Wednesday, November 4, 2020

My Dad's Christmas Date Review: Piven and Barrett Shine In This Holidate Surprise

Joely Richardson	Joely Richardson	...	Sarah Jeremy Piven	Jeremy Piven	...	David Anna Walton	Anna Walton	...	Rachel Nathalie Cox	Nathalie Cox	...	Laura Roger Ashton-Griffiths	Roger Ashton-Griffiths	...	Mr. Thompson Olivia-Mai Barrett	Olivia-Mai Barrett	...	Jules Tina Louise Owens	Tina Louise Owens	...	Cathedral Concert Guest / Christmas Shopper Philip Gascoyne	Philip Gascoyne	...	House Party Guest Grant Crookes	Grant Crookes	...	Cathedral Concert Guest Mark Fisher	Mark Fisher	...	Christmas Manor House Guest Hadar Cats	Hadar Cats	...	Emma John Alan Roberts	John Alan Roberts	...	Christmas Manor house guest Joanne James	Joanne James	...	Xmas Market Shopper / Cathedral Concert Guest Joelle Rae	Joelle Rae	...	Bea Genevieve Capovilla	Genevieve Capovilla	...	Amanda

Release date: November 6, 2020
Running time: 86 minutes
Starring Jeremy Piven, Olivia Mai Barrett, Hadar Cats, and Joely Richardson

Directed By Mick Davis
Written By Brian Marchetti, Jack Marchetti, Toby Torlesse

In many ways, David (Piven) and Jules Evans (Barrett) relationship is no different from that of most fathers and sixteen-year-old daughters. He struggles to understand her, she refuses to communicate with him. He wants to be involved in her life, she wants her own space. In one important aspect, however, David and Jules are separated from the rest of society: the death of Jules' mum, and David's wife, in a car crash two years earlier. With both struggling to cope with the rigors of daily life in the wake of this devastating loss, Jules decides to take matters into her own hands. Creating profiles for David on multiple online dating platforms, Jules sets out to find her dad a partner and, for herself, someone with whom she can talk. The question is, in the search for a new mum, will Jules find her old dad?

Directed by  Mick Davis	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Brian Marchetti	 Jack Marchetti	 Toby Torlesse    Lee Beasley	...	executive producer Karinne Behr	...	executive producer Kirsty Bell	...	executive producer Ruth Cats	...	executive producer Loni Farhi	...	producer Lisa Gabriel	...	associate producer Alan Latham	...	producer Philippe Martinez	...	producer Phil McKenzie	...	executive producer Jamie R. Thompson	...	executive producer Jane Widgery	...	associate producer
Now I expected this movie to be your typical Christmas movie with all the standard tropes, and in a lot of ways this is exactly that, but there is plenty to love about this film.  For one, the main characters are a lot of fun, with Piven playing an overworked but caring dad and Barrett playing a rebellious but generally good kid.  Barrett's character feels like someone trying to help out her father in an unconventional way.  She is a strong, independent young lady trying to get her footing in this world.  And although she doesn't have a lot of friends, she is helped along by her close friendship with Hadar Cats.  Cats plants the thought in her head for Barrett to secretly set her dad up with several dating apps.  And when the dates begin to happen, they are fun but not too over the top.  I actually wish the film would have gone crazier with the dates with some more out there entries, but overall there were enough of them in varied situations to give Piven's character more depth.  But what really sets this film apart is that it highlights Piven's emotional acting chops.  Most of us know him from his iconic role as Ari Gold in Entourage, but the character of David is a much more nuanced and emotional character.  He felt convincing as a dad who is struggling to manage work and family, while trying to be there for his daughter but not really knowing how.  And there are scenes of genuine emotion that showcase just how good of an actor Piven is.

And the relationship between David and Jules is one that I really enjoyed seeing on screen.  David treats his daughter as a mature kid, giving her freedom to do many of the things that she wants.  It is a loving and trusting relationship that more movies could do with highlighting between parent and child.  Seeing the two grow, fight, and learn more about each other really is the heart of this movie, leading to some emotional, heartfelt moments.  If there is a criticism with the movie, it is that the conclusion felt just too convenient and I feel like it wrapped up too quickly.  I would have loved to see a little more of this film before the credits rolled. 

My Dad's Christmas Date gives Barrett and Piven a chance to shine and brings an unconventional holiday story with great characters and plenty of emotion and heart.

Watch it.

Holiday Christmas British Humor Comedy Drama Emotion Dates Blind Date Tinder Social Media
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BONUS: Check out our interview with Hadar Cats, who plays Emma!

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