Christmas of Yes (2023) – Movie Review/Summary

In this sweet-as-can-be movie, a woman learns to say yes to something outside of working toward career goals, allowing her to have a fulfilling personal life.


Community Rating: 75% (1 votes)

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Title Card for Christmas of Yes (2023)

In this sweet-as-can-be movie, a woman learns to say yes to something outside of working toward career goals, allowing her to have a fulfilling personal life.

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.

 

General Information

Director(s)

Rhonda F. Baraka

Screenplay By

Gabrielle Meyer

Based On Work By

 

Date Released

December 9, 2023

How To Watch

OWN

Genre(s)

Comedy

Romance

LGBT+

Holiday

Film Length

1 Hour 24 Minutes

Content Rating

Rated TV-PG

Noted Characters and Cast

Amy

Michele Weaver

Phil

Ian Collins

Jacques

Louis Lay

Nico

Jeff Pierre

Grace

Catherine Lough Haggquist

Content Rating Explanation

  • Dialog: Nothing notable
  • Violence: None
  • Sexual Content: None
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking

Film Summary

Amy Bell is a workaholic. It is a trauma response from being brought up by an alcoholic and her working hard to be able to assert more control over her life. Which, professionally, has allowed her massive success in the marketing field. However, even after putting in overtime on a regular basis, she still gets fired from her Chief Marketing Officer position at Bizzworthy.

Enter her little brother Phil, who has long grown tired of his sister saying no to everything, daring her to say yes for only two weeks. Not one to back down from a challenge, Amy begins her two weeks of yes, leading to Phil and his husband Jacques testing Amy’s limits.

For example, they have her go to an improv show and participate, leading to her meeting Nico. He is a middle school teacher who loves improv, and because of Phil’s dare, Amy finds herself entering Nico’s orbit and, rediscovering her passions and questioning if there is a better way to live, outside of the mindset that everything needs to be towards her career progression.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Amy

Michele Weaver as Amy
“Michele Weaver as Amy,” Christmas of Yes, directed by Rhonda F. Baraka, 2023, (OWN)

Amy is the eldest of two, who spent a good part of her childhood, specifically after her father died, taking care of her mom, whose grief made her into an alcoholic. In some ways, Amy spiraled as well, leading to bad grades when she was in 8th grade, but between discovering a love for making coffee and creating a mental boundary between her and her mom, Amy regained control of her life and became the workhorse we are introduced to.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Love Is…

Phil

Phil is Amy’s little brother who, with his husband, runs an adventure travel company.

Jacques

Jacques is Phil’s husband, who he only knew for a month before getting married to him.

Nico

Nico is a teacher at Broad Wood Middle School, focusing on math and science, who uses improv as an outlet and encourages others to join whenever possible.

Grace

Catherine Lough Haggquist as Grace
“Catherine Lough Haggquist as Grace,” Christmas of Yes, directed by Rhonda F. Baraka, 2023, (OWN)

Grace is Amy and Phil’s mom, who is one year sober after decades of having a drinking problem.

Review


Community Rating: 75% (1 votes)


Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Notable Performances or Moments

The Chemistry

Jeff Pierre as Nico
“Jeff Pierre as Nico,” Christmas of Yes, directed by Rhonda F. Baraka, 2023, (OWN)

Nico and Amy just have this dynamic that feels so real. Their banter feels like the epitome of what so many on dating apps seem to want when they talk about being allowed to roast their partner. For if it isn’t her questioning how funny he thinks he is, it is him throwing jokes right back at her.

Yet, while they can go back and forth, seemingly for hours, there is still a respect and admiration there. The kind that allows them to be serious, reveal vulnerabilities, and be a safe space for one another. This makes the slow burn of their relationship so wonderful since they don’t just jump into a relationship once they realize something is happening.

Highlights

The Inevitable Issue That Nearly Destroys The Relationship Is Understandable

This is a romance film, so you already know something will happen suddenly that can blow up the relationship’s trajectory. Thankfully, though, an ex doesn’t pop up, or Amy sees Nico with some girl, gets jealous, and decides to never mind her bubbling feelings. It is something that makes sense regarding who these characters are and what was previously established.

Thus making it so, even though we still get the grand gesture as an apology, nothing feels forced or pushed to be a big moment that can snatch you from enjoying two opposites being attracted to one another.

On The Fence

The B-Line Storylines

Louis Lay as Jacques and Ian Collins as Phil
“Louis Lay as Jacques and Ian Collins as Phil,” Christmas of Yes, directed by Rhonda F. Baraka, 2023, (OWN)

Beyond Nico and Amy bonding and Amy helping Nico with a fundraiser so his school kids can have computers, other things go on. Grace, Amy and Phil’s mother, is trying to make amends and get back into Amy’s life. Phil, who doesn’t know the worst of what happened she has a relationship with, but Amy? After two stints in rehab, Amy isn’t approaching her mom with open arms. Alongside that, we have Phil and Jacques’ pursuit of adopting.

To be honest, neither storyline gives you much reason to get invested. Partly because it is clear that neither storyline is meant to be focused on heavy. Phil and Jacques’ pursuit of a child doesn’t really tap into the challenges of adoption, especially for same-sex couples. Hence why we think them being gay is more about just having a gay couple be seen, than truly presenting their experience.

Which could also be said about Grace’s situation. While it is clear Amy went through a lot with her mom, this is a holiday movie with a heavy focus on romance, so it doesn’t go into the wound, do soul work, or anything like that. Everything stays light and frothy, even though there is far more of a story to tell.

Thus making it hard to get invested in Phil or Grace’s storyline and while I wouldn’t say they are expendable, I wouldn’t say they are assets that make the film either. Phil is a catalyst for all that happens, and Grace is the reason Amy is who she is. Sadly, their worth starts and stops there.

Who Is This For?

Those who like holiday romance movies, especially ones without that weird transition from one relationship to the next.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. A Miracle Before Christmas: Focuses on a character who, like Amy, grew up in less-than-ideal conditions, so she became a workaholic.

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments:

  1. What is your favorite Christmas movie background for a lead character? The workaholic, the person obsessed with Christmas, the person who hates Christmas because of some childhood trauma, maybe?

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Christmas of Yes (2023) – Movie Review

Summary

“Christmas of Yes” feels like a palate cleanse and gives you not only a good holiday movie but also one with a message you can carry all year long.

Overall
82%
82%
  • The Chemistry - 86%
    86%
  • The Inevitable Issue That Nearly Destroys The Relationship Is Understandable - 83%
    83%
  • The B-Line Storylines - 76%
    76%

Highlight(s)

  • The Inevitable Issue That Nearly Destroys The Relationship Is Understandable
  • The Chemistry

Disputable

  • The B-Line Storylines

What Would Your Rating Be?

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