BBC Films, 105 minutes
When I saw a film called Nativity on the BBC iPlayer earlier today, I sat down to watch it on our internet-connected television in the living room. One by one, the rest of the family joined me in watching this hilarious, 2009 movie.
The plot for Nativity! is, to say the least, basic, with two rival schools competing for a five-star review of their Christmas nativity play in the local paper. But despite the pretty inevitable ending, the film’s not boring – it’s much quicker to get going than Son Of Rambow (another film aired on the Beeb this Christmas), for example, and much funnier too.
The film begins with three drama students – Paul Maddens (Martin Freeman), his girlfriend Jennifer Lore (Ashley Jensen), and their friend Gordon Shakespeare (Jason Watkins) – dressed as elves, waiting in the wings for the Midlands Academy of Dramatic Art Christmas production. Fed up, they briefly describe their plans for the future, with Lore hoping to go into producing, and Maddens hoping to teach, met by an unimpressed look from his two co-stars: "Those who can’t act, teach," they say, "and those who can’t teach, teach primary."