Movie Review: Making Spirits Bright (2021)

Synopsis: Hoping to revive their failing holiday decorating businesses, two feuding families enter a local decorating contest. As insults fly between the two family patriarchs (former business partners), their kids begin to become romantically involved and try to find a way to resolve the long-time war. They see an opportunity to do this by convincing their dads to team up to win the competition together.

Who's in it? The movie stars Taylor Cole, Carlo Marks, Sarah Surh, John Cassini and Garry Chalk.

Review: My wife and I saw a preview for this movie during our Hallmark binge this past weekend and quickly added it to our list of films to watch. Unfortunately, while it looked decent in the preview, it really wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be.

There are a number of problems with this film. One of the big ones is it is extremely predictable, both with the romance between Grace (Cole) and Tony (Marks) and the overall plot in general. Basically, it was one of those films that has an ending you can predict a few minutes into watching.

I also feel like this movie was a little too simple. There were a number of opportunities to throw a wrench into the protagonists' plans but, instead of making things more challenging, the film decided to make things easy. Long time family feud? Put on hold with a simple conversation. Want to suddenly combine teams and give yourself a competive edge? No problem. There is nothing against it in the rules and the remaining teams have absolutely no issue with it even though there is a $25,000 municipal contract and $50,000 cash prize at stake. Have an accident that costs you both time and two sets of hands? The movie will just skip over how you managed to get all the work done regardless.

As a result of this, I found myself hoping the movie would have some sort of surprise twist at the end, such as the families not winning the competition but also not caring because they were friends again. This is because, with everything that was essentially handed to them in this movie, the other teams could have forfeited and it would have had just as much suspense.

Final Opinion: Another movie that had potential but just fell flat because of zero effort to add any real sense of suspense or at least make it a little bit difficult for the families to win the competition. I saw several movies this weekend I would watch again. This is not one of them.

My Grade: C-


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