As the Christmas season approaches, one thing that has become part of the tradition of this season for many is the holiday movie. Some of the yuletide tales are as forgettable as the wrapping paper on your office gag gift, while others manage to stand out as annual classics for the family. In a year when most films either are being streamed to the world or pushed into the 2021 release schedule, there are very few Christmas films coming to cinemas. Instead of giving up hope, the team at Movies Change People have managed to find an option for all those desperate to celebrate the season in cinemas.
Christmas Jars is based on the best-selling novel by Jason F. Wright who writes about a quaint altruistic tradition that his family started, but turned into a movement that has the potential to change people’s lives. By filling a jar with change throughout the year, their family would leave it anonymously on the doorstep of someone who needed the funds within their community. Something that started as a family tradition that eventually turned into a movement that is practiced around the world. This generous practice is at the heart of the story of an orphan, Hope (Jeni Ross).
After being left in a booth at a local diner, the abandoned child is picked up and eventually adopted by a waitress in the restaurant named Louise (Jodi Larratt). It looks to be a perfect match for both of them. They move through their simple life with love and care for one other. As the years go by, Hope gets her dream job working for the local paper. Then tragedy infiltrates their small family with her mother being diagnosed with a terminal illness that quickly takes her life. All alone and not sure how to deal with her grief, the aspiring journalist chooses to go back to work. Unfortunately, while she is away from home, the apartment is burglarised. Another thing that causes her to spiral downwards in despair until she finds a jar full of money outside her door marked with the words, Christmas Jar.
Pushing past the feelings of grief and fear, Hope decides to investigate the appearance of these mysterious jars all over the city. After pitching the story to her editor, she gets the green light to write her first piece for the news outlet. Then everything falls into place as she stumbles upon a lovely family of woodworkers who seem to be the ones behind the holiday jars. As her investigative reporter instincts take over, she reaches out to the Maxwells. Posing as a poor journalist student, she brings an old desk to them to refurbish as a ploy to get close to the family. A plan that all seems to be working until the loving family welcomes her into their home. Also, Hope begins to have feelings for their son, Ian (Markian Tarasiuk). Even though the article is a way for her to get a step up the career ladder, the young writer must determine if it is worth betraying the trust of her newfound family.
Audiences must determine what sort of movie do they want for Christmas? Do the crowds want something sweet for the whole family or nothing at all? Christmas Jars looks to be one of the only Christmas film coming to theatres in 2020. Thankfully it is on the super sweet side of things and there is nothing that would keep families from enjoying this film together. Jason F. Wright has provided a story that would make Hallmark proud and ensure that audiences will not be embarrassed to take grandma to the theatre after Christmas dinner. Even though it does rely on predictable and standard elements that manage to bring forth the tears, this is a film that can be compared to a good Christmas dinner. A bit self-indulgent, a once a year experience and sure to raise your blood sugar levels, but satisfying and worth sharing with those you love.
REEL DIALOGUE: Adoption
There is nothing quite like the love of a parent. Even in the worst of experiences, the love, support and hug from your father or mother should have a soothing effect on your very existence. Christmas Jars is about giving, but the true undercurrent that sweeps across this film is the value of a parent in the life of a child. The sacrifice of a parent is never truly appreciated until later in life, but that does not devalue their influence.
These relationships can come in the form of blood relations, a blended family or through adoption and shows how important parents are in the life of a child. Have you told your parents how much they mean to you today?