Friday, December 14, 2018

The Holiday Calendar (2018)

Number Rolled: 41
Movie Name/Year: The Holiday Calendar (2018)
Tagline: None
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: Netflix
Producer: David Anselmo, Vince Balzano, Eric Jarboe, Amy Krell, Brad Krevoy, Amanda Phillips Atkins, Jimmy Townsend
Director: Bradley Walsh
Writer: Carrie Freedle, Amyn Kaderali
Actors: Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, Ethan Peck, Ron Cephas Jones, Genelle Williams, Ali Hassan, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Laura de Carteret, Kevin Hanchard, Romaine Waite, Jaeda Owens, Nicola Correia-Damude, Harris Shore, Verlyn Plowman, Derry Robinson

Blurb from Netflix: A talented photographer stuck in a dead-end job inherits an antique Advent calendar that may be predicting the future -- and pointing her toward love.

Selina’s Point of View:
Now THIS was the kind of holiday magic I was signing up for with this month of Christmas films.

I really enjoyed The Holiday Calendar. It was a good movie. It was even better when compared to the kind of dreck we’ve seen so far in December. It was a breath of fresh air and I completely appreciated it.

I will admit that it was relatively predictable, but it also felt honest and natural. Sure, the magical aspect was fantasy – but the reactions of the characters were much more real than I’ve seen in a lot of films lately. The ending didn’t even destroy that for me, which is another surprising thing.

Kat Graham (How it Ends, The Vampire Diaries, Honey 2) was the shining light in The Holiday Calendar. I don’t believe any other actor could have pulled off her part with the kind of genuine personality she did. Without her, it just wouldn’t have been the same movie at all. It would have felt a lot more generic.

Ron Cephas Jones (Dog Days, This is Us, Luke Cage), however, was right behind her in his part as Gramps. He made me want him as my grandpa.

As Christmas films go, even on just a general rom-com scale, I’d mark this one high. I’ll probably even revisit it in the future.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have to say, this movie really won me over. It’s definitely going on my ‘cute holiday movies’ list.

While the film didn’t stray too far from recipe, and generally had the predictability factor going on; I found that I just didn’t mind. The Holiday Calendar put a new spin on the magic that’s inherent to the season and the sense of wonder that goes hand in hand with it.

Once again, we have a movie here that felt warm and familiar rather than inducing eye-rolling tedium.

I found myself really engaging with the story – relating to the characters and the subtle (and not so) workings of fate in their lives. Everyone needs a good karmic kick in the pants on occasion. The key is whether or not we can recognize them and interpret them correctly.

I don’t want to wax philosophical any further on that topic, though, so I don’t accidentally spoil anything.

All told, this movie was fun and full of feels – but not so much that mascara alerts would be required. I might actually give this one another watch through relatively soon.

Speech Available: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: French, English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 40%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 31%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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