A California Christmas
Director: Shaun Paul Piccinino
A California Christmas is bound to bring some laughs and smiles to your living room.
What Happens in A California Christmas?
Joseph Van Aston is rich and good with the ladies. He lived a carefree life up until this point. His mother had been trying to close a deal for property to expand her company, and as the offers kept getting rejected, Joseph was sent to convince the owners to take the deal, due to his skill with women.
At first, Joseph is skeptical, but after he is offered a proper position in his mother’s company, he takes the job. When Joseph arrives, he witnesses the birth of a calf and ends up assisting. Before he can explain himself, he is now Manny, the ranch hand who will help on the dairy farm. Here, Joseph meets Callie, a strong and stubborn woman, and all his plans have been turned upside down.
Who Are The Characters in A California Christmas?
The main protagonist is Joseph Van Aston. His mother is the head of the family’s company, and they have more than a lot of money. That side of life has never been an issue for Joseph, and that is reflected in his character. He is well known for his lack of commitment to many things, including women and his work.
Manny is a ranch hand that accidentally ends up very involved in the Van Astons’ business. A simple man with very little to his own name, Manny is happy with what he has. He needs very little to survive and can be satisfied with a gaming console and a place to sleep. He is the comic relief throughout.
Callie has gone through a lot in the past 3 years, and as a result, has a very full plate. Between running the ranch, working 6 nights a week, and caring for her mother and sister, she doesn’t have much time for sleep or herself. She is strong-willed and hardworking. She is also dedicated to her father’s vision for the ranch, and she’s a thorn in the Van Astons’ side.
Leo is Joseph’s “assistant” and friend. He is a connoisseur of wine, and nothing makes him happier. Although Joseph is his boss, they are closer than either one of them wishes to let on or admit at times.
A California Christmas Review
I really enjoyed the way A California Christmas flowed from point A to point B. It has a great mix of characters, and I thought the writers did a good job of balancing the emotional ups and downs. This rom-com has a very predictable story, nearly cliche, but the events between the start and the end are less than that.
Leo and Manny’s newfound relationship provides a much-needed layer of comedy to the movie, and they are the most likable characters in the movie. This plot feels very simple and down-to-earth, it doesn’t feel fabricated or overdramatized.
I was happy to see they managed to avoid at least a few cliches associated with this genre, but it was still a cheesy, heart-warming movie. There are a few elements in the plot that develop into situations that are almost identical to the novel we just read, Paradise Peak.
The resemblance between the plots was interesting to see with drastically different characters. I think the characters in this movie were well written, better than those in Paradise Peak.
The emotional development we see from our two protagonists is great, and it really makes the emotional ups and down more significant. Without that development, this movie is probably bland and mediocre at best, but our 4 main characters make this movie that much better.
Leo and Manny bring something different to this movie than we traditionally see from rom-coms, and they add a hilarious element that makes the story feel more real. Everyone has those friends that make fun of you when something goes wrong with a girl, but are also there for you when things are tough. That is the best way I can describe Leo and Manny.
This is probably going to go down as one of the better movies I have seen in 2020, and also one of the better movies released by Netflix. It brings a great mix of comedy, emotion, and drama to the table in one of the most popular movie forms, rom-coms.
I would have liked to see a few more surprises and things that are off the beaten path in this genre, but it is still a great movie. It is going to bring more than a few smiles to you over the course of an hour and 45 minutes, and possibly a few tears. Grab a bowl of popcorn and go check out this feel-good movie.