VOD film review: Your Christmas or Mine?
Ivan Radford | On 24, Dec 2022
Director: Jim O’Hanlon
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk, Daniel Mays, Alex Jennings, David Bradley, Harriet Walter, Mark Heap
Everyone has their own festive traditions and ideas of what Christmas is. That’s never clearer than the moment you spend time with another family at Christmas, so it’s no surprise that Christmas movies have tapped into that disjunct countless times over the years. The latest to do so is Your Christmas or Mine?, a rom-com that sees a young a couple accidentally play family-swap for the holidays.
We begin with students James (Asa Butterfield) and Hayley (Cora Kirk) bidding farewell ahead of the Christmas break, only to realise that they don’t want to spend time apart at all. And so, hoping to make their own Christmas film-worthy moment, they race to board each other’s trains – only to wind up missing each other between platforms, leaving them stuck heading in opposite directions to their other half’s Christmas. It’s a smart, playful undercutting of seasonal cinema expectations, so it’s a bit disappointing when Your Christmas or Mine? doesn’t follow through on it and instead plays the rest of the film as safe and conventional as possible. And so we’re treated to a bunch of eccentric relatives (naughty grandma, haughty father) and oddball village locals (Mark Heap as a train conductor, David Bradley wielding a shotgun), all of whom feel too familiar to really leave an impression.
If the script is blander than required, though, director Jim O’Hanlan draws out some warm performances from the cast. Asa Butterfield reminds us that he has the potential to be the next generation’s Hugh Grant with a perfectly awkward politeness – a running joke involving a gilet is a nice touch. Cora Kirk, meanwhile, has enough festive goodwill to counteract the delightfully frosty Alex Jennings as James’ dad. While Daniel Mays, Harriet Walter and more, are lost in the ensemble, the central performances and charmingly snow-covered visuals make this a likeable, if unmemorable, Christmas getaway. It’s a refreshingly low-key change to the increasingly contrived Christmas movies of recent years, but whether it’ll be on your Christmas watchlist or mine next year is not yet clear.