Pace is Entertaining: A comedy is all about moving parts and cramming jokes, at least that is what Hollywood thinks. Well, for those that like the style of lots of jokes in hopes they will hit, you've got your wish in this film. It's an adorable comedy with lots of quirks to latch onto, finding either the plot or subplots to provide lanes of comedy that they exchange throughout the movie. And all of this moves at speed that captivates the time period of one day for a visit. If that is the desire, then this will be one of the strongest aspects.
The Acting Is decent: This feels like several of Adam Sandler or Martin Lawrence comedies, where a lot of people form an on stage community. While no Oscar winning roles or mind blowing performances, the acting does establish the basic chemistry you expect and adds a little bit of the forced humor into it. It works like a standup comedy or SNL sketch, everyone adding that theatrical touch to the mix to help overemphasize the humor. Yet, you really do feel a bit of a connection between them that in the end really comes out. For the top billed actors Wardell is fine. A bit out of place compared to the others, but he plays the awkward teenager phase okay that really tightened up when he meets someone his own age to interact with. Lydia Gaston was very authentic as an overbearing mother, but the comedy aspect, while funny, did not mix as well as I think they thought it would when they did the writing. Still in the matriarch movie role, she did manage to get many qualities down that I enjoyed pulling things down together. As for Jo Koy, he's fun, funny, and a bit of the jack of All Trades in this movie, being funny and sentimental at times. It's not the most dynamic, but he does mix well with just about everyone in this comedy scene and we can see how they sort of made a fun skit pulling everyone together. Overall, it's okay, and works for the theme of the movie.
Fun Cameos: A nice surprise when people pop into the movie, Easter Sunday has a few players added to the mix to make the venue fun. I won't reveal them, but the three who broke into the movie and added a little spice, really did it well. Their use in the movie was very balanced, and though a bit short lived, held enough sustenance to make their stent in the show worth the investment in their characters. And to add a little diversity to the linear level of ridiculousness, it works very well.
Clever Comedy At Times: Like mentioned above, the comedy can be really spot on in terms of their jabs at various things. The cameos were my favorites, but there were a few other times that I got the relevance of the joke and really enjoyed it's place in the minutia of comedy. As for the comedic delivery, sometimes it's timed so well, with that finesse taking advantage of the timing, I could not help by laugh at everything coming together.
Music is Decent: A good soundtrack can really help make a good movie and this film again has some decent tunes to liven things up. Some festive music helps with the cultural aspects and some of them get your toes a tapping. However, there are other tunes that ring in that again feel very in tune with the fee of the movie, including a karaoke cover that is entertaining, funny, and of course may get you to listen to the classic song like I did. Thus, while not the best soundtrack, again it is very fun for me.
Relevant Family Drama: Now the meat of the movie, is the relevance and focus on family and how it works in the grand scheme of things. Easter Sunday's small section of members was very relevant to me and reminded me so much of the antics I faced growing up in a family as close as this. This film really showed off the intensity that comes with a tight knight group, traditions clashing with modern trends and strong personalities vying for dominance. Sometimes it drifts apart, while other times it drives them closer, it's the soap opera style of drama that you may or may not see in your home. If that's something intriguing to you, then this movie is going to be so well-received, as you sort of relive the slice of familial life. What they accomplish is poking fun and slipping in those moments that help you laugh off the tension, almost like that wacky uncle who comes to the dinner. This is the core foundation of this film and at times it is very endearing to help with the moral testing quality of the movie. And other times, it's being used as the cultural representation card that will bridge the gap and make the comedy better.
Quick Run Time: And above all else, everything I have mentioned is summed up that this is a quick run time and you don't have to spend too long watching. I was out of their very quickly when the movie completed I can't say much more to this, but all this wraps up to a time commitment that is less intensive and is a good way to kill time if you need it.
Predictable To A Fault: A movie that has too much prediction and foreshadowing can take the punch out of a lot of things they were planning. For me, they led the comedy and story by the nose, lines selling the twists that were happening an hour down the road. After about twenty five minutes, I had the rest of the comedy devices down with the exception of a few outliers shoved in. All this made the movie a bit boring for me, but for those who can turn their minds off and just enjoy this may not be an issue.
Too Many Story Lines, Not Enough attention: We've seen plenty of family dramas that tackle certain problems. In many of these, stories are balanced well so that they all have a place, but maybe don't get all the attention to allow for a natural flowing tale. Not the case for me with Easter Sunday. Several big plot points act as the focal points of the film, and each new point gets passed over like a baton that is then picked up with another baton. They try to stay in tandem, but for me, many were dropped and kind of had to be packed back up and developed sporadically. The flow was not there like the first twenty five minutes were, and solutions to the problems were a bit too quick to get to the races. While it again fits the idea of family matters and dynamics, as a story with emotional mastery it did not do so well for me. This led to a weaker story and sadly that's not what I had hoped when I saw the trailer for this.
The Pace is Also a Weakness: Much of the last dislike was due to this one. While the pace is entertaining and gets us to the end quicker, it itself also limits what they could have done. One of the subplots sort of pokes at this, and symbolizes how TV shows are the perfect medium for the familial culture to be shown. That felt very true to me when I was watching this film, that there needed to be a twenty something episode season to handle all the drama and plots they wanted, with two other seasons as well. It gives you a taste, and who knows, it might just be turned into a series knowing entertainment today. However, for a 90-minute rough runtime, the movie was sort of cursed with very crammed plots and gimmicks.
Jokes Are a Little Too Stand Up/In Your Face: And like many things on streaming, this movie felt even more forced with jokes. Quantity over quality in many cases, it was like Koy and the writers were throwing darts with different styles attached to them at a board and hoping it would stick with you. Koy randomly has a stand-up routine in the opening part of the movie, which works, but then the rest of the time it feels out of place. Other times, the other serious actors have to break their roles or try to shuffle out into comedy, and it just doesn't feel natural to the character leading to it being a bit meh. The point is the amount of jokes got a bit stale and need more planning and time to space out and maximize the talent in this movie.
Cheesy To a Fault: We all know cheesy jokes have their place and cheesy delivery does things well too. However, Easter Sunday again goes too far down this road to the point where it either is annoying or ruins what could have been a good line delivered had it been delivered differently. Again, SNL knows how to balance this well, but Easter Sunday may have treaded too far down this path to really maximize this comedy style for me.
Overall, Easter Sunday is okay in my book. It's mundane and a little bit of a mixture of chaos that the movie actually quotes and in some cases that chaos works well. It's relevant for those who know the culture or have a family like this, finding ways to mix drama and comedy that will be great if you turn your mind off. The movie stays at a fast pace through all of it, so this should appeal to those with little time or just needing a time killer to momentarily shut off their brain. However, in doing so, they rob a lot of the quality that the movie could have had. Mixing all the storylines, the comedy styles, and in such a tight package did not work, again needing a sitcom series to really get this kind of humor out. Still, a home watch with friends or family might be a fun in house date night, which is where this movie will be maximized at.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5.