The Couple Home for Christmas The Remix The Sequel: The Holidays Strike Back: A Film Review
Issue 8, Volume 113
By Benson Chen
Hey, Flogang! I know that I said that there would be no review this week because I would be celebrating Christmas with my family, but I felt the need to get this one out to my fans, all 31 of you guys.
This season’s HOTTEST Hallmark Holiday flick stars a digitally de-aged Macaulay Culkin as a precocious nine-year-old boy named Justin, who wishes that his mom, Denise (played by Vanessa Hudgens), would just be like her happy old self again.
After an ugly divorce with her ex-husband Hunter Chadington, her belief in true love shattered, she now distracts herself with that big-city workaholic life. Along with juggling severe alcoholism, I guess you could say she’s a LITTLE bit too busy for Christmas and for buying her son food and water. However, she soon learns the Christmas trials and tribulations of love, hope, AND Christmas after she falls in love with small-town boy Dennis, played by Michael Cera, on Christmas day.
Our boy Dennis, after being fired from multiple jobs for just being such a darn friendly and pettable guy, has his whole world flipped upside down when he meets Denise. Though she rejects him the first few times, he eventually wins her over when he clarifies that he isn’t actually a lanky little girl with a bowl cut.
In a series of montages, they go to a movie and on a dinner date, spray paint and hotwire Hunter Chadington’s car for a joyride, and, most importantly, fall in love, all within a 10-hour period. Mind you, Justin has been tagging along this entire time, earning his screen time quip by quip like an indebted servant.
Dennis has never felt this way about anyone in his life and is ready to propose to Denise that night. Dennis publicly asks Denise to marry him, and Denise accepts (at this point in the movie, my entire family began collectively sobbing). The impossibly large crowd that forms to applaud around the couple somehow has a person who is able to legally officiate a marriage, and so they are wed on the spot.
However, before the two can go immediately fornicate in a Mickey Mouse-themed hotel room on their honeymoon to Disneyland, Dennis catches Denise talking to Hunter. He immediately files for divorce and gains 50 percent of her assets, along with custody of her child. Worst of all, he now believes that love, Christmas, and God aren’t real!
Five minutes before Dennis boards the airplane to Sack, Idaho, and gives up the big city life to return to systematically deboning cows on his ranch, Denise finds out about his plans to leave. Through the power of love and police brutality, she arrives at the airport in less than four minutes, with police escorts tackling and tasing anyone in her way. She is able to convince Dennis to stay by saying that he is the true Christmas holiday husband she had made along the way and that she broke his heart because she was insecure about her alopecia. To that, Dennis simply smiled knowingly and took off HIS wig, revealing that he, too, could guide boats to land with the glare of his head.
I ADORED this movie; my kids and I have watched this at least five times, and I’ve watched it alone 10 MORE times. Though I spoiled the entire film, I can promise you that it never gets old. NEVER. My only complaint is that in some shots, you can see the CGI on Macaulay Culkin start to fray, and there’s just a very short grown man in the background. This issue can be overlooked because I “love” short “people.”
Other reviewers have called it “a phenomenal masterclass in sound design in film” and “the greatest LGBTQIA+ film to date.” My friend’s dog died right after she viewed this film, and she hated that animal. After seeing this movie, my brother discovered that all the skin tags on his forearms disappeared. My uncle walked in on me watching this film and asked who the actor for the cutie on the screen was, and I responded “Micheal Cera.” He’s been locked in his bedroom watching this movie for at least a week now.