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"THIS CHRISTMAS"
(2007) (Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate None Heavy Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None *None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Heavy Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: A family must deal with their idiosyncrasies and issues when they all together for the first time in years at Christmas.
PLOT:
It's Christmastime and various family members are assembling at the L.A. home of Shirley "Ma' Dere" Whitfield (LORETTA DEVINE). Long separated from her musician husband who abandoned her and the kids years ago, she's still raising her youngest son, Michael "Baby" Whitfield (CHRIS BROWN), while enjoying living with her longtime boyfriend, Joseph Black (DELROY LINDO).

He's long drawn the ire of oldest son Quentin (IDRIS ELBA), a musician who's come home for the first time in years, with thugs Mo (DAVID BANNER) and Dude (RONNIE WARNER) not far behind, intent on collecting the $25,000 he owes them. He's not the only son who's in trouble, however, as Claude (COLUMBUS SHORT) turns out to be AWOL from the Marines, also harboring the secret that he's married to Sandi (JESSICA STROUP). He hasn't told anyone yet as he isn't sure what his mom will think about him marrying a white woman.

Other family issues involve daughter Lisa (REGINA KING) trying to convince her siblings to pressure their mother to sell her dry cleaning business. Of course, most realize that's the doing of her controlling husband, Malcolm Moore (LAZ ALSONSO), who wants her cut of the proceeds to fund his latest business endeavor.

Among his critics is NYC director Kelli Whitfield (SHARON LEAL) whose interest is diverted when she meets and spends the night with fireman Gerald (MEKHI PHIFER). Other new romance is present in the form of youngest daughter and current college student Melanie "Mel" Whitfield (LAUREN LONDON) who's brought her new boyfriend Devean Brooks (KEITH ROBINSON) home for the holidays. As the big day approaches, the family members and the others must contend with their various idiosyncrasies and issues.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're looking for a Christmas related movie or are fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For comic sexual content and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DELROY LINDO plays Ma' Dere's live-in boyfriend, something of the unofficial patriarch of the family who must contend with Quentin's long-standing dislike of him.
  • IDRIS ELBA plays Ma' Dere's oldest son, a musician who hasn't been home in years, and who arrives there with some thugs in tow due to owing them money. He smokes and drinks some, and has a bad attitude toward Joseph.
  • LORETTA DEVINE plays the family matriarch who's happy to have everyone home, but must deal with the behavior and attitudes of her kids and others.
  • CHRIS BROWN plays the youngest Whitfield child who's been keeping his musical interests secret from his mother for fearing of how she'll react. He sports some tattoos, and turns out to be a good singer.
  • LAZ ALSONSO plays Lisa's controlling husband who's pressuring her to get Ma' Dere to sell the family business so that he'll have access to that money. It turns out he's cheating on Lisa, and he uses some profanity.
  • REGINA KING plays his wife who puts up with his behavior until she finally wises up late in the film. She clashes with Kelli over various issues, and drinks some.
  • COLUMBUS SHORT plays her brother who's AWOL from the Marines, is newly married but keeps his white wife secret from the others, and ends up in more trouble when he pulls his gun on another man in a club.
  • SHARON LEAL plays his sister, a director in New York who ends up spending the night with Gerald after having just met him in a club. She clashes with Lisa over various issues and uses some profanity.
  • LAUREN LONDON plays her younger sister who's in college and has brought Devean home to meet the family, and attempts to have sex with him in the kitchen pantry, but is interrupted.
  • KEITH ROBINSON plays that boyfriend who must contend with friendly harassment from his sister's brothers.
  • MEKHI PHIFER plays a fireman who meets Kelli, has her spend the night with him, and then falls for her.
  • JESSICA STROUP plays Claude's secret, new and white wife who arrives at the home (after being squirreled away in a hotel room) only to find that Claude is in jail.
  • DAVID BANNER and RONNIE WARNER play two thugs who are after Quentin for money owed to them. Something of comic relief characters, they do get physical with him from time to time.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramedy that's rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 8 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. All sorts of sexually related dialogue is present, sex is attempted but interrupted or occurs off screen, while a woman is twice seen in a very small bikini and panties, another is seen with a vibrator (but not in use), and some clothed, but sexualized, solo dancing occurs (played for comedy).

    Violence includes people punching or otherwise striking others, as well as a threat made with a gun. Some behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, while various bad attitudes are present, as are various tense family moments, including a strained and then failing marriage. One character smokes several times, while he and others drink in various scenes.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a club, as does Quentin.
  • Various family members have wine with their meal. After that, various people have wine, some beer, and at least one drink is held.
  • About Michael's phone ringing, someone states that it rings more than a drug dealer's.
  • Some of the siblings drink in a club where miscellaneous people drink.
  • Quentin has a drink, while Devean has a beer.
  • We see Malcolm in a hotel with another woman, both in robes, holding drinks (thus he's cheating on Lisa).
  • Lisa downs a shot of liquor, and when someone says something isn't funny, she says she'll keep drinking until it is. Ma' Dere then tells Kelli to go have a drink with her sister.
  • About her predicament, Sandi says all she wants is a stiff drink, but she can't since she's pregnant.
  • We see bottles of champagne on a dinner table, and various family members make toasts with glasses of that.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Malcolm has a bad attitude toward Devean, and he's controlling over Lisa, having her heat his meal and even cut his food for him (in front of the rest of her family). He also wants Lisa to persuade the others to convince Ma' Dere to sell her business, so that he gets their share of the profit for his latest business endeavor.
  • Some viewers might not like it when Quentin says he doesn't believe in God, or at least Joseph's God.
  • Quentin doesn't like Joseph and isn't shy about that feeling. He even tells Joseph to stay clear while he (Quentin) is there, but Joseph say that's for Ma' Dere to decide.
  • About Sandi, a guy in a nightclub tells Claude that white girls might not have much "junk in the trunk," but they do have strong knees (or something like that).
  • After a guy says something insulting about Sandi, Claude punches the guy to the floor and pulls his service revolver on him.
  • We hear that Claude is AWOL.
  • We see Malcolm in a hotel with another woman, both in robes, holding drinks (thus he's cheating on Lisa).
  • Mo and Dude are thugs who are trying to collect $25,000 owed by Quentin. They rough him up at times.
  • Claude doesn't tell his family that Sandi is his wife (for worry of how they'll react, especially since she's white).
  • Lisa and Kelli bicker to the point that Lisa pushes Kelli back and the two then end up tussling on the ground in the rain until separated (played for light comedy).
  • One thug wants to spend some time with Lisa, suggestively saying something about if she doesn't scream, he won't holler.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • After a guy says something insulting about Sandi, Claude punches the guy to the floor and pulls his service revolver on him.
  • A thug hits Quentin and then kicks him, before holding him in a headlock, allowing the other thug to punch him repeatedly in the gut. That continues until Joseph shows up, grabs a handgun from one thug, and then partially pays them off to leave.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • After a guy says something insulting about Sandi, Claude punches the guy to the floor and pulls his service revolver on him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I guess you're sh*t out of luck," "Can you believe this sh*t?" "Ah sh*t," "You think you're the only one around here getting your freak on?" "Junk in the trunk," "Get some," "Ho" (whore), "Ho-ho-ho" (again for whore), "You can't make nothing but reservations," "Homes," "Ya'll punks," "Uh, hello?" "Same damn reason," "Am I trippin'?" "I'll be damned," "Pissed off," "Give me a break," "Hell no," "Bitch slap you into the middle of next week," "An ugly ass face," "Give Santa some sugar," "Who the hell is Sandi?" "Damn, girl," "Pretty damn pathetic," "You damn sure gonna listen," "Sum-bitch," "Get his ass up" and "Have you lost your mind?"
  • Michael sports various tattoos, while Quentin has at least one.
  • Finally fed up with Quentin (who isn't present), Lisa allows his truck to roll free and fall off a short precipice down onto the concrete basin of the Los Angeles River, landing on its roof.
  • To get back at her husband for cheating on her, Lisa waits until Malcolm is in the shower before pouring an entire bottle of baby oil on the floor. He gets out and slips and can't get up, thus allowing her to strike him repeatedly with a belt.
  • In a dancing scene at the end (where individuals dance between two lines of people), some of the women do some sexy or sexualized dancing, prompting one guy to remind her that this is a PG-13 film.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None, but a song playing in a nightclub had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of it potentially containing some sort of objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 8 "s" words, 4 slang terms for sex ("get your freak on," "get some" and "gave him some"), 12 damns, 5 hells, 2 asses, 7 uses of "Oh my God," 5 of "Oh God" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see the top of Joseph's bare chest in bed, while Ma' Dere shows a little cleavage out of bed.
  • We see Michael shirtless.
  • About Ma' Dere living with Joseph, Mel reacts in shock, with another sibling saying she (Mel) isn't the only one "around here getting your freak on," and another says he doesn't want to think about Ma' Dere in that regard (using the same term again).
  • Malcolm gives Lisa the look that he wants sex, but she's brushing her teeth and he gives up quickly. Later, she walks out in just a very small bra and panties (showing cleavage and at least half of her bare butt cheeks), but he pretends to be asleep and thus nothing happens.
  • Kelli shows a little cleavage, and while unpacking, she pulls out a vibrator that she briefly turns on, but puts in a drawer when her mom walks up. After their brief talk, Ma' Dere asks Kelli if she needs batteries, thus embarrassing Kelli.
  • Mel and Devean do some passionate kissing and then go into the kitchen panty to have sex. They kiss there and just start to undress when they hear Quentin and then others enter the kitchen (thus nothing happens).
  • Kelli shows cleavage.
  • About Sandi, a guy in a nightclub tells Claude that white girls might not have much "junk in the trunk," but they do have strong knees (or something like that).
  • Kelli, showing some cleavage, sneaks home the morning after meeting Gerald, thus meaning she spent the night with him. Mel and Lisa then grill her about that, asking if she slept with him (she replies that with a man that good, why waste that on sleeping) and gave him "some" (with her replying that he did most of the giving). One then says she hopes Kelli used protection, while Lisa doesn't approve of such behavior. When Gerald shows up the next day dressed as Santa, Mel makes a joke about Kelli sleeping with Santa. Moments later, and alone, Gerald wants Kelli to sit on his lap (doing the Santa bit), and she then asks, "Then what?" He replies that it depends on whether she's been good or naughty, she replies he should know as Santa, and he completes that by playfully saying she was naughty the night before. After he leaves, one of the women says, "You slept with Santa" and Kelli smiles when she says that technically, she guess she did. The double entendre "Ho-ho-ho" is then said about her.
  • When Ma' Dere says they still need to make cookies for the kids to give to Santa, one of the women playfully jokes that Santa's already had Kelli's "cookies" (meaning her sleeping with him the night before).
  • We see Malcolm in a hotel with another woman, both in robes, holding drinks (thus he's cheating on Lisa).
  • We hear that not only is Sandi Claude's surprise wife, but she's also pregnant.
  • One thug wants to spend some time with Lisa, suggestively saying something about if she doesn't scream, he won't holler.
  • Mel gets into bed with Devean wearing a small, midriff-revealing top, while we see Gerald snuggled up in the spoons position with Kelli in another bed (she in a nightgown, he still fully clothed).
  • Kelli, who shows some cleavage, and Gerald do some passionate kissing.
  • We see Lisa wearing the same bra and panties from before, with some sort of lace lingerie over that. She uses that as a trap for her husband, with him undressing to shower before sex (we see his bare chest), with him saying she's going to "get it" when he gets out. Meanwhile, she removes the lace thing (thus offering a fuller view of her in the bra and panties) and then gets dressed.
  • Lisa shows some cleavage.
  • In a dancing scene at the end (where individuals dance between two lines of people), some of the women do some sexy or sexualized dancing, prompting one guy to remind her that this is a PG-13 film.
  • SMOKING
  • Quentin smokes at least 4 times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Ma' Dere's husband, a musician, walked out long ago. Later, Rosie the housekeeper talks about the apparently new divorce, but Ma' Dere says she doesn't want to tell the kids now.
  • We hear that it's the first time in 4 years that Quentin has been home.
  • Lisa admits that she knows Malcolm is cheating on her, but figures she's stuck in that situation (with kids and no college degree).
  • Lisa and Kelli bicker to the point that Lisa pushes Kelli back and the two then end up tussling on the ground in the rain until separated (played for light comedy).
  • There's some tension between Quentin and his mother.
  • Michael briefly has a tense scene with his mom about wanting to pursue singing, while she forbids him to do that (since her musician husband left all of them in the past to pursue music).
  • Finally fed up with Quentin (who isn't present), Lisa allows his truck to roll free and fall off a short precipice down onto the concrete basin of the Los Angeles River, landing on its roof.
  • To get back at her husband for cheating on her, Lisa waits until Malcolm is in the shower before pouring an entire bottle of baby oil on the floor. He gets out and slips and can't get up, thus allowing her to strike him repeatedly with a belt.
  • Lisa states that she's filed for divorce from her husband.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Family get-togethers during holidays and other times.
  • We hear that it's the first time in 4 years that Quentin has been home.
  • We hear that Claude is AWOL.
  • Lisa admits that she knows Malcolm is cheating on her, but figures she's stuck in that situation (with kids and no college degree).
  • The comment that at the end of the day, all one has is their family.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Quentin bashes a bottle over a thug's head, runs off, pushes some other people out of the way, and then crashes through a closed window.
  • After a guy says something insulting about Sandi, Claude punches the guy to the floor and pulls his service revolver on him.
  • A thug punches Quentin in the gut, and then does so again.
  • Lisa and Kelli bicker to the point that Lisa pushes Kelli back and the two then end up tussling on the ground in the rain until separated (played for light comedy).
  • Finally fed up with Quentin (who isn't present), Lisa allows his truck to roll free and fall off a short precipice down onto the concrete basin of the Los Angeles River, landing on its roof.
  • A thug hits Quentin and then kicks him, before holding him in a headlock, allowing the other thug to punch him repeatedly in the gut. That continues until Joseph shows up, grabs a handgun from one thug, and then partially pays them off to leave.
  • To get back at her husband for cheating on her, Lisa waits until Malcolm is in the shower before pouring an entire bottle of baby oil on the floor. He gets out and slips and can't get up, thus allowing her to strike him repeatedly with a belt.



  • Reviewed October 30, 2007 / Posted November 21, 2007

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