Netflix’s Christmas as Usual brings together Indian and Norwegian culture in the 2023 romantic comedy film starring Kanan Gill and Ida Ursin-Holm. When Jashan proposed to Thea, a part of her wondered whether or not he would be accepted into her family. Thea was traveling home for Christmas, and she decided to bring Jashan along. She had yet to break the news of her engagement, and she waited for the right time to discuss it with her mother. She always felt the need to impress her mother, and as much as she loved Jashan, she knew that Anne-Lise might not immediately take a liking to him because of their cultural differences. But Jashan was persistent about impressing Thea’s family, and Christmas as Usual is all about finding out whether the two vastly different cultures finally blend or not.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Jashan was excited to finally meet his in-laws, while Thea was worried about her mother’s approval. Anne-Lise was quite surprised when Thea introduced her to Jashan; she had never guessed that her daughter was dating an Indian man. She repeatedly mispronounced his name, and at some point, Jashan had given up. He could sense that he came as a shock to Anne-Lise, and it would not be easy to win her heart. Thea knew her mother would overreact, which was why she chose to never disclose her fiancé’s nationality. Anne-Lise was visibly uncomfortable when Jash referred to her as his mother. He explained that in Indian culture, that was the norm, and Anne-Lise found the cultural difference all the more impossible to get past. Jash was a little surprised that Thea did not discuss their engagement with her mother, but he chose to play along with it.
The next morning, when Thea’s brother, Simen, arrived, she told him and his family about the engagement. They were surprised as well, but they seemed to be more accepting of Jashan. As a family, they were quite rigid about Christmas traditions, and Jashan was expected to fit in. After losing her husband, Anne-Lise wanted to make sure that she kept the traditions alive, but in the process, she failed to accommodate her guest. She wanted Thea to get back with her ex-lover, Jorgen, who lived next door, without acknowledging the fact that her daughter was already with someone and was happy in the relationship.
Meanwhile, Jashan continued to take part in every Christmas tradition, even the ones he absolutely hated. He tried to make a special dinner by cooking Indian delicacies, but the Norwegian family found it way too spicy. It was because of him that they had to change their ‘teeny tiny Christmas’ tradition, and they were not happy about it.
Why did Jashan decide to leave?
From skiing to jumping into ice-cold water, Jashan participated in everything that Thea and her family did for Christmas, but Anne-Lise was still not quite happy about him. He was loud, and his constant sneezing interrupted Ronja’s performance at the church; Jashan could not have controlled any of those things, yet he was deemed unfit to be with Thea. There were moments when Thea was proud of Jashan for trying as much as he did, but then again, she could not completely overlook the fact that he and her family were unlike each other. She always had to balance the two, and she sometimes blamed Jashan for his imperfections. She had grown up believing that Christmas was meant to be celebrated a certain way, without taking into consideration that her partner might not enjoy it. He was trying to adjust, but it was important for her family to come halfway as well.
In the end, Thea realized that all she and Jashan had to overcome was the Christmas dinner, and once that was done, they could announce their engagement. But dinner was not as easy as Thea assumed it would be. The grand Christmas dinner that her mother had prepared did not suit Jashan’s Indian taste buds. He craved spices, and all he was served was more fat. Thea tried to help his case by pairing a drink with the food and secretly bringing him bottles of spices to add to the meal. Jashan was offended when he noticed the labels of the spices—the brand names were quite racist. Anne-Lise also felt insulted after discovering that Jash was adding spice to the food she cooked.
Jashan was tired of trying to fit in, and when he expressed his frustration, Thea begged him to keep it together till Christmas Eve. At the end of the film, Jorgen, dressed as Santa, came to visit Thea and her family. Jashan was not ready to take the insult anymore, and he ended up getting into a fight with Jorgen. He eventually decided to leave, realizing that even after putting in a lot of effort, Thea and her family were not happy with him.
How did Thea win Jashan back?
Christmas as Usual ends with Thea realizing that she never should have let Jashan leave. She had become so obsessed with making Christmas special and perfect that she overlooked her partner’s feelings. She missed having Jashan by her side, and she realized that the differences they had were very insignificant compared to the love she felt for him. Thea decided to drive to the airport to convince Jashan to stay back. But unfortunately, she ended up driving her car into the Christmas tree.
To everyone’s surprise, Anne-Lise came to her rescue. She acknowledged that they had made a mistake. She realized that her lack of confidence in Thea was why she chose to hide the engagement from her. She came to understand that if Thea wanted to be with Jashan, then she, too, had to make an effort to get to know her future son-in-law better. Anne-Lise wanted her daughter to live next door, which was why she wanted her relationship with Jorgen to work out, but now that she knew how important Jashan was to Thea, she decided to drive her to the airport.
During Christmas as Usual‘s ending, Thea walks into the airport at the right moment and manages to stop Jashan from flying home. Thea admitted that she did not support him as much as she should have. She also apologized to him for not informing her mother about the engagement when they arrived. Thea expressed how she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, and Jashan felt the same way. They ended up getting arrested by airport security, but all’s well that ends well. Jashan and Thea realized how deep their love was, and they decided not to let their cultural differences hinder their relationship. They were ready to face any challenge as a couple, and they believed that as long as they had clarity, nothing could affect them.
A year later, Jashan spends Christmas with Thea and her family again, but this time, her family has incorporated some Indian traditions to make Jashan feel more at home. The two cultures finally blended perfectly, and Jashan got the family sweater as well. Thea will face challenges for sure on her visit to India for their wedding, as was declared by Jashan at the end of the film, but we can expect the couple to make it since Jashan had promised he would always have Thea’s back.