Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Spirit of Christmas (2015)

Number Rolled: 85
Movie Name/Year: The Spirit of Christmas (2015)
Tagline: This holiday could be the start of a new beginning.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: MarVista Entertainment
Producer: Andrea Ajemian, Sharon Bordas, Hannah Pillemer, Fernando Szew
Director: David Jackson
Writer: Tracy Andreen
Actors: Thomas Beaudoin, Kati Salowsky, Steven A. Miller, Jen Lilley, Alexander Gauthier, Christopher Tarjan, Neil Casey, Robert Walsh, Bates Wilder, Brett Leigh, Joanna Herrington, Jon DiVito

Blurb from Netflix: As Christmas approaches, attorney Kate Jordan travels to Vermont to oversee the sale of an inn, where she falls for a handsome but cursed ghost.

Selina’s Point of View:
I found this film to be very unique. It’s not the first kind of storyline I think of when I know I’m about to watch a Christmas film.

The blurb made me think it was going to be another one like How Sarah Got Her Wings (2015). Even worse, it could have easily been a retelling of a weird version of A Christmas Carol (1843). Don’t get me wrong, I love A Christmas Carol… but there are some BAD and WEIRD remakes out there.

I digress.

The Spirit of Christmas was nothing like either of those films. There were some really interesting mystery aspects to the movie. A few creepy horror moments, too. Never-the-less, it was without-a-doubt a Christmas film. The entire script, the settings, the plot… it all tied in with Christmas so easily that the holiday didn’t even have to be at the forefront of everything to be felt.

I got completely absorbed into the story. It reminded me of a version of something written by an author like Kresley Cole (Sutherland, MacCarrick Brothers, Immortals After Dark). No, there was nothing erotic in this movie, but with the mix of supernatural and romance, the same feeling was there.

Both Thomas Beaudoin (The Trouble with Mistletoe, Off the Rails, Finding Julia) and Jen Lilley (Off the Menu, Days of Our Lives, Crossing Streets) were amazing in their parts. Their chemistry was believable and would have done wonders for the film even if the plot or script was bad. In this case, they were making more gold out of gold… so it was even better to watch.

The ending was kind of expected, but it left a lot of questions. I actually like that. They let the ending be whatever you needed it to be. Sad or happy. Dark or light. Bitter or loving. It’s really interesting how what they did could change from perspective to perspective. Just on my own I thought up several ways to interpret what happened and they all led to a very different emotion. What you make of the ending of The Spirit of Christmas comes from within you. Which just feels even more Christmas-y to me.

So far, this is definitely my favorite of the month. I highly recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a sap, right?

Well chalk this one up to that very fact. I recognize that this was a Lifetime Channel movie, but it far exceeded my expectations for a production of that origin. I bought in on the story, its characters – the whole shebang. I was even getting teary-eyed towards the end.

I loved the supernatural elements that were incorporated into the story without leaning too heavily on the ghost story tropes. I really enjoyed the way they spun it into something that felt fresh.

I’ll be honest. It felt like I was reading one of those guilty pleasure romance novels – and one of the good ones at that…just considerably more PG than they tend to be.

There was a decided lack of cheese here. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. I wasn’t choking on smarmy lovey-dovey stuff, and there was no neat little bow to tie everything up. I’m left with questions, but in the case of this story I think it’s a good thing!

I found myself relating with the feisty red-head, Kate, played by Jen Lilley (The Zoo, Yes I Do, Evil Doctor). Her on-screen chemistry with co-star Thomas Beaudoin (Blue Moon, Love's Last Resort, Victor Lessard) was fairly palpable, as well. There was more to Beaudoin than his unmistakable smolder and tall, dark, and handsome status. I could envision him stepping out of his character’s time period.

I also need to give kudos that the story didn’t end as I thought it would. It was refreshing to be surprised.

If you’re a fan of romance and mystery with a little splash of the fantastical, this movie is sure to warm you up on a cold night.

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

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 65%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10

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

Movie Trailer:

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