Making a holiday film audiences will love, and relate to, isn’t always an easy feat, and can oftentimes be a recipe for disaster. Thankfully that’s not the case for David E. Talbert and Will Packer’s newest family flick Almost Christmas. Fact is, the duo have all the right ingredients – a dash of a love, a teaspoon of tears and a whole heaping of laughter – courtesy of Mo’Nique, who will have audiences laughing out loud.
“I think we forget sometimes that she is the “Queen of Comedy” and she’s letting everybody know that with this,” said Talbert, who admitted he also let her improv as much as she wanted to. “It’s Mo’Nique, you don’t LET her do anything. Mo’Nique does it, and you say, ‘Thank you very much, Queen, for blessing this project with your artistry.'”
In the film, Mo’Nique plays the hilarious Aunt Mae, who comes to visit her brother in-law (Danny Glover) and his children for Christmas after their mother passes. Packer, who has had success in the holiday film genre with 2007’s This Christmas, told HipHollywood it was the heartwarming storyline that attracted him to the project.
“The thing that’s different about this movie is that it’s about a family that has lost their matriarch. Usually it’s the woman that’s holding it all together, especially in the black family. In this one you have Danny Glover, the icon. He’s playing the patriarch, and along with that you have this family trying to figure out how to function without the glue, without the heart and soul that’s been there for so long.”
And then of course there’s a stellar supporting cast, including Glover, Gabrielle Union, Kimberly Elise, J.B. Smoove, Romany Malco and Omar Epps, and one hilarious table scene that Talbert says was inspired by watching British films and American comedies like The Nutty Professor. “It’s really a British farce. All these different things are happening, all these different story lines, the audience knows more than the characters on screen, and then it just combusts,” he explained.
Almost Christmas hits theaters (just in time for Thanksgiving) on November 11.
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