‘Christmas Again’: Scarlett Estevez gets into the spirit as Chicago kid having a yuletide Groundhog Day
Independent-minded tween sees the city’s sights in Disney movie.
It’s “Groundhog Day” wrapped in holiday ribbons and bows on a Ravenswood doorstep in “Christmas Again,” premiering Friday on Disney Channel and Disney+. Scarlett Estevez gives a winning performance as 12-year-old Rowena aka “Ro,” a spirited and independent-minded girl who is aghast about the drastic changes to the Christmas season and the family traditions, what with her dad (Daniel Sunjata) bringing his new girlfriend Diane (Beth Lacke) and Diane’s irritating son Louie (James McCracken) into the mix.
Despite the best efforts of Ro’s well-meaning mother (Alexis Carra) and Ro’s colorful and comedic-relief Abuela Sofia (Priscilla Lopez) and Abuelo Hector (Tony Amendola) to keep Ro happy, things go sideways and downhill in slapstick fashion, resulting in Ro inadvertently making a wish to a local Santa (Gary Anthony Williams) to get a Christmas “do-over.” Cue the same song playing on the radio at 8 a.m., and Ro finding herself in a time loop, which she initially finds horrifying until she realizes she can use this crazy spell to her own and quite selfish advantages.
With stops at Navy Pier, the Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science & Industry and the Hancock Building’s 360 TILT attraction, “Christmas Again” has a bit of a 21st century, “Rowena’s Day Off” vibe, as our heroine learns the true meaning of Christmas.