The story of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving continues. Isabella and Tilly pay a visit to Ireland, hoping Isabella's long-ago suitor, the Earl of Shannon, can assist Tilly in getting her writing published.
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Steven A. Miller
When an English aristocrat and her granddaughter Tilly visit relatives in Ireland for the Christmas holidays, they find that the family has become impoverished and wants to try to marry their son Cameron to Tilly to save their legacy. However, Tilly is engaged already. So it's up to Irish luck to help Tilly fall in love with Cameron. But what happens when Tilly's fiancé arrives to surprise her for Christmas?
Nice, witty screenplay in this Old Ireland Christmas film
Put "Christmas" in the title or have a Christmas tree in it and one has a Christmas movie. Anyhow, so the industry seems geared in the 21st century.
"An Old-Fashioned Christmas" is a TV movie sequel to "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" of 2008. That was set in New England, and this takes place in Ireland. The time is 1912. While billed as a drama, this film might also have been labeled a comedy or comedy-romance. Some might consider the latter a letdown, so just stay with comedy. For "Old-Fashioned Christmas" has some very witty dialog throughout.
Several of the cast joust and parry with put-downs, slams and not too-well-hidden insults. It's delicious and adds much to this otherwise formulaic love triangle.
Isabella Caldwell squares off repeatedly with Lady Shannon. She seems to be the principal jouster, going at it with a number of the rest of the cast. She and Sean Basset square off, she attacks Cameron Shannon head on, and she and niece Matilda Basset (Tilly) go at it a couple of times. But, Tilly also jousts with Cameron and he with her, and Cameron and his mother, Lady Shannon exchange insults more than once.
Most of the cast are very good. Marion O'Dwyer is particularly good as the self-assured, unlikable Lady Shannon. Some of the cast seemed as though they might be having fun making this film. Ian McElhinney as Sean, Leon Ockenden as Cameron and Kristopher Turner as Gad were clearly at ease and enjoying their roles. Jacqueline Bisset is good as Isabella Caldwell. Catherine Steadman is okay as Tilly - not bad but not very good, either. She might have put much more life into her interpretation of her character. At times she seems blasé.
The background music was terrible, and at times distracting. But for that, this film might have rated one more star.
Here are some sample funny lines from the film. For more, see the Quotes section under this IMDb Web page of the movie.
Lady Shannon, "As my husband is fond to say, 'The woman rarely gets what she wants, but she always gets what she needs.'"
Isabella Caldwell, "Shame on you, Matilda Bassett. Such deception and manipulation." Tilly Basset, "Sorry. Would it help if I grovel?" Isabella, "It might be a beginning."
Sean Basset, "Sometimes the best place to be is at a fork in the road." Tilly Basset, "Why?' Sean, "It brings clarity, eventually." Tilly, "Well, I look forward to clarity, thank you."
Sean, "Well, you'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind." Tilly, "Excuse me?" Sean, "Stop all the blabbering and take action."
Sean, "Mrs. Caldwell, calling you uppity isn't an insult. It's a fact."
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