ir.gif

This Christmas: Line Dance

Posted on December 15, 2015 at 8:00 am

I’m going to post clips from ten of my favorite holiday films, starting with one I recommend every year, This Christmas. This delightful line dance scene comes at the very end and it is especially fun because it is the actors having fun on screen, not their characters. Watch for Delroy Lindo (“Blood & Oil”), Loretta Devine (“Being Mary Jane”), Columbus Short (“Scandal”), Regina King and Idris Elba (both nominated for Golden Globes this year), and Lauren London (“The Game”).

Related Tags:

 

For Your Netflix Queue Holidays

This Christmas

Posted on December 20, 2008 at 8:00 am

B
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for comic sexual content and some violence
Profanity: Very strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking, smoking, drug use
Violence/ Scariness: Some violence and peril, domestic abuse portrayed as empowering and quasi-comic
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie, a strength of the movie is loving acceptance of an inter-racial romance
Date Released to Theaters: November 21, 2007
Date Released to DVD: November 11, 2008
Amazon.com ASIN: B000YAF4Q6

photo_28.jpg
As much a tradition as indigestible fruitcake and the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” every Christmas season brings us at least one new family holiday angst-fest, stuffed with secrets, accusations, forgiveness, food, and laughter. The best of them give us the dual pleasures of identification with the frustrations deep connections of family life and a little distance, too.
This version adheres just enough to the usual traditions to satisfy, with most of its appeal in its top-notch ensemble performances and the freshness of its setting in the home of a middle-class black family. Loretta Devine plays the mother, known to her family as “Ma Dear.” Only her youngest child is still living at home (pop star Chris Brown as Michael, known to his siblings as “Baby”). Coming back for Christmas are the rest of the siblings, each with some secret to hide or spring on the family — or both. College student Melanie (Lauren London) has a new boyfriend (Keith Robinson as Devean). Successful model Kelli (Sharon Leal) is not as confident as she would like everyone to think. Married Lisa (Regina King) is not as happy as she would like everyone to think. Marine Claude (Columbus Short) is not as single as everyone thinks. And oldest brother Quentin (Idris Elba) owes money to some people who are not exactly on Santa’s “nice” list. Even Mom has a secret. She does not want her children to know that she has been living with Joseph (Delroy Lindo).
The movie nicely captures the rhythm and volatility of adult sibling interactions, a mash-up of in-jokes, old and new and often-shifting alliances, the need for acceptance and approval, and affectionate teasing that sometimes flares up to reveal or aggravate old wounds. Director Preston A. Whitmore has a sure hand in balancing half a dozen different storylines and multiple switches of tone from light-hearted romance to lacerating confrontations and gritty drama. The plots may be predicable but the individual cast members are all superb and completely believable as family, the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Brown has a nice screen presence and delivers an outstanding rendition of “Try a Little Tenderness” as well as the title tune. The delightful closing credit sequence is one of the movie’s highlights, for its own pleasures and also for what it reveals about the strength of the cast’s connection. This movie is a pure holiday pleasure that is likely to become a standard for watching while trimming the tree for many years to come.

(more…)

Related Tags:

 

Comedy Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik