Cleaning Out The DVR: Christmas In Mississippi (dir by Emily Moss Wilson)


(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 193 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on January 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded My Christmas Prince off of Lifetime on December 9th!)

When I saw the title of this one, I immediately started thinking about William Faulkner.  I thought about the tragic Compson family and the scandalous Snopes family and the complicated legacy of Colonel John Sartoris.  I found myself wondering what Yoknapatawpha County looks like today and whether the town of Jefferson had changed much since Faulkner’s day.

Of course, Christmas In Mississippi is not based on a Faulkner short story, nor does it claim to be.  Instead, it’s a thoroughly pleasant Lifetime holiday movie, a good-natured celebration of Christmas tradition and romance.  Still, it’s rare that you ever seen any movie set in Mississippi, outside of the occasional Faulkner adaptation or stories that focus on Mississippi’s past.  Much as with New Jersey, it sometimes seems like the only time you see or hear about Mississippi on television or in a movie is when it’s being set up as the punch line to a joke so I guess my point  is that it’s nice to see a positive movie about Mississippi.  Not only is this film set in Mississippi but it was actually filmed there, in the lovely city of Gulfport.

As for the movie itself, it deals with Holly Logan (Jana Kramer), a photographer who returns to her hometown of Gulfport for the holidays.  Not only is she visiting her mother, Caroline (Faith Ford) but she’s also helping to set up the holiday light show, the first one to be held since Gulfport was hit by a destructive hurricane five years ago.  (In real life, Gulfport was hit and seriously damaged by Hurricane Katrina.)  The only real complication for Holly is that the festival is being supervised by Mike (Wes Brown), who broke her heart in high school.  Even though Caroline insists that Mike has changed and matured since high school, Holly doesn’t want to risk getting hurt again.  Fortunately, Mr. Kriss (Barry Bostwick) is working at the festival and he’s good at bringing people together.  And yes, Mr. Kriss is playing Santa Claus.  If you’re surprised by that, you’ve obviously never watched a holiday movie before.  (That’s not a complaint.  If you make a holiday movie where St. Nick isn’t the one bringing your couple together, you’re doing it wrong.)

Christmas In Mississippi is a nice little movie.  Though the plot may not take you by surprise, Jana Kramer and Wes Brown make for a likable couple and the entire cast has a charming chemistry.  You really do believe that they are all neighbors and they all did grow up next to each other.  It’s a sweet movie.  In the end, Holly does a good job with the light show and so does the movie.  For that matter, so does the city of Gulfport, which looks great in Christmas in Mississippi.

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