If Love Actually (2003) didn’t exist (what a tragedy that would be), Christmas Eve might have felt a little less awkward but alas, Love Actually does exist, and though Christmas Eve wants SO bad to be Love Actually, it’s not. Instead, we get an amateurishly shot, weakly edited, melodrama that aspires to hit emotional highs while in reality, barely sticking a shaky landing.
The cast is awesome with A-listers like Patrick Stewart and crowd-pleasers like Jon Heder (of Napoleon Dynamite fame). Here’s what’s crazy though: Jon Heder is better than Stewart in this. In fact, Stewart’s part is one of the worst of the film, stuck monologuing with a forced character arc that feels totally unearned. James Roday (of Psych fame) fares much better. In fact, I would have been happy if Roday’s scenes were the entire movie. He has so much charisma. It’s not terrible but it’s just… amateurish and with a dialogue-heavy lower budget, the script isn’t strong enough to save a lot of the scenes.