Part of me feels really deceived by the promotion of Never Been Chris’d and the other part of me is thankful that I went into this movie completely blind. Why? Because the best part of any movie is being pleasantly surprised. I thought I was going into a movie about two best friends who end up in a love triangle and then hate each other because one gets the man.
What can I say? The previews gave me an impression and I went in with that. But it’s really nothing like that. I mean sure, there’s an element, but it’s not that simple. It’s also more a movie about friendship and the power of not expecting or wanting redos in life. It’s more a movie about moving forward and a movie about figuring out communication.
And while normally a movie with those things, I would tell you that it doesn’t need to be Christmas. But, here’s why I will tell you that this one is fitting at the holidays – as we grow older a lot of us don’t like to return back to where we grew up. Yes, there are the select few that do, and to them I applaud their love of family and all that. Going home for a lot of us only happens around the holidays.
So for Naomi and Liz to journey home, it’s a big thing. The two are somewhat pseudo celebs, because they have this super successful app. But the thing is that in the almost two decades since high school they did the same thing that they’ve always done – hid behind each other.
The most painful and the most beautiful thing about friendships is that they force something out of you. Sometimes it’s something that is easy, sometimes it’s hard, but the best of friendships challenge you and push you forward. They make you a better person – even if the road to getting there is something that you never want to go down.
In what is the most co-dependent friendship ever, Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes and Janel Parrish, shine. They are the closest of friends and business partners. They also have a big flaw – they communicate only half the time and are never truly listening.
Going home brings up a lot of things for both of them about their relationship with each other and their relationship with their Moms. While we watch the characters of Naomi and Liz navigate their families, their business, and facing the kids from high school, I don’t think that there are many of us that can’t relate to what they are facing.
And as they come face to face with the boy of their high school fantasies, Chris Silver, played by Tyler Hynes, we’re left wondering how they will navigate them both chasing after the same man. But Chris Silver has his own insecurities and doesn’t seem to know how to do anything but a group hang.
I can’t even believe what I am about to say, but Chris Silver, even if he is played by Tyler Hynes, is a character that I really don’t seem to like – at the beginning (he finds some redemption in the character arc). He seems to always be pretending that he’s someone that he’s not. It’s a lonely existence if you aren’t embracing who you are, and Chris Silver doesn’t seem to be able to pull himself together long enough to admit to himself, let alone other people who he is.
I guess though, for all three of these characters, there is a connection. A connection of all of them trying to figure out who they are, even in their 30’s. Maybe it’s a reminder that we’re all figuring out who we are and why we are the way we are. Maybe it’s a testament that you can always go home again.
While I do get why Chris Silver was there, and his importance in the way that Naomi and Liv found their way, I would have preferred if they had focused more on why we should like him versus his veganism. Hell, even that was a lie. He’s a pescatarian. Don’t know why he’s ashamed to say that he eats fish.
Maybe we needed to see his growth by him admitting that he sometimes likes fish?
The most interesting part of the movie, to me, was watching Naomi and Liv find their way. Whereas I love a good romance, for a majority of this movie, I was thankful that Hallmark gave us friends to root for instead of worrying about a romance the whole way through. I needed a movie about friendships and navigating that road. I needed a movie about making your way through complicated family dynamics. I needed a movie that reminded me that going home – for the holidays or at any time – can be a messy headache, but it can also help us in finding ourselves too.
And maybe that’s a reminder that we all needed.
Sometimes I think that I read too much into these things, but that’s the beauty of movies or any form of entertainment. If a movie is making you feel something – good or bad – it’s doing its job. While everything is subjective – to this writer – Never Been Chris’d did its job.
Though, if I am being honest, I wish that all three of their characters would have just ended up just friends at the end. Friendship, after all, is the best ship. But maybe that’s just me. Maybe?
Christmas Cheer Factor: 🎄🎄🎄