Movie: Christmas With a Capital C
Cast: Ted McGinley, Daniel Baldwin, Nancy Stafford and Ben Stine
Rating: Unrated (but probably “G”)
When faith-based films are done well, (like Soul Surfer, Reconciliation or Courageous) they should be praised. When they are just mediocre, they shouldn’t be. Still, movies like Christmas With a Capital C come out and many Christians will stand behind it not because that it is a good piece of art, but rather, because it is a Christian movie. Christmas With a Capital C could and should have been better. It has a nice premise, a great message and some pretty good acting but its main problem is the writing.
The movie takes place in a small Alaskan town where Christmas is a big deal. There is one play that everyone goes to, the annual “Merry Christmas” banner is put up and the beautiful nativity display is put in front of town hall. Dan Reed (Ted McGinley) is the mayor of this town and is happy with the status quo. However, when Mitch Bright (Daniel Baldwin), an attorney and Dan’s revival from high school returns to town, all he cherishes about the holiday is threatened. Mitch is offended by the display and pursues an injunction against it. Mitch also convinces some in the town that “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” is less offensive to the much-needed tourists and starts a campaign to run for mayor.
The acting is pretty good among the main characters, but the choices of actors are questionable. Baldwin makes a fine villain, but he’s hardly known for being someone as a person of faith. That isn’t to suggest that he isn’t, but on his own IMDB page he, describes his acting brothers as Alec being the big star, Stephen the born-again Christian, Billy the popular one with the girls, and he being the troublemaker. At least Baldwin can act.
At first, the local Christians take offense by the man’s actions and want to fight for their freedom, but Dan’s wife Kristen (Nancy Stafford) reminds them that they can still have Christmas without actually saying “Christmas” and that actions speak louder than words. They do by doing acts of kindness marked with notes marked only with a “C.” Also thrown in the mix is a high school ski competition/romance that adds nothing to the main story.
The other questionable choice is that of Brad Stine who, even though he looks nothing like McGinley, plays his brother, Greg. Stine is a gifted Christian comedian and a great speaker. But that doesn’t necessarily translate well into acting. He seems out of place and goes on rants about Christmas for no apparent reason. It appears that that filmmakers were hoping to the same screen “magic” when other comedians improvise on the set. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
Above all else, a good story is meant to entertain or stir up an emotion. Although filmed in Alaska, the crew didn’t take full advantage of the beautiful scenery and story is dreadfully boring. There isn’t any real tension or high points of comedy or tear-jerking scenes.
Christmas With a Capital C is unofficially rated G and appropriate for the whole family.
Originally posted at Examiner.com