2023’s worst Christmas movie?
Best Christmas Ever is not the best Christmas film ever. In fact, it’s almost the opposite – this one is very close to being one of the worst Christmas movies of the year. While the film isn’t an outright disaster, it is atrociously written and feels like a bunch of scrambled ideas thrown together without much in the way of cohesion or substance.
On paper, the basic premise plays off that age old adage of “be grateful for what you have”. This is ultimately tested through Charlotte and Rob’s relationship. The former isn’t particularly happy with her humdrum life, and she’s jealous of “little miss perfect” Jackie.
In Charlotte’s eyes, Rob’s ex can do no wrong. Jackie has a hunky husband, a super smart daughter, a philanthropist son and a beautiful house. She also makes it a yearly tradition to send out a holiday newsletter to Rob, Charlotte, Charlotte’s sister Stacey and a whole bunch of other individuals.
Through a bunch of convenient plot tropes, Charlotte and Rob find themselves guided by their satnav to Jackie’s house by accident. When they arrive, they find themselves snowed in and forced to spend Christmas together.
At this point, the usual strained relationship trope pops up, and it’s accompanied by some potential infidelity too. While this last point fizzles out around the halfway point, it’s replaced by the kids engaging in a subplot to find out if Santa is actually real or not.
There’s a wealth of issues here, including the fact that there’s zero chemistry between the actors. But then similarly, the screenplay doesn’t do this one any favours and doesn’t give you any reason to actually care. Heather Graham, who plays Charlotte, looks like she wishes she could be anywhere else other than this film set. There’s just not a whole lot to work with, and to make matters worse, the past relationship between Rob and Jackie isn’t clearly defined, while we don’t see much from Charlotte’s past either.
The main crux of drama is resolved 45 minutes into the picture and from there, the second half of this flick devolves into a bunch of illogical plot beats strung together to try and inject some “holiday cheer” into the film.
It’s a bizarre, rushed and alienating experience, as the first half sets everything up for a specific type of story (ie a catty, raunchy romcom), only to whiplash back to a family-friendly magical adventure. The tone is all over the shop too. There’s clearly a desire to throw in the kid magic, with Santa Claus and the “magical” twists, but then you similarly have raunchy jokes involving sex under the guise of “moving furniture”.
This is honestly the movie equivalent of taping scraps of random bits of Christmas wrapping paper around a big box. Sure it functions, but it’s ugly and not particularly pleasing. Best. Christmas. Ever. is just not a good film. It’s a poorly written stinker that’s best left out in the snow this holiday season. There are a wealth of good Christmas films out there and while this one isn’t the worst, it’s certainly nowhere near good enough to recommend to anyone after an enjoyable film.
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Verdict - 3/10