Summaries

Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In Best. Christmas. Ever!, Brandy Norwood (the actor and musician better known as Brandy), and Heather Graham bring the cheer — and the carols! The Christmas comedy follows two longtime frenemies who are reunited over the holidays in a twist of fate. Every Christmas, Jackie (Brandy) sends a boastful holiday newsletter that makes her old college friend Charlotte (Graham) feel like a lump of coal. But when Charlotte lands on Jackie’s snowy doorstep just days before Christmas, she seizes the opportunity to prove her old friend’s life can’t possibly be that perfect. Will the two overcome their differences and find joy in the holidays? (Courtesy of Netflix)

‘Best. Christmas. Ever!’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023)Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham) lives a modest life with her husband Rob (Jason Biggs) and their two children, daughter Dora (Abby Villasmil) and son Grant (Wyatt Hunt). Dora is obsessed with superheroes and believes that she has a superpower although she hasn’t discovered what it is yet. Grant has an unhealthy attachment to his stuffed monkey. Although Charlotte displayed much promise in college for innovating, she has settled in with a job working for company that makes dubious decisions just to pay the bills. Rob’s job is renovating homes, and he dreams of purchasing the couple’s dream home, although Charlotte is nervous about the possibility of financially overextending themselves. In the meantime, the couple live happily in their small apartment so they can save money.

However, at Christmas time every year, Charlotte becomes dissatisfied with her life when she receives the annual Christmas letter from her old college friend and former girlfriend to Rob, Jackie Jennings (Brandy Norwood). Charlotte perceives the letters as “bragging” letters and looks upon them with skepticism. As the film begins, Charlotte receives a new letter from Jackie after Jackie skipped a letter the year before. Jackie describes how her 12-year-old daughter, Beatrix (Madison Skye Validum), is attending Harvard and her son is helping to change the world. Jackie also describes how she made a small fortune by selling her company and traveling the world with her martial arts instructor husband Valentino (Matt Cedeño). The letters make Charlotte feel inadequate and unhappy.

Five days before Christmas, Charlotte and her family begin their long drive to Charlotte’s sister’s new house to spend Christmas with them. Charlotte drives through the night, following directions from MapQuest. However, she is surprised to find that she ends up in the driveway of Jackie’s home. Grant reveals that the monkey put Jackie’s address into the driving instructions after Charlotte made a sarcastic remark that she would like nothing better than to spend Christmas with Jackie. Charlotte and her family arrive in the middle of the night, and Jackie invites them to spend the night rather than continuing on the road without sleep. Jackie constantly reminisces with Rob about their younger days playing in a band together in college. Charlotte starts to become jealous.

The following morning, Charlotte finds that she is snowed in and unable to travel to her sister’s house. Rob and the kids convince Charlotte to stay for Christmas with Jackie and her family. Charlotte takes the opportunity to sneak around and verify that Jackie’s Christmas letter boasts are fraudulent. Much to her chagrin, Charlotte only confirms everything that Jackie published in the letter. During her search, Charlotte sees a letter from Rob addressed to Jackie. Suspicious, Charlotte begins searching the house to find out what is in the letter. Charlotte breaks into a room to find an old dollhouse that she accidentally destroys. It is revealed that the dollhouse was Valentino’s mother’s childhood dollhouse that Jackie had spent months lovingly restoring as a Christmas gift for her husband. Charlotte confronts Jackie and Rob about the letter and accuses them of having a secret affair. Rob reveals that he has been secretly sending out Christmas letters about Charlotte and the kids to their friends and family for years. Rob informs Charlotte that although she is not happy with her place in life that he is very proud of their family’s accomplishments and takes pleasure in sharing news about their lives with the world.

After the fight, Charlotte begins to participate in the festivities and ceases perceiving Jackie as the enemy. Jackie encourages Charlotte to take chances, and Charlotte decides to use her and Rob’s savings to make the down payment on the dream house that Rob wanted to buy as an extravagant Christmas gift. She and Jackie go to the bank and negotiate a loan for the purchase. At the same time, Jackie’s daughter Beatrix leads a crusade with Dora and Grant to prove that Santa Claus is not real. Their misguided mission ultimately exposes a mall Santa as fake. Grant is disturbed by the thought of Santa not being real and runs away to return home so that Santa can bring their presents to the right house. Charlotte talks her son into staying and works to reestablish her son’s belief in the jolly one.

Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve, a news story breaks that Charlotte’s company has been caught creating unsafe products. As a result, Charlotte is laid off. Realizing that she has just invested her family’s savings in a risky dream house, Charlotte tells Jackie that she has to drive to the bank in another town to cancel the loan which will result in her missing the Christmas pageant that Jackie and Valentino have been organizing. Rob, unaware of the loan, encourages Charlotte to think of the job loss as a sign for Charlotte to do something that she wants to do. Nevertheless, Charlotte begins to leave but stops when she sees a sign for a charity in the name of Jackie’s son. Charlotte turns around and finds Jackie who explains that her son died two years prior. Jackie tells Charlotte that she didn’t write the Christmas letter the previous year because it was too painful, but she returned to the practice because it was helpful to think of her son as still changing the world in the form of the charity.

A little later, Jackie shares with Charlotte a solar powered hot air balloon that can theoretically travel around the world. Jackie tells Charlotte that it was her son’s wish to build one, so Jackie worked to make the dream real. Jackie tells Charlotte that she is going to use the balloon as the Christmas Star in the pageant. Charlotte helps Jackie get the balloon air born. However, they fly to low to Jackie’s house and accidentally hook a decorative sleigh and reindeer from the top of Jackie’s house with the balloon’s ladder. Charlotte climbs down into the sleigh and uses the decoration to convince Beatrix, Dora, and Grant that there is a Santa. The kids are fooled into believing that it is the real Santa, and the pageant is a rousing success.

In the film’s epilogue, Rob and Charlotte get their dream house after Charlotte makes a fortune selling one of her inventions. Jackie and her family fly around the world in the balloon. Both families maintain their friendship and begin sending out a joint Christmas letter every year.

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Our Rating

Netflix released Best. Christmas. Ever! on November 16, 2023. Mary Lambert directed the film starring Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, and Jason Biggs.

User Rating: 1.85 ( 1 votes)
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