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REVIEW | YOUR CHRISTMAS OR MINE 2

BY BECCA JOHNSON DECEMBER 2, 2023
Your Christmas or Mine 2

Last Christmas, director Jim O'Hanlon brought us Your Christmas or Mine?, a festive rom-com centring on new couple James and Hayley, who jump on each others trains to surprise one another, and wind up accidentally spending Christmas at their partners home – without their partner. This year, O'Hanlon brings James, Hayley and their families back for even more hijinks, as they end up swapping Christmases again. Your Christmas or Mine 2 might not manage to offer up the same festive delights as the first instalment and the premise feels quite forced, but it's equally as charming and the performances are great – it's definitely worth a watch this December.


Synopsis

They've swapped Christmas - again. Can Hayley and James' relationship survive another turbulent family Christmas or has their future together gone off-piste?!


Review

One of the best things about the first instalment is the performances, and they are just as good this time around. Asa Butterfield (Sex Education) is as charming as ever, delivering the awkward teenager trope as well as he always does. It may be familiar to us by now, but he does excel at it. Playing his girlfriend Hayley is Cora Kirk (Prey for the Devil), and her performance is a massive improvement on the one she delivered in first instalment. Her chemistry with Butterfield is wonderful, and the pair are so likeable together – it's a young romance worth rooting for, and their relationship feels real. Again, their respective families are made up of fab talent including Alex Jennings (The Crown), Angela Griffin (Waterloo Road), Daniel Mays (1917) and even the Harry Potter franchises David Bradley. They're a fun bunch to have on screen, they work super well together and deliver the comedic script with ease. Not only are the performances great, but the script develops the characters well and evolves their stories in a way that feels natural. If we get more of these movies within the franchise, it will be hard to tire of this cast.

Your Christmas or Mine 2

Naturally, this sequel attempts to be bigger and better than it's predecessor. The main way it does this is by changing up the setting; instead of a cosy British Christmas, we have an upmarket Austrian Ski Resort holiday. The setting is undeniably beautiful, in both it's snowy slopes and it's modern glossy hotel décor; it's a different Christmas than the first one delivers, but it certainly feels festive. It also adds a fish out of water element to the plot, as Hayley's family feel out of place and miss their family traditions back home. As gorgeous as the setting is, the location change does make it lose some of it's charming British-ness that made the first one so great. The ski-resort location is a little overdone in the Christmas rom-com sub-genre, and our characters aren't the only people who miss home.


Another element that falters is the laughs – it certainly has it's moments, especially during the scene involving our male characters going to the pub, entering a drinking competition and stumbling home in sing-song, but the hijinks this time around feel far more forced than they did the first time. The line delivery is great from the cast, but there's a lot less wit inside the script and it delivers lines and laughs that don't feel fresh. On the one hand, it's nice to have the cast and crew return, as it makes a cohesive duology and the tone nicely matches. On the flip-side, Your Christmas or Mine 2 often feels like a rehash. It'll certainly make you smile, but it's not as laugh-out-loud funny as the first.

Your Christmas or Mine 2

The movie has also outgrown it's title by now, as our families only swap Christmases for a very short portion of the run-time before coming together again – unlike last time, swapping accommodation is a quick and easy fix. If the franchise wishes to continue, as it's ending suggests it will, it might struggle to naturally embed it's swapping storyline. This time around, it really doesn't work. It feels like it's in the script because the title needs it to be, and certainly doesn't feel warranted. There are parts of the story that really work, especially within the progression of James and Hayley's relationship, but the overarching storyline doesn't work as well as it should.


Your Christmas or Mine 2 is a charming, cosy and unapologetically sweet Xmas movie, that will continue to impress fans of the first one. It's location is picturesque, the cast are fantastic (particularly Butterfield) and the Christmas vibes are unmatched. The plot may not feel as cohesive and naturally funny as the first one, but it's heart is in the right place and the character development helps spur this story on. It's far from perfect but should not be overlooked this festive season, especially as it's easily available on Amazon Prime.


STAR RATING

Rating Your Christmas of Mine 2

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