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Home > Screenings > SPI International > My Dad's Christmas Date

Director: Mick Davis

Producer: Loni Farhi, Philippe Martinez, Alan Latham

Writer: Toby Torlesse, Brian Marchetti, John Marchetti

Cast: Jerem Piven, Olivia Mai Barrett, Hadar Cats, Megan Brown Martinez, Nathalie Cox, Richard Ashton-Griffiths, Joely Richardson

Genres: Comedy

91 minutes

It’s Christmas and the charming city of York, home to Jules, 16 and her Dad, David is decked out ready for the festive season. In many ways, David and Jules’s relationship is no different from that of most fathers and their sixteen-year-old daughters. He struggles to understand her, she refuses to communicate with him. He wants to be involved in her life, she wants her own space. In one important respect, however, David and Jules share a profound bond: the death of Jules’ mum, and David’s wife, Claire, in a car crash two years before.

With both struggling to cope with everyday life in the shadow of their loss, Jules, inspired by happy memories of her mum, decides to take matters into her own hands. With the encouragement of her best friend, Emma, Jules creates profiles for David on multiple online dating platforms and starts setting him up on dates without his knowledge. All they each need for Christmas is love but this is easier said than done as Jules discovers when her plans begin to unravel with hilarious consequences.

Jules herself, meanwhile, is buckling under the burdens of grief and teenage life. Unable to express her true feelings to her teachers, friends, boyfriend or even David, Jules realises she must go further if she is to find David a girlfriend and, more importantly, herself a confidant. To this end, she tells the truth to the women she is messaging under David’s name. Two would-be suitors immediately end all contact with her but Jules succeeds in convincing one, Veronica, to meet David for a coffee. Jules even seems to bond with this woman. At the café, however, Jules and David get into a heated argument which Veronica witnesses, convincing her to turn her back on this dysfunctional family. Jules is upset by this turn of events but David uses the situation to connect with his daughter in a way they haven’t for years.

Good times, however, don’t last forever. When Emma pushes for answers on the state of Jules’ relationship with her boyfriend, Ben, Jules lashes out, causing a rift in their friendship. Things go from bad to worse when David opens Jules’ bank statement and discovers that she has subscriptions to eight different dating sites. Putting two and two together, David confronts Jules and forces her to delete all the profiles she has made. This, however, comes at a price as their argument undoes all the good work of the weekend before.

Jules begrudgingly does as she’s bid but just before she completes the task she sees a new message from Amanda, an old colleague of her dad. The following morning David finds a post-it note from Jules saying that Amanda, has been in touch and wants to go for a drink. She leaves Amanda’s number, and the decision, with David.
David talks the situation through with his closest friend, Sara. In an attempt to dissuade David from allowing his future to be dictated by memories from the past, Sara reveals that she is divorcing her husband and urges David to move on himself.

Ultimately, David decides to go on the date with Amanda only for it to end in disastrous fashion when conversation turns to Claire. Jules, meanwhile, attends a house party where she stumbles upon Ben making out with another girl. When David gets home, he takes out his frustration on Jules who leaves the house in tears. Disgusted with his behaviour, David is desperate to speak to his wife so phones her only to discover that her mailbox is full. Finding Claire’s phone, he rings his wife’s voicemail and listens to message after message in which Jules tells her deceased mum all the things she couldn’t tell him.

David goes in search of Jules, finding her at Claire’s grave where father and daughter are reconciled. The film ends at a festive carol concert where David by chance, meets another woman, Laura, who enchants him in the way, we presume, Claire did all those years ago.