A dysfunctional family gets together for Christmas – their last in their family home, and their first without their treasured mother, the only one who could unite them.
Patriarch and recent widow Walter (Danny Glover) still can’t find his wife’s beloved recipes, and he’s spending sleepless nights trying to recreate them. His wife’s sister May (Mo’Nique) is on hiatus from touring the globe as a back-up singer but her diva behaviour never takes a break. Son Christian (Romany Malco) is in the middle of a political campaign that comes with some high costs – including an intrusive chief of staff, Brooks (John Michael Higgins). Daughter Cheryl brings along her has-been/never-was husband Lonnie (J.B. Smoove), whom nobody can stand, but Cheryl’s too busy fighting with her little sister Rachel to notice. Rachel (Gabrielle Union) is divorced, with a kid. She’s struggling to complete law school, but it may be doomed to be another failed project. And baby Evan (Jessie T. Usher) just got cleared to get back on the team after an injury, but his drug habit has lingered. And they don’t even know yet that their dad is thinking of selling the house!
This is the kind of Christmas movie that will make you feel at home. It is unlikely that I will become a Princess this Christmas, no matter how many movies try to convince me of the possibility. To be honest, it’s probably slightly more likely that I’ll fall in love with an eligible Prince than that my family will crowd around a piano and sing carols with merriment and the love of baby Jesus in our hearts. Christmas movies sell us a whole heap of lies and expectations, but Almost Christmas is a Christmas I can live up to. It’s a family I can relate to. It’s a level of Christmas spirit I can probably even manage to emulate, on my best, holliest jolliest day.