Christmas With a View might not be the worst Christmas movie this year, but it sure felt like the laziest.
Clara (Kaitlyn Leeb) is the manager of a restaurant at a ski lodge. She’s taken this job after striking out as a restaurant owner in Chicago.
Now her boss, Mr. Peters (Mark Ghanime), is bringing in reality cooking competition winner Shane (Scott Cavalheiro) as the new head chef. It was hilarious how so many people were supposed to view Shane as this dreamboat when Cavalheiro and Ghanime look so similar.
In true romcom fashion, Clara’s best friend, Bonnie (Kristen Kurnik), helps set Clara and Shane up. Not that it was all that hard as both were instantly smitten.
It’s not until the 50-minute mark that any kind of conflict arises. Even then it’s not very compelling or especially dramatic.
Mr. Peters might not be the kindly boss Clara has known all these years. And Shane has a mysterious reason for actually agreeing to work on the resort that isn’t terribly interesting.
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Everything in David Finley’s script seems too simple and generic. It’s like a bad stew with every available leftover tossed in.
Granted, a romantic comedy doesn’t need to be full of pratfalls, but this script doesn’t do enough with any of its cliche ingredients to be worthwhile.
Maybe Finley couldn’t find the right approach with Teresa Southwick’s novel, but the various script consultants stripped it of any heart or humor.
Leeb and Cavalheiro don’t have the most electric chemistry either, a key component in romantic comedies. There’s no compelling reason to root for Clara and Shane to end up together as this seems like a quickly fading fling.
Director Justin G. Dyck might have been more preoccupied with shooting beautiful food preparations.
For some reason the interior shots of the lodge sported some awful green screen. That’s not the only poorly done examples of green screen in the film, but it’s the most obvious and biggest example of this being done on a budget.
It’s why the stunt casting of Vivica A. Fox as Clara’s mother, Lydia, seems so questionable. Fox seems like she’s part of an entirely different film and her scenes with Leeb come off completely random. It’s a shame Fox has had such extensive plastic surgery and Botox as she’s not able to emote much at all.
Patrick Duffy and Jess Walton also co-star as a married couple running the local bed and breakfast. Walton’s plastic surgery is also distracting and their subplot isn’t all that interesting either.
At 90 minutes, the film isn’t long, but the pacing still makes it feel like a drag.
Christmas With a View is a half-baked effort not worth sitting down to enjoy.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix