Christmas Lodge (2010)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Hallmark Channel is well renowned for their family-friendly fare. They are no more well-known for this than all through the holiday season when networks air a number of holiday-themed productions. This year they have a dozen or better airing over the course of a month-and-a-half. Add on top of that a world renowned name like Thomas Kinkaid and this movie is bound to pique fans interest. 

Since the death of her grandmother, life has not been the same for Mary (Erin Karpluk) and her close-knit family. Her father and brothers own a carpentry business together but their lives and ideas have branched off in much different directions. Mary has left her family’s company in favor of working at a corporation that lobbies for funding to renovate old historical buildings. Ever since her beloved grandfather had a stoke, her mom and sister have taken care of him and it makes Mary feel a little guilty for taking a break from the city to indulge in a long weekend at the mountains with her boyfriend. A love of the great outdoors was instilled in Mary as a young child and each year her family would travel to the secluded Christmas Lodge to spend time together without the distractions that life offered. By happenstance, Mary comes across the run-down lodge again when she runs into 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 got into such a run-down state that it is barely inhabitable. Now, he and his daughter are trying to get it up and running again. Things look bleak for the realization of his dream in seeing the lodge to completion but with Mary’s help and that of her family, a Christmas miracle just might be in store for all of them…

There is always a moral bent to Hallmark’s productions but few bring to the table such thought-provoking Christian principles, characters who believe in God nor do writers hardly ever quote the Bible – such a thing just never happens in writing. This movie allows for all three. Throughout this entire film there is a ribbon of Christianity that is not normally glimpsed in movies – unless they are of the Christian variety. 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 has a cheeriness to it that is hard to ignore.

I thought the movie started off a little bit rough – it’s stiff and not all that engaging but eventually it finds the right footing and begins to blossom into a pretty picture of a story. The majority of the movie is much like a timeless painting thanks in great part to its natural beauty in the setting. Camera crews and lighting designs set off the picturesque scenes so that audiences can see the full potential. The acting isn’t terrible but I did get the impression that the stars almost felt… ill at ease during certain moments of dialogue.  Shanks (famously known by Burn Notice fans as an ex-baddie) and Karpluk have a nice rapport but by no means is their interaction “crackling” with chemistry. I liked the intentional ease and realistic feelings of the situations that the characters were placed in, but… it was also something of a downfall.

Reading what I’ve written so far, one might assume that I didn’t enjoy this simple-minded flick but it is actually to the contrary. Its syrupy sweetness is also one of its strengths because, after all, it is a Christmas movie and is not meant to inspire its viewer to some kind of new greatness. I always go into these movies with that type of mind-set: I do not expect a dominating force or stupendous acting – what I do hope to watch unfold on my television screen is the pure bliss of the seasonal Christmas “magic.” This movie delivers that and then some. It might not be my most treasured, but I admire its bid to allot time for scriptures and Biblical principles… even if they are in their most simplest forms. 


  1. I have awarded you a stylish blogger award.

  2. Juju - thanks so much. =)

    Ella - thank you! I appreciate you thinking of me. =)

  3. This sounds like my kind of movie :) Maybe I can find it on youtube sometime... {Hehe, that's where I watch most of my movie...they're free!}
    Oh, and have you seen 'A Princess for Christmas'? It sounds really sweet, but I was only able to watch a 5 minutes of it toward the middle. :P

  4. This one is really sweet, Trinka! I hope you do see it.

    YouTube... yeah, I don't really like it for more than 5-minute music videos because I prefer to be chilling in the living room on the couch watching something on the TV screen. But a lot of people do go that route. =)

    I've not seen A Princess for Christmas... yet! I am hoping it will release to DVD in the next year (they usually do. It looks super sweet so I look forward to it. I did check it out on YouTube this afternoon and never found it but I might get my hands on a copy yet this year... we'll see. ;D

  5. Rissi, I recorded "A Princess For Christmas" off of the if it doesn't get on DVD (or you want to see it sooner rather than later), I would be more than happy to loan it to you!

  6. You are so sweet, Ella! Thank you so much for offering to loan me your copy of A Princess for Christmas! I would love to see it and probably won't get my hands on a copy this year - initially, I saw the DVD on (hopefully, it will release to DVD next year). However...

    I am not real "into" leaving my personal info. (i.e., "snail mail" address, e-mail, etc.) where the whole world can see it... so unless, there is an email address you would want to leave here where I could contact you with the mailing information personally, I'll just be patient as I always am. =D

    Whatever the case, I still appreciate the offer, girl!

  7. PS: forgot to ask, Ella - did you like A Princess for Christmas? I thought it looked/sounded cute quite on its own, but the fact that Katie McGrath stars makes it more sweet. =)


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