DETROIT (WWJ) – “Almost Christmas” is a family movie in the same vein as the hugely popular 1997 feature film, “Soul Food.” They both deal with the loss of their family matriarchs.

In “Almost Christmas,” the Meyers family is returning home to spend the holiday together for the first time since patriarch Walter Meyers (Danny Glover) lost his wife and mother of his four grown children. All he wants for Christmas is for everyone to get along for the five days they’ll be together. Joining Walter at the Meyers family home in Birmingham, Alabama is Cheryl, Walter’s eldest daughter; Christian, the eldest son; Rachel, the youngest daughter and Evan, the youngest son. They’re joined by a number of extended family members, including Aunt May (Mo’Nique), Walter’s very vocal, take-charge sister-in-law.

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With so many personalities and people under one roof, it’s no surprise when the sparks start to fly and the promise of a long-awaited, joyous family get-together is jeopardized. Topping the list of issues the family has to deal with: Rachel and Cheryl haven’t gotten along since they were kids and they still don’t. Christian’s political ambitions threaten to tear the family apart, and Cheryl comes face-to-face with her husband Lonnie’s philandering ways.

With popular comedians Mo’nique and JB Smooth among the talented cast, the family members tackle tough subjects in oftentimes funny, and other times serious, ways.

A majority of the audience members who go out to see “Almost Christmas” will surely find it enjoyable, however, at times it does feel just a bit lackluster. But in the spirit of the holidays, that can certainly be forgiven.

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Along with Danny Glover, Mo’nique and JB Smooth, the ensemble cast includes Kimberly Elise, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union, Jessie T. Usher, Omar Epps and Nicole Ari Parker.

See you at the movies!

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

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Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Digital Arts, Film & Television (DAFT)
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)