Family Christmas Movie Act II: Twas the Week before Christmas

family fun nightOften in a movie in which the main character is visiting his family at Christmas, there are familial interactions in various public locales before the film culminates in the big event.

We meet the quirky residents of his hometown and see some ways in which the main character deals with being away from his normal life. Some familial tensions or issues are hinted at or foreshadowed.

In this Family Christmas Movie, the main character spends the weekdays in his pajamas and wakes up at 4 am due to jet lag.

He is there for three days before he realizes that his sister and her kids have also been there for three days. This realization coincides with other realizations, such as how much he hates the concept of forced-pants at home, how quiet his flat is, how much he loves and misses that quiet, and that he is astoundingly happy without children.

After – and as a result of – all of these realizations, he makes a mental note to find a quiet moment to vocally thank the Gods of Durable Latex and Good Timing. Now, however, a quiet moment seems unlikely.

The parts of the quirky townsfolk are played by the employees in the father’s dental office, which is attached to the house. The main character goes into the office for a teeth cleaning and he is received well by the ladies who work for his dad. And then, for unknown crimes against unknown people, his father sends him to a chair where he is set upon by the lovely Martina.

Martina is about five feet tall, Russian, and a true beauty, with sparkling blue eyes and a broad, genuine smile. She is also a dental hygienist who, incidentally, missed her true calling as cavity analyst at JFK or Information Acquisition Officer at Guantanamo. She is thorough. Once that broad smile is hidden by a surgical mask, shit gets real.

Martina and the main character, and his gums, teeth, gaps, molars, tongue, and lips, go on a sixty-minute rollercoaster ride of exploration, unilateral discussion, study, intervention, imperatives, blood, and tears. When it’s over, the main character can’t help but feel clean, violated, and a little in love. He finds a bed and weeps softly until sleep takes him.

In the week leading up to Christmas, the main character has only two events to attend. One of them is a long-planned dinner at a steak restaurant with his parents and the other is a night at the local bar with his siblings.

The night out with his siblings is fantastic for them and nobody else in the bar. The main character meets his two sisters and two family friends who are essentially, and to their occasional horror, Honorary Galeones. The main characters’ friends and sisters are all highly regarded professionals, so when they let their hair down, they do so with gusto.

Foreground: Honorary Galeones, Background: Bartender Who Smokes Too Much

Foreground: Honorary Galeones, Background: Bartender Who Smokes Too Much

The bartender has a smoking habit that is getting in the way of the main character’s drinking habit, and in a moment of Rumpleminz-induced good-natured ribbing, he tells her that. Then he buys her a shot, because nine seconds after he makes a joke he can’t remember if it was mean-spirited or not.

And then he doesn’t care.

He and his sisters discuss those things that can only be commiserated upon by people who came out of the same uterus. There is sidelong understanding on the part of the Honorary Galeones.

After a few shots, the jukebox gets attacked by the five people in their party. It becomes evident to all those present that our collective musical taste stops dead at about 1977.

And then the dancing begins.

The morning after, the main character’s sister is being followed in loud procession by human proof of her fertility. The main character is lying in bed praying to a god he doesn’t believe in that nobody bothers him until it’s time for steak.

The steak restaurant that night is lovely, low-lit, an atmosphere of quiet that the main character craves after three days of kids and family. The waiter gives his name (Dominic) and instantly regrets it since both the mother and father characters adjoin it roughly eleven times in the next three minutes to questions and specific drink and dietary requests.

The main dude gets a martini. He and his parents talk about work and family and friends. They talk about movies and books and other mundane tidbits that make them all comfortable.

The dinner conveys exactly what we expect from this. His parents are lovely and caring people, with a few wrinkles, they do, in fact, have a great relationship. And yet while our main character is a reasonable professional in his day-to-day life, around his parents he sometimes wants to tear his ears off, lie on the floor, and kick and stamp until someone (maybe Dominic?) beats him to death with a pepper shaker.

Despite his fantasy, this does not come to pass.

The night ends and our guy gets in bed early with a werewolf book. He reflects on the moving template of his Family Christmas Movie. Namely, what has been accomplished in terms of story?

Up until now, the main character has been established, as has his family, his friends, his quirky and violent tooth care worker. An appropriate amount of tension has been set and so we know – as viewer – that something humorous is going to happen on Christmas. Because if his immediate family is this odd, imagine what happens when the rest of them come in.

Then he sleeps, because he finds that paradoxically, there is nothing more exhausting than being on Christmas break.

  1. #1 by Jake Smash on January 3, 2016 - 4:22 pm

    Re: The Photo for this Entry

    No.. 1: The Langhorne!

    No.. 2: Holy shit, you’ve lost weight! I haven’t seen you that slim since before we knew each other. Way to go, D! Huzzah!

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