CHRISTMAS WITH THE CAMPBELLS (2022)
Release Date: 12/02/22 [Cinemas / AMC+]
Studio: RLJE Films
"In Christmas with The Campbells, when Jesse gets dumped right before the holidays by her boyfriend Shawn, his parents convince her to still spend Christmas with them, and Shawn's handsome cousin, while Shawn is away."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
'Tis the season... for cheesy holiday movies! This genre really isn't my thing, but I completely understand the craving audiences have for these movies. The spirit of the holiday, the coziness of the winter aesthetic, and the safety of the predictable narrative. I prefer the chaos of Kevin McAlister and the Wet Bandits, or Tim Allen morphing into Kris Kringle a la The Santa Clause. The classic holiday films differ from this almost rom-com style, usually centered around a "love" story, where a woman travels back home for the season and stumbles into an unexpected fairytale. Christmas with the Campbells kinda falls in line with this, but comes up short and lacks charm.
Brittany Snow plays Jesse, the adorable, push-over girlfriend to the unlikable douchebag bro Shawn (Alex Moffat). Jesse is clearly the perfect girlfriend, adored by Shawn's family and pretty even-keeled at all times. When Shawn blindsides Jesse with a breakup right before they are expected to travel to his hometown for the holidays, she is devastated. Shawn will not be going home for Christmas, but his mother still calls to invite Jesse and tell her it wouldn't be Christmas if she wasn't there. Jesse, having no family of her own, takes up the offer and travels to Ketchum, Idaho to spend the holiday with Shawn's family. That's where Justin Long comes in as Shawn's loveable cousin. I think you can figure out where the story goes from here. Unfortunately though, this is where things grow more awkward than they already are (Shawn's parents are awkward and not in an endearing way, that's all I say about that). Justin Long attempts to portray a rough, cowboy type with an accent but it's so not his style that it seems like he is doing a bit (is he doing a bit and I am just that dense?). It wasn't funny, it just ended up being cringe.
Overall the film as a whole is just awkward, forgettable and everything felt a bit out of place and forced. I am a big fan of Justin Long (where are my Accepted fans?? That movie is highly underrated!!) and Brittany Snow, plus finding out after I watched this that Vince Vaughn was a co-writer just left me disappointed more than anything. Don't waste your time with this one and stick to rewatching the classics instead this holiday season.