A Lifetime of Christmas Books
With things having not gone well at work for Claire (Alexandra Breckenridge - She's the Man), a venture capitalist, she decides to spend some time away from the city and heads to a quaint Vermont town to stay as a guest at the Fortenbury Bookstore. Much to Claire's dismay she not only discovers the quaint bookstore is in a state of disrepair but the town has cancelled the annual Christmas celebrations due to a recent flood. Having carried a picture of how the bookstore once looked, which her mum had painted, Claire decides to not only try to revitalize the book store but help many of the other struggling businesses. It initially causes her to clash with Andrew (Jamie Spilchuk), who inherited the bookstore from his late parents and doesn't do Christmas. But after they spend some time together they find themselves becoming close.
This year there has only been a couple of new Christmas movies which have really made me smile and "Christmas Around the Corner" was one of them. Here is a movie which to some extent has a familiar side as we have Claire and Andrew, she is full of positivity he is more negative and lacking optimism but whilst there is some initial conflict they end up falling for each other, although of course love never runs smoothly. But Alexandra Breckenridge and Jamie Spilchuk play their parts well with Alexandra delivering cute and comically persuasive whilst Jamie does flustered but in that happy to be flustered way. It means their scenes together are not just romantic but enjoyably playful.
But there is more to "Christmas Around the Corner" than just the familiar Christmas romance which has a few issues. Here is a Christmas movie which in some ways wants to highlight how small businesses are struggling and they need to be open to thinking of new ways to bring business in. And I can appreciate it even though ironically we have a scene where Claire, trying to drum up business for the bookstore, goes online to buy some Christmas accessories! We also have attempts to make the movie politically correct with a vicar who is gay and has a child with his partner, for me it forces things, throwing various things in to be on trend rather than using these things as part of the story.
What this all boils down to is that "Christmas Around the Corner" has a lot going for it and it is a Christmas movie which made me smile in a way that most of this year's Christmas movies haven't. But sadly it isn't perfect, and at times it forces things a little too much for me.