A Barefoot Gamble on a Country Christmas
Tess Stapleton (Hannah Barefoot - Off the Rails) is not only a single mum but also a country music star, although with her album sales taking a nose dive she is under threat of being dropped by her record label. But the label wants her to not only record a Christmas album but they want her to work with Derek Copeland (Evan Gamble), a former teen heartthrob and a pop-star. Despite Tess being less than happy about working with Derek, especially as they are so different, they not only find that they get on but to both of their surprises an album comes together.
"Country Christmas Album", which also goes by "Rock and Roll Christmas", ends up a curious Christmas movie because when you read the synopsis it sounds like yet another predictable Christmas movie where two people end up falling in love despite initially being opposites. But "Country Christmas Album" has a different vibe to many a Christmas movie and this feels more of a family drama rather than another overly cutesy romantic comedy. And it also has some interesting layers as Tess's ex is a musician who is not only still friends but usually crashes in her spare room when ever he is in town so he can spend time with his daughter. On top of that we have Derek's back story surrounding his former band mate, a former girlfriend and some heart break. It isn't that there is anything out of the usual in "Country Christmas Album" but it glues the familiar story pieces together in a more serious, but not overly serious style, almost becoming soulful at times.
What I will say about "Country Christmas Album" is that whilst it has a different tone to many a Christmas movie there are still some familiar elements to it. One of those familiar elements is that we have a good looking cast and I don't think there is a single scene where Hannah Barefoot as Tess isn't looking beautiful, delivering one lingering look at the camera after another.
What this all boils down to is that "Country Christmas Album" ends up one of those Christmas movies which manages to take some thing familiar and deliver it in a way which draws you in despite there still being something predictable about it.