Christmas Inheritance – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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83.33% (4)

Christmas Inheritance - Title Card

Unlike A Christmas Prince, there isn’t anything really to redeem this Christmas movie.


Director(s) Ernie Barbarash
Writer(s) Dinah Eng
Noted Actors
Ellen Eliza Taylor
Jim Neil Crone
Zeke Anthony Sherwood
Gray Michael Xavier
Jake Jake Lacy
Debbie Andie MacDowell

Summary

Ellen, a 20 something who is about to inherit a multi-million dollar company, has one thing standing in the way of that – her partying ways. All of which seeming stems from the fact her mother died (sound familiar?). So, her father, Jim, decides that in order to prove she is ready to take over the company, she has to deliver the annual Christmas letter to co-founder Zeke who still lives in the town where it all started: Snow Falls.

However, there is a twist to this task. She is only given $100 and a round-trip bus ticket. Also, she isn’t allowed to reveal who she is. Thus forcing her to live like a normal person and get to know the locals. But, to add a monkey wrench into things, your usual love story gets complicated by Ellen being engaged to Gray, this sort of douche, and yet falling for this local boy named Jake.

Which will she choose, can she win her father’s trust and become CEO? Well, this is a Christmas movie… do you really need to ask?

Criticism

The Low-Key Shaming of Ellen, No Matter What She Wears

Christmas Inheritance - Jake Lacy

I get that Jake and Debbie, his aunt, are from a small town, but this weird issue they both have, in the early and mid parts of the movie, with what Ellen wore bug me. Especially since it isn’t like Ellen is just all cleavage and legs. You got some collarbone and the other time she was in bed and gets shamed for not wearing enough. Which, granted, maybe I’m understanding things wrong and they meant more so that it was too cold for what she was wearing, but I don’t think that’s the case.

There is Just So Many Things Which Seem Generic and Wrong Here

Christmas Inheritance - Jake Lacy

I’m coming to wonder if the majority of Christmas movies, especially non-theatrical ones, are the same? Dead parent, secret identity, falling for someone who doesn’t know the real you, some idiot leaking it, the person getting mad, but it being alright in no time. You know why? Well, because it’s Christmas. Which for this movie especially raised an eyebrow because Ellen dumps Gray with the quickness, after dancing upon the line which would have been some form of cheating with Jake. On top of that, considering how fast Ellen left Gray, you’d think, considering how Jake got left by his wife, that would raise some red flags.

Think about it. One major fight and then Ellen is gone? What do you think may happen to you, Jake? Much less, she fell for you while things were good, and she was engaged, to someone else. Plus, why is no one mad that Zeke and Jim basically used the whole town to choose their next CEO? I get they both probably put a lot of money back into that community, but come on now.

On The Fence

It Tried To Make Things Interesting, But Then Decided That Required Too Much Effort

Christmas Inheritance - Michael Xavie

Okay, let me note that the letters Ellen were supposed to deliver, they created a bit of a touching moment. Granted, it does make it sound like Jim did more work than Zeke, until maybe he put them on the internet, but let’s not go into that. What matters is how touching it was that sometime in the 70s this interracial pair became friends and started a business together.

Now, here comes the part where you wish there was effort: First, us learning how these two became friends; Second, what exactly was Zeke’s role and why did he retire early; and then there comes Gray. Being that Gray is Black and we learn Zeke is Black, was it wrong to assume that was his father and this was some, “We grew up together so we just kind of ended up together?” Because that was the vibe I got and yet that wasn’t the truth.

However, and maybe this is just my way of thinking, but how better would it have been if that was the truth. The idea that Gray and Ellen were going through the motions due to their dads and Zeke, as sweet as Ellen saw him, really was kind of a flaky dad who was there for the big moments, like gifts, but wasn’t much for quality time. I mean, I get that Christmas movies are family friendly and that kind of drama begins to stray away from a G rating, but surely someone out there has an idea for a quality holiday movie that doesn’t seem to just swap actors and change a few details.

Overall: Negative (Skip It)

Yeah, I think two Christmas movies are enough for me. Especially if they all sort of morph into the same storyline with a few alterations here and there. But, don’t get me wrong, like anything covered on this website, I had hopes when I began this. The problem is, ultimately this movie is another film in which Netflix seems to be more focused on quantity than quality.

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What's Your Take?

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About Amari Sali 2318 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

3 Comments

  1. I just finished watching this movie and it was good, better than most but the thing that got me and keeps getting me is this obsession with having people already in relationships. Like what did Grey actually add to the story? Jake knew she was engaged, she had said it moments before and he didn’t mention that as a bit of a red flag when his aunt was trying to push him. He knew she was engaged when he asked to kiss her and she knew she was engaged when she said yes and almost kissed him! When the fiance comes she acts like him being upset that his fiance who hasn’t been in contact with him and he came to rescue from a storm in hugging another guy. Sure they ramp up his rudeness and prejudice later but that moment is completely justified, she herself got upset when he said he would talk to the girl from accounting.

    This sort of thing just happens too often, it implies that women in relationships are inherently untrustworthy, it happened in Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, Maid of Honour, the list goes on and on. You’re meant to root for these love stories because you didn’t see the first live story. We don’t know how her and Gray got together so we don’t care about their relationship, he doesn’t respect small towns or Christmas traditions so we’re meant to think it’s okay that she was cheating on him but not okay that the Jake’s wife cheated on her struggling art student boyfriend. I just think the entire movie could have been done without that and it would have been much better.

    Plus, did anyone else wanna see her tell the electronics guy how it would actually be good for his business to donate? I get that it’s a Christmas movie but all she ended up saying to convince him was “it’s the right thing to do”. I wanted to see her show off that she has experience running a business.

    This was a good movie but you gotta change the formula please! No more women in relationships getting into new relationships. We are not inherently fickle. And of a relationship is bad you don’t need to find someone else before you end it.

  2. This is certainly one of the better made for TV Christmas films! The performances were pretty solid and it actually had a decent message.

    I agree with @Mili_Fay about the clothing, it was actually because it was freezing and snowy that they kept mentioning that. If you remember rightly she eventually asks for a jacket/coat . . .

  3. I’ve been watching one Hallmark Christmas movie after another with my mom this season and I have to say that this one was great fun. Acting was wonderful (something that seems forced and awkward in many of these movies) and I thought the story was cute.

    Could it have been better? Yes. However, there is a time limit to movies and sometimes you just have to let certain things go.

    I disagree on the clothing issue. I do think they were mostly worried about her. I’ve lived this scenario on the side of the town’s people. In my case, it was wearing sandals in the woods — too dangerous. Yes, we teased our friends a bit, but I would not call it “shaming”. Ellen was dressed quite elegantly, so there was no reason for them to criticise the lack of clothing in your interpretation. When they realised the teasing could have come off that way, they made it into a joke to release tension. Felt quite natural.

    The greatest criticism I have is regarding Jake’s hair. I think that was the worst haircut I have ever seen on a romantic lead. I kept having this urge to get in there and do something about it.

    I do think the idea that her fiancé was Zeke’s son could have been more interesting, but I feel that to truly push issues this movie should have been a mini-series.

    They made it clear from the beginning that Ellen and Gray were not a true couple; he had no idea where she was at the party they came to together, he though a vacation that they can take at a drop of a hat was more important than the task given to her by her father, he kept belittling her family’s traditions, he didn’t complement her cooking,… I thought they handled the progression of the relationship status extremely well in the time they had.

    I do not watch horror movies and criticise them because they are scary. For what it is, this movie exceeds expectations. I’d be happy to watch it again.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?