Personally was not the biggest of fans of the previous two 'Christmas in Evergreen' films, which is not going to be popular opinion. They are certainly not terrible, but neither are they great in my view. Hallmark did far worse than the whole 'Christmas in Evergreen' series, but they also did better. While not being that excited over the premise, the cast consisting of some Hallmark regulars have been good in other things and Hallmark have done some surprisingly decent sequels.
'Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy' is a decent follow up and of the three films in the series at this point it gets my vote as the best of the three. It is not one of the best Hallmark Christmas films, but it is also far from being one of the worst. 'Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy' is a pleasant and more than serviceable enough diversion and has a lot to like, providing that you don't expect too much, but it doesn't fit my definition of great.
It has more good than bad though. The production values are attractive, especially the scenery which is quite picturesque. Some of the soundtrack is pleasantly nostalgic and is less overscored than most Hallmark Christmas films. The Carrie Underwood song was a nice touch. The script once it finds its groove is sweet and light-hearted, it also flows well. The story isn't perfect, but it has a warm heart, doesn't take itself too seriously and has a genuine charm to it. The idea is a great one and it's not wasted or confused (the film could have done more with it though).
Did feel that generally the characters were worth engaging with and caring about, good to see lead characters that had personality while not having negative traits overdone. Have seen the latter happening a lot recently and it is annoying and alienating when it happens. The acting is better than average, with both leads Maggie Lawson and Paul Greene being likeable (particularly Greene). Good to see the film attempt, and succeed, with continuity by having Ashley Williams and Jill Wagner in supporting roles. Rukiya Bernard has fun with her role without overdoing it.
However, the film does get off to a somewhat dull and routine start complete with too much forced dialogue. Would have liked more chemistry between the leads, it is there and they look at ease with each at least but it doesn't fully connect or feel fully fleshed out and the same goes with the relationship development.
While liking enough of the story, it's not flawlessly executed with the final third having too many conveniences and recycled cliches. The ending felt too neat and hasty.
Overall, not great but decent. 6/10.
Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy
Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy
It's the approach to the Christmas season, and visitors are starting to descend on the Northern Vermont Christmas tourist town of Evergreen. One of those is New Yorker Katie Connell, a writer with one published novel under her belt, she who is now doing freelance work as she contemplates novel number two whenever that will happen. This vacation is to experience a little more of life which she feels will make her a better writer. What starts as a vacation ends up being a working trip as her mother Patti Connell, the editor of a business magazine, asks her to write a story for immediate publication, Patti's hope that it will be the transition for Katie to staff and more stable life which Katie has always resisted. Katie decides to find a story in Evergreen and its Christmas traditions. What Katie feels about Evergreen - especially her immediate attraction to and subsequent encounters with native Evergreenian Ben Baxter, one of the town's librarians who once worked as a big city reporter - may be different from what would make a magazine-worthy story. What happens between Katie and Ben may be affected by their diverging life paths, Ben who nonetheless has contemplated returning to the city to resume a writing career, and what Katie may end up writing about Ben's beloved hometown. Katie's story may be overtaken by the latest goings-on in town where there is evidence that there is a fifty year old time capsule somewhere that was meant to be opened this year, also marking the fiftieth anniversary of the town's famed Christmas Festival. —Huggo
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 02, 2021 at 05:47 AM