Parents' Guide to

Christmas with a View

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Bland Christmas-themed romance has mild language.

Movie PG 2018 91 minutes
Christmas with a View Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Common sense with no common sense

My best friends daughter, 11, ask me some questions I didn't know how to answer... "Why is the (ethnicity) of Clair not the same as her mom? Who is the baby's father? Why doesn't anyone have parents? What happened to the real parents? She is a child and obviously is asking out of observation, and curiosity. However the questions were valid, and as such led to our conversations about adoption, single mothers, divorce.. Needless to say, it was a long night!.. I completely understand the use of diversity, but be logical, and it would be great if someone had living parents!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

When a story is absorbing, any number of filmmaking missteps can be overlooked, even ignored, but the plot of Christmas with a View is formulaic and skimpy. With the exception of valiant efforts by the winning pair of lead actors Kaitlyn Leeb and Scott Cavalheiro, the movie feels like a blandly diluted version of a real romance or drama, in which people with real motives and sentiments operate in a believable fictional world. By film's end, we feel that we know the feelings the film was trying to convey, but feel sorry that no one in charge knew how to convey them. Shane is searching the mountains for the hotel his parents honeymooned at. His reason for doing this isn't the least bit convincing, and when he thinks he's stumbled onto the right place, the evidence supporting that assumption isn't even that strong. But Cavalheiro bravely offers a performance that communicates feelings a person missing his parents might have had, feelings that neither the script nor the direction support.

As usual in director Justin G. Dyck movies, the way he uses the mechanics of filmmaking serve to confuse rather than clarify. Two people kiss. The next cut abruptly switches to unknown people irrelevantly skiing down a hill. We watch Shane take a snowy drive, suggesting the drive itself, or the maybe snowy road, or perhaps Shane's Tesla, have some importance. In fact, none of them do. A far-too-long driving sequence makes it into the movie signaling that no coherent reasoning was involved in a decision that adds to the running time but not to our understanding of the story or the characters. Equally incompetent is the placement of two characters, who ought to be busy running their hotel, yet are always lined up in a totally empty lobby, facing the door as if anticipating the possibility that someone might enter. Have they been there all day? It's hilariously bad. Hats off to likable actors Jess Walton and Patrick Duffy for standing there like dopes waiting for the director to yell "action."

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