A single mom gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to help boost her finances, and then an angel enters her life and brings about some positive changes, including the spark of a new... Read allA single mom gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to help boost her finances, and then an angel enters her life and brings about some positive changes, including the spark of a new romance.A single mom gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to help boost her finances, and then an angel enters her life and brings about some positive changes, including the spark of a new romance.
Something that is luckily not the case here. Witt comes off very well here, as do a number of other things. 'Christmas at Cartwright's' would not fit my definition of a great Christmas film or even a great film overall, and this is all personal opinion not an objective one. 'Christmas at Cartwright's' is though a very pleasant, inoffensive diversion and not a bad way to pass the time for a couple of hours of a bleak afternoon for instance.
As said, Witt is immensely charming and injects a lot of personality without forcing it out, nothing affected here about her performance. She does make a potentially strange character work, considering the concept that is. Wallace Shawn still has a loving twinkle in his eye and doesn't phone it in. Gabrielle Miller has fun in her role and doesn't overplay, which is great as she had a type of character where it was easy to do so. The characters are not complex in development but at least don't bore or irritate, while the central chemistry has spark and is quite sweet.
'Christmas at Cartwright's' looks good. The interiors for the store really stand out, very beautifully eye-catching and the photography doesn't cheapen that. The script doesn't come over as stilted, over-cheesy or over-saccharine and the story while far from flawless is charming, warm-hearted and emotionally investable without taking itself too seriously, enough of a lightness of touch to avoid heaviness.
However, the story does execute its concept a bit too ordinarily and brings nothing new to the table. This is standard Hallmark Christmas, with little to set it apart. So while it is pleasant to watch, the predictability gets excessive as do the silliness and coincidences (meaning that it was not always easy to take the final third completely seriously).
Another thing that felt excessive was the music, which should have been used much less, as it did get too much, and felt very over-scored and intrusive. Distracting from the atmosphere and from some of the dialogue which was sometimes swamped by it.
In conclusion, worth seeing but not a "two thumbs way up" sort of film. 6/10
- Mar 24, 2020