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Holiday Giveaways Review: Aml Ameen’s rom-com revival is a fun and festive ride

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Aml Ameen has entered a genre that is not easy to master for debut director Gift giving day.

With Hollywood taking over blockbuster superhero movies, it means that some genres like rom-coms, which were once big money earners, have been forced to fade into oblivion. Honestly, when is the last great rom-com you can think of?

Yes, Gift Day might be the next.

Of course, releasing a festive rom-com is not a new idea, but Boxing Day is immediately different from its predecessors, the first black British Christmas movie. The timing couldn’t be more perfect because, as you may remember, it was this time last year, a certain supermarket chain The Christmas commercial – ahem, by Sainsbury’s – caused such outrage among some because it simply depicts a Black family having their Christmas lunch.

Yes, Blacks also do the usual household chores this time of year, and Gift Day is just a snapshot of how much fun it can be.

It follows Melvin (Ameen), an author who lives in LA but is returning home to London to promote his new book with his new fiancée Lisa (Aja Naomi King). However, he has little interest in attending his family’s annual Gifting Day fair after the shocking events of the previous year.

Ameen’s carnival rom-com is an enjoyable experience (Image: Warner Bros.)

Along with all that, Lisa is hiding a secret and Melvin is reunited with her ex Georgia (Leigh-Anne Pinnock), who is now a global superstar singer and is clearly still nurturing. some affection and unfinished business with him.

In contrast, Boxing Day is warm, festive and keeps the tempo completely tilted as it introduces us to each area of ​​Melvin’s life, both in LA and London. Aside from a predominantly Black cast, the soundtrack perfectly supports the focus on black British and Caribbean culture with a range of reggae classics to stir nostalgia for the celebrations. our family concept.

It deftly weaves the story of Caribbean versus African culture with Melvin’s family from the islands and Georgia’s father, a proud Nigerian man, but also how in London, both backgrounds Cultures have melded together over the years.

Boxing Day celebrates black British culture (Image: Warner Bros.)
Melvin (Ameen) has an unfinished business with his ex Georgia (Pinnock) (Image: Warner Bros.)

The sight of older generations of African and West Indies joking about their heritage around the dinner table is something many of us can relate to when we’ve seen – or joined ourselves – with friends and family from different black British cultures.

Overall, there’s a lot going on in Melvin’s world; The love triangle is just one of the things that keeps him busy, and Ameen does a great job of making most of the side episodes easy. However, having too many arcs to entertain perhaps only baffles some minor characters; For example, the younger brother of Melvin, who is very well used in the comic book arena but sometimes gets lost in the brilliant chaos of the main plot.

The nods to Love Actually are absolutely nothing wrong (Image: Warner Bros.)
Boxing Day is over (Image: Warner Bros.)

The nods to Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, which is arguably the standard for British Christmas movies, are intentionally uncompromising with Melvin’s attempt to win Lisa back with romantic cards. It is this humor that makes Gift Day such a winner; it doesn’t sound pretentious and somehow manages to avoid overdoing it on cheese.

Ameen’s direction is well thought out, capturing both London luxury and realism whether it’s a five-star hotel or council estate, and making it fit together seamlessly. His script also draws excellent performances from himself, but also newcomers Pinnock, who first appeared as Georgia and does a surprisingly convincing job.

Marianne Jean Baptiste, who plays Melvin Shirley’s mother, is both warm and joyful as she watches her enjoy the holiday chaos in her stride while happily trying to keep her white boyfriend a secret. me.

Boxing Day is a breath of fresh air to British cinema and delivers the comforting, fuzzy rom-com we all need at this time of year.

Boxing Day was shown in cinemas.

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THAN : Boxing Day’s Aml Ameen Wants to Empower ‘Dope Black Dads’ Through His Christmas rom-com

THAN : Leigh-Anne Pinnock recalls ‘scary moment’ where she sang alone without Little Mix during a stopover during Gifting Day

https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/03/boxing-day-review-aml-ameens-rom-com-revival-is-a-fun-and-festive-ride-15710096/ Holiday Giveaways Review: Aml Ameen's rom-com revival is a fun and festive ride

Huynh Nguyen

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