Last week, Netflix released yet another original Christmas film, this time based in Brazil, where the holiday is celebrated in the summer. Just Another Christmas blends a time-loop concept with a message similar to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, putting a fresh twist on the message of holiday spirit.
In this festive comedy, Jorge (Leandro Hassum) was born on Christmas Day and since his childhood has never had a decent birthday. Because of this, he hates Christmas. However, after he marries Laura and has two children, he has to pretend to enjoy the holiday with his family and in-laws, as a family man.
On Christmas Eve in 2010, Jorge takes a terrible fall while pretending to be Father Christmas and wakes up exactly one year later without any memory of the prior 12 months. He doesn’t actually mind this, after finding himself with a new car and a promotion, until he goes to bed and wakes up on 2012’s Christmas Eve, again with no memory of the past year. This keeps happening in the upcoming years. As Jorge has to live every day on the holiday which he loathes, he tries to figure out what he has been doing during these blackouts.
The film is a fresh gimmick, as it takes the time loop concept from the 1993 American film Groundhog Day and uses Jorge as a Scrooge-like character who learns the real value of Christmas. The plot is filled with surprises, with humourous moments, slapstick comedy and jokes.
One drawback of the story, however, is the setting. As years go by, the contextual elements of the film remain the same. One example of this is when Jorge is seen watching Klaus, a 2019 Christmas film, in 2023.
Leandro Hassum, who plays Jorge, may not be well-known in the English-language world, but he is in fact a legendary comedian in Brazil and proves this in his debut film on Netflix. He does a great job delivering the comedic moments of the film. Even his goofy facial expressions are enough to make viewers laugh. Nevertheless, just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, he is the centre of most of the film, which does not allow the supporting characters to shine, not even Elisa Pinheiro who plays the role of Laura, Jorge’s wife.
All being said, this is one story that you need to watch this holiday season, thanks to its freshness and LOL moments.