Festive films come with many subgenres; Holiday romance, family vacation fun, classic Christmas stories, and hilarious family messes (to name just a few). Grumpy Christmas, now streaming on Netflix, focuses on the two genres mentioned above: romance and family chaos. In this Mexican comedy, a grumpy grandfather tries to control the Christmas celebrations from his aunt-in-law.
And things got even more chaotic as their power struggle escalated.
After The Patriarch (2016) events, Don Cervando (Hector Bonilla). Also known as Loud Grandpa, must spend the holidays with his new extended family. After being kicked out of the nursing home for stabbing her nurse with a stick. Among other things, she now lives with a “modern family”.
Which also includes her son Fran (Benny Ibara) and daughter-in-law Alma (Jacqueline Bracamontes). Husband and wife Bill (Daniel Martinez) and Memo (Eduardo Tanus). And their young son Willie (Daniel Liz Galicia) and several others. When the family plans to spend Christmas with Alma’s aunt Alicia (Angelica Maria), Cervando immediately becomes his enemy.
Despite the family’s efforts to create meaningful memories and enjoy their time at the beach. Cervando is determined to keep the celebrations from Alicia, unwilling to succumb to her strong personality. Unfortunately, Alicia also loves drama, and she follows through with it.
Even after Alma begs her not to mix up the pots. The two clashed until they realized that there might be a connection between them. And from then on, it became more complicated. Will Cervando and Alicia ruin Christmas as we know it? Or can this modern family get together and put aside pride and remember the real reason for the holiday season?
In scenes like Willie’s odd son Bill and Memo, Daniel Liz Galicia is a petty thief. When we first met her, she wanted to be a mermaid ninja, and she fearlessly introduced herself to new people. Thanking them for her delicious food and making her family laugh, even if it was very stressful. Child actors are either hit or omission. But Galicia is a little pleased with her natural charisma that shakes things up when the script goes out of style.
Grumpy Christmas pisses me off, as the title says.
And it’s a shame because as someone whose late grandfather was named Grumpino. I almost became the target audience for this Christmas movie is about a grumpy grandfather. Grumpy Christmas is sadly shallow and downright goofy and not particularly fun or remote to look at.
The cast did their best to fix a shoddy script, but there was no helpful slack director or half-hearted humour. I’m to some lover foe. Still, due to the lack of chemistry between Cervando and Alicia. And the general inconsistency of tone throughout the film, transitions don’t work here. There have been plenty of movies about family power struggles and the subsequent hilarious mishaps.
Still, Grumpy Christmas just doesn’t seem to know how to get there. Especially when she throws drama into the mix between the other characters. The main themes required for this type of film are available – family, gratitude, kindness, etc. But also the film never manages to move more profound than the surface.
Sure, you could do worse when it comes to all the same average Christmas content out there this season. But with so many choices, there’s no real reason to wait in line for Grumpy Christmas. Despite all the best efforts of the cast to make it look good. Grumpy Christmas is a shallow and empty attempt. At a worthwhile holiday film.