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This Christmas

Everyone brings something to the party as Loretta Devine’s LA matriarch Ma’Dere welcomes her clan for the holidays. Eldest daughter Lisa (Regina King) is concealing a faltering marriage, sibling Kelli (Sharon Leal) is lonely in her high-powered advertising job, while soldier son Claude (Columbus Short) has gone AWOL to make a surprise announcement, and errant older brother Quentin (Idris Elba) arrives with two bookies’ henchmen in tow. Since the hostess herself is trying to hide that she’s been living with church worker Joe (Delroy Lindo), the plot’s got no shortage of personal crises to get through, and the next couple of hours is spent ticking them off in strict adherence to soap opera predictability. That said, the actors are terrific, notably ever-solid Lindo, irrepressible King, and a star-making turn from Chris Brown as the conflicted teen with a secret vocal talent, while a top soundtrack selection of seasonal soul and funk classics proves a major asset. This is good-natured, determinedly aspirational African-American entertainment, but did it have to be quite so heavy on the clichés?

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday November 30 2007
Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Preston A. Whitmore II
Screenwriter: Preston A. Whitmore II
Cast: Loretta Devine
Idris Elba
Regina King
Sharon Leal
Chris Brown
Mekhi Phifer
Laz Alonzo
David Banner
Keith Robinson
Delroy Lindo
Lauren London
Columbus Short

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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