Boyd Mitchler and his family must spend Christmas with his estranged family of misfits. Upon realizing that he left all his son's gifts at home, he hits the road with his dad in an attempt to make the 8-hour round trip before sunrise.
In this terribly poignant tale of memory, loss and love, Juliette, a young woman paying a visit to her Alzheimer's suffering father, unexpectedly triggers a brief but touching moment of ... See full summary »
Not perfect, but one of the BEST X-mas tales in YEARS
Before we start our regularly schedule review, lets crate context.
In the early days of Hollywood, x-mas movies were an oddity. They were in the process of finding themselves. Films like Miracle on 34th Street 1946 and Its a Wonderful Life 1947 (offically an X-mas tale because the story takes place around X-mas) were the exception, not the rule.
Flash forward about 55 years or so and now you find that some countries (like Canada) have actually formed a cottage industry just turning out X-mas movies year after year, good story or bad, entertaining or not, just to feed the "maw" of the system. (Canada has even stooped so low as to remake a B--- version of Miracle on 34th Street 1946 ... apparently spurred on the US' horrific remake of the same film in 1994).
So, therein likes the issue. When X-mas movies become commoditized, it becomes a real challenge that break away from the homogeneous sludge that passes for holiday movies these days.
(Elf 2003 pulled it off -- wonderful and recommended).
This film is not going to win any awards, but it holds the attention and has some really marvellous comedy bits buried here and there. (The "Crazy Jimmy Claus routine is worth the whole movie.) Recommended.
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