An Old Fashioned Holiday Affair
Not all Christmas movies are about Christmas. That may sound a bit of a strange statement but there are those movies which mention Christmas in the title or are set during the Christmas period but in truth have little to do with it. "An Old Fashioned Christmas", the follow up to "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving" is one such movie which not only mentions Christmas in the title but is also set at Christmas yet has very little to do with it. Instead we have a sort of continuation of the first movie as Tilly has an opportunity to meet her paternal Grandfather much to her snooty Grandma's disapproval. And then we have a bit of a love triangle romance going on as Tilly finds herself torn between her reliable fiancee and a dashing young man with a roguish charm. None of which makes "An Old Fashioned Christmas" that special and other than a bit of a wholesome ending it is quite forgettable.
Having travelled the world with her grandmother, Tilly (Catherine Steadman) and Isabella (Jacqueline Bisset - Carolina Moon) arrive in Ireland where Isabella hopes to call in a favour from the Earl of Shannon (Robert O'Mahoney) to help Tilly further her writing career. But when they reach the Earl's estate it becomes clear that the Earl and his family have hit on hard times and Lady Shannon (Marion O'Dwyer) has a plan of setting up her son Cameron (Leon Ockenden) with Tilly in order to get her hands on some of Isabella's money. This of course leads to problems as Tilly is engaged to Gad (Kristopher Turner) back in New Hampshire but finds her head turned by Cameron's roguish charms. But that is not the only thing on Tilly's mind as she has tracked down her paternal Grandfather who still has issues with Isabella as to how she treated his son, Tilly's late father.
In effect "An Old Fashioned Christmas" is a movie of two stories with the first being a bit of a continuation of "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving" as we have the re-occurrence of how Isabella was cruel to Tilly's father as he was a servant who had no right to fall in love with her daughter. It is to be frank not much of a storyline as whilst we get the initial animosity when Sean and Isabella come face to face the twist which follows is less than a shock. It almost fees like writer Don Martin was trying to give us a twist on "The Quiet Man" with some temper and passion between the American Isabella and the Irish Sean but never coming close.
But then running alongside this story is what ends up a very routine romantic drama as Tilly finds herself romantically torn as she falls for Cameron's roguish charm. It is all so obvious especially when Gad shows up and we have Tilly having to decide between the person she knows and the person who has turned her head. The irony of this is that whilst the intro to "An Old Fashioned Christmas" establishes that Isabella and the Earl of Shannon had once been close and the Shannon's have fallen on hard times nothing comes of it making it also so thin.
And to be honest that is about it because the performances, style and direction is for the most ordinary. The one stand out performance comes from Leon Ockenden as Cameron because he turns on the roguish charm, playfully flicking between delivering snobbish to oirish in a blink of an eye.
What this all boils down to is that "An Old Fashioned Christmas" may have Christmas in the title and be set during the festive period it is not really a Christmas movie. Instead it is part continuation to "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving" and part standard romantic triangle drama and none of those parts are any more than ordinary.