Everyone knows the Hallmark Channel has a reputation for family friendly titles. Perhaps their biggest draw is the traditional seasonal block of programs. This year they have a dozen or better airing over the course of a month-and-a-half, one being The Christmas Lodge. Inspired by Thomas Kinkaid, this movie is bound to pique fans interest.
The Christmas Lodge (2010) Hallmark TV Film Review
Since the death of her grandmother, life isn’t the same for Mary (Erin Karpluk) and her close-knit family. As part of the change in her life, Mary leaves the family business to work for a corporation that lobbies for funding to renovate historical buildings. As the season of joy approaches, Mary begins to feel guilty about weekend trip with her boyfriend, while her family cares for her grandfather since his stroke. Quite be happenstance, Mary comes across the run-down lodge where she and her family used to spend the holidays. This also puts her in touch again with her childhood pal Jack (Michael Shanks) and his daughter Charlie (Michelle Creber).
Jack’s family owned and operated the lodge for years but after Jack’s parents became ill, the place went into disrepair. Now, he and his daughter make plans to put things back in order. When things start to look impossible, they may discover that a Christmas miracle is in store for them all.
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There is always a moral bent to the Hallmark productions but few bring to the table Christian principles, like characters who believe in God. This movie allows for this. Throughout this entire film there is a ribbon of Christianity that is not normally in movies. This one can be a little annoying in its syrupy quest to indulge us in holiday cheer and ultimately its premise isn’t all that great but the movie is cheery, and that’s something.
To be honest, this one starts off a little rough. It’s stiff and not all that engaging but eventually everything finds the right footing. Because of its premise, this features picturesque scenes especially in nature. Turning to the cast, I will say the acting isn’t terrible but have the impression that the stars almost feel uncomfortable during certain dialogue sequences. Shanks (Burn Notice) and Karpluk have a nice rapport but no special kind of chemistry.
Reading what I’ve written so far, one might assume that I didn’t enjoy this simple flick. Actually I did. It’s just not a new favorite. Its syrupy sweetness is also one of its strengths because, after all, it’s a Christmas movie. I always go into these movies with that type of mind-set: I don’t expect any kind of force, but what I do hope to watch is the pure bliss of seasonal Christmas magic. This movie delivers this. It might not be my most treasured, but I admire its bid to talk about scripture, even if they are in their simplest forms.
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You can find Christmas Lodge digitally on Amazon Video.
Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press