What Happens When You Spend A Week Watching Christmas 24?

Day 3: A Family Thanksgiving


Well, I feel cheated. Don’t you? I was absolutely beside myself about watching this Christmas interloper, and decided to enlist some reluctant watchers to help me through the belated Thanksgiving cheer.

Directed by Neill Fearnley, the story works like It’s A Wonderful Life and Scrooge curdled together like badly-made custard. It follows Claudia (Daphne Zuniga aka Princess Vespa) a ruthless lawyer who has sacrificed family values so she can make partner in her firm. Claudia expects her legal team to work on Thanksgiving and is always bailing out on her sister come stay-at-home mother Jen (Gina Holden).

That is until Faye Dunaway, the holiday gremlin known as Gina, decides to mix her life up (with no explanation) and land her with two kids and a husband. The mental ramifications of such a switch are enough to put Claudia through years of therapy, as she is lumbered with a family of total strangers – in a house she doesn’t own, in clothes that aren’t hers.

Claudia is supposed to change her ways and find balance between work and home life, without ever having a home life. It’s pretty tough cheese.

I was really excited to see two fairly well known actors as the main characters and maintained high hopes. That was until my reluctant watchers pointed out that non-diegetic mood music plays throughout the entire film. Once I noticed it I couldn’t un-hear it. Developing swimmers ear would have been a Thanksgiving miracle, but alas, I had to sit and endure the terribly annoying soundtrack for 90 minutes.

Claudia muddles her way through motherhood and the kiddies soul piercing screaming tantrums seem to take over the narrative for longer than necessary. We see her slowly begin to take pride in her family but continuously yo-yo between wanting to be a wife and wanting to be a lawyer.

Claudia comes to revelations about herself and her choices, despite nothing happening to prompt them. Unlike in It’s A Wonderful Life and Scrooge which feature event-led epiphanies, Claudia just wakes up one day and accepts her newfound love for domestic bliss.

This led to a rather unsatisfying and comically brutal ending… Gina returns to take her back to her old life, while Claudia is screaming for her children and pleading to stay. You could say that Faye had ‘dunaway’ with her family. Ha!

Poor old Claudia realises that this is just a glimpse of what could be, and decides to seek her future husband out (I forgot to mention she meets him at the start of the movie and she’s really rude to him).

Thanksgiving tosh aside, I actually found this film the most enjoyable yet and I am expecting a soundtrack endurance medal in the post any day now.

The fourth movie, My Christmas Inn (2018) will start tonight at 7pm. Watch along with me (Sky 325 | Virgin 419 | BT 513) and follow my live Tweeting @bloggybalboa.

 

Elizabeth Howlett

Elizabeth Howlett

Multi-platform journalist and film psychoanalyst who loves 80s films, but doesn’t think much of John Hughes. Horror and fantasy theory is her jam and she can quote anything at the drop of a hat. Her brain holds more pop culture references than you can shake a stick at and she hums the theme to Jurassic Park without realising. Heir to the throne and rightful queen of puns – you owe her your allegiance.
Elizabeth Howlett