Words: Giulia Lombardo
As Christmas is getting closer and closer, we can’t help but get carried away by the excitement our cities are filled with; the wait is even more exciting when looking and the incredible decorations London has put throughout the whole city and – when we walk down the streets – we can’t help but let ourselves be swept along this current of excitement and cheer.
For us, waiting is impossible to do, and as a Christmas lovers, we are glad we can put a movie on and feel like it’s the 25th already.
Thankfully, for people like us, 2021 didn’t shy away from releasing new Christmas movies, and good ones too!
On December 3, Boxing Day – the newest movie by Aml Ameen – was released in the UK theatres and we are not ashamed to say we were the first in line. Festive rom-com you said? LDN is all in for it.
Boxing Day follows Melvin (played by Ameen himself), an LA based author, returning home to London to promote his new book alongside his American fiancée Lisa (Aja Naomi King) and to celebrate Christmas with his eccentric British-Caribbean family.
Alongside that, the classic rom-com drama is hiding around the corner, as the couple’s secrets and Melvin’s ex-girlfriend Georgia (played by Little Mix Leigh-Anne Pinnock) might just make this boxing day more dramatic (or interesting for us watching).
The movie is – as we mentioned earlier – warm and intimate in a certain way, that you really feel like part of a family’s Christmas day; it organically weaves in London as the melting-pot that it is, balancing together the narrative of Caribbean culture versus the African one, represented by Georgia’s dad, a proud Nigerian man.
The storyline is not over-charged with intense plot-twists or problematics that would make it hard to follow or to relate to; Ameen focused on keeping the story as linear as possible, with a love triangle being the only struggle the protagonist has to face, together with introducing your fiancée to your intense family for the first time, and aside from his family dynamics. This is what makes the movie warm and intimate, as it a family’s story, with everything that comes with it.
Aside from the obviously predominantly Black cast, the cultural-mix is perfectly and strongly supported by the soundtrack, as the focus is clearly portraying Black British and Caribbean culture with an ensemble of reggae classics to stir nostalgia of our own family celebrations, including two possibly new singles from Leigh-Anne herself.
As a directorial debut, Ameen has certainly succeeded in portraying a celebration of Black and Caribbean culture in a fresh and entertaining way, making us all feel part of the story. It’s hard to find a place in the list of remarkable Christmas classics, as Love Actually surely has imposed high standards, but Boxing Day has certainly held its own, giving us a breath of fresh air and keeping us company during this exciting wait for Christmas.