Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

Seasonal cheer comes to a screeching halt when a cold-hearted woman tries to sell her hometown’s land. Can music, magic and memories change her mind?

Year: 2020
Certificate: PG
Runtime: 1hr 38m
Director: Debbie Allen
Starring: Dolly PartonChristine BaranskiTreat WilliamsJenifer LewisJosh SegarraJeanine MasonMary Lane Haskell

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Let me start this review by saying I am a massive fan of Dolly Parton, I love her music and films. So when I saw that Dolly was making a Christmas film for Netflix, I was very excited.

The storyline is one that has been played out many times in different guises: someone who is mean at Christmas has to change their ways to save Christmas for everyone they know. However, this time they have added a bit of an Angel story too,  so you could say it is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with “It’s a Wonderful Life” thrown into the mixture. There is also a big religious aspect to the story with lots of references to church services, God and Heaven, and a big twist at the end which is linked to a very well read Bible.

The film is set in a small American town square where everybody knows everybody, and all the businesses are independently owned. The owner of the land which the town is on died around 6 months prior to when the film is set and ownership passed down to his only child Regina, who decides she is going to sell the town to a company that wants to build a giant shopping centre called ‘Cheetah Mall’. She also decides that Christmas Eve Eve is the best day to hand out the eviction notices, it is while she is doing this we met Angel a homeless beggar. The townspeople decide to hold a ‘Reject Regina’ rally in the local church in the hope that they can find a way to get her to change her mind . It’s at this event that we find out what the town’s folk call her when she’s not around, and is also when my favourite song is performed. It is also during this meeting that Regina is faced with her past for the first time

Debbie Allen did a fantastic job of directing this film, and made it feel like you were watching a stage show; it’s not “opened up” as most shows are when turned into films (with location shooting, etc.). This keeps the theatrical aspect alive with stage-like sets, acting, theatrical musical numbers and a small cast of main characters and the rest made up of the ensemble.

If you are looking for blockbuster quality, high production value, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is, however, a great movie, with a great cast, amazing message and even better music. Yes, some parts are sappy but it is much better than any Hallmark movie.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Tammy

A parent blogger and mom to 3 adorable children, who likes watching documentaries and dramas.

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