Friday, December 11, 2020

Falling for Christmas (2016) - 'Tis the Season

Streaming Services: Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, DirecTV, Hallmark
Movie Name/Year: Falling for Christmas (2016) – [aka Snowcapped Christmas]
Genre: Romance
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: TV-G
Production/Distribution: Annuit Coeptis Entertainment II, Johnson Production Group, Snowing Productions, Corus Entertainment, UPtv
Director: Christie Will Wolf
Writer: Barbara Kymlicka
Actors: Leah Renee, Niall Matter, Lisa Whelchel, Michael Teigen, Lochlyn Munro, Jocelyne Loewen, Gracyn Shinyei, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Blaine Anderson, Howard Storey, Natasha Woods
Blurb from IMDb: An injured figure skater is sent to the mountains to recover from an injury. Once there, she meets an ex-hockey player and his young daughter and begins to realize that something is missing from her life.

Selina’s Point of View:
When someone says they’re going to stay in and watch Christmas movies, it’s rare that they’re talking about the Die Hard (1988) variety. This tends to be closer to what they are envisioning. In fact, it’s exactly what I would picture.
Falling for Christmas is corny, saccharine sweet, and exactly the kind of heart-warming nonsense I want from a typical Christmas film. Would I be feening for it the rest of the year? No. Chances are, I wouldn’t even see it as good if it was set during any other time.
That’s the thing. Christmas flicks like this are fine, because the time of year makes us crave miracles. We want the happy ending. We need to see the stories that tell us taking time off work is ok, making time for family is ok, because the rest of the year we’re told it’s not. We’re made to believe that following our dreams is irresponsible – even if we can afford it, and not everyone can.

So, yeah, this kind of film is predictable and mostly unrealistic, but we allow ourselves to believe in its premise during the season of miracles.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Movies like this feel like a spa for the soul. They’re not life-changing, but they’re a great break from the stress and pessimism of a much darker real world.
Falling for Christmas was cute. It wasn’t better or worse than expected, and it left me feeling like I want to feel on a cold December morning with a cup of hot chocolate in hand.

Cat’s Point of View:
Falling for Christmas was not a movie that was previously on my radar. If it weren’t a made-for-TV movie, I’d be shocked at this – considering it combines two things I really love: figure skating and Christmas. I will admit that it’s been harder for me to keep up with skating in recent years, but I used to watch competitions religiously.
Needless to say, when I realized what this movie was going to entail, I was super excited to see what it had to offer.  Was it the best figure skating movie I’ve ever seen? No, but I’d say that would have been asking a lot from this production. Was it any good? I don’t really have any complaints on substance. It was solid. The only thing I could really poke at would be the legitimacy of the medical information – but, hey, this wasn’t a procedural. We’re not watching for that sort of thing, right? It’s a holiday TV rom-com.
This Christmas ice-capade follows the predictable rom-com recipe to the letter. While originality and defying expectations are things we like to see in movies, it’s not a make-or-break requirement to enjoy something.

Watching this film made me feel like curling up in a warm blanket with some hot cocoa. It was familiar enough to be comforting because I already knew where it was going. It also got bonus points for some nice examples of figure skating. It felt a little bit like if The Cutting Edge (1992) was remade as a Hallmark movie and without the extra competition. The plots are really only superficially similar, but it was nostalgic enough for me.
The only thing I’m frustrated about, really, has nothing to do with the film itself. I am dying to know if Leah Renee (Blue Mountain State, My Babysitter's a Vampire, Sailing Into Love) really did all of her own figure skating. Alas, IMDb’s trivia only mentions the locations where the movie was filmed.
In a nutshell, I believed the dynamics between characters, nothing felt forced, and it was a cute wholesome experience that explored some life lessons. It would even be appropriate for the whole family.
If you’re in the mood for a feel-good story with gorgeous scenery and a side of figure skating, this could be just the movie you’re looking for.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.2/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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