Boxing Day (12A)
Boxing Day (12A)
Director: Aml Ameen
Runtime: Ihr 50 mins
Cast: Aml Ameen, Aja Naomi King, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Tamara Lawrance, Sheyi Cole, Samson Kayo, Joshua Maloney, Lisa Davina Phillip, Claire Skinner, Stephen Dillane
Synopsis: Melvin, a British author living in America, returns home to London for the holidays to introduce his American fiancé, Lisa to his eccentric British-Caribbean family. Their relationship is put to the test, as she discovers the world Melvin left behind.
The directorial and writing debut of actor Aml Ameen and inspired by his own life, Boxing Day is billed as: ‘the first ever Black British Rom-Com set around Christmas.’
Aml Ameen [Kidulthood (2006), The Bill (TV 2002-2007), The Maze Runner (2014), Yardie (2018), I May Destroy You (TV 2020)] also stars as Melvin, a British author living in America, who returns home to London for a television interview and for the opportunity to introduce his American fiancé, Lisa [Aja Naomi King – Four (2012), The Birth of a Nation (2016), The Upside (2017), How to Get Away with Murder (TV 2014-2020)] to his eccentric British-Caribbean family. However their relationship is put to the test when Melvin re-discovers aspects of the world he left behind, in particular that his ex-girlfriend, Georgia [Leigh-Anne Pinnock – singer-songwriter and member of hugely successful British girl band, Little Mix] is now an international pop star.
An impressive, talented ensemble cast includes Marianne Jean-Baptiste [Mike Leigh’s Secrets & Lies (1969)] as Shirley, Melvin’s mother; with Sheyi Cole as Josh [Steve McQueen’s BBC series Small Axe (2020], his younger brother. Boobsy is played by [Tamara Lawrance – Steve McQueen’s BBC series Small Axe (2020); Melvin’s father, Bilal, is played by his Yardie (2018) co-star Robbie Gee. Richard is played by Stephen Dillane, the well-respected British stage actor who has gained a new following in recent years thanks to his starring role in HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011). The supporting cast includes Claire Skinner [Outnumbered (2007–2016, Naked (1993)] as Georgia’s mum and Melvin’s “Auntie” Caroline; Lisa Davina Phillip (Apple Tree House TV 2017-18) as Auntie Valerie; Ricky Fearon [Torchwood (2006), Julius Caesar (2012) and Break Clause (2019)]; Fraser James [Origin (2018)] and Derek Ezenagu [Victoria (2017) as Melvin’s uncles, Kirkland, Billy and Clint. Samson Kayo [Truth Seekers (TV2020)] as cousin Joseph; Yasmin Monet Prince [Hanna (2019-20)] as Alison; Melvin Gregg [Nine Perfect Strangers (2021)] as Ian Gorgeous, Georgia’s unfaithful rapper boyfriend, and Rochelle Rose [ Death in Paradise (TV 2020)]as Lisa’s best friend Chantelle.
The ensemble provides unique and engaging energy, breathing life into the colourful story.
While the film’s structure is pure rom-com — with his character, Melvin, torn between his American girlfriend and his ex, Georgia — Ameen has sprinkled into the script a lot of home truths about racism, relationships, and fatherhood, with some of the conversations drawn from real-life and some imagined, representing his worldview
“I’ve created the first ever Black led British Rom-Com set around Christmas. I’ve long been inspired by the great holiday movies with a romantic touch. Whether it is Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, or Nancy Meyers’ The Holiday or one of my personal favourites P.J Hogan’s My Best Friend’s Wedding. Me, a working-middle class London boy, found myself having synergy with these wonderfully executed movies, that at the heart of it all, are about love and family. My love for these movies brought about a natural question, why hasn’t anyone created this kind of film through the specificity of my cultural lens? That is why I looked back at the diary of my life and decided to sit down and write about it.”, Ameen has commented.
Boxing Day is a plausible debut for Ameen, and his seasonal, authentic, new take on the Rom-Com entertains us with our differences and moves us by arguing how much we are all truly the same.
Images courtesy of: Warner Bros