Finding Father Christmas movie review
I can’t find a trailer, but the whole damn movie is all over YouTube. At least it is for now.
It turns out that the Hallmark Channel has a subcategory for Christmas movies: Christmas mystery movies. The thing is, Finding Father Christmas is completely and totally short on mystery. Shockingly, it does makeup for this with heart.
The book this movie is based on takes place in London rather than the United States, but the whole Father Christmas thing is explained away with a quick line of dialogue in a manner that is shockingly effective for the Hallmark Channel. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery is not compelling nor is the romance particularly well-executed. The leads behave like teenagers hot for each other except they’re adults, but I guess animal attraction is a better explanation than the usual schlock made for TV Christmas movies throw at us.
I can’t speak for the book, but this movie is RIFE with filler. Montages, repeated set locations and set pieces that are supposed to give the appearance of scope where none is needed… it makes the movie look cheap in a way that seems to be done almost on purpose. What would help (and be a welcomed addition) is a genuine mystery, but there just isn’t any here. You’ll have this wrapped up in about 20 minutes and then spend the rest of the movie waiting for it to unfold the only way a Hallmark movie can. Finding Father Christmas only makes it to feature-length because the characters are completely and totally baffled by the simplest of questions, even with the answers literally staring them right in the face.
When it comes to checking off made for TV Christmas movie boxes, this flick ticks everything off the list. But rather than a healthy dose of big city shaming or the traditional Coast shaming, this movie takes more of a “small towns in the woods are great” course which is much more welcomed approach.
I know I’ve said a few positive things here, but don’t misunderstand me: this movie is not great. It’s probably not even good, it’s just not a flaming dumpster fire. A charming lead makes up for a lot (as does the ending), but this movie is short on mystery and overall story. This would make a much better 40 minute installment in a Hitchcock like Christmas-themed anthology series instead of movies. Should you watch it? Meh, I guess. There are worse made for TV Christmas movies out there…