So, here you are. You’re hiking in the wilderness with your boyfriend and you can’t help but notice that he doesn’t seem to be much of an outdoorsman. He’s a city boy and you’re a mountain girl and who knows if those two cultures can come together.
Well, it turns out that they can’t but don’t worry! No sooner has your boyfriend dumped you than you’ve found a new purpose in life! You’re helping to restore and rebuild the old Christmas lodge where you and your family used to spend the holidays. The important thing is to get it done quickly enough so that grandpa can see the lodge for one last time before he dies. Fortunately, the lodge is owned by a handsome man who needs someone to be a mother for his daughter. Perfect, right?
There’s really not a lot of conflict to be found in this film. Erin Karpluk plays Mary, who decides to save the lodge and, at no point, does she really suffer from the type of self-doubts that you would expect someone to suffer in a film like this. Instead, she decides to do it and then she does it. There’s a few people who think that Mary is wasting her time but they quickly change their minds. Even her break-up with her boyfriend has to be one of the nicest, most polite break-ups that I’ve ever seen.
Make no doubt about it, 2011’s Christmas Lodge is a holiday movie. It’s continually positive and upbeat and unabashedly sentimental and, if you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll enjoy it. And, to be honest, the holidays is a good time to give up cynicism and be optimistic for at least a few days. Me, I get cheerfully sentimental when it comes to the holidays. I smile at every Christmas tree. I love every gift that I get. And I usually shed a few tears while sharing memories with the family. That’s what the holidays are for. Christmas Lodge does a good job of tapping into that spirit.
That said, Christmas Lodge is perhaps a bit more religious that some people are going to like. The film may seem like a typical romantic Hallmark holiday film but ultimately, there’s a lot of talk about God wanting the lodge to be built and the family to come together. At one point, Mary’s grandfather even asks a hesitant carpenter what Jesus would do if he was told that the lodge needed to be repaired. Personally, I suspect that he would open up the lodge to the poor and the homeless but, in Christmas Lodge, apparently he would just give up whatever other projects he had going on and lend a helping hand so the family could gather there while snow gently fell outside.
That said, I’m a sucker for any film that has people celebrating the holidays while snow gently falls from the sky. Christmas Lodge is a sweet-natured movie. It’s not the type of film that you’re going to watch in the harsh heat of the summer but, for the sentimental holidays, it gets the job done.