When Jesse gets dumped right before the holidays by her boyfriend Shawn, his parents convince her to still spend Christmas with them, and Shawn’s handsome cousin, while Shawn is away. 

Editing: Simon Davidson
Tommy Fields

Cast:  Brittany Snow, Justin Long, Alex Moffat, Julia Duffy, George Wendt, JoAnna Garcia Swisher

Director: Clare Niederpruem
Writers: Barbara Kymlicka, Dan Lagana, Vince Vaughn
Cinematography: Kristoffer Carrillo

Every year it seems that an endless list of new Christmas films and shows are put out into the world, so many that it just makes sense that someone would start a Christmas media podcast. It can be hard to differentiate yourself from all the other films hitting similar themes of family, selflessness and love for your fellow man. Christmas with the Campbells stands out from the pack with a script co-written by Vince Vaughn filled with sexual innuendos and adult activities but unfortunately offers little else.

Jesse (Brittany Snow) believes she’s in a happy relationship with her boyfriend Shawn (Alex Moffat) as they prepare to visit his parents (Julia Duffy and George Wendt) for Christmas. Her plans are thrown into disarray when Shawn dumps her out of the blue. With nowhere else to go, and at the request of Mrs Campbell after Shawn tells her he isn’t coming home for the holiday, Jesse goes to spend her Christmas with her ex’s parents as well as their nephew David (Justin Long) and his dog Polo.

The story goes pretty much in the direction you think it will with Jesse and David quickly building a connection, helped by an adorable dog. There is the curve ball of Shawn coming back for Christmas but don’t expect any plot twists or surprises. The actual big surprise is that Jesse was with Shawn at all, a man so incredibly unlikeable and cartoony narcissistic that their being in a long-term relationship immediately broke my suspension of disbelief.

Brittany Snow is a solid lead and Alex Moffat seems to thrive on playing this terrible person. Justin Long is enjoyable but is doing a wild accent that is a bit off-putting and distracting but grows on you. Julia Duffy and George Wendt are good as the parents, providing some solid laughs with their antics while JoAnna Garcia Swisher’s baker provides the set-up for many sexual references. In the end, none of the characters in the film are particularly memorable or different to who you would expect to see in this type of movie.

Ultimately this film feels like a test to see how much raunchy wordplay the writers could fit into a script about Christmas, something that got tired really fast. If that type of humour is for you, you may find Christmas with the Campbells enjoyable, but without an interesting plot or characters, this film should stay lost among the slew of Christmas movies released this year.

Christmas with the Campbells is available to stream now on AMC+