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This year Christmas with the Whitfields promises to be one they will never forget. All the siblings have come home for the first time in years and they've brought plenty of baggage with them. As the Christmas tree is trimmed and the lights are hung, secrets are revealed and family bonds are tested. As their lives converge, they join together and help each other discover the true meaning of family.
Touted as a comedy but filled with its share of drama, This Christmas focuses on a middle-class African American family celebrating the holiday together at the matriarch's home. Ma'Dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine) lives with her youngest son Michael (singer Chris Brown) and her longtime boyfriend Joe (Delroy Lindo). Though all the kids know about her relationship, Ma'Dere insists that Joe temporarily move out every holiday season. Her kids don't care that they're cohabitating, but they play along. The Whitfield kids are a hodge podge of trouble: Eldest daughter Lisa (Regina King) tries to convince Ma'Dere to sell her home and business at the behest of her wandering husband; Claude (Columbus Short) is a Marine whose holiday leave actually is a euphemism for AWOL. And even sweet Michael looks like he might break his mama's heart by pursuing a career in music (a nice setup that treats viewers to a few songs by Brown). Ma'Dere's husband had left the family years ago to follow his musical dream and she's afraid her son will follow suit. The Whitfields definitely are a dysfunctional family with numerous skeletons stuffed away in the closet. Though not earth-shattering in terms of plot (one of them is having a relationship with a Caucasian!), the film touts a strong cast that makes some of the implausible elements relatable. King, who grew up on television on shows such as 227, does a superb job adding depth and emotion to a rather unlikeable and bossy character. While not warm and fuzzy, This Christmas is a welcome addition to any holiday viewing. Just make sure small children aren't included in the audience. --Jae-Ha Kim
- Aspect Ratio : 2.40:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medPG13 PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.25 inches; 5.12 Ounces
- Director : Preston Whitmore
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 59 minutes
- Release date : November 11, 2008
- Actors : Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, Keith Robinson
- Dubbed: : French
- Subtitles: : English, French, Spanish
- Producers : Preston Whitmore
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B000YAF4Q6
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,889 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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'A Must See' Anytime of the year!
Well written, brilliantly casted, and fabulously acted. The major, universal family issues were all accounted for, with some delicious new surprises to boot! I was hugely entertained from start to finish! Even the "overrated" traditional "Black movie" Soul Train ending, was a joy! I had fun. I was moved to tears, I wanted that fight between the sisters, I needed the "Make Up" scene between them. God knows, I was living to see the eldest son give Joe his props and blessings, that Madea and Joe could Love "Out Loud". I followed that family into the next TEN YEARS of Xmas gatherings!
The story-line allows all of the characters to have individual lives but brings them all
together just like family should be.
There is drama...like you'll find in every family. But there is also love. Great,simple movie