Who's in It:
Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams, Faizon Love, Queen Latifah, Terrence Howard
The Basics: Ex-wife of a famous rapper falls for a struggling songwriter over Christmas. The songwriter is also secretly a mall Santa who hooked up with her because her daughter sat on his lap and asked "Santa" to find mommy a boyfriend (which, if you think about it, is a pretty ingenious way to score that hot divorced MILF). He's also lying about being a songwriter because (a) the ex-wife wants a regular guy, not a creative one, (b) he's a liar, and (c) the brain-damaged script couldn't come up with any other reason why these two beautiful people wouldn't naturally be together already.
What's the Deal? I love it when the plot is some bad guy comes along and ruins and/or stops Christmas from coming. This movie's not about that
but I think maybe director/co-screenwriter Lance Rivera fancies himself at the level of powerful bad guy. Like maybe he foisted this upon the world to make everyone who witnesses it want to gouge out their own eyes and let wolves gnaw off their ears so that they never have to see or hear about Christmas again. That's what I think.
How You Know That It's Truly a Difficult Life for Talented African-American Actors: Union and Chestnut are the stars. These are folks who can act. They have proven this in other less cruddy films and TV shows. And here they are, swimming in a sea of misery. Meanwhile, Murphy stars as the rapper, whose name is J. Jizzy. That's an unsettling thing to hear child actors saying.
How You Know That Latifah and Howard Have Some Kind of Skeletons in Their Respective Closets: They are also in this film, in mind-bogglingly stupid cameos, she as the magical and all-knowing narrator "Mrs. Christmas" and he as the mostly silent "Bah Humbug." Like, they'll pop up in the action as candy-store employees, and she'll say something directly to the camera like, "It's gonna be a sweet Christmas!" and then he pours red jellybeans all over the floor in protest. I wonder what those incriminating photographs must look like.
Is Actually Worse Than: Santa Claus: the Movie, Jingle All the Way and Deck the Halls. Is also worse than your house catching fire on Christmas Eve.