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Christmas fun for the family

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Published: Fri, December 14, 2007 @ 12:01 a.m.

Rating: **1/2 (out of five)

Familiar Faces: Morris Chestnut (”The Game Plan,” “Ladder 49,” “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid”), Gabrielle Union (”Running with Scissors,” “Breaking All Rules”), Queen Latifah (Needs no introduction).

And the unfamiliar: Rachel True (”Half & Half” 18 episodes, ”Dawson’s Creek,” one episode).

Directed by: Lance Rivera

“The Perfect Holiday” is a laughable, family-friendly movie about a young divorced mother who works her butt off taking care of her kids, house, friends — everybody, but herself.

All Nancy (Union) wanted for Christmas was a nice man to give her a compliment. Frustrated by her mother’s depression, her daughter (Khail Bryant) takes it upon herself to ask Santa to help out her mom. Little did anyone know, the mall Santa was really a man named Benjamin (Chestnut) who was absolutely smitten over Nancy.

Throughout the course of the movie, Nancy’s oldest son, John-John (Malik Hammond), is determined to break up Nancy and Benjamin in hopes of a reunion between Nancy and his father, rap star J-Jizzy (Charles Q. Murphy).

Through multiple pranks and “treatment,” the two battle it out to the end, until something happens that makes everyone realize the true meaning of family.

The entire movie is told through the eyes of Mrs. Christmas (Latifah). While this average-at-best movie will never be considered a Christmas classic, it is something worth renting from the video store on a rainy, or snowy, day.

Chestnut is truly captivating throughout the flick. His portrayal of a young, struggling songwriter will melt the heart of any female in the audience. Union plays just as good a role, and you find yourself rooting for single mothers everywhere. There is chemistry between the two, but the kids in the movie really steal the show.

Although there is a moral lesson in the end that I don’t necessarily agree with, I would still recommend this as a clean, family movie. Guys across America will hate it, so don’t beg your boyfriend to watch it with you unless you want to be single for Christmas.

Click here for showtimes.

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