Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Christmas on Mistletoe Farm: Movie Review

For the love of animals only.
A widowed father, Matt Cunningham (Scott Garnham), who has a full-time job and five young kids to take care of, then inherits a farm from his estranged father and decides to juggle his job plus raising his kids plus running a farm, and needless to say it doesn’t go smoothly. Mistletoe grows on Mistletoe Farm but the farm is a regular farm with animals, and eggs for sale, and minimal other revenue sources.   2022

Directed by: Debbie Isitt

Screenplay by: Debbie Isitt

Starring: Scott Garnham, Scott Paige

There’s an odd obsession with making bosses in children’s movies to be awful, awful people. Cunningham’s boss likes saying “kids have no place in business” while demanding all employees must work on Christmas Eve for a big pitch that day, and if they don’t win that pitch then they’re all fired on Christmas Day. Not sure why we’re teaching children that they’re going to grow up to work for soulless people and hate their jobs, but it’s an unnecessary lesson that’s in all movies.

The cinematography is awful. It looks like a daytime TV soap opera and just as cheap. The Brits aren’t famous for their children’s Christmas movies and it’s easy to see why. Given how cheaply Hallmark and Netflix are churning out Christmas movies that look like Christmas, it should be possible here, but there is no Christmas feel. They tell us it’s set at Christmas but otherwise you wouldn’t know.

Similarities to We Bought a Zoo abound with a single father and his kids taking on a new business that he knows nothing about. Some key differences though is that there are five kids, not just one, and just a collection of farm animals, nothing as elaborate as a zoo. Five kids are too many. We barely learn all their names let alone distinct personalities for them.

The movie picks up a bit of steam when arriving at the farm and meeting Beano the farmhand who lives in the barn. He’s a lively fella who loves the animals and the kids, and all of the people in the small town are quite lovely. The highlight though, and arguably the only appeal, are the animals. For kids who love animals, I can see this really delighting them and keeping them entertained for most of two hours.

Christmas on Mistletoe Farm is a kids’ movie for younger kids only. The joy of seeing animals on a farm is enough for the young kids but older kids are probably going to see how cheap this looks and the lack of comedy especially compared to all other kids’ Christmas movies out there.

Want a different Christmas movie or just more holiday-themed movies? Holiday Movies