Expectations admittedly were not sky-high. The premise didn't sound anything special and has been done to death. It did have the danger too of being cheesy and too sappy if not done well. If done right though and if it tried to do something different, it could have been very sweet and amiable. Saw 'Christmas Stars' as a big fan of Christmas, as someone who has for the past while been expanding my Christmas film horizons and as someone that likes film with a musical-like theme.
'Christmas Stars' left me a bit mixed when it came to the execution, didn't love it and didn't hate it, and was actually more or less what was expected. While to me it wasn't a particularly good film, had a good deal wrong with it and it's not hard to see why some may find themselves squirming in their seats, 'Christmas Stars' still struck me as very watchable and an inoffensive diversion. As long as one doesn't expect too much and did a sizeable amount right.
Will start with the good. It looks nice, not lavish but it doesn't look cheap. The locations are pretty to look at and the simple but not static or over-saturated camera work seems to love it. Whether one likes the soundtrack is very dependent on what your music taste is and whether you like the music style that is most dominant, for me it's not my first choice when it comes to listening to various music styles regularly but the non-too commercialised music is listenable. Listenable the soundtrack is here, a few too many songs perhaps but there is nothing annoying about the melodies and the lyrics may not be the most inspired in the world but don't make the toes curl at least.
Some parts are genuinely sweet without being too sugary and there are mildly amusing if not hilarious moments. The story does have heart and charm in the middle act in particular, the chemistry between the two leads is sweet and even if the quality of the singing varies the performances are all game. JT Hodges steals the show, he's great and while she is not as comfortable in the songs Erica Durance is an appealing partner.
On the other hand, the script does tend to be rather stilted and corny, some parts did make me cringe. While the two leading characters are generally likeable, the supporting characters are very sketchy and typical Christmas film cliches and not much more. The direction could have done with more urgency and energy, while the songs are amiable enough the charm and energy heard in the music doesn't carry over enough in the staging which never excites properly.
Although the story has moments, it is very derivative and basic. Almost everything has been seen before many times elsewhere and done with much more freshness and consistent feeling, for instance there is absolutely no surprise as to how it ends and by the end one has slightly lost interest to care enough. It also takes far too long to get going, the pace in the first third is pretty dull and the early stages are uneventful.
In summary, watchable but nothing special. 5/10
Comedy / Drama / Music
Comedy / Drama / Music
When aspiring R&B artist Layla crosses paths with amateur songwriter Spence, she thinks she's found her shot at finally getting a record deal.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 08, 2021 at 05:45 PM