Published on November 11th, 2016 | by Jennifer Gomez-Pabon0
It’s that time of year again, well maybe a little bit sooner than I would prefer because we haven’t hit thanksgiving yet. Holiday Season is here! So the attempts from the studios to get a piece of the holiday season box office. This new comedy from writer David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim) and producer Will Packer (Ride Along, Think Like a Man series, This Christmas), Almost Christmas, tells the story of a beloved patriarch, Walter, played by Danny Glover, a retired mechanic who owned a chain of auto shops and is now getting ready to spend the holiday with his four adult children and their families.
This year is the family’s first Christmas since the death of Walter’s wife, Grace, and the film flashes back to show us a beautiful 45 year relationship, that even when their home overflowed with children, they kept their love and affection.
Grace showed her dedication to Walter and the rest of her family with delicious recipes, especially her sweet potato pie.
Walter asks his family for one gift this holiday season to spend five days under the same roof without killing one another.
But later in the film you find out that the real drama is the rivalry between Rachel and Cheryl and the undergoing feud over each other’s life choices. Rachel (Gabrielle Union) a divorced mom, who after different career attempts, finally decided to become a law student; but unfortunately this last one made her financially unstable. Rachel’s overachieving big sister, Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) is always hiding her own insecurities and trying to control her obnoxious husband J.B. Smoove, and older retired athlete, who played basketball in Croatia in the 80’s, and considers himself a celebrity and an American hero.
Their brothers Christian (Romany Malco) is occupied with his congressional run, and Evan (Jessie Usher), the surprise baby of the family, is attempting to conquer a college football injury and secretly abusing of pain killers.
Finally we have aunt May (Mo’nique), who deserves a special mention for being extremely hilarious having a still-functioning career as a backup singer and in the past performed with Mick Jagger and Chaka Khan and now enjoys imparting all of her wisdom to her nieces, nephews and Walter.
The movie’s sibling dynamics feels authentic, with a relatable blend of rivalry, nostalgia, and dependence; Glover’s quest to perfect his wife’s signature dish will pull at anyone’s heartstrings.
It is surprisingly funny and hits it mark more than it misses. But it is not a secret that the major strength of this movie is its cast led by Danny Glover, and how we start to get too old for some shit, and an amazing team of charming actors and actresses that can transport you in the time with the right music and some dancing in the kitchen.
4 of 5