Just Another Christmas review – living up to the title again and again

December 4, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Film Reviews, Netflix
2

Summary

Just Another Christmas makes a determined effort to freshen up the time loop conceit, but it still has an overly familiar Scrooge-style arc at its core.

2

Summary

Just Another Christmas makes a determined effort to freshen up the time loop conceit, but it still has an overly familiar Scrooge-style arc at its core.

You really can’t move for Christmas content on Netflix this year, and the unfortunately-titled Just Another Christmas is indeed just another Christmas movie. It’s from Brazil, though, which at least makes for a bit of novelty, and it mashes together a hodgepodge of genres, taking the typical Scrooge figure realizing the value of the holidays narrative and sprinkling it with some memory loss and time loop trappings just in case you didn’t see Palm Springs this year.

Your requisite Grinch figure is Jorge (Leandro Hassum), who takes a nasty fall on Christmas Eve and wakes up a year later with no memory of the intervening 12 months. The film’s best gimmick is the character trying to figure out what some version of himself he can’t recall has gotten up to during that period, and it’s a neat-ish gimmick to liven up the usual Groundhog Day-style time loop conceit. Hassum, a reasonably successful comic frontman, delivers a gratingly loud performance in the lead role that is working to sell the Dickensian contempt for the holidays, just so long as you’re willing and able to overlook the obvious performative excess, which unfortunately I wasn’t.

Writer Paulo Cursino and director Roberto Santucci do endeavour to do some interesting things with the time loop gimmick, including clueing some of the supporting characters into what’s happening, so that whole aspect isn’t as tedious as you might think. But the humour in Just Another Christmas is scattershot at best, the central character arc is overly familiar, and the underlying messaging is played out. This might be the type of thing you’d gravitate towards if you were in a festive mood and had nothing else to watch, but with Netflix’s current calendar you’re more likely to have too much to watch. Just Another Christmas will fall, somewhat deservedly, to the very bottom of the stocking.


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