Your classic romance: a single mum, a mall Santa pretending to be a travelling salesman (like that’s cooler?), a rapper ex- and all watched over by mystical Queen Latifah.
What on earth is Queen Latifah’s deal in this film, anyway? She appears as a narrator and pops up as several different characters to overlook plot development (including a homeless person with the aim of proving the love interest’s generosity. In reality though, Queen Latifah’s just taken his last dollar for no good reason. Probably to make up for blowing the film’s budget on that scary animated opening). You wouldn’t be crazy for thinking she’s some guardian angel figure, save for the fact that she does barely anything for the characters.
There’s also a bad equivalent to Latifah in the form of Lucius from Empire so her very rare moments of do-gooding (or good doing) are cancelled out by his actions. I just don’t get what their relevance is, apart from magical Christmas cheque-cashers.
In terms of the plot, it’s pretty coherent and quite nice at points. Gabrielle Union is on top form as per and still looking 25 whilst her portrait grows old in the attic.
I do have to wonder who approved the name of her character Nancy’s ex. He’s a rapper called J-Jizzy.
Jizzy though. J-Jizzy. And I know this isn’t like when Americans didn’t know what “spunk” means over here, because I learned that word from the Lonely Island song. Jizzy.
I’m a bit sad the whole film isn’t just J-Jizzy’s music videos because they are a glorious reel of Eddie Murphy’s brother not singing whilst extras awkwardly hop around dressed as sexy reindeer. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about.
See if you can spot more awkward extras throughout the film- it could easily be a drinking game rule, along with every time Ben’s large friend likes eating. That’s all they do, right? Large people, they eat! He does pretend to be a cop as well which is…healthy. Not like his food though amIright cos this guy! Loves his food! For the whole ninety minutes of the running time!
There are some terrible similes likening trees to men, cringeworthy table setting sequences to the sexy crooning of Marvin Gaye and casually misogynistic lines from the kids (“How’s she gonna get Dad back like that?”) but The Perfect Holiday isn’t so horrible to be worth a second viewing. Comes close, though.