Movie Review: I'm Not Ready for Christmas (2015)
Synopsis: Holly's gift for lying has made her successful in the advertising business and has her on the fast track to becoming a partner at her company. However, it has also hurt her relationship with her sister, Rose, and niece, Anna, plus is a major turn-off for Drew, the guy she has genuine feelings for. When Anna's Christmas wish to Santa results in Holly no longer being able to bend the truth, she is surprised when her life seems to change for the better but ultimately finds herself facing both the potential loss of her job and Drew.
Review: My wife and I wound up picking out this movie last night simply because the title summarized what we are currently feeling about the upcoming holiday. Overall, it ended up being a watchable movie with some laughs but, at the same time, fell a little flat, at least in my opinion.
I thought Alicia Witt did an excellent job as Holly. Even before losing her ability to lie, I felt she was a likable character. Sure, she made mistakes, especially when it came to her niece (Bagley), but they weren't always completely her fault either. I also thought her chemistry with Anna was fantastic, even after disappointing her so many times. You could tell she loved her family.
The main problem with this movie is, fair or not, it is difficult to watch it without comparing it to the film Liar, Liar, which had pretty much the exact same plot, minus the fact Holly isn't an attorney, it was a niece rather than her kid, and it was a Christmas wish rather than a birthday wish. Unfortunately, while Witt was good, Jim Carrey was a lot better.
Another thing that hurts this film is there is no real sense of urgency. Holly loses her ability to lie but it has no significant negative impact on anything in her life. Her relationship with her family improves and she lands the big account at work. Everything "bad" in her life really had nothing to do with that change, including potentially losing Drew (Stults), who mostly just overreacted for no real reason. I mean, seriously, she cut a business trip short and risked losing a major client just so she didn't have to cancel her dinner date with him. I think her feelings about their relationship were pretty damn clear.
In fact, the more I think about it, I feel like the movie would have been better without Drew. He was mostly just a one-dimensional guy who was only there to create a bit of unneeded last-second drama and give Holly someone to share a kiss with at the end. Instead of doing that, the movie should have focused on her relationship with her client, Greydon (Caulfield), and put her new-found love for the truth to some good use by making him a better person (with or without a romantic twist). That would have at least been something that would have made this slighly different than the movie it "borrowed" the plot from.
Final Opinion: Witt does make the movie watchable and I do love her chemistry with Bagley. Unfortunately, the overall film makes no real effort to be even remotely unique and is, at best, an average holiday movie.
My Grade: C+