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film reel image

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Never Been Chris'd 2023 * 1/2 Stars


2023's Never Been Chris'd is possibly a play on words through the film Never Been Kissed. Cutesy and well, well-played sir. "Chris'd" is also one of those Hallmark pics where everything centers around Christmas as if it's a religion and not a holiday (when it should be both). I mean the town that this movie takes place in is like Mayberry tacked onto a yule postcard, with enough coincidences to one-up The O.C. and enough off-center, in cahoots townspeople to give The Truman Show a run for its money. Hey it's November, that's when the gaiety starts for me, and that's when I begin to take in a few silly season flicks. With Never Been Chris'd, I was kind of thrown for a loop. Um, did director Jeff Beesley secretly put tequila in the eggnog? Maybe.

Spiked drinks and satirical science fiction aside, Never Been Chris'd is a mess of all things tinsel, toneless and without a consistent mood. Is it a romantic comedy? For the first half in which the attractive main characters act awkward, spewing dialogue that no actual human being would ever say with materiality. And is "Chris'd" a mid to heavy drama? For the second half yeah, as these same main characters go avoidably dark side with their feelings about life choices, true love, careers, bond, etc. 

With "Chris'd", Janel Parrish, Tyler Hynes, and Samantha Kendrick star as two BFFs and a high school crush who reconnect via X-mas in Winnipeg, Canada (the film's supposed shooting location). Simple premise right? It could have been had these three personas not appeared so wishy-washy, rattled, alienated from their families, and borderline bipolar. Someone give these guys a jolly hug. They are caught in a patchy movie in which helmer Beesley would rather send you into downer, lovey-dovey, love triangle territory as opposed to straight away warm fuzzies. "Never" again for Never Been Chris'd

Written by Jesse Burleson

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