Friday, 10 December 2021

Christmas In Evergreen (2017)

Ashley Williams may not be a name familiar to many movie viewers, but she is probably know to those who enjoy Christmas TV movies. She's appeared in a good number of them, including Snow, Snow 2: Brain Freeze, and Christmas In The City. None of those movies were actually very good, yet all of them managed to benefit from the presence of Williams in a main role. They were completely passable, disposable, entertainment.

Christmas In Evergreen is also completely passable, disposable, entertainment. It's directed by Alex Zamm (who has a filmography made up of child-friendly films and other Christmas movies, including Snow and A Christmas Prince, which may well be the jewel in his crown - no pun intended) and written by Rick Garman, a man responsible for at least a dozen more films in this vein. In fact, checking out the filmography of Garman on Letterboxd is akin to viewing that list titled "Christmas movie posters with white heterosexual couples wearing red and green". Go ahead and check it out for yourself. I'll still be here when you come back.

The plot here revolves around a snowglobe that may well make your wish come true, which is handy when circumstances conspire to stop Allie Shaw (Williams) from leaving her smalltown home of Evergreen to spend Christmas with her long-distance boyfriend, Spencer (Marcus Rosner). Nobody really wants Allie to leave, she's beloved by pretty much everyone in the community, and she becomes even more valued when she helps Ryan (Teddy Sears) and his young daughter, Zoe (Jaeda Lily Miller), both of whom end up stuck in Evergreen on their way to an atypical Christmas holiday in Florida. Zoe wouldn't mind if they actually ended up spending Christmas in Evergreen, especially when Allie is so nice to them.

Williams has the perfect onscreen personality for this type of thing. She can seem cheery and kind without becoming too annoying, she is cute and wholesome, and she manages to stay enthusiastic for events unfolding around her without seeming too childish. Rosner has to play the man that we know isn’t right for our leading lady, but it’s nice that the script doesn’t make him an irredeemable asshole. He’s just focused on his career path, which requires him to keep his life in the big city. Sears is the standard bland and harmless male lead, although his dialogue is often punctuated by a slightly creepy laugh that is always disproportionate to anything said that may seem amusing, and Miller is the young girl who spends a lot of time pleading to make her Christmas everything she wants it to be. Holly Robinson Peete is the woman trying to organise the local Christmas festival, with all of the stress that entails, Chris Cope is a mayor who resents losing our lead to the lure of the big city, and Barbara Niven is  the mother of the character played by Williams, as well as someone underlining the potential power of the snowglobe.

If you like this kind of stuff at this time of year, as I think we all know I do, this is distinctly average, but enjoyable enough. It helps if you like Williams onscreen, and everyone watching this should be able to call out every plot point at least three scenes before they actually happen. But you can say that about most of these movies.

I appreciate anyone who decided to read through this full review. Especially as I can end almost exactly where I began, by summarising this as completely passable, disposable, entertainment.


P.S. Here is a huge list of every Christmas movie I have ever reviewed, either here or over at Flickfeast.

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