In the annals of Noel films so wincingly, gratingly, insultingly bad that a lump of coal would be vastly preferable, The Perfect Holiday ranks alongside Surviving Christmas for sheer unwatchability. Rarely have I worked so hard to suppress the gag reflex.
How can a film with dreamy Morris Chestnut, darling Gabrielle Union and those human sparkplugs Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard backfire so badly?
Let us count the ways:
(1) Sappy script. Union plays Nancy, estranged wife of hip-hop huckster J-Jizzy (Charlie Murphy), lonely and looking for love. Her adorable daughter Emily (Khail Bryant) asks Benjamin (Chestnut), an earnest songwriter working as a mall Santa, to send mom a man. Benjamin asks out Nancy. Misunderstandings ensue.