Movie Review: A Christmas Melody (2015)
Synopsis: After being forced to close her Los Angeles boutique, aspiring fashion designer Kristin Parson decides to move back to her hometown in Ohio with her daugher, Emily. Emily is unhappy with the relocation and even sends Santa a letter asking him for a way to move back to Los Angeles. However, when one of Kristin ex-classmates, now a music teacher, steps in, he changes their lives for the better.
Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Fina Strazza, Brennan Elliott, Kathy Najimy and Mariah Carey.
Review: Due to some parenting responsibilities, my wife and I weren't able to watch a holiday movie on Wednesday and, because of that, were quick to find one to watch yesterday evening in an effort to make up for that. I've had this one in the library for a while and, thinking it sounded somewhat interesting, picked it out. It ended up being a good choice.
The thing that surprised me most about this film is it wasn't as predictable as I was expecting it to be. A big part of the reason for this was Emily's (Strazza) Christmas wish to return to Los Angeles. If I've learned anything from Hallmark Christmas movies, it's Christmas wishes to Santa normally come true and I was intrigued how this particular wish would play out given Emily's quick change of heart and Kristin's (Chabert) budding romance with Danny (Elliott).
I am also going to admit, I did like the love story in this one. That's not normally the case with movies like this one and, more often than not, the romance seems forced. When it came to this movie, however, I found I liked how the romantic feelings (at least from her end) were a bit more gradual/believable rather than it being a case of love at first sight. Though, to be fair, he might have been a little too perfect, making her decision a little too easy.
I also liked how the movie hinted the school custodian, Thomas (Kevin Chamberlin), might be Santa Claus without coming right out and saying it. This did leave a little bit of a Christmas mystery because he could have been Santa or just been a really nice and insightful person.
I think the movie could have used a little more of a backstory for the main antagonist, Melissa (Carey). It's one thing to be a snob but she seemed to have a little extra dislike for Kristin, even going as far as deriding her for being a "single mom" and it felt like maybe there was some history there that should have been explained in more detail.
Final Opinion: This is a fun, romantic, Christmas movie my wife and I ended up enjoying a lot more than expected. It was one of my favorites.
My Grade: A
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