Monday, 20 July 2015

An Accidental Christmas (3 Stars)


Maybe this should be described as an accidental film review. I'm slightly out of season here. As my friends and regular readers already know, I don't celebrate Christmas, so maybe I should defy convention by watching a Christmas film in July.

Jason and Vicky Wright have been married for 15 years. Jason is a successful lawyer, while Vicky used to be an architect, but she gave up her job to look after their children, Melissa and Will. After all this time together Vicky has decided to leave Jason. He loves his wife and he works hard to provide a good lifestyle for his family, but that's not enough. Vicky feels neglected when he's away working long hours. It's an amicable separation. Vicky has custody of the children, but they live close together and Jason can see them as often as he likes. They've been separated for almost a year, and now the first Christmas apart is looming.

Christmas doesn't mean much to me, but it means a lot to the children in the film. When they find out that their parents have made separate plans for Christmas they scheme to bring their parents together. They trick their parents into going to the same beach hotel where they spent their honeymoon. This is an awkward situation for the parents, but the children do everything they can to play cupid.

This is a slushy romantic film, over-laden with clichés, but it does carry a serious message. However many problems there may be in a marriage, however difficult it is for two people to stay together, their children never want a divorce. The children are the ones who suffer most, and so the parents should make every possible effort to stay together for their sake. It might not always be possible, and even if it is it takes work on both sides, but it should be attempted.

When I told my wife I wanted to leave her she didn't understand why I was leaving. I told her, but it was as if she was deaf, she kept trying to find other reasons. My 11-year-old son Norman knew my reasons. I overheard him talking to her in the next room, trying to get her to change, but she didn't understand him either. When a separation is pending, both parents should listen to the children. They often understand what's going on better than one or both of the parents.

The film was made in 2007 and is now out of print in America, but it's still available in Germany with the original English dialogue. You can buy it on DVD for 10.49 Euros or Blu-ray for 5.00 Euros. I like the way German companies set their prices.

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