Synopsis by Mark Deming
A holiday celebration with the extended family gets stretched to the breaking point in this comedy from Germany. Sara (Martina Gedeck) is happily married to Jan (Heino Ferch), though this wasn't always the case -- Sara is Jan's second wife, while Sara has three ex-husbands, Gunnar (Andreas Windhuis), Andi (Roeland Wiesnekker) and Erich (Rainer Sellien), and she and Jan are raising children from each of their previous marriages. Jan is less than thrilled with the prospect of spending the holidays with Sara's mother (Petra Kelling), but things get worse when he learns his wife has planned a surprise for Christmas eve -- they'll be joined by Gunnar, Andi and Erich, as well as Erich's new wife Pauline (Meret Becker), Andi's current spouse Rita (Jasmin Tabatabai) and his own ex-wife, Eva (Rosa Enskat). To call the atmosphere uncomfortable is an understatement, and things only get worse when Sara announces she's pregnant, which is quite troubling for Jan since he's been waiting for the right time to tell her he had a vasectomy several months before. Directed by Vanessa Jopp, Meine Schoene Bescherung (aka Messy Christmas) is a remake of the 1999 Swedish hit Tomten ar far till alla barnen (aka In Bed With Santa).