It’s that time of year again. I don’t know about you guys, but at my house, my grandma constantly watches back-to-back Christmas movies and they’re the same ones she watches every single year on the Hallmark and Lifetime channels. Christmas is her favorite holiday and she can’t get enough. She even watches Christmas in July during the summer on Hallmark.
This is one of those rare occasions that I agreed to watch a Christmas movie. I was hoping to find some classic black and white holiday flick that I have yet to see, but the second I pulled Netflix up on my television, we saw a large picture displaying a recently released Christmas movie called The Christmas Chronicles.
The Christmas Chronicles is a story about Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis), two children who recently lost their father (Oliver Hudson). After their mother (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is called in to work the night shift, the two kids have to spend Christmas Eve alone. Young Kate hatches a plan to stay up with her video camera and catch Santa Claus in the act, so she blackmails her troubled teenage brother into helping her. When they hear stomping on their rooftop, they hurry outside and find Santa’s sleigh and reindeer hovering overhead. The two sneak on board, hoping to get the ride of a lifetime. However, what happens afterwards is more than they bargained for. I’ll sum it up with this: an intense sleigh crash, a car chase with the police and the performance of an Elvis song by Santa (Kurt Russell) whilst in jail. With Santa behind bars, Kate and Teddy must race against the clock to find St. Nick’s missing bag of toys, break the jolly man out of jail and save Christmas.
Based on that description, it sounds like any other Christmas movie. I can’t tell you how many I’ve seen that revolve around the same plot: saving Christmas. What I can say for this flick, though, is that writer Matt Lieberman went about this in a fun and exciting way, making this a refreshing take on the overused idea.
The casting choices were great. Kurt Russell portrayed a whole new side to Santa that didn’t stray too far from our traditional beliefs. For example, Mr. Claus refused to say the famous, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and claimed that it was a myth we’ve made up. Things like this made this movie different from others and gave it that extra bit of comedy that both children and adults could enjoy together.
Playing alongside Russell were child stars Darby Camp (Big Little Lies, Benji) and Judah Lewis (The Babysitter, Demolition). Both did an impeccable job with their roles and proved their potential as they get more and more practice. Both have bright futures ahead.
As far as becoming a holiday classic like Home Alone and It’s A Wonderful Life, it doesn’t quite make the cut. However, for my household in particular, this will be a Christmas movie that we will watch every year. Despite it’s cheesy bits, The Christmas Chronicles offers excitement, creativity and laughs that the whole family, young and old, can bond over. In addition, it provides just the right winter atmosphere that gets you in the mood for the most wonderful time of year.