Jingle Hell | Chicago Reader

Jingle Hell

A sharp-tongued Irish-American clan reunite for the Christmas holidays in this 1999 drama by Will Tully. The script, by Carter Ann McGowan and Kelly R. Bryan, deploys all the stereotypes of the dysfunctional modern family: the emotionally distant father, the long-suffering mother, the responsibility-burdened eldest son, the brittle workaholic daughter. Tully manages to transcend the cliches, aided by an ensemble of unknown but capable actors who animate even the most timeworn scenes (the bitter argument spoiling Christmas dinner, etc). Unfortunately, Randy Leger's unremarkable photography reduces all their efforts to the dimensions of a hastily filmed soap opera. 88 min.

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