It Takes a Christmas Village – it is what it is.
What? I have to elaborate? But, it’s a Christmas movie. What kind of Christmas movie? Y’know, that kind of Christmas movie. The one where two attractive leads play opposite characters that are brought together despite their differences. There’s a small town caked in fresh snow, romance, a jingly stock score, a horse and carriage, jokes that would make your mother wistfully sigh. It’s that Christmas movie. The type Cup of Cheer brilliantly skewered.
I’m sorry, this is playing in a movie theatre? Like, sandwiched between a cinema showing House of Gucci and an IMAX theatre showing Dune? It Takes a Christmas Village, the movie about a modest mayor and a hunky recluse trying to redeem the holidays for local businesses with a Christmas market, is going to be playing in a movie theatre? I don’t care that it’s only playing for one-night. Where does it go after that? Did you say television? Oh, Super Channel! Well, okay, that’s more like it! People will need an innocuous movie to wrap presents to.
There isn’t a problem with It Takes a Christmas Village playing in a movie theatre. It’s strange, but appropriate for the season. However, the production values and the hokey quality of Kate Pragnell’s script and Corey Sevier’s direction are better fit for a smaller stage. On TV, It Takes a Christmas Village looks and sounds exactly like clichéd holiday fluff that has proven to have a very forgiving at-home audience. I don’t think those quaint aesthetics or that niche following would translate well to a larger venue.
For these seasonal endeavours, as long as the filmmakers come through on the genre’s requirements while sporting a light tone, the movie can usually find its own unique approval. Because It Takes a Christmas Village qualifies on those necessities, it will surely find its own acceptance. Personally, while the film may have been overwhelmingly quaint, I really appreciated that it embraced the holiday. These choices justified why the movie needed to take place around Christmas. So many of these slapdash holiday flicks think they can get away with mediocrity by occasionally flashing a wreath or reminding audiences with a subtitle that Christmas Eve is fast approaching. Because of this effort, while it may not be considered a new Christmas staple, It Takes a Christmas Village at least doesn’t fall into a wash of autopiloted holiday filler.
I would find it difficult to recommend people see It Takes a Christmas Village in a movie theatre but, when it’s on Super Channel and if “this” is your “thing”, give it a shot on TV.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie