A simple and enjoyable Christmas flick
EXmas is not going to break the mold and become a stand-out Christmas movie. However, it does provide some good chuckles, a solid enough premise and some nice ideas to make for an enjoyable one-time watch.
In its simplest form, the story blends elements of The Holiday and Christmas With The Cranks together. Our protagonist is workaholic Graham, who’s in a slump after being dumped by his ex fiancee Ali. He’s given a big work project to get done by Christmas, and so he prepares to work over the holidays.
However, he has a change of heart and decides to fly out to Minnesota and see his family. Only… there’s a problem. It turns out his mum has invited Ali over for the Christmas season. Ali and Graham butt heads, and eventually make a bet to try and oust the other for being evil and not part of the family, all before Christmas morning.
It’s a simple enough premise but there’s added complications thrown in with the introduction of new love partners for our protagonists, in Jess and Brady respectively. This is easily the weakest part of the whole film and it feels like the writers know it too.
The narrative feels underwhelming and personally, could have done with being cut completely to play on the family dynamic and banter.
The petty squabbling and drama that ensues with the family is easily the stand-out part of this comedic drama. There are some genuine laugh out loud moments and the humour strikes just the right chord too.
Robbie Amstell and Leighton Meester are great in their roles and certainly help elevate this one with their chemistry. The brief subplot involving Graham’s sister, Jeannie, is another decent inclusion but again, it’s not fleshed out enough to really give the ending that much-needed oomph. No spoilers here of course, but the climax is actually pretty good too.
Ultimately, EXmas is a good albeit unremarkable Christmas flick. It’s unlikely to be regarded as a holiday classic, nor is it likely to be remembered for years to come. However, it does have some of the hallmarks needed to make a Christmas hit, given its cheesy tone and familial ideals, and it’s a fun watch as well. If you’re looking for some light, simple entertainment this weekend, EXmas is a good choice.
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Verdict - 6.5/10