Mary Lambert’s ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ is a family comedy film that delves into the hilarious dynamic between Jackie Jennings, Christmas joy incarnate, and Charlotte Sanders, who ends up being a Grinch everyone’s plans. Charlotte is happy with her imperfect life, unrealized dreams, and endearingly flawed family. Nevertheless, she isn’t fond of the reminder that Jackie’s yearly boastful family newsletters bring, putting her perfect life in contrast against Charlotte’s shortcomings. As such, it can only spell chaos when the latter and her family end up having to spend their Christmas with the Jennings.
Ripe with hilarity, family fun, and joyous morals near the end, ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ hits all the marks of an entertaining Holiday film. While the narrative remains just a little cheesy, it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from a seasonal flick. Furthermore, the authenticity of the film’s storylines, embodied through the two families and their sentimental dynamics, balances the film’s magical touch. For the same reason, people might be curious if the film has any relation to real life.
A Film About Embracing The Holiday Spirit
‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ is not based on a true story. The film is a fictitious tale about Christmas joy fabricated by screenwriters Todd Calgi Gallicano and Charles Shyer under Mary Lambert’s direction. Therefore, all characters and events explored within the film are works of fiction without any real-life counterparts.
Having previously worked on the 2021 movie, ‘A Castle for Christmas,’ Lambert was no stranger to bringing yuletide tales to the screen. The same can be seen in this film, which sings of Christmas joy in every fame, decked with merry set designs, costumes, and background details.
As such, the film is bound to remind the viewers of numerous other holiday flicks that the season brings, with similar thematic focuses on family, friendship, and second chances. Yet, Lambert’s film distinguishes itself from the crowd by depicting a uniquely uncharacteristic story about envy and insecurity. The holiday season has long brought a crushing bout of pressure and high expectations that remain daunting to face every year.
Thus, by placing Charlotte Sanders as the face of those sentiments, the film presents an unseen but immensely relatable experience. When discussing her film with Today, Lambert touched upon the same and said, “Heather’s [Graham, who plays Charlotte] character just doesn’t like Christmas. It makes her feel inadequate. And I think there’s a lot of people that feel that way sometimes.”
“And then there are people like Brandy’s [Norwood, who plays Jackie] character, who embrace the joy and the fun and the belief [of] the season,” added Lambert. Therefore, by juxtaposing Charlotte and Jackie’s bold personalities against each other at the narrative’s forefront, the film adds a twist to a classic Christmas story, allowing more space for relatability.
Each woman aims for perfection in their own way while also dealing with the strife of life. Consequently, people from different walks of life can find different aspects of the characters to relate to. Nevertheless, the film also stays true to its festive roots and champions the message of perseverance and happy endings. Furthermore, the unlikely camaraderie between the duo allows for the story to highlight the significance of close female friendships in the context of the holidays.
“You get together, and everybody reacts to the holidays in a different way,” said the director. “But everybody wants to be happy at the foundation of it all. Everybody really wants to just fight against the darkness and celebrate that the shortest day of the year is gone, and it’s kind of going to start getting lighter and brighter from there on.”
As a result, by balancing the inherent positivity of Christmas and the drawbacks that the season’s pressures bring, ‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ manages to present an enjoyable and relatable Christmas story. “It’s not as easy as it sounds, though,” said Lambert in conversations with Tudum. “And I think, for me, the movie tries to say that. Let’s find something to laugh at in all this craziness.”
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