‘Father Christmas Is Back’ is a Netflix British comedy film that centres around four very different Christmas sisters who have reunited for the Christmas holiday in a Yorkshire mansion. No love lost between them, misunderstandings uncover the long-buried secret that tore the family apart, 27 years ago.
The movie opens in Caroline (Nathalie Cox) and Peter Hope’s (Kris Marshall) Yorkshire mansion. Caroline Christmas-Hope is a control freak, who wants a perfect Christmas and is exasperated with her family who couldn’t care less. Her long-suffering loving husband Peter is a cool, dopey character who would have loved a Christmas in Bahamas. Her children, an adolescent Daisy (12), and chocolate-loving Henry (7), love to decorate their Christmas tree with toilet paper streamers.
For the past six months, Caroline has been planning “the best Christmas ever” as it has taken 27 years of therapy to recalibrate Christmas ever since her father left them on Christmas day. On December 23rd, her mother Elizabeth (Caroline Quentin), her fashion designer snobbish sister Joanna ( Elizabeth Hurley) arrive with her new boyfriend Felix for the festivities in a Rolls Royce. The free-spirited sister Vicky (Talulah Riley) comes on her motorcycle.
Beatles fanatic Paulina (Naomi Frederick) walks in with her huge suitcase. But, with her three disparate siblings coming together tensions are also running high with Joanna hating Caroline’s children and the country life. Joanna also hates Vicky’s carefree ways.
Inevitably, Joanna and Vicky squabble. Peter bonds with Felix and shares that is been married 18 years and have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for 18 months. After a squabble with Vicky, Joanna decides to leave and move to the inn. Their mother seems to be having an affair with their plain-speaking uncle John Christmas who has been present every Christmas since their father left. Polina complains that nobody values her work and she’s been writing the thesis for the last 10 years.
It is the last straw when, during her travels through America, Vicky managed to track down their long-lost father James (Kelsey Grammer) in Miami and has invited him to pop the Christmas celebrations at Caroline’s country home, Dunnock Manor. To make matters worse, he’s shown up unannounced with his much-younger, American partner Jackie (April Bowby). The sisters are concerned about their mother’s reaction but surprisingly she takes it with composure, albeit after a fainting episode.
As things are starting to go awry, will the family come together and will Caroline get the Christmas she wanted?
Father Christmas Is Back ending explained in detail:
The absent father’s redemption
James’ older brother John loses no opportunity to point out to James for leaving the family and taunts him as the “absent father”.
At the Christmas Eve dinner, James and John get into an argument. John proposes a boxing match, when they are ready to hit each other, Caroline douses James with cold water to stop the fight.
James has had had enough and changes the mood by proposing to Jackie and the situation is diffused. Elizabeth congratulates them she seems happy for them. The seemingly superficial Jackie shows she is mature and sensitive, by suggesting that James should talk to his daughters.
James apologizes to his daughters and says that he would give anything to be part of the family now. The girls become emotional and decide to go to the pub where the Christmas family bonds over Christmas songs and drinks.
Fairs and Fiascos
After a tiff, Vicky leaves the house in Joanna’s Rolls-Royce taking Joanna’s clothes along with her. Vicky goes to the inn and has a fling with the bartender. Vicky puts up Joanna’s designer clothes on sale at the village fair. Her Rolls Royce is also put up as a prize for the fortune wheel, Felix plays the wheel the entire evening to win back the Royce.
Elizabeth makes James dress as Santa at the village fair, James sportingly agrees, he encourages a despondent Daisy and gives her confidence to participate in the Nativity play. At the pub, Pauline reveals that she is gay.
She also notices a woman looking at her. Caroline has a little too much to drink. When they return home, Jackie fuses the electricity of the entire house when she tries to decorate the house American style. John tries to fix the fuse. As a result, the food in the refrigerator is ruined.
Caroline in her drunken state sleeps with Peter after 18 months. Joanna uses the toilet in Caroline and Peter’s room as her bathroom was engaged, when Peter wakes up in the morning he finds a positive pregnancy test in the bathroom dustbin he thinks that Caroline is pregnant, assuming that she has cheated and having an affair with another man he leaves the house in a huff.
When Caroline finds the pregnancy test she realizes what happened and asks whose is it was, Joanna now confesses that it was hers and that she is miserable but Felix is very excited and ask her to marry him. Caroline tells everyone that Peter has left the house thinking that she is an adulterer and is pregnant with another man’s baby.
The perfect Christmas?
Caroline says that it is the tradition in the family to go away on Christmas, Elizabeth says that it was unfair to say that because James left the house because of her. leaving everyone shocked. She further says that she had an affair and was pregnant with another man’s baby. Everyone realizes that the youngest, Vicky, is the baby. It is revealed that John, James’ older brother, is her father. James is thankful to Elizabeth for revealing the truth.
James and John patch up and they together go in search of Peter. Meanwhile, the kids and others have to attend the nativity play. Daisy plays her part well but Caroline is still waiting for Peter. James finds Peter and tells him all that happened and tells him the importance of family and brings him back.
Caroline and Peter are together and very much in love. Joanna and Felix decide to get married and spend the next Christmas in the Bahamas. James and Jackie decide to settle down in England. Vicky forgives her parents John and Elizabeth and hugs them.
The entire family is reunited, putting away all misunderstandings with the Christmas spirit reigning supreme.
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