I love the Christmas season; the food, the quality family time and the warm weather. If I’m being honest, one aspect of Christmas that I’ve never been into are Christmas movies.
When it comes to Christmas movies, majority of them are your typical Winter Christmas depiction that’s never really appealed to me. Watching Christmas movies means being snuggled up on the couch with a hot drink and who wants to do that when Australia Summertime is booming? So, you can imagine that I didn’t have much hope for yet another Christmas movie that doesn’t really depict the kind of Christmas we know and love.
Your Christmas or Mine? follows two students, James (Asa Butterfield) and Hayley (Cora Kirk) are saying their final goodbyes before heading their separate ways for the holiday season. As most young and in love couples who are fresh into their relationship, they impulsively decide to surprise one another by switching trains last minute.
Unbeknownst to each other, they’ve swapped trains and are now stuck with each other’s families trying to get back to one another. James arrives at Hayley’s hometown and makes his way to her house hoping that she’s made it there before him. While Hayley, is now making her way to James’ in hopes of the same outcome, that James has beaten her home.
The thing with Hayley and James is that they both come from very different backgrounds and family dynamics so you can imagine meeting your in laws for the first time and your partner not being there to hold your hand is dreadful enough as it is. Watching the pair navigate one another’s life without the other was chaotic and comical all in one.
Both James and Hayley are learning about one another through the eyes of their family and what makes them, them. I think that it’s a well scripted movie, it doesn’t feel like your typical rom-com couple, and maybe that has to do with Asa Butterfield’s previous work who I don’t personally see as a love interest character.
It’s hard to really see them as a couple considering throughout the movie the only interactions that they have are phone calls. Their relationship is mainly determined to the viewer by James and Hayley’s interactions with their partner’s family. They are essentially learning about each other through their families so that’s probably why I didn’t feel as though they were your typical couple. Although, as they learn more about one another it does reveal things to the other.
I love how opposite James and Hayley’s families are. You have one family who love Christmas and all the things that make it festive, the family that love to stick to traditions and making sure to keep the spirit alive. Hayley’s family definitely love everything to do with family and maintaining that is important them. We see this when they are first introduced to us with their ‘Welcome Home Hayley’ sign to surprise her with, and even though Hayley isn’t with them, they include James in all their normal traditions. My favourite scene being the ladies pamper Session that James participates in. Such a wholesome montage in the movie.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have James’ family, Christmas is just another day to his father, which is really hard for Hayley to adjust to since she’s so used to Christmas being such a huge part of her life. Watching them navigate through these few days, you can see them notice ‘how the other half live’.
I’m not too familiar with director Jim O’Hanlon’s work but can attest that this is a brilliant film. It’s easy to win me over with a film when it comes to chemistry between the cast, and I think that Jim captured that essence beautifully. I’m a sucker for family dynamics and movies where families crack inside jokes that only families can really get away with saying to each other. The film really makes you think about your own family and traditions.
So, although I’m not a fan of Christmas movies myself, I did actually enjoy this one. I especially love Hayley’s nan, her unhinged, no filter one liners cracked me up. We all know someone like Hayley’s nan!
I’m usually not a fan of Christmas movies, but I really enjoyed this one. I believe that Your Christmas Or Mine? would appeal to fans of Asa Butterfield’s work, and those who want to watch a good Christmas movie, willing to fall in love with the incredible cast and wholesome storyline.
Your Christmas Or Mine? is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.