With his mother dying of cancer at Christmastime, Nathan Andrews just wants to buy his mother one last present before she goes to heaven. However, his family doesn’t have enough money do to the healthcare treatments. His path crosses with disgruntled lawyer Robert Layton, who wants nothing to do with Christmas since his marriage and family are seemingly falling apart. Will Rob take the opportunity to spread holiday cheer before it’s too late for Nathan’s mom?
Production Quality (3 points)
As a Hallmark production in their movie ‘heyday,’ The Christmas Shoes is basically a textbook example of a professional one. Though many elements of it are typical, including plenty of Christmas décor and props, there are no real errors to point out here, which is a rarity. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all predictably good. The soundtrack is a bit too Christmasy, but what it can be expected. Sets and locations and realistic and professional. Editing is also fine. Overall, this is certainly a production to be proud of.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
As a Hallmark movie based on a popular Christian Christmas song, one can see the obvious pitfalls here. For one, the story is told in narration before it even begins. Even so, it is still a typical Christmas story about a busy and cold character who hates Christmas for some reason but learns to care again for some reason or another. This is also mixed in with a diseased character at Christmastime, plus a literal save the farm plot to boot. Also, don’t forget the Christmas pageant! Overall, this is a touching idea, and the characters and their struggles can somewhat be related to. However, they still tend to fit into their stereotypical and seemingly predetermined molds. There are good issues raised about common family problems, but they are resolved way too easily. This story fights being sappy and even plastic at times, which is unfortunate, because this could have been something. In the end, many audiences will like this story, but it’s just one too many.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
Once again, this section is highly professional and well-cast. The only issues to raise here pertain to some minor drama and moment of yelling. But on the whole, emotions are realistic, and lines are delivered well. This rounds out an above-average effort of a film that many will enjoy.
Movies like this one are problematic because they are popular and have plenty of good elements. However, they are also fairly limited in scope and creativity. If a predictable storyline is going to be used, the least that can be done is to make the characters very deep and rich due to superb dialogue and an effective use of flashbacks. However, Hallmark likely isn’t in the business of creativity, so carry on, I guess.
Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10 points