Easter Sunday; This Easter Will Certainly Not be Enjoyable by Any Means. Grade: D-
Easter Sunday tells a story about a comedian named Joe Valencia (Jo Koy) whom is gearing up for Easter Sunday, with his family over in San Francisco. Unfortunately Joe’s mother Susan (Lydia Gaston) is currently having a feud with her sister, as they’re not really in speaking terms for undisclosed reasons. While Joe tries to bring an end to his mother’s feud, another problem awaits as his brother Eugene (Eugene Cordero) owes someone a large sum of money, for an investment they made on his “Taco Truck” which has now transition to a merchandise kind of truck. It’ll be one hectic Sunday for Joe, as he was hoping to spend quality time with his family and especially his son Junior (Brandon Wardell) on Easter Sunday.
It’s kind of a weird timing for a holiday film like this, to be released in the last month of Summer movie season. You’d think for a film called Easter Sunday where the setting of the film takes place literally on Easter… It would be released sometime in the Spring, via March or April?! I thought it could perhaps be a culture thing, sometimes in other countries or cultures they celebrate holidays on a different day. But it turns out: Nope… It is still Easter Sunday during the Spring time, where school is in session as well.
Couple positives to make of Easter Sunday. In terms of the comedic department: Tiffany Haddish appearing in a very small role as a cop and past significant other of Joe’s, perhaps was the funniest thing this film had to offer. Tiffany actually delivers a couple quality chuckles in her couple scenes, which in a comedy film where you need to deliver laughter to an audience… She knew the assignment and she succeeded thankfully. There’s one wholesome sequence involving Joe’s family coming together for karaoke that was enjoyable to watch, does bring in a quality family moment this film needed to have, to have the audience in awe.
My friend whom goes by the name of J Moon, has made a couple posts about films he’s watched or films he’s anticipated to watch. One being Antebellum and the other being Easter Sunday… Well I can tell ya right now, J Moon is on the chopping block when it comes to considering their word on movies. Why?! Well these two movies have one thing in common: They’re both insufferable to sit through.
The main issue of Easter Sunday is the comedy material… Probably because the laughs are extremely difficult to come by while partaking this film. At least as a compliment the sense of humor and jokes made in this film, aren’t offensive like say Senior Year, but the humor is extremely bland that my eyes kept rolling back behind my skull… It felt like watching Arthur Fleck in Joker doing stand up.
One part of the comedy material that kept driving me insane, is recycled jokes being told OVER and OVER again. We have Joe having some cringeworthy catch phrase he did on a beer commercial, as the line keeps getting repeated OVER and OVER again. You have another joke in which consists Joe and his agent talking on the phone, as the agent does some goofy way to end the call, as that joke is repeated OVER and OVER again. Is there a rule in comedy in which if one doesn’t laugh at your joke the first time… It’s best to leave it to the curb?! Like hearing these same jokes over and over again, was pure torture to watch especially these ones.
The film features a couple stand up moments in which both are bad, but both are presented in entirely different ways. There’s a stand up sequence in the opening and another stand up like sequence during Sunday Service at Church. While the opening didn’t deliver in the comedic field, I can at least understand that opening being introduced right off the bat, as this is a normal cliche stand up comedians do when making a film or heck Jerry Seinfeld did with Seinfeld. But the church sequence… It is perhaps the most appalling, but more so awkward comedic sequence. The pastor of the church demands Joe to come up on stage, as Joe takes this opportunity on stage… By doing a stand up bit, to try to solve a family issue. Not only was the stand up bit AWFUL and unfunny, but the sequence felt unrealistic and especially awkward, it didn’t feel natural at all by any means.
Jo Koy… How in the world did this man get a leading role in a comedy film?! How?! You can always tell when a stand up comedian expresses himself in a film and has total control to perform how he likes, that’s exactly how he would perform in real life, as I can already tell off the bat this man doesn’t have it at all. Someone may argue I’m not his targeted demographic when it comes to his style of comedy and the jokes he’s telling, yet I can argue back by saying that’s a bullshit statement. When it comes to comedy: You can cater to every single demographic, as long as you’re funny you can make ANYONE laugh, and I can tell ya right now… This man is not funny as I’m lost for words how he landed a leading role in a film.
The story at hand… It’s painfully boring and most certainly obnoxious. Now I will say I did see a clear vision for this film’s intention, was to make a compelling and thoughtful story, about the importance of family, working out your differences, and having your mind shifted away from work when it comes to the holidays, as it should be only centered on work. That’s all good and well especially on Easter Sunday… The problem is how it’s told is just completely bizarre.
It really all starts with the Eugene conflict: Why is this even in the story?! Why couldn’t we just have a normal conflict that felt completely natural and real?! Why do we have an unnecessary over the top conflict, that’s not realistic by any means?! Just watching those sequences gave me a massive headache, it just ruins any momentum of having a compelling well told story that’s actually sentimental to the whole holiday and especially the family dynamic.
Some of the simpler conflicts weren’t constructed very well. We have Junior whining about his father not being more involved with the holiday, yet… His father has been mostly involved with the day. Sure he side off a couple times with a couple phone calls, but he’s been involved with the family majority of the time. I mean it’s not your fathers fault, you went off on your own a bit, to take pics of a cute girl at the park… Hypocritical if you ask me.
The way the film is presented was also bothersome. You can tell right off the bat this film wasn’t going to be any good, as it felt like it was shot like a sitcom or even one of those random very low budgeted straight to streaming films that is presented in such poor quality. I mean we have noticeable amateur drone shots, that you can tell were drone shots… It’s obvious Universal/Dreamworks could care less about this film, sheesh!
Overall, Easter Sunday was just a BAD MOVIE! I don’t recommend this film, I honestly can not believe a film like this made it on the big screens. -Mitch Smietana