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Before we can even celebrate Thanksgiving, Universal Pictures has released a Christmas comedy most would not anticipate. Directed by David E. Talbert, “Almost Christmas” premiered in theaters Nov. 11. The story follows a widower named Walter, portrayed by Danny Glover, who invites his sassy and hilarious sister-in-law, May, played by Mo’ Nique, and his four adult children, ––Kimberly Elise as Cheryl, Romany Malco as Christian, Gabrielle Union as Rachel and Jessie T. Usher as Evan––to their first family Christmas since his beloved wife passed away. However while trying to recreate her fun and loving family get-togethers and her famous sweet potato pie, secrets are revealed, marriages are tested and sibling rivalry reaches a new level. Talbert truly tried to embrace the comical side in this Christmas movie, but fails to make the story unique. If it was not for the wonderful cast, the movie had no true depth. Throughout the movie, I caught glimpses of the grief they all are experiencing after losing the beloved matriarch, and Danny Glover had serious moments in which he outshined the others emotionally. Mo’ Nique stole several laughs from me, especially at the end when they started playing the bloopers. Ultimately, I wish Talbert had given his characters more room to grow than what was presented. Overall, this cookie-cutter comedy is not horrible, but it is not the best, either.

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