There’s nothing better than a vacation to get the most out of family drama;
All favourites like The Family Stone, Four Christmases, Christmas with the Kranks. And Love the Coopers saw it go wild as the family reunited home for the holidays. In “Christmas Canceled,” now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. A young woman receives a disturbing Christmas wake-up call. When she learns that her widowed father is dating a high school foe.
It’s been two years since Emma (Hailey Orantia) lost her mother and her wounds are still relatively fresh. He feels really obligated to take care of his father, Jack (Dermot Mulroney). When he returns home to spend the holidays with him, he learns alarming news. That his father is talking to his high school nemesis, Brandy (Janelle Parish), together. Emma was surprised by the revelation, but Brandi did her best to maintain friendly relations. Emma cannot accept this despite Brandi and Jack’s best efforts. And decides to destroy them both before Christmas, four days later.
With the reluctant support of her best friend Charlene (Emily Modaff). And a skinny bartender named Josh (Michael Naizou). Emma tries to carry out some relatively mundane plans to keep Brandi and her father apart. Even as things get tough. Ignoring her burgeoning relationship with Josh in favour of her obsession with ruining her father’s relationship. Emma puts Charlene in an awkward position at the same time. With a critical connection (and Christmas!), Emma needs to wake up before it’s too late.
The obvious choice here is Emily Modaf:
Who Delivers Christmas is Canceled’s funniest performance in a long time. Can put them in the traditional role of a best friend. But they will take their humorous (if sometimes heartbreaking) comments and run away with them. Also suffocating them and doing so when necessary. Modaff is quick to prove that they won’t be left out. In a supporting role, making us laugh aloud in the film. I can’t really wait to see what they do next.
Oh, the total bliss of a deep 95-minute average holiday movie. Few things like him. Christmas is undone to tick any box in that category; awkward s*x walks, drunken Christmas parties, and dramatic events usually involve marching. Through the snow, fierce fights with jokes, broken Christmas traditions, and so on. Everything is here. With the help of an adorable cast (we’d love to see Dermot Mulroney’s Family Stone icon in another season’s title), Christmas is Canceled delivers scene after scene. By giving us watery, soapy hospitality at every step. Does the title make sense? Not. Can all conflicts be resolved quickly? You bet. But it’s hard to fault a short film that offers s*x appeal, genuine laughs, and some emotionally resonant moments. In a shallow sea of vanilla holiday movies, the hallmark of a cancelled Christmas is a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Christmas changes the platonic ideal of a C-level holiday comedy full of goofy talk, embarrassing confrontations, and a small snowy town in its head. You really couldn’t ask for more.
I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear that I don’t care about the match between Dermot Mulroney and Mona Vanderwaal:
And even if Emma learns to support him, I don’t. He deserves better, and he needs to grow up and date someone his age! But I agree with Charlene that Emma can only be happy when she learns to live her own life and let her father live his own life.
Janelle Parish is great because she is excellent at everything, and Hailey Orrantia is great. However, the best thing about Christmas is that Charlene is sporting Sappho’s GFW buttons under her blazer, which means there are gays behind the scenes. Natural holiday magic.