"doesn’t break new ground, but as a family friendly comedy that goes against the old adage of not working with children and animals"
Surviving Christmas with the Relatives is the latest heart-warming offering from Oscar nominated filmmaker James Dearden that sees two sisters endure the festive period with their respective families at their late parents' dilapidated country house.
We follow Julian Ovenden’s Dan as he attempts to get the home up to scratch to host the family with his wife Miranda (Gemma Whelan) and their contractors and hilarity ensues.
What follows is a sweet film about family and learning how to get along with the relatives, even if some of them are out for themselves, by making compromises and accepting the differences and challenges that family brings.
This is a wonderful change of pace for Gemma Whelan as she takes on the trials and tribulations by embodying the role of put upon house wife Miranda as she goes head-to-head with Joely Richardson’s self-absorbed Lyla, who shines in the role and the two play perfectly off of each other. It’s nice to see Michael Landes back on our screens as Trent, even if the character is deplorable. Sally Phillips is a shining light in the film, she doesn't have a lot to do but she brings a lot to her role of Dan’s ex-wife Miriam, especially with the subplot involving their drug addicted son - Harry (Jonas Moore).
A mention needs to be made for Sophie Simnett as Bee, who doesn’t have a whole lot to do in the film, but even in a supporting role she is definitely one to keep an eye on, further proving that she can turn her hand to anything.
Surviving Christmas with the Relatives doesn’t break new ground, but as a family friendly comedy that goes against the old adage of not working with children and animals, it will warm the heart and leave you feeling as though being with the family isn’t half as bad.