I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas movies (Die Hard aside) and so when a DVD arrived of a little heard Christmas movie to watch, my expectations weren’t exactly high. Especially when the primary target market for the film is aimed kids and young teenagers, it was always going to be difficult to get me excited. And after having watched it, sadly it was probably even worse than expected.
The concept for Christmas All Over Again is like that of Groundhog Day – i.e. done many times over. For Eddie (Sean Ryan Fox) Christmas is all about gifts and for him this year, a pair of new shoes that for some reason he thinks will make his life infinitely better. Only problem is, his brother (Collin Smith) is getting married on Christmas Day to Marilyn (Christy Carlson Romano – who also serves as the films director) and so the gift opening is postponed to the next day. He deices to ruin the day for everyone else only to land up stuck in the same day over again until he learns to have some Christmas spirit.
As mentioned, it’s a tired idea to start off with, but what really hurts this film is just how it lacks heart and charm to pull any of it off. For a kid’s movie, you never expect the acting performances to be decent, but in star Sean Ryan Fox they have someone who is instantly unlikeable and sadly, as the film tries to paint him as a better person, remains unlikeable throughout. He just does not possess the skill to hold a movie together and as so much of it revolves around him, you lose interest in caring for the films plot and characters. Unfortunately, the rest of the minor characters don’t fare better, where certain character traits are exaggerated to get a laugh from a younger audience but it comes off as hard to watch instead.
The script by Brendan Rooney and Richard Switzer doesn’t lend itself to much more as the characters never stray too far away from being clichéd and the plot really is quite thin. It’s clearly aimed towards the children’s market and focuses instead on a number of poor gags and uninspired motivation. This wouldn’t be a problem if kids found it funny, but I doubt they will. There are a few scenes that they might enjoy, but even they are likely to also grow tired of those same scenes playing out over again – especially as it all becomes quite predictable.
The only thing kids are probably going to enjoy is the excessive use of Christmas music and bright cheerful cinematography, which for some reason tends to get them all excited. It does nothing for me, but as a regular Grinch, I’m probably not a good gauge for this one.
So, Christmas might be over and you wondering what’s the point of getting this movie for your kids now – but don’t worry you didn’t miss much. There have been better Christmas movies released and no doubt this year will have others, so this one’s definitely worth skipping. You’re unlikely to make it through one viewing and after that, there isn’t much in terms of extra features that will hold your interest for much longer.
Christmas All Over Again is available now on DVD.