23 December 2014 | JaynaB
Only seasonal generosity could lift this lifeless film to a 5
But my inner Scrooge won't let me go that high.
The leads have the depth of a facial tissue, and a range of facial expression from facile-smug to facile-worried. The aesthetic is disjointed in every aspect of set- and character-dressing.
The plot is clichéd family dysfunction from the first stilted line of dialogue. It manages not to actually explore any of the very real issues it chucks onto the screen, except via the aforementioned clichéd sentences before they're abandoned for the next huge segment of screen time.
Yes, there are some funny situations set up around the hapless city-boy boyfriend, but they too are only the truncated version of what could be quite funny episodes, maybe (in some other film) with some relevance to the plot.
I kept looking for any trace of a deeper understanding in the script or acting, but these are simply cardboard characters being shoved around on stage.
Oh, and despite the location on a Christmas tree farm, there's pretty much zip about Christmas in theme or conversation or decor for 90% of the movie.