Cup of Cheer is a film from the Naked Gun school of comedy, with gags coming thick and fast. There’s a strong serving of American Pie, too, with a bucket of smut emptied onto the script.
Leading us through this ironic chaos is Mary (Storm Steenson), a gentle parody of the typical New York millennial who lives in a ‘cute industrial loft’ that turns out to be a 6ft cage. A magazine journalist, Mary returns to her parochial hometown in search of a Christmas story when she runs into goofy cafe owner Chris (Alexander Oliver), who introduces himself by spilling a vat of hot chocolate down her.
What ensues is a screwball-inflected romance, displaying the leads’ ceaseless energy that’s supported by equally zany turns from Liam Marshall, who plays Chris’s brother Keith, and Jacob Hogan, inexplicably assuming the role of ‘Authuh’, a time-traveling British army officer.
Like the material that inspired it, Cup of Cheer’s purpose is to inundate with silliness. Naturally, it hits and it misses, with a theatrical energy that will irritate some and entertain others. Then there’s its good-humoured ridicule of Christmas schmaltz, which is better described as playful rather than outright cynical.
It may lack the twinkle in the eye of Leslie Nielson or the grizzled misanthropy of Bad Santa, but Cup of Cheer may well find an audience with its knowingly twee and absurd shenanigans.
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