User Reviews (7)

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  • I think our two reviewers are a bit harsh. Yes, the film portrays some stereotypical attitudes. Yes, Ulf, is seemingly that stereotypical homophobic character. But, Ulf does have a point, as seen through the prism of his conservative upbringing and his legalistic training.

    The performance of Maria Lundqvist is outstanding. Coming from Australia, and not Au fait with Scandinavian cinema and actors, I thought hers as Monica was superb.

    Yes, it did get a bit schmaltzy, but, hey, this is Xmas time: how many Hollywood films cover this territory? It is a Universal sentiment, and, if it is encompassing of the "gay" community. why not? I did shed a tear. And in my book, any film that makes a 66 year old cry, has something going for it!!!!
  • This movie is absolutely horrendous. From a critic point of view I'd say the movie belongs between an IMDb rating of 4 - 5, but the fact that it has such a rating as 6.3(as I'm writing this), I felt the need to over exaggerate on my score in order to lower its overall rating, because this really isn't a movie that you'd want to stumble across by accident.

    To start it all of, I would say the major flaw of this movie comes down to its script and story development.

    It's said to be a comedy, although that's among what it lacks the most. Overall it doesn't bring anything new or interesting, and on top of that, it has some serious "cringy"(as the teens call it) moments, in fact all to many. Its so called "humor" for the most part consists of someone making a clumsy entrance, saying something awkward about someone while they're sitting next to him or her, or just making it as simple as strictly riping off ideas that has worked in the past from other better movies. Before I watched it I had my expectations set to a standard B-movie, unfortunately for me that wasn't the case. There were multiple occasions where the movie just tried so hard to make it funny, that you couldn't but smile at how they thought people would laugh at someone stumble over an object and crashing a lamp. In other words I wouldn't recommend this movie, it has its clutch moments and occasionally good scenes, but simply doesn't make it to be even a B-tier movie.

    To summarise briefly I'll give some key-words; Cringe, forced, uninteresting, abysmal.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This Movie seems to proclaim to be a comedy, in fact it's a highly PC-driven drama with a lot of comedic reliefs (in the PC category of course, what else).

    The movie starts out in the typical Swedish no-nonsense slam the PC stereotype into the viewers face kind of way, by having a Swedish couple acting "racist" towards the Hotel cleaner and then trying to excuse themselves in typical Swedish stereotype fashion. This is pretty much how the whole film is executed whenever it touches a subject (usually trying to break up open door since 15 years back instead of taking up real stigmas and problems of today).

    The movie is so sub-par that I don't really feel it's necessary to talk about the lacking acting skills of Anton Lundqvist playing the son of Robert Gustavsson's character or the facts that it was out of sync on several occasions making it look like a dubbed movie.

    For any non-Swedish viewer out there I would compare it to watching 1984 and at the same time knowing that what is depicted in front of you is a true mirroring of Swedish society of today.
  • A good test of a "comedic" film is the laughter engendered in an audience. I have endured too many supposed comedies, where I have continually thought, "This isn't at all funny." I saw this film at a festival showing with about 900 people in the audience. Although the laughter was not constant, there were many, many occasions during the film, when one could not hear the lines of the actors, because there was such prolonged uproarious laughter in response to the preceding dialogue. I personally haven't laughed so much at film in a very long time.

    It is a very charming Christmas story, featuring a very unusual (to an American) Christmas celebration involving extended families of two young gay men meeting for the first time. The acting is of the highest caliber. There are some pratfalls, but if they are humorous, it is not because someone slipped on a banana peel, but the circumstances leading up to the slip. Most of the humor is from the lines of the actors. Although the ending is predictable and perhaps formulaic, no audience would expect it to end a tragically, and comedy continues to the end.
  • I first saw this movie in Lund, Sweden. Me and my friend had planned to see something else but that sold out, so we picked this one instead. To be honest, we didn't have high hopes for it.

    From the first scene, however, I was impressed with the excellent acting and how quickly and efficiently the backdrop of the story was being put together, without it seeming forced. We ended up laughing our faces off in the theatre, which has never happened to me before or after. This movie has it all - it's funny, it's touching, it's a little sad, and a very nice and unconventional Christmas story. What I especially love is how you sympathize with EVERY character, even though none of them can behave themselves. And again - the acting is really, really impressive.

    My only point of criticism would be that the music is sometimes a touch sentimental, and that it's put under the images without much hindsight to its appropriateness. However, this is a very minor thing and I only noticed it while re-watching the movie in detail (I'm working on Dutch subtitles). By the way, the second, third and fourth time around, this movie does not disappoint :-)
  • The Swedish film En underbar jävla jul was shown in the U.S. with the title Holy Mess (2015). (If you go to Google Translate, you'll learn that the original Swedish title is quite a bit more colorful. "Jul" in this context means "Yule.") The movie was co-written and directed by Helena Bergström. Bergström also plays a supporting role.

    This is an ensemble film, in which a dozen people gather together at the home of a gay couple for Christmas Eve. Once you know that, you can pretty much predict the plot-- homophobic parents, an aging grandmother, a surrogate mother, etc.

    In a movie like this, success or failure depends on the quality of the acting. These actors are very talented and capable. In fact, they are so good that I won't try to single out any of them for special praise. Not only is each actor competent, but they play well in ensemble.

    This film has a terrible 5.8 IMDb rating. It's not a great film, but it's much better than that.

    We saw this movie at the excellent Little Theatre, as part of the wonderful ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will also work well on the small screen.

    A Holy Mess is one of 22 films that had their New York State premiere, or their East Coast premiere, at ImageOut. My compliments to the ImageOut Programming Committee for their great success in bringing these films to Rochester.
  • I'm surprised I haven't seen this movie earlier, I absolutely loved it. Fun, chaotic and sweet. I would say this has all the characteristics of a typical Swedish Christmas! Well played by all involved and just brilliant. Thank you Helena