My Dad's Christmas Date (2020) Review
A Christmas film with a twist as a scheming daughter decides to set up her widowed dad during the holiday season.
It’s that time of year where many Christmas films are released, trying to be the next classic. Mick Davis directs the latest attempt, My Dad’s Christmas Date, which follows a 16-year-old girl named Jules, played by Olivia-Mai Barrett, as she tries to set up her widowed father during the Christmas period.
My Dad’s Christmas Date starts in typical festive film fashion with whimsical music and snow filling the scene. People are shown as unashamedly joyful as they stroll across the streets littered with Christmas lights and markets. We are then introduced to Jules and her widowed father David, played by Jeremy Piven.
The rest of the film chronicles their journey through their loss, and how they each try to deal with their grief. Jules decides that her father needs a new partner to change up their lives in the hopes of filling the void left by her deceased mother. Jules wants someone to discuss her problems with and understand her, while also keeping her father company.
If you want something new this December, My Dad’s Christmas Date is worth checking out
This may seem impossible, but Piven is likeable in this film. He’s often typecast as a jerk or some sort of schemer, but he’s quite charming this time out. Piven plays a widower who struggles to communicate with his daughter but tries to bring joy and positivity nonetheless. He works hard to understand his daughter and just wants to do what he thinks is best for her.
Ironically, his daughter is trying to do the same. Unfortunately, neither of them understand boundaries and each crosses the line way too much. It’s addressed in comedic terms at times, but they tackle the problems seriously too. The balance is done well to make it funny yet endearing when they try to solve their issues.
Barrett puts in a great display as Jules. She starts off as a hormonal teenager with many different emotions and feelings. It’s entirely believable that she is a young woman struggling as she grows up - even more so without her mother not being around. Her desire to be understood and her feeling of loneliness is so relatable as every teenager has felt like this. Barrett plays the role perfectly and it’s both cringey and enjoyable to watch.
Joely Richardson stars as Piven’s ex-girlfriend and has her own side plot. It’s entirely unnecessary, and is simply there to extend the running time. Her section feels like padding and is the worst part of the film. It’s like the director tried to make it an ensemble film, and then changed focus at the last minute.
My Dad’s Christmas Date definitely has some problems (of course, like with every festive film, expect overly sentimental moments and over-the-top sequences), but it’s an enjoyable Christmas flick. If you want something new this December, My Dad’s Christmas Date is worth checking out.
Available to watch on Amazon Prime.