Written by Tom Scharpling
Directed by Jamie Babbit
Robert drops the kids off at Frances’s house and criticizes the wreath on the door. Frances invites Robert inside and reviews their custody calendar. Realizing he won’t have the kids for Christmas, Robert insists they spend it together -- it’s the whole point of the holiday. “You went fishing last year for Christmas,” Frances reminds Robert, who admits it was a mistake. Frances reveals she hasn’t told her parents about the divorce and they agree to put their issues aside and spend Christmas together.
At her parents’ house, Frances puts the kids to bed and Robert chats with his in-laws. Robert tries to get into bed with Frances but she directs him to sleep on the floor. She eventually acquiesces, telling him, “keep your underpants on.” Aware Frances hasn’t told her parents yet, Robert asks how they took the news, pushing her buttons. Frances alleviates some of the tension by reminiscing about past Christmases with the kids.
Robert is overly-engaged at church. To Frances’s embarrassment, he greets the fellow parishioners with “Pleased to meet you” instead of “Peace be with you.” When they sing hymns, Robert’s booming voice overpowers the rest of the congregation.
“I guess this is the second-wife sized house.” - Carolyn
Diane, Nick, Nick’s ex-wife, Carolyn and their two kids enjoy a lavish Christmas dinner. Small talk becomes too cumbersome, and the women bicker, clearly still competing with one another.
Dallas watches a movie with Cole and his girlfriend, and expresses concern about the “funny business” happening under their blanket.
Already drunk, Robert tells Frances the tension is killing him; he doesn’t think she’ll ever tell her parents. The house fills with party guests, and Robert and Frances attempt to converse with various family members.
“But, you know, it’s out there now, so I guess that’s good, let’s just say Merry Christmas.” - Robert
Robert gives a toast about the importance of honesty, forcing the distressed Frances to take over and finally reveal she and Robert are divorcing. Robert whispers to Frances, “That wasn’t where I was heading at all. I was going to sing that ‘pah rum pa bum bum” song…” The party ends abruptly.
Frances helps her mother clean up, and is told she and Robert are sure to work out “whatever little bump in the road you’re going through.” Frances’s father and Robert join in, and when Frances starts to tell her parents about the affair, Robert takes responsibility; he was the one who cheated.
In bed, Frances tells Robert he didn’t need to lie for her. He responds, “Merry Christmas.”
The kids unwrap their presents: Lila warbles into her new microphone; Robert, Tom, and Frances’s dad assemble a drone. When Tom goes to get batteries, Frances’s dad tells Robert off for having the affair and compels him to “do right by her.” Frances’s mother encourages her to forgive Robert, insinuating there have been indiscretions in her own marriage: “We all of us have things in all of our lives that we hope our husbands and wives never find out about.”
Julian’s Christmas dinner with his mother and brother is interrupted by a knock at the door. The professor is punched in the stomach by a man asking if he’s “familiar with a woman named Doreen Cooper.”
The family says goodbye to Frances’s parents and starts to drive off. Frances tries to stop Robert, insistent she tell her parents the truth. He keeps driving, explaining he “fell on the grenade” because he’s embarrassed she cheated on him with a “French d**chebag.” Both parents are surprised when Tom lets them know his headphones are on, but not yet plugged in.