The first African-American ensemble comedy for the Christmas season. So boasts the press notes for The Perfect Holiday, as if This Christmas never happened. Delusion carries over to the film itself, which takes place in some warped version of the real world where a black Santa Claus, Benjamin (Morris Chestnut), doesn’t come as a shock to a single person in a mall full of white people. Little Emily (Khail Bryant) asks the man in red for someone to pay her mommy a compliment, and when Benjamin gets an eyeful of Nancy (Gabrielle Union), he decides to do the macking himself. Sitcom-style hijinks of the shrillest order ensue, with Nancy’s children breaking the Guinness record for Most Visits Paid to a Mall Santa in a Single Christmas Season. Equally stretching the imagination is how the lovely Nancy could have ever sustained a relationship, let alone engaged in coitus with her estranged husband J-Jizzy (Charles Q. Murphy), a shrill caricature of a hip-hop superstar that’s more shopworn than M.C. Hammer’s parachute pants. Will Benjamin finally win over Nancy’s eldest son? Will she show him the door when she learns he doesn’t sell staplers for a living and has creative ambitions? Stay for the nail-biting conclusion, but only if you can stomach the horror of Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard reaching career lows as manifestations of all that is cheerful and insufferable, respectively, about the holidays. In the case of Howard’s Mr. Bah Humbug, that low is a literal one. While Emily is bogarting Santa’s time at the mall, Latifah’s cheery narrator comments on the episode from the sidelines, holding a pint-sized Howard’s hand as he whines about needing to make a dookie.
- Yari Film Group
- 96 min
- Lance Rivera
- Lance Rivera
- Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Malik Hammond, Charlie Murphy, Khail Bryant, Faizon Love, Katt Williams, Jeremy Gumbs, Jill Marie Jones, Rachel True
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