Christmas wishes come true in Lance Rivera's (THE COOKOUT) second turn as a director, THE PERFECT HOLIDAY. Struggling songwriter Benjamin Armstrong (Morris Chestnut) is an all-around nice guy who is both looking for love and waiting for his big break. In the meantime, he works part-time as a shopping mall Santa, and one day receives a sweet request from young Emily (Khail Bryant): all she wants for Christmas is for her mommy to meet a nice man. A busy divorced single mother of three, Nancy (Gabrielle Union) has lost her faith in love since her bitter divorce from James, aka mega-rap star J-Jizzy (Charlie Murphy). When Benjamin uses Emily's inside information to make her Christmas wish come true, it looks likes he's found love with Nancy. But will a big career break cost him everything? And will Nancy's eldest son, John-John (Malik Hammond) accept him and give up on his dream that his parents will reconcile? With some help from Mrs. Christmas (Queen Latifah), reminiscent of Clarence in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, they all just might have a perfect holiday.
Murphy, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his younger brother Eddie, is fun as J-Jizzy, pushing the gangsta rapper stereotype to comic extremes. Terrence Howard appears briefly as Bah-Humbug, who attempts to foil Mrs. Christmas's good deeds. Faizon Love and Katt Williams lend comic support as Ben's best buddy, Jamal, and J-Jizzy's manager, Delicious. Union and Chestnut make a lovely couple, but the kids steal the show here. Hammond does a great job as a little boy who is trying to be a man and along the way realizes that his father isn't perfect. Bryant and Jeremy Gumbs, who plays middle-child Mikey, make their big-screen debuts.