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Christmas Inheritance Review

Christmas Inheritance is a 2017 Netflix holiday film about an ambitious heiress who can’t inherit her father’s gift business until she delivers a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner.

Christmas movies have never really been a grounded genre, even with the classics that rely on ghosts to move things forward or angels to offer second chances. Nowadays, aside from remakes, most holiday titles are churned out like processed canned meat, meant only to stuff the racks per se with calorically empty products that just sort of satisfy. Now comes Ernie Barbarash‘s Christmas Inheritance, another in a long line of low budget holiday films that packs its sack full of everything we expect, delivering just what it intends with good looking actors, clean, family comedy and enough good cheer to last the night.

In New York City, Ellen Langford (Eliza Taylor) is the daughter of Jim (Neil Crone), the owner of a very lucrative gift giving business called Home & Hearth. He’s thinking about retiring, but is a little hesitant since Ellen isn’t exactly CEO material, more of a socialite than a boardroom leader. To give her a better chance, he tasks here with a secret mission, to deliver a Christmas letter to the man he set the business up with decades before in a small town named Snow Falls. She agrees, but he lays down some rules: she can only travel incognito with a $100 and no credit cards. Now, trapped in the Norman Rockwellian countryside town with all of her safety nets cut, she must find her way about and along why, hopefully learn to be a better person.

There’s nothing really wrong with Christmas Inheritance, a mostly innocuous little film that works pretty hard to be as safe as possible, keeping chirpy and upbeat with all the pratfalls and miscommunications necessary to keep it a proper fish out of water story. Ellen’s hundred dollars runs out fast and the man she’s supposed to meet is delayed, forcing her to stay longer than she planned. This allows her to get acquainted with the locals, including the town’s handsome taxi driver and hotel manager Jake (Jake Lacy) and the diner owner Debbi (Andie MacDowell). As the town is indebted to Ellen’s father and his partner Zeke (Anthony Sherwood), she comes to appreciate more about her past and the people touched by her family’s contributions.

All things fall into place with all the predictability of a Christmas carol, however there’s no denying it has its charms. Taylor is well cast, filling in the mold of wealthy, pretty, white girl out of her element, earning some chuckles with her physical comedy. The film, being about Christmas, naturally focuses on her learning to evolve her mostly misdirected attitudes about values and perceptions of the real world, her sheltered, big city mentality having her looking for a bus attendant who serves wine and wondering why there’s no Uber once she’s in town, or getting stymied by a vacuum cleaner. Her fiancé is a dud (Michael Xavier) of course, leaving her to explore a bit, and by no surprise, there are plenty of opportunities in Snow Falls.

By no means is Christmas Inheritance going to be a classic, it being another disposable entry that will pop up every year, but as the season is a breeding ground for such and audiences seem endlessly thirsty for more – with kitsch and cheese the name of the game – this one will surely hit all the marks for those looking to cuddle up and get a little holiday cheer.

Christmas Inheritance Review

Movie description: Christmas Inheritance is a 2017 Netflix holiday film about an ambitious heiress who can't inherit her father's gift business until she delivers a special Christmas card to her dad's former partner.

Director(s): Ernie Barbarash

Actor(s): Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, Andie MacDowell

Genre: Comedy, Christmas

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One Response

  1. Caz December 18, 2017

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