Get a big black cauldron and boil water. Add some well known actors that represent in doing the go to black movies, a dash of generic plot, a speck of stereotypes, a pinch of would be preachy church scenario’s and gather a bunch of people in a theater that is a niche audience. Mix well and what do you get?
Well everyone you get this years go to film for the christmas holiday’s known so conveniently as “Almost Christmas”.
To begin I do not care for these kinds of films due to it goes into the same formula when you get a good and funny cast of people who are black and cut them down to baseless characters and convenient plot that you can tell from the get go on how it’s going to go.
But since I’m committed to getting this down I will have to bury down my discontent of trying to give this movie a chance. I foolishly thought that I was being too harsh and since I’m a little older and these kinds of films have always left me banging my head internally and how I was having a slow death of my common sense being dropped to zero.
Now my mind is melting again and I can’t get my extreme frustration out!
I went with my mom and second cousin (which was my first mistake) since the latter loves these kinds of films. I needed to get some fresh air and decided to go for shits and giggles, to show that I might be more calmer.
That was my first mistake.
As we arrived at the movie theater I see people going in and it’s the demographic that it reaches too, the ones that laugh at every little thing for these kinds of movies, and I just roll my eyes but begrudgingly go in.
I avoid getting popcorn or soda since I really don’t do that anymore. I’ve been doing good with getting some exercise in and don’t need all the junk food but mom got me a bottle water.
Go in and it’s what you can expect a majority black, one older white guy and a hispanic family in front, so you know, typical scenario. I suspect that if it were that lame Madea movie there would have been a turnout of half and half.
The first thing that killed me was the amount of trailers this movie had! It was too long, for a flipping independent film I at least expected three but given the time frame I guess they wanted to make it seem like a two hour film.
After getting through that the movie starts and this is where my ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean, faster than the titanic. As much as I would give some explanation of the plot, characters and the like I can’t.
The movie is bungled down by tropes of self-perceived notion of a black family which I am against immensely and can’t find anything correct or funny with that lame BS Granted I’m glad (content) that it speaks to the niche group of people it can get and from some family members, they enjoy it.
Of course conversely they would like it because one, it’s a black film, two, it’s the kind of films they like and watch when it’s close to the holidays when other family members are trapped at their house and it’s the only thing to watch other than football or talking.
I can’t go by of these archetypes; the youngest son grows to be a football player? Why not a writer? Why does there always need to be a politician or lawyer in the family to establish success? Why do the sisters have to have beef which goes into throwing shade looks at each other?
Now I am aware of the demographic of these films, I’ve observed enough to tell from the get go how this will go and it’s sad? Nothing ever changes? The themes of hope and “family is everything” is a nice touch but given I’m older and have apparently gotten jaded and not very family oriented for reasons, I can not enjoy or like this movie.
When you have Monique up in the business cutting up with cussing up a storm and throwing out “baby” after every-EVERY sentence becomes excruciating to listen too. The one point I can say I enjoyed were the kids in the film but I barely hood on when you got one of them being “wise beyond their years” in life and she’s not even a teen!
Of course there has to be a montage of dancing with some hip music to even straight up 70’s and a soul train line. Really? I did that at my cousin’s funeral 4 years ago and we are throwing that out to the wolves? Not that I care about dancing in the first place.
The attempt at lewd jokes were also overplayed and stale. I prefer a sardonic approach to it and not some lame use of getting stuck in a window and making it seem like a male and female character doing each other in the butt. Or when you get in a football game with family that it winds up turning into a slug match over someone doing something and it breaks up and the father is wondering why as they were bonding.
Why did the white character need to say “the black mother is the backbone of the black family” sentence? Yeah we know he’s white so you could have just made him more aware with what to say and just say “I’m sorry for your loss” but no, in these kinds of films anyone who isn’t black has got to be ignorant. Granted there are people who are and don’t grasp certain customs but come on, it’s fucking common sense! WHERE DID IT GO!
And let’s not forget establishing that the oldest daughter, after finding out her husband cheated on her with some skinny chick at a store, coming over due to her sister finding out and inviting said woman there to spite her sister and cause drama, is a good shooter and chasing her husband around the house before firing a shot and missing with Monique saying “She’s the best shooter in the family; if she wanted you dead, you’d be dead”.
Really? You adding that on to the list of tricks to make it seem like she has to know how to use a shotgun?
What I also didn’t care for and could tell that the youngest son being a football player would also have some “story” with discovering the dad selling the house due to his wife’s passing and causing a scene at the dinner table, leaves in a huff while taking some pill and winding up in an accident with getting a moment with his dad by explaining his feelings of missing his mom and everything’s a-okay!
Really I have respect for the missing your dead mother but going into drugs and wild behavior due to being the youngest? How conventional can one get? Why can’t we break out of these molds for a black film and make it kind of hollywood without the necessary two-bit generic drama?
Expand the plot lines, give better character development and individual stories and better personalities. But then again this speaks to a demographic that enjoy and expect this entertainment.
Majority of the populace were laughing and my cousin was no exception, she enjoys any black films and laughs without thinking I take given she giggles at inappropriate things at times (she’s in her mid 40’s and is eccentric) so this was up her alley.
After suffering through this film I got up quickly and went to the bathroom to pee. After that I was nothing but pissed off. Cousin asked if I liked it and I gave a simple “no”. I might have embellished with my wordplay briefly but I just said it followed typical tropes in a film like this.
My mom and cousin had to ask what the term was. Trope means “a common or overused theme or device”.
I couldn’t get out my opinion due to my cousin liked it and when she gets into this mode anything I’d say would be be hating so I had to sit in my juices and wound up angry and pissed. Only thing I had to calm down was listening to some rock or certain songs to calm me down while cleaning up my room when I got home.
These kinds of Christmas films are okay if you like these kinds of films. I might not find them enjoyable in the least but if you do go check it out.
I won’t give any rating this time due to my words should be more than enough. But I will anyway.
For plot, characters, development, themes, music I will give this film a 4 out of 10. For a grading system via lettering a D.
Given my being more jaded I need my christmas feeling jacked up to 20 with some nostalgia and happiness, this film doesn’t bring me any comfort. It brought me nothing but annoyance at the film, exasperated with the ones liking it and downright anger that I went to see this movie to show that I could see a movie and not get all uppity with it but sadly I did.
Even though it’s getting praise, I will bear being the one to say no, I did not care for this film and will be happy it is put from my mind and never brought up again.
I will do a nice little X-mas blog in December and expect a kind of Thanksgiving one when we get close to that holiday.
And remember it is an OPINION! A very cynical, snarky opinion but an opinion. I don’t mean to be mean if you enjoy these films, I personally don’t.
I leave with the trailer of this film. Have fun if you will see it!