
Laz Alonso ... Malcolm Moore
Columbus Short ... Claude Whitfield
Sharon Leal ... Kelli Whitfield
Lauren London ... Melanie 'Mel' Whitfield
Lupe Ontiveros ... Rosie
Jessica Stroup ... Sandi
Mekhi Phifer ... Gerald
Regina King ... Lisa Moore
David Banner ... Mo
Ricky Harris ... Cousin Fred
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, Shirley Ann Whitfield, affectionately called Ma'Dere, is the matriarch of the Whitfield family, she with six children: San Francisco residing wife and mother Lisa who feels the need to act as the responsible one in managing her extended family's welfare, as such sacrificing her own wants in the process; traveling jazz musician Quentin Jr. who the family has not seen in four years; Claude the marine; New York ad exec Kelli who admits she is the selfish one; college student Mel; and Michael (called Baby) who still lives at home while figuring out what he wants to do with his life. Ma'Dere has lived in the family home for a few years now with Joe Black, a church deacon, with Ma'Dere's husband/the children's father, Quentin Whitfield Sr., long having left the family to pursue a life as a jazz musician. Because of the pain associated for Ma'Dere, Sr.'s piano sits in the garage untouched. Quentin, being a chip off the old paternal block, is the most disconnected from the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't exchange family.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Családi karácsony See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,958,183, 24 November 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$49,121,934, 6 January 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Release prints for the movie were delivered to theaters with the fake title "Another Gathering." See more »

Goofs

In one of the first kitchen scenes, Baby's camera keeps appearing and disappearing from around his neck. See more »

Quotes

Shirley Ann 'MaDere' Whitfield: [Noticing Sandi] Who is this?
Lisa Moore: That's your daughter-in-law.
Kelli Whitfield: Um, this is not funny.
Lisa Moore: No, it's not, but I'm going to keep drinking until it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening Screen Gems logo is bright red and covered in Christmas tree lights. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Christmas with the Kranks (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Wifey
Written by Gabriel Jackson, Edward Berkeley, Keir Lamont Glat and R.L. (as Robert L. Huggar)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Christmas Movie Review
21 November 2007 | by GoneWithTheTwinsSee all my reviews

This Christmas looked like it was going to pass without any cinematic holiday cheer. Luckily audiences will find a special gift at their local multiplexes from Preston A. Whitmore, a filmmaker whose latest picture comes wrapped up with so much holiday mush that it would be hard for even the biggest scrooge to scowl at its spirited Christmas message It's the most wonderful time of the year again, and the Whitfield family plans to continue their holiday tradition of bringing the entire clan back home for a few days of presents, good eating and family squabbling. The only problem with This Christmas is that each of the children has brought more than just gifts. Absence without leave, surprise pregnancies, interracial relationships, cheating husbands and angry bookies are just a few of the surprises in store for the family's matriarch, Ma Dear, making it a Christmas that will either tear the Whitfield's apart or bring them closer than they've ever been before.

With This Christmas, Preston A. Whitmore successfully bounced back from his sophomore slump. The choice to "Crossover" into the holiday genre is a big move, though looking at the filmmaker's oeuvre, he seemingly defies categorization. Written with heart, This Christmas isn't just impressive for its well balanced drama and comedy. Its ability to transcend its targeted audience to become a holiday film that can be enjoyed by anyone who has ever experienced family dysfunction makes the picture a refreshing surprise.

With an all-star, African American cast including Delroy Lindo, Loretta Devine, Idris Elba and the lovely Sharon Leal, Screen Gems certainly seems to be pushing the racial factor when marketing This Christmas. While this strategy will probably draw in adequate box-office receipts (See Tyler Perry's success), This Christmas will draw the majority of its fans next Christmas when it finds a wider audience on DVD.

Though many of the family's problems translate to touching and humorous bits of cinema, This Christmas ultimately suffers from one fatal flaw, too much conflict and no easy way out of it. There is so much going on, that the tidiest and most satisfying conclusion seems far too difficult to reach. It also seems that the character of Joe, played by Delroy Lindo, has the answers to everything. Able to pacify everyone from street thugs to the U.S. government in a single night, Joe gives Santa Claus a run for his money on this Christmas Eve.

However plausibility isn't the strong suit of the Whitfield family. There are plenty of nit-picky details audiences will pick up on that could easily take them out of the narrative. While viewers might scoff at bits such as buying the picture-perfect Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, the performances from the actors, tight editing and gorgeous cinematography will help get you through This Christmas.

If filmmakers should write what they know, then Preston A. Whitmore certainly knows Christmas and family far better than war or basketball. A solid holiday outing sure to please any audiences that comes across the film, Whitmore's well executed dramady should resonate far longer than This Christmas.

-Joe Russo


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