The blockbuster Christmas movie for 2023 is definitely Netflix’s Best Christmas Ever. Described as a “lighthearted holiday comedy,” the film tells the story of two friends who meet during Christmas after years of not being in touch. There are many humourous situations and a nice message in the background, but the central emotional moment is when we discover that Daniel, Jackie’s son, is dead. The aspect that may need to be explained, the question many viewers had was: how did he die?
The plot of Best Christmas Ever spins around this weird reunion between Jackie and Charlotte. They are old friends, but lately, they have not been in touch, except for the holiday newsletter Jackie sends to Charlotte’s family every year. Jackie’s last letter this year was a little too pompous in describing her life’s achievements and beauty, and Charlotte believes she’s faking it all. However, Grand, Charlotte’s son, was fascinated by how Jackie described her family and secretly set the navigator to her address, making the reunion happen.
The message the movie wants to convey is not only about Christmas. We are taught that things are not always what they seem: Jackie’s letter seemed indeed too much, but the reason wasn’t because she was bragging or making it up: it was her way to include her son Daniel’s life and plans in her newsletter. Since Daniel died, it became hard for her to share with her friend how her family was doing, so she decided to pretend Daniel was still alive and turn her plan into something dreamy with his solar-powered hot air balloon and the family trip worldwide. Best Christmas Ever also wants us to follow our dreams because “things won’t happen unless you believe they can.”
How did Daniel die in Best Christmas Ever? The movie hasn’t explained many details about it, but some hints would suggest a severe illness. When Jackie brings Charlotte to the hot-air balloon, she explains that Daniel’s favorite bedtime story was Around The World In 80 Days, and they would read it every night. Even “in the hospital,” she says in tears, hinting that there were tough days for all of them while Daniel was fighting his illness.
We don’t know much more about what happened to Daniel before the events we see in Best Christmas Ever. What we do know is that this Christmas was really life-changing for Jackie and Charlotte. Jackie’s marketing instinct helped Charlotte commercialize her special gloves, and Charlotte’s presence and revived friendship helped Jackie move on. It’s a sweet, happy ending, and we don’t expect anything less in a Christmas movie.