boxing day

Warners goes wide with Aml Ameen’s all-Black festive romcom

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Melvin, who is living in LA and has just (sort of) proposed to his American girlfriend Lisa (Aja Naomi King), is about to fly home to promote his latest book.

 

He is also set to attend one of his family’s Boxing Day gatherings, the last of which crashed and burned with the announcement of his parents’ divorce. Lisa, who in the spirit of this kind of romcom, is hiding secrets of her own, decides to go along, little realising that she is about to run into Melvin’s past in the form of his ex-girlfriend Georgia (Pinnock).

 

To make matters worse, Georgia is an old friend of Melvin’s family and has become an international singing sensation in his absence. 

This is Aml Ameen's directorial debut

Opening wide across the UK through Warner Bros on the first weekend of December, its status as the first British Christmas-set romcom led by a Black cast adds to its feelgood vibe and the presence of Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock helped Boxing Day notch £255,000 over its opening weekend (£265,000 including previews) over 443 screens. It’s an average haul, although Boxing Day will be expected to bed in further as Christmas approaches.

 

Ameen – who co-wrote the film with Bruce Purnell – has seen his screen stature grow ever since 2006’s Kidulthood. He was also a Screen Star of Tomorrow, under the ’Brits in LA’ label in 2013, an accolade obliquely nodded to here as he steps into the shoes of British author Melvin, who has just won a similar writing award. 

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