Based on the novel by Jason Wright, it tells the story of reporter Hope Jensen, who uncovers the secret behind "Christmas Jars" - jars filled with money and given anonymously to people in need. The phenomenon has changed countless lives.
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Based on the bestselling novel by Jason F. Wright, it tells the story of reporter Hope Jensen, who uncovers the remarkable secret behind the "Christmas Jars" - glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. Christmas Jars is a phenomenon with a reach far beyond that of a typical novel, as it created a new tradition that has changed the lives of many people in their time of need all over the country.
More than just a small film with a big heart (though it certainly is that), "Christmas Jars" expertly takes the classic Christmas movie formula and infuses it with surprising depth and themes of self-discovery and sacrifice.
Yes, there is also a lot of sweetness; those who generally have a "bah humbug" attitude towards Christmas films will find some moments too saccharine for their tastes. However, these moments are balanced with great humor and ample character growth.
The film stars Jeni Ross as Hope, a young journalist looking to prove herself to her boss. After a series of losses, including the death of her adopted mother, Hope finds her big break when a large jar filled with money is left outside of her apartment.
Determined to discover who is leaving the Christmas Jars throughout the city, Hope's investigative reporting leads her to the Maxwell family, a jolly clan who run a woodshop out of their home and freelance as the generous benefactors of the Christmas Jars each season. Through their warmth and generosity, Hope will find more than she ever imagined, including a surprise conclusion that will leave the audience in tears. However, her lies threaten to ruin her new-found relationships, especially with the Maxwell's son, Ian.
The inclusion of Hope's romantic relationship with Ian, originally found in the book's sequel, is one of the best changes made by the filmmakers. It proves heart-warming and irresistible to watch while upping the stakes for Hope as her lies begin to unravel.
Overall, Hope's interactions with the Maxwell family are at the heart of the film and it takes a little too long in getting there. However, it's worth the wait. The strength of the supporting cast is definitely unusual for a Christmas film; stock characters these are not. From the entire Maxwell clan, who you'll desperately wish you could spend dinner with, to Hope's delightful and hilarious co-workers, you'll find yourself invested in the characters and the story.
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