On the eleventh day of Christmas...
...I found a non-Netflix movie.
24 days of Christmas
Each day of Christmas, I'll be reviewing a Christmas movie and sharing a new Christmas outfit. Day 11 and I've managed to find a movie that wasn't done by Netflix, so I attired appropriately. For a Hallmark movie, one needs a Hallmark Christmas movies watching shirt. It's an important distinction to make - there's a Hallmark movie not only for every occasion, but also every season. We got burned. Our first official Christmas movie this year was 'Frozen in Love', but it wasn't a Christmas movie, it was just a winter movie! Still enjoyed it, though.
Day eleven has me reviewing my first Hallmark offering for the year, but I can almost guarantee it won't be my last.
Christmas on the Range - 3.5/5 stars
I'm going to give this one an extra point because it was definitely better than average, but I wouldn't say I loved it. It required a hell of a lot of suspension of disbelief from the get go and, once her friends and their overacting turned up, I needed a buttload of positivity. But, once that was out of the way, I enjoyed it. It was full of all the drama and cheese and predictability one expects and wants from a Hallmark movie.
As the title would suggest, this movie is about a ranch owned by Kendall Riley (played by Erin Cahill). She inherited it from her father three years earlier and has been working hard to get it certified organic. Just as she's having an issue with a bovine breach birth, help arrives in a terribly charming mystery vet. But mystery vet is none other than the Riley family's nemesis' son, Clint McCree (played by Nicholas Gonzalez).
Clint's dad, Brick, has been sabotaging Kendall's efforts to keep her ranch going due to an ongoing feud between Brick and Kendall's dad, Robert. Only, no one but Brick appears to know what the feud was about. Even the town gossips who congregate at the hairdresser (hilariously named 'I will cut you') and rate gossip on a numbering system.
The usual hiccoughs and roadbumps crop up throughout the movie. Although, I was surprised at the somewhat...darker undertones to the story. It wasn't all inconsequential issues and shallow characters, and I really appreciated that. It was a surprise and took me a little to get my head around, but I was ultimately glad my preconceived notions of a Hallmark Holiday film were dashed. This film managed to keep me guessing and surprising me, which is unfortunately getting difficult to do.
There was the usual overacting and eye-rolling moments, there were bits that were quite clearly just to look good in film (Kendall's millions of pairs of perfect coveralls, the need to physically rope a bunch of cows when they were in a fenced pen). But I enjoyed it. It was a couple of hours of escapism and feelgood Christmas ness. I'd recommend it, but I don't have a burning desire to go out and watch it again soon.
If you've got a suggestion for a movie, leave it in the comments.
You can check out the trailer below (fingers crossed there isn't any regional bollocks that gets in the way).