It is perhaps the worst title of the year, though it’s hard to think what would have been better. (‘2 Christmas 2 Mine’ is probably too much to hope for, and any subtitle would make an already unwieldy beast overly complicated.) Sadly, the film itself similarly struggles to make an impact. The characters and cast who gave the first Your Christmas Or Mine? such surprising charm are still present and correct, but the plot leans heavily on tropes collected from a million Christmas TV specials.
In classic British sequel form, it’s the same group of people — but this time they’re on holiday. So we rejoin university-student couple James Hughes (Sex Education's Asa Butterfield) and Hayley Taylor (Cora Kirk) as they race through the airport for a Christmas ski trip with both of their families. There’s his aristocratic father (Alex Jennings) and grandfather (David Bradley), and his dad’s fancy new American girlfriend (Jane Krakowski). Her loving parents Geoff (Daniel Mays) and Kath (Angela Griffin) and family are also along, but booked into a much cheaper place that turns out to be on entirely the wrong side of an Alpine valley. Cue some confusion that leaves the Taylors in a luxury hotel and the Hugheses in a windy shack barely clinging on to the edge of a slope.
To the film’s credit, it doesn’t keep the two families apart forever through an implausible series of obstacles, so we actually get to see the two clans mingle and spark off one another. Instead, however, it introduces implausible misunderstandings into Cora and James’ relationship rather than the broad but just about credible premise of the first film. Kirk and Butterfield are adorable together, and their families well drawn, but the resulting story feels far less inspired. That said, perhaps Christmas movies must be judged on a curve that accounts for a level of plot familiarity, and the film’s sheer good nature might carry you through if you’re a fan of the genre. If they’re going to do this yearly, as seems possible given this current trajectory, this series will hopefully soon recapture all the fizzy fun of the first instalment.