Home for Christmas

"Weak"

Home for Christmas Review


Based on a novel by Cally Taylor, this British romantic comedy is so simplistic that it offers very little to anyone who doesn't buy into the trite movie formula. With unlikeable characters and a stilted pace, the film will only appeal to audience members who have an unrealistic view of romance as something from a Hugh Grant movie. While it makes some telling observations along the way, it's simply too belaboured to properly spark any sympathy.

The story is set in Brighton, where Beth (Skins' April Pearson) works in a family-owned cinema that's about to be bought by a national chain and handed over to regional manager Matt (Game of Thrones' Karl Davies). While Beth waits around for her boyfriend Aiden (Matt Beveridge) to tell her he loves her, Matt has just split from his high-maintenance girlfriend (Lucy Griffiths). Shockingly, Aiden asks for some space, and Beth ends up having a drunken moment with Matt. After a dodgy start, they manage to have a few more moments before Matt cools things down, suspicious that Beth is chasing him in order to get a job. So Beth thinks that maybe she'll move to Australia on Christmas Eve with her mum (Pat Garrett) after all.

The plot takes a few unexpected twists while remaining resolutely within the rom-com formula, which makes everything thoroughly predictable from the start. And the title is misleading, as this isn't remotely a Christmas movie except for the date on the calendar. But the real problem is with writer-director Jamie Patterson's pacing: the story lurches through a series of awkwardly staged set-pieces that never add anything to the characters or narrative. With slack editing and hammy performances, it feels like an episode of a daily soap, abandoning the artistic animated flourishes of the opening sequence for dress-up montages and lots of drunken wallowing.

It also doesn't help that Beth is simply too pathetic for anyone to like. She's sexy and smart but acts like a complete loser, setting up a series of embarrassing situations that never feel remotely believable. Poor Pearson only occasionally gets a chance to inject some personality into the character. Davies fares better as the far too-nice Matt, but he's essentially a romance novel fantasy leading man. And while the film has a couple of nice points to make about small businesses and overcoming crippling insecurities, it's also afflicted with that British tongue-tied timidity that never lets the story cut loose into something engaging or entertaining. Fans of girly rom-coms may enjoy it, but everyone else should steer well clear.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th November 2010

Distributed by: Unknown

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jamie Patterson

Producer: Nathalie Grace, Ian Lucas, Jamie Patterson

Starring: as Beth Prince, Karl Davies as Matt Jones, as Alice, Derren Nesbitt as Grandad, Amanda Piery as Lizzie, Matt Beveridge as Aiden, Shirley Jaffe as Mrs. Blackstock, Pat Garrett as Pamela

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.