Movie Reviews: Perfect Holiday




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     Yari Film Group
    A loving divorced mother of three falls for a talented but struggling songwriter.
     Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams, Faizon Love, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard, Rachel True and Jill Marie Jones
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

“The Perfect Holiday” stars two tall and striking actors with the perfect onscreen chemistry. One’s a lonely divorced mother of three (Union) whose ex-husband happens to be a successful rap artist by the name of J-Jizzy (Murphy). The other is a struggling songwriter and part time mall Santa Claus (Chestnut).  It's hardly a stretch to guess how everything turns out once both meet, but director Lance Rivera (“The Cookout”) makes getting there not only fun, but  entertaining.

With a sprinkling with comedy from Murphy, Williams and Faizon Love, “The Perfect Holiday” is amusing but not uproarious. There are laughs, but no big ones --- at least not what you would expect from a cast of that nature which we’ll put down to its PG rating.

In their 4th flick together Union and Chestnut are appealing in their lead roles and seem to have perfected their onscreen chemistry which one would expect with the level of familiarity both have with each other.

“He’s just so easy [to work with] so whenever they ask if I have any suggestions who should be my co-star I am like Morris Chestnut,” claims Union. “I think people for whatever reason like us together and there’s just an ease.”

With a handful of jokes that actually work, the funniest lines are delivered by Murphy’s character, rapper J-Jizzy, who director Rivera insisted on casting for the role.

“Nobody could play that character but Charlie Murphy,” says Rivera. “They put so many people in front of me and I was set on Charlie. He’s Jizzy with something to prove as an actor.”

For Murphy, it was a chance to have some fun and do something he’s never done before in a movie.

“I wanted to be in the movie playing the bad guy and J-Jizzy is the best bad guy I can be and it was an opportunity to just ball out in a film. The character was supposed to be a lot like Puffy and what I did was take everybody – Jay Z, Irv Gotti, Puffy and Russell. He is all of them and some. I took the most out outlandish stuff and he became J-Jizzy.

Narrated (and produced) by Queen Latifah in the magical role of Mother

Christmas opposite Terrence Howard, who plays the amusingly Scrooge-ish Bah-Humbug, “The Perfect Holiday” delivers all the usual pleasures of a Holiday love story.



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