The countdown to Christmas is now on although in according to the supermarkets it started in the middle of summer, but first of the festive themed and family friendly films is Christmas at the Holly Day Inn replete with all the clichés and tropes of the genre and by the look if it filmed at the height of summer too
Emma (Tamla Kari – best known for her role in ‘The Inbetweeners films’) is a London career girl overlooked for promotion and promptly handing in her notice, leaving the city to see her widowed dad (Colin Firth) who runs the Holly Day Inn of the title in the obligatory quaint village. Her arrival sees the Inn’s resident list increase by 100%. Her dad’s work load is non-existent with the hotel having no residents but Emma endeavours to help him out trying to jolly the place up with Christmas decorations. But she’s managed to increase the resident guest by more one having bumped into Oliver ( Kevin Leslie) she’s mistaken for a travel journalist whereas he is an employee of a company sent there to foreclose the Inn.
By the law of romantic Christmas movies he’s smitten from the start with Emma and what follows is a number of contrived scenarios where they grow closer although not without some particularly cringey moments ( a ‘shaking off the bad vibes’ scene being but one) and some excrutiating dialogue notably for Oliver in a moment where he declares love for her and the cutesy village with the which he has also fallen in love in line with those Christmas tropes. Running parallel to this is her dad’s developing relationship with the local coffee shop owner Molly ( Anita Dobson).
As Emma, Tamla Kari has an endearing puppy like appeal and Colin Baker, always an avuncular figure, fits the role like a glove and really we should see far more of him in these type of cosy films. Christmas at the Holly Day Inn is standard stuff unlikely to dislodge any of the classic Christmas movies from anyone’s list but this is amiable and wholly undemanding viewing ideal with eggnog and a giant tin of chocolates
related feature : Stories of filming ‘Lost At Christmas’ with actor Kenny Boyle
related feature: What’s missing from The Muppet Christmas Carol ?
Here’s the Christmas at the Holly Day Inn trailer….
Christmas at the Holly Day Inn is release on digital Monday 6th November 2023