Too-busy-to-check-her-snailmail executive Jules Cooper discovers that she’s inherited some land from her late, beloved grandmother. And that “some land” is Christmas Land, a themed village and Christmas tree farm on 206 acres, which Jules finds both overwhelming and potentially lucrative.
Jules (Nikki DeLoach) arrives at Christmas Land to assess her new property. It needs a little work, but it’s still the place of treasured childhood memories with her Grandmother (Maureen McCormick). Guiding her is Tucker (Luke Macfarlane) who not only shows her around but also tries to convince her to stay.
Complicating matters is Jules’ lawyer boyfriend who is eager to have her make a deal so she can get a tony condo in New York. He puts together a deal that in no way meets her wishes, but does garner $1.7 million to meet his. Jules has immediate buyer’s remorse and gets fleeced in her successful bit to nullify the deal. The town is saved. Yay.
My very first impression is that one minute with Jules’ boyfriend Mitchell is easily a year too long. There was nothing redeeming about this money-grubbing ladder-climber. Not that the real estate buyer was much better. He bought 206 acres, a fair amount of it developed, for $1.7 million — that’s about $8250 an acre. That’s less a deal than theft. Then demanding an additional $1.3 million to flip the deal…dastardly (though those of a similar ilk will say it’s just good business).
For me, the moments spent with Mitchell poisoned much of the rest of the movie. Had the story been a bit more complex and inventive, it could have overcome it. Unfortunately, there was a lot of predictability, which was unfortunate since the Jules and Tucker had decent enough chemistry that could have paid off better with fewer interruptions.
One of the pluses of the movie was that it was filmed in actual cold weather, something that is surprisingly exceptional in holiday movies. The clouds of breath-fog were welcome to see from start to end. And speaking of the end, the denouement was just OK. The fact is, the climax wrapped up the story pretty well and the remainder came out a little bland.
Christmas Land was never going to be a must-see movie. The story is a bit thin, but there were opportunities with the town and it characters. Unfortunately, the injection of cynical business mindsets sullied the light romance momentum they were trying to build.
|3 of 5|
For more movies, go to the list at: Watching the Holiday Movies
Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Fred Hayes