The Perfect Holiday

Rated 2.0

An aspiring musician and part-time mall Santa (Morris Chestnut) meets a beautiful divorcée (Gabrielle Union)—who happens to be the ex-wife of the hip-hop mogul he’s been trying to pitch (Charlie Murphy). Chestnut and Union are always welcome faces, and on screen they look like they were made for each other, but they deserve far better surroundings than director Lance Rivera and his co-writers Marc Calixte, Nat Mauldin and Jeff Stein give them here. The script is a clumsy mess of silly contrivances and musty sight gags, and Rivera directs with all the grace of a sloppy drunk leading a karaoke sing-along. Amid all this, Chestnut and Union’s straightforward honesty looks downright lonely. Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard flit in and out as characters named “Mrs. Christmas” and “Bah Humbug,” respectively.