A Big Fat Family Christmas Movie Review

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Written By Kristen

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When a photojournalist is assigned to cover a big Christmas party, she hides the fact that it's her family's party. A Big Fat Family Christmas on Hallmark is a beautiful and moving Christmas movie that's all about the community and leaning on each other during the holidays. Read on to see why I'll be putting this movie at the top of my list for one of the best movies of the year.

A Big Fat Family Christmas
A Big Fat Family Christmas

A Big Fat Family Christmas Plot

Liv (Shannon Chan-Kent) is a photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle. When Henry (Shannon Kook), a new journalist for the paper, proposes covering the Chan family's annual Christmas party, Liv doesn't tell Henry or her editor that it's her family. Everyone knows Liv professionally as Liv Rose, and they have no idea that her full name is Liv Rose Chang.

Covering the Changtastic Christmas party is a big deal for both Henry and Liv. The editor has promised them the featured spot if the story goes well. It's part of why Liv doesn't disclose her conflict with the story. That, and the fact that she doesn't like to be linked to the party. She still attends, and she helps her parents with some of the work, but for Liv it's an over-the-top exgravagance.

Liv's parents, especially her mother Ivy (Tia Carrere), go all out for Christmas. Every square inch of the exterior and interior of their home is decorated, and Liv thinks it's too much. She wishes that they would tone it done and be more subtle.

As Henry and Liv set-out to cover the story, they start by getting to know San Francisco. Liv takes him around the community, and she also takes him on a boat ride so that he can see the city from a different angle. It's magical to see San Francisco all lit up for Christmas.

Working together on the story, Liv and Henry get to spend a lot of time together. And, he gets to spend a lot of time with her family learning about the history of the party and their traditions. Henry gets to make dumplings with the family, follow Ivy as she goes shopping for the party, and he gets to see how the money raised at the party helps the community.

Watching Liv and Henry explore San Francisco and Chinatown was really educational for me. I loved learning about the Chinese culture, the traditions, and history. The movie did a great job weaving these nuggets of information into the story.

The Cast in A Big Fat Family Christmas

The cast in A Big Fat Family Christmas is wonderful. Both Shannons were amazing in the lead roles, but they were surrounded by great talent as well. There is Jack Wagner as her boss at the newspaper, and of course Tia as her mother. Her brother Andrew is played by Harrison Sima and I thought he was great too. He and Shannon had a great sibling chemistry in the movie.

While not an official part of the cast, you have to consider Chinatown when talking about the movie. After all, the beauty, and vibrancy of the community is integral to this story. The Chang's annual Christmas party started 25 years ago as just a small party with friends and family. But over the years it grew to include the whole community, because that's what Christmas and the Chinese traditions are all about.

A Big Fat Family Christmas
Tia Carrere

My Review of A Big Fat Family Christmas

I have to say that A Big Fat Family Christmas had me hooked from the opening scene. There are some movies where you can tell right away if it's going to be a hit, or a miss, and with this one I knew I would like it. Maybe it's because it's set in San Francisco and I love the city. Or maybe it's because of the gorgeous decorations. I'm not sure what it was, but I knew I was going to like it and the movie did not disappoint.

The Verdict: Beautiful! I think there's no better way to describe the movie. It really is beautiful both in how it looks, but also in how it made me feel. Of course everyone in the cast is beautiful, but that's not the beauty I'm talking about. It's the beauty in the meaning and message of the story. Liv has pulled away from the Changtastic Christmas party and her family. She tells them that it's because she is embarrassed by them and how over the top the party is. But there's more to the story and I think it's an important message for everyone to hear.

A Big Fat Family Christmas

A Big Fat Family Christmas Recap

Liv's Dad (Yee Jee Tso) explains that Chinese traditions and Christmas go hand-in-hand. After all, red is a lucky color in Chinese traditions, so the holiday blends beautifully with the culture. I mean look at the picture above. The colors and the joy of the holiday are on display everywhere in Chinatown. I hope that you'll sit back and enjoy watching A Big Fat Family Christmas this year. On top of being a really good Hallmark movie, it has an important message everyone should hear.

Watch on the Hallmark Channel or PeacockTV.

Another great Hallmark Christmas movie that complements this movie is Christmas at the Golden Dragon. And check out my 2022 ranking of the best Hallmark Christmas movies this year.

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