Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Perfect Holiday

It's a good time to be Santa in Hollywood especially if you're a sexy, black actor with a loyal following. A little less than a month ago, I urged you to see This Christmas. Well now, I'm going to push again for your support at the box office for new film, The Perfect Holiday starring Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams, and Faizon Love. It hits theaters Wednesday, December 12th.

In the tradition of The Preacher's Wife, Hollywood has gifted us again with a really cute Christmas story complete with a little romance, humour, cute kids, a great cast, a good story, and some Christmas magic. There's no violence, no displays of alternative uses of baby oil and leather belts, cursing, semi-nudity, nor steamy sex scenes for the conservatives to complain or raise an eyebrow about.

So why should you consider seeing The Perfect Holiday? Because every black movie doesn't have to be highly dramatic, sexualized, or comedic to be enjoyable! Or does it? We're so programmed to think so that studios know what we'll pay to see before we see it. It's all based on a formula, people--one that seemingly guarantees a good return on the studios investment. And yes, The Perfect Holiday fits into that formula just as any other movie.

So again, why should you pay to see this film in the theater? Because if you've paid to see other films of less quality and suitable family content, why not support one with high production value created specifically for you AND your little elves to see? Really, just how often does a black child see him or herself featured prominently in a positive film about Christmas? Marinate on that after reading my take on the film.

Yes, Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union are together again. And to answer the question, "Aren't there any other black actors in Hollywood that could play their roles?" Yes, lots of them. But would you pay to see two unknown actors in lead roles at a theater near you? Survey says! No! Chesnutt and Union are tried and true as actors. They look great together, are very believable on screen romantically, and give great performances. If you want to see more unknown or new faces in lead roles, visit Wal-Mart's DVD section AFTER you finishing reading this post, listening to the cast interviews, and emailing this post to friends.

Chestnut portrays Benjamin, Santa by day and struggling songwriter by night. All he wants for Christmas is a record deal. Union is Nancy, a divorced mother of 3, looking out for her kids' happiness at the expense of her own. Her only heart's desire for Christmas is a genuine compliment from a stranger; you know it's the little things that means so much, especially to woman barely holding on to her identity outside of motherhood.

To get the Christmas ball rolling, Nancy's adorable daughter, Emily (Khail Bryant) enlists Santa's a.k.a Benjamin's help. Assisting him behind-the-scenes, literally, are two angels. Here's where that Hollywood formula kicks in again. The angels are portrayed by Executive Producer, Queen Latifah, and Oscar nominated, Terrance Howard (this brother never sleeps!). With a little Christmas magic, this bad angel/good angel duo try to bring a little romance to the lives of Benjamin and Nancy. However, their plans get thwarted by Benjamin's secret identity, Nancy's mischievous oldest son John-John (Malik Hammond), and Benjamin's potential record deal with her ex-husband J-Jizzy (Charlie Murphy), a flashy bad boy, rap artist.

Bringing more comedy to the mix is exhibitionist...I mean...comedic actor, Faizon Love. He's obviously large and in charge as Santa's elf and Benjamin's friend, Jamal. And playing J-Jizzy's record label exec is Katt Williams as Delicious (that's his name, not his flavor, but then again who knows?). Scenes with him and Murphy are definitely some off the funniest in the film. Lastly, rounding out the cast are much missed sitcom actresses, Rachel True and Jill Jones as Nancy's best friends.

Overall, The Perfect Holiday may not make you cry or want to eat or sing, but it does supply audiences with a movie that can be enjoyed by anyone at nearly any age. So, prove to the studios that African-American movie tastes are just as varied as any other race of people. Yes, we like high drama and high comedy, but we also enjoy seeing ourselves in non-traditional settings too. I'm dreaming of a not-so white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know and the ones I don't.

Listen to interviews with the director Lance Rivera and the cast:

Lance Rivera

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Charlie Murphy

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Katt Williams

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Gabrielle Union

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Morris Chestnut

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To see a trailer or visit the film's website click on the image below:

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