Lost At Christmas is being marketed as Scotland’s first traditional Christmas movie. Will audiences end up pulling a Christmas cracker or find a lump of cinematic coal in their stocking?
A remake of Ryan Hendrick’s award-winning short Perfect Strangers, this festive film sees life turned upside down for Jen and Rob. Suddenly finding themselves heartbroken, single and stranded, the two strangers team up to try and reach home 100 miles away to be with their families on Christmas Eve.
The cinematic equivalent of Driving Home For Christmas by Chris Rea?
If there is a plot device more synonomous with Christmas or the holidays than A Christmas Carol, it must be the “quest” to get home. This film ticks every box on a fully opened advent calendar. A couple of strangers thrown together, initially at odds but soon fall for each other? Check. A seemingly manageable journey that is complicated by a series of deus ex machinas? Check. Someone who hates Christmas but learns to love it? Check.
What is the Scottish version of a Hallmark movie? Hall-Marks & Spencers?
It could certainly be called the Scottish Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Albeit one without planes or trains… much to the chagrin of the lead characters.
Saying that, with the stunning shots of the harsh, snowy Scottish highlands and the lead couple stranded before finding a play to stay in the middle of nowhere, this could quite easily have been alternatively made as a survivalist horror.
Kenny Boyle (who also starred in the original short) is the straight man of the piece as Rob, playing it suitably stiff and uptight. This allows Natalie Clark to have fun in the John Candy role. Her performance as Jen is stuffed with more Christmas spirit than a festive turkey. Eccentric, effervescent, ever-so-slightly annoying but with a heart of gold.
It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead leaning in to the tropes and cliches of your typical Christmas movie, it is as predictable as finding some chocolate coins and a tangerine at the bottom of your stocking.
However in an incredibly chaotic, turbulent and unfamiliar year, a dose of familiar festive fare is perhaps just what somebody asked Santa for.
The Ebenezer Scrooge’s of this world will say “Bah Humbug” to this but those of good cheer might find themselves charmed by Lost At Christmas.
Lost At Christmas will be in UK Cinemas from 4th December and on Digital Download from 7th December
Director: Ryan Hendrick
Stars: Natalie Clark, Kenny Boyle, Sylvester McCoy, Sanjeev Kohli, Claire Grogan
Runtime: 106 minutes