Title: Same Time, Next Christmas
Year of Release: 2019
Available On: Hulu as of 12/19
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells
I can’t decide if this means that Lea Michele has taken a tumble or improved her stature. I have decided that I still don’t prefer her singing voice. So while I can admit the music in this one is “good,” certainly better than most of the genre, I’m personally not that enthused about it. This movie is FAR more diverse than most of the genre, however, and I am not sad at that.
Olivia and Jeff’s (Charles Michael Davis) families met as when they were young and their cabanas happened to be placed close by. Every year, they would all meet up in Hawaii as two families and spend the Christmas vacation time together. Until Jeff’s mother died suddenly. For whatever reason – I’m sure we’ll find out – Jeff felt unable to connect with Olivia in the midst of his guilt… and they never spoke again, despite being very close as kids. Kids who kissed. Many years later, when the Williams have grieved and feel safe to return to the tradition, Olivia and Jeff meet again as adults.
Jeff: I’ve missed this place.
Olivia: It’s missed you.
I’m wrinkling my nose at the families all dancing traditional Hawaiian dances, but I’m gonna be honest and say I have no idea if that’s colonialist or not since the resort appears to be owned by a native Hawaiian (half indigenous Hawaiian, as per her story). That said: boo colonialism. Big boooooo.
Nia Vardalos and George Newbern are great as the Anderson parents. Excellent co-stars all around, to be honest, and Phil Morris shines as dad, Alec Williams.
Dad: If she’s happy, we’re happy.
Mom: She could be happier.
I dunno. Michele and Davis have weird vibes. Michele is actually pretty good in this — a little over-excited, but she’s cute and got her shit together in a way that some of other characters she’s played don’t have. She takes the high road when it would have been really was to be shitty, and more than once. But when they kiss it just seeeeeeeeeems off. And of course it does, because they’re actors. I resent the idea for Olivia that she’s supposed to do everything on Jeff’s fucking timeline. I get that sometimes things just don’t worry time-wise, but come on. He broke her heart twice! And now we’re supposed to believe this time is different somehow? It’s different for Olivia, anyway, because she has a boyfriend. Let’s not even act like Gregg (Bryan Greenberg) is competition though, because we know how this movie will end before it starts.
Plus he’s boring. SO boring. I’m bored just watching him.
Anyway, this movie is fine.