There’s random moments of quality, but even by Christmas movie standards, Miss Me This Christmas is a misfire.
On the Hallmark/Lifetime front there’s not a lot of Christmas movies featuring a minority cast. It’s not like folks can watch This Christmas and Almost Christmas every day in December. It doesn’t take long in watching Miss Me to determine this won’t be making the annual rotation.
Regina (Erica Ashe) and Franklin (Redaric Williams) are approaching the seven-year itch after getting married on Christmas. After a random series of forced moments of miscommunication, Regina wants a divorce.
Yvette Foy’s script doesn’t do a sufficient job of explaining Regina’s side. Regina comes off jealous, paranoid, unreasonable and amazingly immature. If either she would have a conversation with Franklin without going into histrionics, the drama would be over immediately. But Regina has to look stupid in order to set up the movie. That’s not the best look for the main character in a romance drama.
To snap Regina out of pending divorce doldrums, her best friend, Trish (Eva Marcille) invites her to stay at her luxury apartment. Trish is a weird hybrid of every romantic comedy best friend who one moment is encouraging Regina to move on from Franklin and the next suggesting she needs to fight to get him back. Thanks to Trish’s inconsistent portrayal, Marcille can’t quite get a handle on her with her performance.
Ashe is likewise hampered by the script, but she’s able to overcome the flaws in logic to provide Regina some depth. She’s the best part of the film and would be even more engaging with better material.
When a charming neighbor, Ulysses (Allen Maldonado) starts pouring on the charm, Regina gets conflicted. Until she conveniently keeps catching Franklin in ‘compromising’ positions with his ex-girlfriend Alex (Christina Leucas). Director Kenny Young has to go to ridiculous lengths to stage these wacky and frequently unrealistic scenarios for Franklin and Regina to get jealous over the others’ actions. The timing is almost always off as if the characters have to freeze while conversations occur so the other can catch them.
Maybe that wouldn’t be such a rough sell if these side romances were remotely believable. Ulysses is too eager to please, compliment and always say the right thing. He’s more of an ideal than a character. Alex is even less fleshed out and the film completely fails at explaining why she’d still be carrying the torch for a guy who’s been married for six years.
Young doesn’t seem too hamstrung by the limited scope of the budget. Production wise, the film looks solid even if some sets like the hallway don’t properly sell the illusion of an expensive hotel.
Miss Me This Christmas is a companion film to You Can’t Fight Christmas. The concept of a shared Christmas movie universe is inspired. It’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Photo Credit: TVOne