Bet you’re sick of Christmas at this point, aren’t you? Yeah, I’m kind of over it too. But as I previously mentioned, I managed to get a little behind on keeping up with reviewing over the holiday season, so if you’ll just bear with me… And I promise there’s only two more Christmas films on the way before we get stuck into 2023.
Your Christmas or Mine? is, on the surface, another bit of Amazon Original Movie Christmas fodder. Upon further inspection though, what it actually was was really quite charming and enjoyable. (I know, I’m as surprised as you are.) To summarise briefly, the basic premise is that young couple Hayley and James (Cora Kirk and Sex Education‘s Asa Butterfield) are a young couple in love. When they say goodbye at the end of their university semester as they go home for the holidays, each of them – unbeknownst to each other – makes the split decision to get off their respective trains and surprise each other for Christmas. Since they never see one other in the middle, they seem to have inadvertantly “swapped” Christmases, and are forced to spend their winter breaks with their partner’s families.
Sounds basic, sounds cheesy, yes. You’d be right. However, this mix of British humour and feel-good rom-com vibes makes it an easy, wholesome watch. But I will admit, I gave this an extra half star purely for Nana Gladys. Not even sorry.
As aforementioned, if you look purely at its exterior, Your Christmas Or Mine? is Amazon Original filler in its purest form: two young people are in a secret relationship and attempt to surprise each other for Christmas. Snore. Sounds boring. But you know what? There’s actually some good stuff here. First and foremost, the leading couple barely even share a scene together, making the story altogether more interesting than at least half of other Christmas rom-coms. Secondly, the ‘comedy’ part of the romantic-comedy label actually comes through for once, so that’s nice!
Despite some overt stereotyping in regards to the British North/South divide, many of the cultural references in this film are actually quite accurate, which in turn is what makes it funny. Bristolians obsessing over cider? Accurate. Northerners over-decorating their houses with ugly Christmas lights? Accurate. And although the script itself was far too long, there’s at least some originality going on with this one that makes any cheesiness more bearable.
Many viewers will probably be giving this one a go because of Asa Butterfield, but to be honest the whole ensemble is pretty well put together casting-wise. I mean, who doesn’t love a David Bradley sighting? Most surprisingly though, the little-known Cora Kirk is really good here, and she manages to be quite endearing and interesting to watch. I’d be really surprised if she doesn’t start popping up elsewhere in something more substantial after seeing her here.
Honestly, there’s not much else to say about this one. It’s hardly Gone With the Wind in terms of its story or its filmmaking, but overall? It’s a nice little Christmas movie. I’m not saying that it’s anything special as a whole, but for a Christmas rom-com, this is about as good as you’re gonna get.
Your Christmas Or Mine? is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.
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