Directed by Roger Kumble, starring Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, Anna Faris, Chris Klein, Christopher Marquette and Julie Hagerty.

'Just Friends' tells the story of grossly overweight New Jersey native Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds) and his friend Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart), who happens to be the most beautiful girl in school.

Chris is secretly in love with Jamie and wants to be more than friends. On the night of their graduation he tells her how he feels and Jamie tells him that she loves him too, but like a brother.

Fast-forward 10 years and Chris has lost weight, has a job with a major record label in Los Angeles and isn't short of female admirers. His boss asks him to help make up-and-coming singer Samantha James (Faris) a star. Samantha happens to be one of Chris' ex-girlfriends.

Chris accompanies Samantha to Paris on business but, when their plane is forced to make an emergency landing near New Jersey Chris, with Samantha in tow, finds himself back in his hometown at Christmas, where he meets Jamie for the first time in years. He sees this as a second chance to find love with Jamie but things don't go according to plan.  

Chris wasn't the only person to have feelings for Jamie 10 years ago and things haven't changed much since. There's serious competition facing him.

'Just Friends' is superb entertainment, packed with great performances and wonderful one-liners. The Christmas setting also gives it that extra feelgood factor along with greater opportunities for exploiting hysterical comedic situations featuring snow, ice and Christmas decorations that are a rival to anything you've seen in films like 'Home Alone' or 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'.

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is excellent as unlucky in love Chris Brander and his role allows him put on display a great talent for physical comedy, reminiscent of Chevy Chase or John Ritter. Amy Smart (who appeared in 2004's 'Starsky and Hutch') is brilliant as Jamie, while Anna Faris (from the 'Scary Movie' films) is good fun as spoilt singer Samantha James. Her character comes across as a shocking combination of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

Chris' mom is played by Julie Hagerty, who is probably still best known for the 'Airplane!' films and 'Lost in America'. She has some good scenes but isn't given enough to do in the film. That could also be said of Christopher Marquette, who is brilliant every time he pops up as Chris' brother Mike.

Not every film receives five stars but in this case they are thoroughly deserved.

Mark O'Neill-Cummins