This year Christmas with the Whitfields promises to be one they will never forget. All the siblings have come home for the first time in years and they've brought plenty of baggage with them. As the Christmas tree is trimm... more »ed and the lights are hung, secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested. As their lives converge, they join together and help each other discover the true meaning of family.« less
"I took my teenage sister to see this movie last week. If Chris Brown wasn't in it, I don't think she would've been interested. Chris Brown, by the way, really impressed me in this movie. His acting is great and his singing, in my opinion, has improved a lot. I thought he was great in "Stomp the Yard" despite his small role and I would love to see him in more movies in the future.
At first glance, "This Christmas" seems like a family film. However, if you do watch this with your family, make sure there are no little children around because there are too many inappropriate things in this movie:
1) The mother in the film, Loretta, and her boyfriend Joe, who is a DEACON in a church, have been living together -in Loretta's house- for the past several years. They're not married and Loretta's youngest son "Baby" accuses her of being afraid of marrying Joe due to a bad marriage she had in the past. I thought Joe was going to propose to Loretta at the end of the movie, but it never happened.
3)The oldest daughter, Lisa, has a husband, Malcome, who is cheating on her. While he is in the shower, Lisa confronts him about it. Malcome, not knowing that Lisa squirted baby oil all over the floor, wraps his lower body with a towel and comes out of the shower. The entire scene is of Malcome slipping and sliding on the bathroom floor with Lisa beating him with a leather belt. Even though Malcome is wearing a towel, he is not fully overed, he's slipping and sliding on the floor AND YOU CAN SEE HIS PRIVATE PARTS AS HE ATTEMPTS TO GET UP OFF THE FLOOR. I saw TOO much. Laz Alonso is an extremely handsome man, but the entire scene looked like S&M to me.
2) The middle daughter, Kelli, has a one night stand with a guy she met at the club. A few days later she sneaks this STRANGER inside her mother's house so they can sleep together. Supposedly they went to high school together and the guy claimed he liked her back in the day, but I don't know. For a successful Harvad-educated woman getting up in age, I guess Kelli was desperate for a man.
3) The youngest daughter, Mel, brings her boyfriend over for the holidays. They are only boyfriend/girlfriend, but they are allowed to sleep together in the same bed as well as play hanky panky in the closet and it's no big deal even though there is a young niece and nephew and other family members in the house.
Sorry, that I gave away parts of the movie, but this isn't a Huxtable Christmas movie and people need to know this before watching it with children around. But then again, who am I to say what is appropriate and inapproprite?"
"This Christmas looked like it was going to pass without any cinematic holiday cheer. Luckily audiences will find a special gift at their local multiplexes from Preston A. Whitmore, a filmmaker whose latest picture comes wrapped up with so much holiday mush that it would be hard for even the biggest scrooge to scowl at its spirited Christmas message
It's the most wonderful time of the year again, and the Whitfield family plans to continue their holiday tradition of bringing the entire clan back home for a few days of presents, good eating and family squabbling. The only problem with This Christmas is that each of the children has brought more than just gifts. Absence without leave, surprise pregnancies, interracial relationships, cheating husbands and angry bookies are just a few of the surprises in store for the family's matriarch, Ma Dear, making it a Christmas that will either tear the Whitfield's apart or bring them closer than they've ever been before.
With This Christmas, Preston A. Whitmore successfully bounced back from his sophomore slump. The choice to "Crossover" into the holiday genre is a big move, though looking at the filmmaker's oeuvre, he seemingly defies categorization. Written with heart, This Christmas isn't just impressive for its well balanced drama and comedy. Its ability to transcend its targeted audience to become a holiday film that can be enjoyed by anyone who has ever experienced family dysfunction makes the picture a refreshing surprise.
With an all-star, African American cast including Delroy Lindo, Loretta Devine, Idris Elba and the lovely Sharon Leal, Screen Gems certainly seems to be pushing the racial factor when marketing This Christmas. While this strategy will probably draw in adequate box-office receipts (See Tyler Perry's success), This Christmas will draw the majority of its fans next Christmas when it finds a wider audience on DVD.
Though many of the family's problems translate to touching and humorous bits of cinema, This Christmas ultimately suffers from one fatal flaw, too much conflict and no easy way out of it. There is so much going on, that the tidiest and most satisfying conclusion seems far too difficult to reach. It also seems that the character of Joe, played by Delroy Lindo, has the answers to everything. Able to pacify everyone from street thugs to the U.S. government in a single night, Joe gives Santa Claus a run for his money on this Christmas Eve.
However plausibility isn't the strong suit of the Whitfield family. There are plenty of nit-picky details audiences will pick up on that could easily take them out of the narrative. While viewers might scoff at bits such as buying the picture-perfect Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, the performances from the actors, tight editing and gorgeous cinematography will help get you through This Christmas.
If filmmakers should write what they know, then Preston A. Whitmore certainly knows Christmas and family far better than war or basketball. A solid holiday outing sure to please any audiences that comes across the film, Whitmore's well executed dramady should resonate far longer than This Christmas.
-Joe Russo "
Brandy | Atlanta, GA USA | 11/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I did not expect for this movie to be good at all, I can not wait to purchase this the DAY it comes out. I thought the scene where Regina King's character beats her husbands behind was hilarious, so creative! Destroying the SUV was great as well!"
Castaway Reviewer | Tyler, Texas | 09/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a wonderful movie. The ending brought tears to my eyes. I do agree, as many reviewers have already posted that this an adult family film. So put those kiddies to bed first. I highly recommend this film for purchase or rental. Enjoy."
Lorraine P. Clinton | 02/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoyed this movie,all the actors/actresses were magnificent and so beautiful I am looking forward to this movie coming on DVD I can't wait, again terrific cast."