‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Cast & Crew
Director: Mary Lambert
Cast: Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, Jason Biggs, Matt Cedeño, Wyatt Hunt, Abby Villasmil, Madison Skye Validum, Nadia Sine, Janet Lo
Available On: Netflix
Duration: 1 Hour 21 Minutes
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Story
Every Christmas, without fail, Jackie (Brandy Norwood) sends a boastful holiday newsletter that makes her old college friend Charlotte (Heather Graham) feel like a lump of coal. When a twist of fate lands Charlotte, her husband Rob (Jason Biggs), and their family on Jackie and her husband Valentino’s (Matt Cedeño) snowy doorstep just days before Christmas, Charlotte seizes the opportunity to prove that her old friend’s “perfect” life can’t possibly be that perfect. But in her overzealous attempt to expose Jackie, Charlotte nearly ruins Christmas for both families and must team up with her old friend to reassemble the pieces. Will Charlotte be able to amend her wrongdoings? Will Jackie ever forgive Charlotte? Will Charlotte fall head over heels for Valentino’s charm? Will Rob ever be able to love Charlotte again? Will Christmas ever be the same for the two families? Well, for all that, you’ll have to watch ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’.
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Performances
Heather Graham has lost her former charm and spontaneity which she was known for. It could be a fault of the dry script as well which didn’t allow her to open her wings to that extent. To add to that, her make-up was so garish that in the close-up shots, you could feel that she had aged so much. To top it all up, her crazy antics don’t get the necessary slapstick laughter that the makers intended. Besides a small scene where she gets emotional and tears up, her performance was absolutely dull with nothing much to offer.
Brandy Norwood is too loud for comfort, yet she is probably the only saving grace of this film. She manages to carry the entire weight of the storyline on her shoulders. She gives a poised performance laden with some fun and emotional bits.
Matt Cedeño is just there barely for eye candy. He doesn’t even have that much screen time to warrant a mention.
Jason Biggs is utterly wasted in a role that barely had a lot of scenes. He is known for his comic timing and, forget comedy, he wasn’t even given a worthy enough screen space.
Among the kids, a standout performance was by Madison Skye Validum who looked calm, confident and composed about her performance. Being so young and yet being able to deliver the dialogues as she did with so much bravado demands applause.
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Todd Gallicano and Charles Shyer’s writing is filled with absurd sequences which lean towards absolute lunacy. A twist of fate happens when someone meets someone suddenly in the middle of nowhere. A twist of fate doesn’t happen when you put a location on your GPS, drive for an entire day and reach someone else’s house. That’s sheer stupidity. Then a hot air balloon catching onto a Santa Claus sleigh perfectly mid-air without causing any hiccups is just the icing on the cake. Then, you open your door in the morning and your car is snowed in, and within minutes it’s all clear to go for Christmas tree shopping. Like, how? The screenplay is filled with numerous such sequences where you’re left scratching your head thinking this isn’t the feel-good factor that I wanted to achieve by watching this Christmas movie.
Mary Lambert tries hard to recover the already crazy script with some deft direction, but not much of it is salvageable. She has tried to at least sew the varied absurd sequences together so that it makes some semblance of a story.
The cinematography by Graham Robbins is probably the only thing that’s worthy of a mention in this film. He has managed to showcase the snowy outdoor locales in proper glory and made sure that you get some of that wintery snuggly feel watching the film. The usage of some overhead shots makes the landscape appear even more beautiful.
Thanks to Jeffrey Wolf’s editing audiences will be saved of this laughing stock of a movie, as he managed to cut it short to just about 81 minutes. He has made sure that there are no jump cuts, which helps keep the presentation smooth and fast-flowing.
Jeff Rona’s music and background score didn’t experiment a lot. He has used the same age-old songs and tunes of Christmas, which you’ll have probably heard a billion times before. So, nothing too innovative, I must say.
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ can barely be called a movie. It’s more like a string of sequences sewn together with not much coherence between one another. Usually, Christmas movies do tend to go a bit overboard with a miracle of Christmas theme trying to give the viewer a feel-good factor, but in this, the makers have taken this to a level of absolute lunacy. If you’ve nothing better to do this weekend, catch up on some much-needed sleep. As far as ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ goes, Totally Avoid. I am going with 1 star.