Thursday, December 1, 2022

Your Christmas or Mine?: Movie Review

Too many rom-com tropes with unenjoyable characters.
A young couple Hayley and James are saying goodbye at the train station to go spend Christmas with their own families. Only they both make the same impulsive decision to get off their train, get on the other person’s train to spend Christmas together, but are now heading to each other’s families, apart. Your Christmas or Mine? is a holiday rom-com in a comedy-of-errors format.   2022

Directed by: Jim O'Hanlon

Screenplay by: Tom Parry

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk

The premise is cute enough but my first issue is that this is a sit-com, and in fact it was a sit-com down to a lot of details in common. The LAXmas episode of New Girl featured the group stuck in the airport due to cancellations, Ryan in England, and Jess making the last minute impulsive decision to join Ryan in England where she discovers he’s ridiculously rich, meanwhile Ryan made his way back to LA. And that was all in less than 20 minutes. This movie version stretches that out a lot.

First we have to skip over how both of these people got on new trains despite only having tickets for their original destination. They both think they’re on the same train as their partner but neither get out of their seat to look for the other person. If you’re so in love that you can’t spend Christmas apart then why are you content spending the train ride apart?

Hayley (Cora Kirk) is trekking through the snow in a small town after the last train of the night took off with her phone still at her seat and arrives at James’s house to discover that he’s ridiculously rich. James (Asa Butterfield), a little more together than Hayley has his phone and has her address, so he at least knows where he’s going, but he arrives at Hayley’s house to discover a group full of people who have no idea who he is.

Since rom-coms succeed or fail based on the strength of the characters and their relationships, let’s get to know Hayley and James a bit better. Hayley is a little frazzled, fun, impetuous, not the most organized or self-aware person. James is a lot more organized, nice and level-headed.

Not only has neither Hayley nor James told their families about each other, they also find out that they’ve kept a lot from each other, and in James’ case completely lied to his family and expects Hayley to help keep his secret. So now we have to remove that “nice” label from James, and these are no longer fun characters. They’re both self-centered illogical people that I don’t care to spend any time with.

Your Christmas or Mine? employs a lot of common rom-com tropes which normally I can forgive but only when the characters are more delightful and charming. And lastly the one trope I can’t forgive is the one where a guest accidentally kills the family’s pet and comedy ensues. Murdering dogs for no reason isn’t funny, especially in holiday rom-coms.

Want a different Christmas movie or just more holiday-themed movies? Holiday Movies