We open on a wonderful reel of the star-studded cast. There really is a family favourite for everyone. From John Cleese to Elizabeth Hurley, Kris Marshall to Talulah Riley. The worry when you see these talented people together is that the film will have the curse of big names, bad film. Luckily this Christmas delight has managed to dodge that!
Caroline is tentatively decorating the Christmas tree, whilst wearing heels. Which begs the question, who wears heels whilst on a ladder? Her ankles give way, and the tree comes toppling down with her. A possible for-shadowing for the festivities ahead?
Her poor, loving husband Peter was under the illusion that they would decorate the tree together, as a family. But it becomes increasingly obvious that Caroline is suffering from the pressure of having to host the perfect Christmas. It seems to be a personality trait for Caroline to be a stickler for the rules and wanting to have that classic “normal” family.
Unfortunately for her, it will take a miracle for that to happen. As her 3 sisters turn up at the luxurious manor house, the differences between them all become very clear. As per any good family mix you have Caroline – the stickler, Joanna – the crazy aunty, Pauline – the nerdy one and Vicky – the young carefree one.
You barely take a sip of your hot coco before the sisters are at each other’s throat. Whilst it all starts out as sisterly bickering and fighting, the thread that brings them all together is the hatred for their absent father. Who picked up and left on Christmas day 27 years ago!
That’s when Vicky drops the bombshell that she saw him whilst she was in America. The betrayal stings, but it is about to get a whole lot worse. When an unexpected taxi arrives, you can take a guess at who is inside!
Will Daddy dearest pulling up unite the sisters or push them further apart?
As with any full-grown family, there are separate issues going on of their own. From marriage problems, hidden affairs, and even pregnancies, the struggles of everyday life are ever present throughout the film.
There are Christmas traditions, fights, and more dramas than a week of Eastenders. But that is what keeps this film interesting and fun. It is also particularly nice to see how the other half live, and it is all too similar to the rest of us!
Proving once and for all, that the more you plan a Christmas, the more there is to go wrong. And a good night in the pub will help heal most things! This film is perfect feel-good viewing and will leave you with a smile on your face.
Whilst it lacks the classic bit of Christmas magic, it is fabulous, scandalous, and funny.
Traditions – 7
Illegitimate Children – 1
Cow Pat Bingo – 1
Overall score –
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