Lights up, act one, and we see a girl giving a masterclass in bad acting. Is this the Christmas Pageant? No, thank God, it is just some bad acting in a play directed by our protagonist Vera. Vera wants the actors to do an acting better but she gets a lot of shit for this. In fact, everywhere she goes she’s told her expectations are too high and she’s changing things up too much. Guys. She’s a director, she literally just wants to do her job and direct a good show.

Jobs are hard for Vera (because she is surrounded by people who hate feedback) but she’s landed a last minute directing job in a small town, handling their Christmas Pageant. Everyone who likes to cheer when they hear the title of the film in the film’s dialogue, you’ll have a good time with this one.

Weirdly enough, the little town doesn’t want Vera coming in with her skillset and doing her job either. When will this woman catch a break? She just wants to add shadow puppetry and they’re reacting like she suggested biting the head off a chicken as a gift to the baby Jesus. Well maybe not that badly, but also yes a little bit.

Head naysayer, handing out pitchforks and flaming torches is Meredith from The Office US. Whilst it’s great to see that actress can show range, it’s a shame to see somebody go from a multi-award winning sitcom to The Christmas Pageant. This character gets pissed off even when Vera tries to buy a new star prop. Screw you Vera, this town wants their tin foil covered cardboard from 1945 and they also want their black and white televisions from 1955 and booo change!

The Christmas Pageant still
Also, I know she’s from New York but way overdressed here Vera. You look good though, so you do you.

From all this conflict everything suddenly turns round for Vera- and how! Talk about a shift in tone: she sits on a bench whistling with an old man (a scene which will make you think “what am I watching”) and finds out Meredith from The Office might have cancer but doesn’t and then everyone’s keen to help her out. She meets a little girl who isn’t a ghost but is the daughter of a local love interest for Vera. Everybody finally agrees to LET HER DIRECT. The extremes to which this Vera-worship goes is stupid. Even the stereo watches her romance bloom with a creepy leer. They applaud her before the pageant begins, which kinda undermines her work as a director if they’re happy with her before they even judge her show.

The pageant itself is alright. There’s this random woman who turns up on stage for the curtain call and she’s dressed as a sheep but none of the earlier scenes had a sheep in. Did anybody actually ask her to be in the pageant? Something to think on.

Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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