Friday, December 2, 2022

'Tis the Season - Christmas in Mississippi (2017)


Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Christmas in Mississippi (2017)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 1h 30min
Rating: TV-PG
Production/Distribution: Active Entertainment, Factory Underground, Lifetime Television, Videoland
Director: Emily Moss Wilson
Writer: Marcy Holland
Actors: Jana Kramer, Wes Brown, Faith Ford, Trace Masters, April Asbury, Barry Bostwick, Gary Grubbs, Richard Karn, Avery Lynn Lewis, Davina Reid, Jordan Salloum, Roger J. Timber, Karina Willis
IMDb Blurb: Photographer Holly Logan (Jana Kramer) returns to her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi for Christmas. The town is resurrecting their traditional holiday light show for the first time since a terrible hurricane struck five years earlier. Holly volunteers to pitch in, but has second thoughts when she discovers that the festival is run by her high-school sweetheart Mike (Wes Brown). Now Holly must spend the next few days with the man who broke her heart. With the help of her matchmaking mom Caroline (Faith Ford) and Mr. Kriss, the kind man who will play Santa in the town's celebration, Holly begins to fall in love with her hometown, and Mike, all over again.

Cat’s Point of View:
Okay, I know I’ve been a bit hard on the made-for-TV movies that show on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. They just tend to be basic melodramas. There’s nothing wrong with that. I grew up watching soaps with my great-grandmother and my paternal grandmother. I get it. It’s just not always my thing.
These TV movies tend to be sappy and predictable, so it’s really easy to say ‘been there, done that’ when one of these come up for review. In fact, the way the spoiler-ridden trailers tend to go, I recently called them speed-runs of the movies. It tends to take some of the magic out of the movie experience for me when everything becomes paint-by-numbers like that.

I wish I could say that Christmas in Mississippi was a film that bucked the trend of the Lifetime movies that have come before it. Alas, this was all of the things – except over-the-top. That was one element that was blessedly absent.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Christmas in Mississippi was enjoyable and gave me all of the appropriate warm fuzzies for the season. There just really weren’t any surprises. I called the twist very early on.
Even so, there was an extra element to this production that felt like a warm hug. The nostalgia of familiar faces was on a high level. Of course, these familiar faces belonged to highly competent actors, as well. The cast certainly elevated this little tale of Mississippi Christmas magic.

I’ve adored Jana Kramer (One Tree Hill, Approaching Midnight, Support the Girls) since she was a resident of Tree Hill, Faith Ford (Prom, Escapee, Killing It) played my second-favorite character on Murphy Brown (1988-2018), Barry Bostwick (Christmas in Louisiana, Rocky Horror Show: Livestream Theater, Love by Drowning) is the man, and Richard Karn (F*&% the Prom, Assembly Required, Carrie amd Jess Save the Universe!) played the only character I really liked on Home Improvement (1991-1999) back in the day. I could go on… there are a few more.
Be that as it may, I couldn’t find fault in any of the performances within Christmas in Mississippi. It makes things so much better when the cast in these dramatic romances isn’t asleep at the wheel.

Christmas in Mississippi encapsulates community resilience, family, finding yourself, the challenges faced during the holidays when having military service members in the family, reconnecting with roots, romance, some humor, and even a smidge of Christmas magic.
All told, it’s not a bad way to start off the sparkling season of lights. If this sort of movie is your cup of tea, then Christmas in Mississippi shouldn’t disappoint – and you don’t have to check your TV listings to find it, as it’s available now on Amazon Prime Video.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 47%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.4/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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