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25 Days of Christmas: ‘This Christmas’

| Monday, November 30, 2015

25Days_Scene_WebEric Richelsen | The Observer

With the beginning of December comes the latest in Scene series, “25 Days of Christmas,” in which the staff will highlight and share some of our favorite bits of Christmas-related pop culture to get into the holiday season.

As a yearly tradition, my brother and I watch the movie “This Christmas,” starring the likes of Chris Brown, Lauren London and Loretta Devine. As routine, we gather on my mother’s couch while Chris Brown’s character “Baby” carols and sings to the audience on set and at home.

For those unfamiliar with the film, the story looks at a typical family gathering setting for the holiday season, but starring an atypical family, filled with enough interesting characters and hijinx to fill the quota for a feel-good, if not cheesy family holiday movie.

The screenplay and dialogue is relatively subpar and won’t exactly be confused for an all-time English classic anytime soon. However, for a holiday movie, it is simple enough to follow and enjoy without thinking too hard, which is honestly a top-notch quality after a long, exhausting year.

However, the understated genius of the movie is in the chemistry between the actors, playing the roles of siblings coming home for the holidays after extended periods of time away from each other. The little sister who brings home the new boyfriend to show off to the family; the little brother who is still living at home with the parents but tries to prove to the big siblings how grown up he is; the oldest sister who attempts to take control of the family finances and affairs, now that the parents are getting a bit older — all of these personalities truly underscore the reality of the family dynamic at the dinner table around the holiday season.

The movie truly hits home because it captures an essential, if not underappreciated, part of the holiday season — simply coming home to see family. None of the pageantry or decorations is really all that important when it comes really comes down to it. The only thing that truly matters is the family. This is well-reflected in the movie, as throughout the course of the movie, plans for a peaceful family reunion go awry; yet, the season simply feels like a success because at the end of it all, despite the frustrations and disappointments, the family is still together and stronger for it.

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About Miko Malabute

Senior student at the University of Notre Dame, majoring in Biochemistry. From Tujunga, CA.

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