Sarah's lonely neighbor has had a rooftop Christmas tree each year, since Sarah was a child. Lately, he's been arrested for it. This year Sarah is back in town as lawyer, sitting with him in court. Why is the tree so important?
It's Christmas and once again, Dale Landis places a tree on his roof and ends up in court. No one in the small town knows why he continues the practice, but idealistic attorney, Sarah Wright is determined to give Mr. Landis his Christmas wish and keep him out of jail. Judge Conner has different ideas when he puts Sarah and and aggressive prosecutor John Keaton together to figure out the mystery behind the rooftop Christmas tree. The two must come together to find a solution and in the end find out more not only about Mr. Landis, but about each other. This heartwarming holiday movie is inspired by a true story and will restore your faith in miracles. The movie "The Rooftop Christmas Tree" stars Michelle Morgan, Tim Reid and Stephen Huszar.Written by
Peter Dillon plays the father and he is only 12 years older than the actress Michelle Morgan See more »
There is a portrait of Queen Victoria on the wall outside the judge's office. Filmed in small town Ontario, Canada, the portrait make sense. But doesn't for the movie, which is set in small town USA. See more »
Up on the rooftop
Last Christmas period (started watching in October but reviewing in December after not getting so behind with my reviewing) saw me on a roll watching and reviewing many relatively recent Christmas films, as part of a quest to see as many as possible that had not already been seen and still favourites. It did turn out to an interesting experience, took me time to get through it though and am still watching and reviewing, but like all completest quests it proved to be a very variable one with good, bad and in betweens.
'The Rooftop Christmas Tree' is somewhere in the top-in between batch. It is not a great film, but it was worthwhile, well intended and sweet. A pleasant enough diversion as long as one doesn't expect too much, that does quite a lot right. Even if the traps that festive films can fall into, and frequently have done, are not completely avoided. Other festive films have fared far worse in what 'The Rooftop Christmas Tree' has wrong with it though.
It could have been better. The story is formulaic and doesn't really have anything new or special to it to make it stand out, also not always being completely focused. Some of the dialogue doesn't sound very natural, and can be a bit corny and sappy like towards the end.
Quite a bit better and more could have been done with the central relationship, it felt too rushed and underdeveloped and its change from how it starts to by the outcome suffers as a result and doesn't come over as realistic. Some of the supporting cast don't act particularly well, either not having much presence with little to work with or overdoing it. Plus the parents are too unrealistically young, the main character Sarah is supposed to be their daughter but could easily pass as their sister.
Michelle Morgan having said that does play her quite likeably, but the best performance and one of the best things about the film is Tim Reid who is quite heartfelt in his well-defined role. The characters are not fully developed but most of them at least engage and don't feel too cardboard, despite the acting varying. The film is nicely shot and complements the authentically festive scenery beautifully. The soundtrack also captures the feeling of Christmas in a way that's infectious and nostalgic.
Charm can be felt throughout 'The Rooftop Christmas Tree', the messaging is well intended and handled with force but also tact instead of preaching and a good deal of it is touching and has a very warm heart in its centre.
In a nutshell, pleasant if nothing remarkable. 6/10
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