Netflix’s Best. Christmas. Ever. Packed A Lot Of Holiday Chaos Into One Movie, But I Wish It Kept This One Element

 Brandy Norwood in Best. Christmas. Ever.
Brandy Norwood in Best. Christmas. Ever.

The holidays have officially come to Netflix! It seems like the streaming giant is taking a page out of The Hallmark Channel’s annual Countdown to Christmas lineup and starting the festivities earlier and earlier. I can’t say that I mind! This year’s festivities kicked off with the release of the Best. Christmas. Ever. A fun-filled holiday flick that was super fun. Unfortunately, it felt like something was missing from it.

The Brandy Norwood and Heather Graham-led movie begins when Jackie (Norwood) sends off her annual Christmas newsletter. A recipient of the letter, Charlotte (Graham) finds the newsletter to be braggy and repulsive, believing that Jackie must be lying about her perfect life. When fate intervenes in the form of Charlotte’s son and navigation system, she and her family find themselves on Jackie’s perfect doorstep. With her husband (Jason Biggs) happy to reunite with an old friend and her kids enjoying the massive house, Charlotte gets conned into spending the holiday with Jackie. Still suspicious of her so-called perfect life, she sets out to expose her once and for all.

Best. Christmas. Ever. is a fun-filled flick packed full of holiday chaos. There are twists and turns and wacky shenanigans that I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately, all the hijinks didn’t keep me from wondering what happened to one element that was introduced in the beginning.

Heather Graham in Best. Christmas. Ever.
Heather Graham in Best. Christmas. Ever.

Not Utilizing The Fourth-Wall Break Was A Missed Opportunity

The Netflix original Christmas movie opens with Jackie penning her annual Christmas letter that also serves as an introduction to her family. It’s a clever way to get the exposition out of the way early on. It then cuts to Charlotte who doesn’t write Christmas letters and instead turns to address the camera directly in a classic fourth-wall break. Like Jackie and her letter, she introduces us to her less-than-perfect family with a stellar dry, direct-to-camera delivery.

Unfortunately, it’s the first and last time Charlotte ever addresses the audience directly. Since breaking the fourth wall is usually a film device that carries on throughout an entire story, I was shocked to see it never brought up again.

It’s disappointing given Charlotte seemed to have the perfect personality for the trope. She might not be the fourth-wall-breaking expert Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag is, but she does carry that same cynical and snarky energy that often lends itself to these kinds of moments. I for one, was hoping she’d turn to the camera when things got too perfect and make a snide comment about something, but it never happened.

Introducing the device and then not using it again felt like a wasted opportunity. Not to mention having a strong point-of-view character would have helped audiences wade through the holiday chaos with ease. Speaking of which:

Brandy Norwood and Heather Graham in Best. Christmas. Ever.
Brandy Norwood and Heather Graham in Best. Christmas. Ever.

But The Holiday Chaos Made Up For It

Thankfully the sheer amount of holiday chaos in Best. Christmas. Ever. did keep me entertained enough to not dwell on the lack of the fourth wall breaking too much. From the very moment we’re introduced to the characters, things are moving at a fast speed.

There’s the chaotic platonic meet ugly between Charlotte and Jackie when the former shows up at the latter’s house on accident. The tension between Charlotte and her husband when she finds out he’s secretly been sending Christmas letters to Jackie, whom he used to be in a band with is great. Plus the added kid chaos of them trying to figure out if Santa Claus is real or not is hilarious.

Add all that with an emotional climatic moment regarding the passing of a child, a wild hot air balloon ride over the city, and a grand musical number led by Jackie, and you’ve got a Christmas movie that really packs a punch. Some might say too much of a punch, but what’s Christmas without a little bit of overindulgence?

Best. Christmas Ever. might not be the best Netflix Christmas movie streaming right now, but it was the perfect one to kick off the festive season. You can stream the film with a Netflix subscription. And don’t forget to check out our 2023 Christmas Movie Schedule so you don’t miss any holiday cheer.