December 13, 2011

25 Days: Nativity!
by docsmartypants

Nativity! (2009) Martin Freeman, Jason Watkins, Ashley Jensen, Marc Wootton, a bunch of British kids

Nativity! is, like Arthur Christmas, a movie I watched for the first time this year. It’s the story of Paul (Freeman), a primary school teacher who hates Christmas but gets roped into directing the school’s nativity play, despite having done a miserable job of it five years before. When a former-friend-now-rival who directs the lauded nativity play at a nearby posh school each year is needling him, Paul tells a small lie that quickly takes on a life of its own. The next thing Paul knows, the whole town thinks Hollywood is coming to see his play. Now he has to come up with a stellar production and find a way to get his ex-girlfriend (Jensen), who works in Hollywood, to come see it.

I didn’t expect much from Nativity! but it was actually pretty enjoyable. Nativity! reminds me of the sort of thing you might see on the Disney Channel; it’s a sweet, silly, oddly endearing little film. A lot of the scenes were apparently improvised, which gives some of them a slightly less polished look, but it’s nothing unforgivable.

Martin Freeman is clearly the best thing about Nativity! I will watch him in almost anything, just for his reaction shots alone. But he manages to bring a lot to a role that is, frankly, way beneath his abilities.

The only time I was ever in a nativity play was at my UU church, where I played one of the cowboys. Yeah, you read that right. So my experience with nativity plays is limited, but if they all had catchy music sung by cute British kids like the play in Nativity! I might go see more of them. Maybe. Possibly.

Needless to say, Nativity! has a happy ending. I won’t tell you what happens (though you can probably guess), but really, even in England a film like this is pretty much obligated to end with smiles. So then, The Moral of the Story: Don’t lie. Or, if you do lie, make it a really good one because it might just pay off in the end.

[I don’t expect any of you to rush out and see this, but if you do want to check it out, it is currently on Netflix Instant Queue.]

Tune in tomorrow for Day 14: He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special.

posted under Media
One Comment to

“25 Days: Nativity!”

  1. On December 23rd, 2011 at 2:08 pm AgentMascara Says:

    I had so much fun watching this with you! Thank you for introducing me to i!

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