Christmas 2013: Christmas Every Day
After ruining everybody's Christmas, Billy Jackson is forced to relive the magical day until he turns himself around in some sort of creepy reimagining of the famous Wizzard song.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ The Christmas spirit on display here is that of small-town America: where the neighbours all know each other, and the community gets together to watch its members tell the nativity story, as they do every year. It's sweet, but Billy Jackson's having none of it.
As you might expect, Billy learns to change his ways. However, he's initially driven much more by a desire to get out of the infernal loop than to actually spread good-will unto all men. His final day and escaping comes, I think, out of that desire, with the good deeds a fortunate by-product. In the end, he's a changed man, but perhaps not for the right reasons.
Ho-ho-who's in it?
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ The acting in this isn't exemplary. The main kid fulfils his role reasonably, but perhaps just because an angsty teen doesn't have to stretch too far to portray an angsty teen. A nice surprise for me was seeing Robert Hays in a production over than Airplane! which, until now, was my only knowledge of his work.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Again, this film pushes a bit too hard into being anti-Christmas. Billy's uncle, aunt and cousins come over, and there's quite some tension there, as there is with his school bully. Whilst these are overcome, because of the repetitive nature of these living-the-same-day-over-and-over films, we are reintroduced to the situation every fifteen minutes or so and reminded of just why Billy wants to get back at the bully. That tension takes it down in the family fun rankings.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Fair enough work put in here: there are some carol singers who show up occasionally and there's the singing at the nativity pageant, as well as a rollicking song around the piano! All good stuff. The only caveat here is that, again due to the film's nature, you hear the same songs over and over again. But then, that's fairly in keeping with the Christmas spirit. Indeed, it's now Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" that we do hear everyday, and this review neatly wraps itself up, like some sort of prepared Christmas present.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I think these sort of repeating-a-day films should be really easy to write. Groundhog Day is top of the class, pushing out a bit and doing something interesting with it. Christmas Every Day is near the other end of the spectrum: it's not bad, it's just quite plain. As Billy discovers problems, you can be guaranteed he'll fix them by the end of the film, and there are no surprises along the way. It's fine for a bit of Christmas escapism though.
Last week, Richard Herring wrote an article in the Metro asking what it would be like if Christmas did occur every day.