We haven’t seen Asa Butterfield in a prepare station since Hugo, however Your Christmas or Mine? (now on Amazon Prime Video) rapidly corrects that. He and Cora Kirk (Prey for the Devil) headline this mildly wacky comedy about younger lovers pressured to be aside for the vacations till they resolve they must be collectively however discover themselves in a goofy circumstance that retains them aside. The premise sounds extra Hallmark than high-budget, however right here’s hoping the execution transcends its made-for-TV-isms.

The Gist: Subtitle: “CHRISTMAS EVE… EVE.” A prepare platform. Hayley (Kirk) and James (Butterfield) can barely bear to half. They’re a couple months into their relationship and are nearly to the purpose the place they use the massive L-word. James very almost stutters it out, however the whistle blows and he or she has to vamoose. They each board their very own trains after which they each make the impulsive resolution to hop on the opposite’s prepare and shock! They find yourself at one another’s houses, unsuccessfully making an attempt to get a phrase in edgewise with the opposite’s households, who they’ve by no means met – nonetheless a bit early; they usually’ve been away at school – which is perhaps OK, since secrets and techniques have been and are being and hopefully will proceed to be saved. And Hayley’s misplaced cellular phone makes this case extra sophisticated.

Out within the nation, Hayley learns that James is definitely Hubert James, and likewise grossly wealthy with very outdated cash, since his father (Alex Jennings) is the Earl of Glumfertster or wherever. Of course, the outdated man initially believes Hayley is The Help. He additionally doesn’t take kindly to individuals barging into his solemn empty large buzzkilling home, often smiling and having fun with Christmastime and never being serially glum. Meanwhile, within the metropolis, James learns that Hayley’s household is loud and boisterous: Her two youthful brothers comically try and mug him exterior, her father (Daniel Mays) drives an obnoxious ice cream truck, her grandparents grump round, her aunt is randy and might’t wait to sidle up subsequent to him on the sofa with a cup of nog. CHAOS REIGNS.

A winter storm prevents our principals from additional journey. They ultimately talk with one another with an help from a landline. Hayley’s mad that she didn’t know her boyfriend was a Royal, and he or she’s starting to piece collectively that James is meant to be at a navy academy as an alternative of performing-arts college, and his father doesn’t know that but. James is overwhelmed by her household and their nutty vacation traditions; she begs him to not reveal that they’re relationship, so he says he’s homosexual, which helps with the handsy auntie. She somberly sups soup with the Earl and his grimace. He endures a spa day with the women. Will this maddening mix-up ever be straightened out? NO SPOILERS, however give it about 95 minutes and it most likely will.

'Your Christmas or Mine?'
Photo: Amazon Prime Video

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: File this one subsequent to the final British Christmas rom-com I noticed that charmed me regardless of its silliness: Emilia Clarke named-after-a-Wham!-song-com Last Christmas


Performance Worth Watching: Kirk and Butterfield is perhaps enjoyable to hang around with in the event that they had been collectively extra typically as an alternative of at disparate ends of a contrived plot.

Memorable Dialogue: Hayley will get a transient tour of the manse by way of the housekeeper:

Hayley: I’m going to get killed with a lead pipe within the drawing room, aren’t I?

Housekeeper: I sincerely hope not. The drawing room is strictly out of bounds.

Sex and Skin: None.

Our Take: Relative to different high-concept convolution-coms, Your Christmas or Mine? isn’t as maddening in its idiot-plotting. Yes, that’s a praise. Most of these endeavors place our protagonists on the verge of a easy resolution to their more and more complicated issues after which tease us for 90 p.c of the run time as a result of the screenwriter gods gained’t let their characters proceed. This one gives a extra satisfying – comparatively, bear in mind – unraveling of the plot knot. Not everybody on this film is a moron. Maybe they don’t at all times make the perfect selections, however their errors in judgment are comprehensible. Relatively.

And so the film sits comfortably throughout the confines of its style. It creates a festively snowy environment for its characters to get right down to the enterprise of not being as annoying as different characters in different comparable films are. The comedy – canine hijinks, the ol’ slobs/snobs dynamic, aged individuals saying the darndest issues, and so on. – borders on determined, however the canine doesn’t die and no person actually turns up their nostril at a totally different socioeconomic group and Grandma bashes Coldplay, so nothing is actually mean-spirited right here, except you’re in Coldplay. Butterfield and Kirk survive the outing with their modestly charming chemistry intact, and the film doesn’t make you actively detest the existence of the vacation season for uplifting dopey movies like this. Like the rest on this life, should you maintain this film in perspective, you simply would possibly get pleasure from it a little.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Your Christmas or Mine? doesn’t reinvent the vacation rom-com. Not even shut, truly. But it’s a completely amiable outing that generates sufficient heat to warrant a watch, and it’s most likely a contact much less annoying than your common Hallmark Xmas slop.

John Serba is a freelance author and movie critic primarily based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read extra of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com.

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