Ernie Barbarash's I'm Glad It's Christmas is eminently forgettable. Here is yet another Christmas film about saving the Holiday Magic that fails to save itself from mediocrity. Like many films of this genre, it makes the same mistake of adopting a cutesy tone for the viewers' "comfort." Oh, it's comfortable, all right, so much so that I found myself occasionally sleeping. The faces of the characters in the movie can be replaced with a smiling emoji because, for them, nothing is overly troubling. When Chloe (Jessica Lowndes) is rejected in the auditions, she expresses her disappointment with a sad countenance that only lasts briefly. All the doubts and fears evaporate from the screen by the time we watch the next scene.
I guess these movies are meant to be predictable. They want to be as warm and comforting as a warm blanket on a snowy night. But shouldn't the filmmakers give this formula a new spin? I am really tired of these genial Christmas movies. While watching Best. Christmas. Ever! recently, I got so bored that I wanted Charlotte to start an affair with Valentino. At least, this would have pushed the movie into a different territory. The idea of an R-rated Christmas sex comedy with Heather Graham in the lead sounded appealing to me. But Mary Lambert played it safe by treading on the path of unoriginality. Barbarash, with writers Joel Canfield, Lisa Canfield, and Steve Gottfried, also follows the same old routine.
Put Best. Christmas. Ever! and I'm Glad It's Christmas side-by-side, and you will realize that the former is better than the latter. Barbarash has no control over the tone of this film. Or let's just say he doesn't know how to give a tone to his scenes. Everything is dipped in an indistinguishable, benign mood. The emotional graph is nothing but a straight line. This uniformity seeps into the performances. Jason (Paul Greene) looks at Chloe, Cora (Gladys Knight), and Christine (Sierra Wooldridge) with the same gentle eyes. The chemistry he shares with Chloe can also be glimpsed in that parlor scene between him and Christine. And so, once again, I wished Christine and Jason would start an affair to add spice to this bland dish. See, I become weary while watching these movies. I only want them to get out of their comfort zone for their own benefit. What's the point of serving an old wine in an old bottle for the millionth time?
I can tell you a little bit more about what happens in the film, though it would be an exercise in futility. We all know I'm Glad It's Christmas will head towards a happy ending. The problems will be solved, the lovers will unite, and everyone will exit with bright smiles - except for viewers like me who want something different from what is already available online (you can find many such Christmas movies following a similar template in the Netflix library). When the end credits began rolling, I muttered, "I am glad it's over."
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