Richardson: Binge-watching Christmas movies brings weird discoveries

Richardson: Binge-watching Christmas movies brings weird discoveries

Ottawa is apparently a decent substitute for any place in the United States, even with Parliament in the background.

content of the article

Ottawa was hosting a record 16 Christmas film productions in 2022, so I decided to take a break from my usual television diet of Scandi Noir, British mysteries and Yellowstone to watch five festive films. What’s her attraction? How similar are they? Here’s what I discovered.

advertising 2

content of the article

1. Christmas films are about the power of love. They generally begin with a young to middle-aged man and woman living in a state of disarray – recently abandoned, overly stressed, consumed by materialism, unhappy, or lonely. A shared quest leads the couple to fall in love. Your life will be balanced, happy and harmonious.

content of the article

2. “Big-town values” like careerism, greed, and boasting are eschewed in favor of “small-town values” like community and family.

3. There can be strange moments. The Noel diary contains several discordant shots of wood fires where the camera abruptly cuts from hands to a log and flames, suggesting the footage was roughly inserted into the final edit by an intern or perhaps a boom operator or extras would. A dinner scene in Midnight at the Magnolia lingers affectionately over the food as if an effort had been made to cook a real Christmas dinner, and the director didn’t want the audience to miss a single detail. I’ve never seen Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes in such close-ups before.

advertising 3

content of the article

4. Scripts are a little loose. Midnight at the Magnolia features a long scene where family members basically just stand around and say hello to each other.

5. Movies are riddled with unsettling details. Continuing The Noel Diary’s odd preoccupation with fire, the central character lights the fireplace in his recently deceased mother’s house and then leaves, locking the front door behind him. I took this as a premonition that the house would burn down, but it wasn’t.

6. Unbelief must be suspended. In Falling for Christmas, a wealthy social media influencer loses her memory in a snowmobile accident and is rescued by a neighboring hotel owner whom she met in an earlier scene. Oddly enough, neither he nor anyone else recognizes her.

advertising 4

content of the article

7. Ottawa is a decent substitute for any American location. In Christmas Jars, it’s Columbus, Ohio. In Midnight at the Magnolia, it’s Chicago. This can be upsetting for local viewers. The opening footage of Christmas Unwrapped makes it clear that the story takes place in the Big Apple. Here is the New York skyline! Here is Central Park! But wait a minute – isn’t that a newsagent on Sparks Street? Isn’t that Ottawa City Hall behind the Manhattan Ice Rink?

8th. Filmmakers happily assume audiences don’t know anything about Canada’s capital. In Magnolia, the two main characters stroll through ByWard Market with the Houses of Parliament in the background. Of course, nobody is expected to recognize our most iconic landmark.

advertising 5

content of the article

9. It’s fun to discover well-known places. I’m going to check out The Most Colorful Time of the Year because the promotional photos show the inside of the Corpus Christi school where my boys were, adorned with decorations.

10 The films are often vehicles for actors aiming for better days. Hope for rise: Lindsay Lohan restarts her career in Falling for Christmas. Probably on the way down: Justin Hartley reusing his character Kevin from the hit series This Is Us in the implausible The Noel Diary. Just Happy to Work: all the happy anonymous moms, dads, bosses, best friends and co-workers from all the movies.

After my Christmas movie binge, I’m experiencing a new appreciation for the city we call home. Ice skate on Patterson Creek or stroll along the frozen Rideau River in New Edinburgh? Unbelievable. I don’t need Christmas glasses to know that Ottawa is pretty magical in winter the way it is.

John M Richardson is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education.

    Display 1


    Postmedia strives to maintain a vibrant but civilized forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour to be moderated before they appear on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve turned on email notifications – you’ll now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update on a comment thread you follow, or when a user you follow comments follows. For more information and details on how to customize your email settings, see our Community Guidelines.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *