Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)

Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)

A bizarrely plotted holiday movie devoid of any real feeling

3.6

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, Family
2023
FEMALE DIRECTOR, MARY LAMBERT
Abby Villasmil, Allan Groves, Brandy Norwood
82 min

TLDR

A terrifying glimpse into what AI-generated Christmas movies would probably look and sound like.

What it's about

A woman living a mundane life with her husband and kids accidentally ends up having to spend the holidays with her successful and seemingly perfect college friend.

The take

Though it tries to root itself in the relatable situation of comparing oneself to others amid the often forced positivity of the Christmas season, Best. Christmas. Ever!'s disparate parts are so carelessly thrown together that it's hard to take any of it seriously. Potential conflicts in the marriages of its two central couples are tonally incompatible with the film's corny humor and a Miracle on 34th Street-esque subplot about the adults' children trying to prove that Santa is real. This is a totally mixed stew of Christmas movie tropes without rhyme or reason, which would have had a chance to at least be campy if its actors weren't phoning it in either.

What stands out

The film has its fair share of unintentional laughs that help make the cringe go down easier, but there are moments when its lack of a cohesive dramatic through line really hurts it more than anything. When Best. Christmas. Ever! inevitably arrives at the point where it resolves the conflict between insecure Charlotte and seemingly perfect Jackie, it reveals something particularly heavy that the film simply isn't equipped to handle. Then sure enough, rather than take the time to unpack the impact of this revelation, the movie runs straight to light fantasy family fun—surely a great message to send to everyone.

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