Oh yes, it's that time of the year again...The time of the year that multiple Christmas start to pop like a pimple on prom night. It's the time that not only in cinemas get flooded with Christmas movies but they appear on TV and on direct to DVD releases as well, in abundance. And no, noting wrong with a good, warm and family friendly Christmas movie but the problem with these type of movies often is that once you have seen one of them, you have seen them all.

There also definitely is little originality to this movie as well but that in this case only is a small part of its problems. It's not very creative, it's not very surprising and it 'borrows' a bit too heavily from other, more familiar and far better, family movies but it's the execution and combination of all of it that really makes this movie an incredibly redundant and forgettable seasonal movie.

The movie uses all of the familiar genre movie clichés, such as featuring a single and hard working parent and a young child who feels neglected by his dad. All the ingredients for the movie to feature plenty of clichéd dramatic and romantic side-plots, which indeed are all present in this movie as well. It however is as if the movie has absolutely no idea how to use any of the ingredients properly, to help to turn this into an engaging or remotely cute and warm little movie to watch. It has the word Christmas slapped onto it and it indeed is true that this movie is set around Christmas time but other than that there is absolutely nothing Christmas-like about the movie at all. Nothing magical about the movie- or even anything present in it that remotely resembles a good Christmas atmosphere. There is no snow, no Christmas decorations and characters walk around in short skirts and pants. as if it's all taking place in the middle of the summer. Seriously, were the film-makers even trying?

I also don't really quite get who this movie is supposed to be made for. It's a body-switch movie, which in itself is, next to being highly unoriginal, also a very simplistic and childish concept, while the movie its story lines and characters all feel a bit too adult and serious for a children's movie. I mean, the main-plot features a lawsuit storyline (the father character is a real- estate lawyer ) in that even I don't really understand. It seems to have its priorities all wrong. Instead of turning into anything cute or funny the movie is messy but yet also very predictable, with all of its story lines that never really come together or even go anywhere. You would think that once the father and son switch bodies, due to Tom Arnold's magical Teddy bear (yeah, don't ask) the two start to learn and understand from each other and grow closer to each other in a cute, fun and heartwarming way but absolutely none of that is ever the case. I don't even really what was supposed to be the message of this movie? Not that every movie needs to have a message in it but movie of this sort and Christmas movies in general, always try to send out a positive message, especially when it's primarily aimed towards a young audience.

Also problem with the whole body-switch concept is that the kid actor (Michael Campion) suddenly has to act like an adult and the adult actor (William Baldwin) has to act like an 11- year old. This results in some incredibly awkward moments and I don't mean that in a funny sort of way. It all feels far too exaggerated. The William Baldwin characters suddenly turns all childish and starts to drink apple juice from boxes during job meetings and falls from chairs because that's what 11-year old's do right?

Not very fun, not very original and most definitely not a very good Christmas movie at all.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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