This Christmas (2007)

this christmas poster 2007 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast

Too many characters with too little plot

Movie Info

Movie Name:  This Christmas

Studio:  Screen Gems/Rainforest Films

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  November 21, 2007

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Let’s toast for an uneventful Christmas!

The Whitfield family is coming home for Christmas.  While Lisa Whitfield-Moore (Regina King) and her husband Malcolm (Laz Alonso) plot to sell the family dry cleaning business, Quentin Whitfield, Jr. (Idris Elba) finds thugs after him for money he owes (David Banner and Ronnie Warner).  Kelli (Sharon Leal) finds Lisa resenting her for her college education and catches the eye of a fireman named Gerald (Mekhi Phifer).  Officer Claude Whitfield (Columbus Short) has gone AWOL to get home and is hiding his new white wife Sandi (Jessica Stroup) from his family.  Michael aka Baby (Chris Brown) is trying to keep his mother from finding out his secret passion for singing since Ma’Dere (Loretta Devine) still resents their runaway father for becoming a musician.  Meanwhile, Quentin’s resentment of Ma’Dere’s live in long-term boyfriend Joe (Delroy Lindo) is about to reach the breaking point…and Christmas is coming.


Baby oil and whippings…some people are into that, Regina

Directed by Preston A. Whitmore II, This Christmas is a holiday film with the theme centered around a primarily African-American cast.  The movie was met with mixed reviews but does have a following due to the number of stars.

This Christmas was one of those holiday movies that has a decent concept but is just too crowded.  The movie’s cast is massive and the characters’ problems aren’t all balanced…and some of the family is a bit lost.  With some weeding out, This Christmas could have been better.


Get down, Idris!

With the massive plot and number of kids, I actually expected more drama.  The drama that is in the film is pretty generic.  Money problems, resentment toward “step-parents”, and affairs are pretty standard fare, but the movie also loaded a so-so script with some pretty dumb holiday clichés.  I suppose you could consider them classic Christmas traditions, but they just come off as boring and invasive here since more time could be spent developing the bloated plot.  It is good to have a nice, positive happy movie, but you can tell from how the movie unfolds that you are not going to get any intense drama.


You’re not my Dad!!!

It is too bad because the movie has an interesting cast.  Loretta Devine is good as the knowing mother, and Delroy Lindo is a bit too perfect as her loving boyfriend who is willing to put up with all her kids’ drama (and willing to give very expensive cameras away as “fun gifts”).  Idris Elba, Regina King, Columbus Short, and Chris Brown are strong as the children (except when they have to squabble over mundane stuff), but Sharon Leal and Lauren London’s characters really don’t do much.


Nobody puts Baby in the Choir!

The movie also isn’t much of a visual movie.  It is a nice looking film but it is a standard shot drama.  It does make good use of some of the typical holiday settings like kitchens and dinner tables (and you can’t hate a movie that ends with a dance line for the characters in front of the Christmas tree).

This Christmas has way too much going on in but still manages to feel extremely slow.  I wish that the cast had been cut down to a more manageable size so you could have gotten to know the characters better instead of trying an ambitious script full of characters you didn’t get to know at all.  This Christmas feels more like a part of a series than a solid stand-alone movie…so maybe someday we’ll get an anniversary film that tells what happened “Next Christmas”.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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