Craig Robinson and Markees Christmas are one of the better father-son teams the movies have seen in a long time in this charmer from writer-director Chad Hartigan. Christmas plays Morris, a thirteen year-old American living in Germany because his dad Curtis (Robinson) has a job there as a soccer coach.
Morris is learning German, trying to make friends, and developing a crush on older girl Katrin (Lina Keller). He’s dealing with the kind of crap you would expect a black American to be dealing with in an all white city.
The dynamic between Robinson (easily his best performance) and Christmas makes it seem like these guys are really father and son. They compliment each other perfectly, and it’s refreshing to see a father and son talk and deal the way they do in this movie. The relationship between Morris and the somewhat troublesome Katrin is also refreshing in that it never seems false.
The movie should get Christmas some more roles in the future, while taking Robinson into new, more dramatic territories, because he’s beyond good.
It’s a solid coming-of-age story in an unexpected and unpredictable locale, with a cast of characters (including Carla Juri of Wetlands as Morris’ tutor) that scores across the board. This is one of the summer’s great surprises
(Streaming on iTunes and Amazon.com during limited theatrical release).