“This is a situation that has never happened before.”Jess Walker
The only new idea Netflix’s unbearably bland Christmas body-swap brings is that, rather than a pair trading places, this time it’s an entire family. The female leads deliver the most convincing performances though their characters are also better written — most will recognise the expressive Emma Myers as Wednesday Addams’ best friend, whilst Jennifer Garner brings prior body swap experience from 13 Going On 30. In one scene the family members describe their situation by referencing the titles of a dozen other body swap movies, the writers perhaps hoping that by lampshading how hackneyed the concept is, we will forgive their derivative mess of a script. Logic rarely rears its head — Wyatt’s Yale interview is inexplicably held in a classroom at his school rather than at, say, Yale — and often the shenanigans require characters to forget the basic premise, so that we can have adults engage entirely inappropriately at a teenage party or schoolkids instantly forget they think a child is a loser. The less said about the cringe-inducing scene in which the siblings (in their parents’ bodies) are goaded into kissing the better. Eventually the family are required to learn the most basic of lessons — that they do care about one another — which perhaps is an achievement since I certainly struggled to care about this collection of stock characters sketched in the broadest manner possible. Switch this out for any other body swap movie instead.