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Aimee Garcia Exudes Star Power In Genuine Holiday Rom-Com

Jan 23, 2023

Home Movie Reviews Christmas With You Review: Aimee Garcia Exudes Star Power In Genuine Holiday Rom-Com

It’s cheesy in all the right places and serious in very few, but Christmas With You is reliably sweet and sincere when it needs to be.

Aimee Garcia and Freddie Prinze Jr. in Christmas With You

It’s that time of year again, when people trade in their Halloween decorations for Christmas ornaments and replace their scary movies with jolly romantic comedies filled with holiday spirit. Streaming service giant Netflix is no stranger to the genre that brings in the cheer, laughter, and occasional romance. Its latest, Christmas With You, sees Aimee Garcia and Freddie Prinze Jr. join forces to create Christmas magic through song. Gabriela Tagliavini directs the screenplay from Paco Farias, Jennifer C. Stetson, and Michael Varrati. It’s cheesy in all the right places and serious in very few, but Christmas With You is reliably sweet and sincere when it needs to be.
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Aimee Garcia stars as pop superstar Angelina, whose career takes a turn for the unexpected when her label brings on rising star Cheri Bibi (Nicolette Stephanie Templier). Left with limited opportunities to advance her career forward, Angelina must show her label that she’s still got the star power by bringing them a hit Christmas song. Feeling low on inspiration, Angelina escapes to a small town, where she meets her number one fan Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) and her songwriting single father Miguel (Freddie Prinze Jr.). Together, they set out to create music magic, where love is in the air and hope is right around the corner.

Related: 10 Best Movies Like Netflix’s Falling for Christmas

Aimee Garcia and Freddie Prinze Jr. in Christmas With You

Christmas With You is everything one would expect from a Netflix Christmas movie. It’s predictable, a little farfetched, and it often leans into cringe territory. Yet, everything about it makes the film a perfect watch for this time of year as it reliably navigates feelings of love, loss, and new beginnings. Through Angelina, the script nicely conveys these sentiments and experiences in a way that audiences would find significant. Even though Angelina is a superstar, she is a person with normal hopes and dreams, which humanizes her character. And seeing her character navigate this point in her career with the heavy burden of loss creeping up at every turning corner enhances the script, making the feature more than meets the eye.

While Tagliavini’s direction never overpowers the sincere nuances of the storyline and character relationships, she nicely showcases the importance of simplicity. This is mostly demonstrated through Angelina and Miguel’s growing relationship, as they develop a stronger bond through songwriting. While any other rom-com would seize the opportunity to generate overly romantic scenarios and obnoxious dialogue, Tagliavini practices restraint, relying on her actors’ chemistry and focusing on the heart of the film. This decision results in sweet interactions between the film’s leads, making it all the more enjoyable overall.

Freddie Prinze Jr. and Deja Cruz in Christmas With You

Almost every point of Christmas With You is predictable, and even somewhat conventional by rom-com standards. And yet, there’s no true barrier to enjoyment thanks to the touching script and great cast. Aimee Garcia simply rocks as Angelina, exuding true star power just like her character. Her chemistry with Freddie Prince Jr. simply works, even though his approach to playing Miguel comes off a little stiff and awkward. Oddly enough, it works for the character, and truly enables viewers to cheer on this unlikely pair. Then there’s Deja Monique Cruz as Cristina; Cruz’s resume may be short, but her performance here really showcases her talent well. It wouldn’t be surprising if audiences saw a lot more of her in the coming years.

Full of love, laughter, and holiday spirit, Christmas With You is this season’s rom-com that is bound to pull on the heartstrings of its viewers. Not only does the script provide a touching tribute to chasing one’s dreams no matter the age, it also beautifully rationalizes the need for human connection even amidst the loss of a loved one. It doesn’t break any genre barriers, nor does the film offer anything new to say about these respective topics. However, Tagliavini nicely crafts a Christmas rom-com that is funny and sincere — a feat with which many other holiday romantic comedies have struggled.

Next: Falling For Christmas Review: Lohan Dazzles In By-The-Numbers Christmas Rom-Com

Christmas With You releases on Netflix on Thursday, November 17. The film is 89 minutes long and not rated.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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