Christmas in the Highlands
- 1h 24min
A New York sales manager is sent to the remote Scottish Highlands at Christmas to acquire a limited edition perfume from a dashing Earl preparing for his annual ball and falls in love instead.A New York sales manager is sent to the remote Scottish Highlands at Christmas to acquire a limited edition perfume from a dashing Earl preparing for his annual ball and falls in love instead.A New York sales manager is sent to the remote Scottish Highlands at Christmas to acquire a limited edition perfume from a dashing Earl preparing for his annual ball and falls in love instead.A New York sales manager is sent to the remote Scottish Highlands at Christmas to acquire a limited edition perfume from a dashing Earl preparing for his annual ball and falls in love instead.A New York sales manager is sent to the remote Scottish Highlands at Christmas to acquire a limited edition perfume from a dashing Earl preparing for his annual ball and falls in love instead.
The story gets out 0.75 of 2: The Direction a 1: The Pacing receives a 0.75: While the Acting gets 1.25: And my Enjoyment level earns a 1.25 out of 2: This brings the total for Christmas In The Highlands to 5 out of 10.
Okay, this isn't the best Christmas film on offer this festive season but it does have a certain heartwarming ambience to warm your soul. Though at other times, it's cliched and badly written and leaves an obnoxious whiff in your nose.
Louise Burfitt-Dons possesses an odd idea about romanticism. This story tells of one woman's search for a perfume recipe for the company she works for. Her quest transports her into the Highlands of Scotland, where she meets the Earl of Glenmorie. Fortunately for her, he's handsome, rich, smart, single, and owns the perfumery she's seeking. Alistair's the type of bloke you only find in these Chrimbo tales. And the first thing Blair does is lie to him. If I knew women didn't want trust in a relationship, I would've lied to my missus; it may have made the marriage last longer. Granted, at this point, she's not romantically drawn to him. Though if you require a business partner then lying to them isn't the correct approach.
However, the lie's not her only stumbling block, Blair additionally has to deal with a conniving Lady McLeod and her "Nice-but-dim" daughter Kristen. These two are looking to influence Alistair to wed Kristen and bond the two families by marriage.
Reading that you would think the story would be entertaining, and it is. However, it's crammed with wasted opportunities to make it better. Much better.
For example, the Lady McLeod has wriggled her way into the Duke's Christmas Party and is eager to show off her standing. The Duke has always purchased a Gingerbread House from the villages' local baker. This year, however, the confectionary abode has met a nasty ending. Fortuitously though, Lady McLeod has one on order from Harrods. It would have been great to have a scene where the Lady and her daughter sneak into the bakers and destroy the gingerbread house. It would have added a comedic element and shown how far they were willing to go and add depth to their personas.
If we'd been given a memory of the Dukes' Christmas Past, it would have made a heartwarming moment. The look-back could have shown the family at Christmastime and how caring Alistair's mother and father were. It would have strengthened the perfumery aspect of the storyline. I found it very strange there was a locked room in the castle keep where Mommy used to go and concoct her magnificent scents. Even stranger that nobody had entered there for ten years, ever since she had passed away. Yet, Alistair still produces the perfumes.
And there are more scenes which could have been equally reinforced.
Ryan Dewar is a passable director. He possesses an excellent eye for composition, but he should have looked through the lens a bit more. In the snooker scene, you can see a green Exit sign above the doorway. Hhhmmm, so they were filming at a stately home? They could have disguised the sign easily. Plus, the castle and its interior could have made for some exquisite shots, but he fails to exploit its immense possibilities.
Another thing Dewar needed to look at was the pacing of the storytelling. For me, it's a tad too relaxed. There are times when your attention starts to drift. A moderately faster switch between the scenes could have alleviated some of this.
The acting is above average and a couple of the cast stand out, but only because of their screen presence. These are Nicholas Farrell and Geraldine Somerville. I've always thought Somerville would have gone farther on-screen roles than she has, I've been a fan since watching her as "Pan-Handle" in the great Cracker. It would appear that her acting talents have grown more impressive. She is excellent as Lady McLeod.
Dan Jeannotte delivers an admirable performance as Alistair. He's got a noble air about him. Jeannotte emanates a genuine, warm, and caring persona. A consummate gentleman for a perfect holiday romance.
However, Brooke Burfitt isn't so good. Most of the time she's acceptable as the out-of-her-depth American in a strange land; she even delivers her lines well. However, there are a few times when she looks awkward. And, this isn't down to a flaw in her character role. She appears to be a fish out of water. Staggering around, looking to find her mark for the camera.
That said, this is still an enjoyable film. Not one to rush and watch, but it there's little else on then take a look-see. It should entertain for an hour and a half. I have to say, I was entertained, also, by some of the film's faults. Allow me to explain; there's a scene where the Duke's informed of Blair's secret and he mumbles something in a broadish Scottish accent. This wouldn't have made me giggle had Farrell spoke with the accent throughout the film. But for most of the movie, he talks with a distinctly British twang. Furthermore, there's a wonderful scene where Blair is leaving the castle. She struggles down the stairs, and when Alistair asks her what's happening, she stops to talk to him. But, nearly falls down the stairs. You know this wasn't by design as Alistair doesn't move to help her. In fact, he looks past her at somebody with a quizzical "what should I do?" look on his face.
If you like Christmas romances you don't need to think much about then A Christmas in the Highlands could be for you.
Your Christmas Quest is to pop on over and see where this Romance rated in my Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas Belles List.
Take Care & Stay Well & Merry Christmas.
- Dec 23, 2020