Christmas With a View did not alter my views on the cheesiness of Netflix Christmas movies


After misjudging the number of hours I spent on Saturday diligently completing homework for Spanish 3, APUSH, Chem 215, Honors English 10, and Algebra 2, I was fully prepared to conclude my homework for the weekend at 11 p.m. that night. My homework for my sixth class, Writing for Publication, consisted of viewing the Netflix movie Christmas With a View and constructing a review on it. While pulling my comforter up to my chin and the movie onto my computer, I was entirely prepared to support my argument—utilizing this review—on why Netflix Christmas movies are cringingly cliche.

Fortunately, Christmas With a View is the perfect movie to support my argument and exploit the absolutely shallow dialogue, plot, and acting that the copious amount of Christmas movies Netflix has to offer all obtain. First, Christmas With a View begins with the protagonist’s story of burning out in Chicago. Early on, it is revealed to viewers that Clara Garrison is experiencing the repercussions of dreaming too largely and taking on more than she could handle. Due to this, Clara returns to her hometown with the little amount of money—and dignity—that she has remaining. Clara is in the midst of regaining her passion for restaurants at the start of the movie with her newly obtained position as restaurant manager at Thunder Mountain Ski Resort.

Likewise, the overused, bland “problem” of being single during the holiday season reveals itself through the nagging that Clara receives from her mother and best friend Bonnie regarding bringing someone home for Christmas dinner. However, the inciting action of the plot occurs when Clara, along with her staff members, watch the finale of a celebrity cooking show preceding the opening of the restaurant for that day. A celebrity chef, Shane Roarke, who is described to be an “eligible bachelor,” leaves victoriously from the competition. Through the way Clara longingly stares at the TV before beginning work, viewers are able to easily predict that somehow Clara will meet Shane, and the two will “fall in love.”

First, the acting in Christmas With a View was exceedingly below-average. The characters of Shane and Clara were scripted to possess a connection, and the actors failed miserably at successfully conveying that connection to viewers. Therefore, maintaining my focus and interest in the movie was challenging; it’s physically painful to witness obvious acting while viewing a movie. Likewise, the supporting characters were inefficient in aiding the protagonists’ lack of emotion, and I was truly bored with the lack of enthusiasm present in the dialogue. The actors were doing the bare-minimum by simply engaging with the surface of the script.

Likewise, I was as unimpressed with the script of Christmas With a View as I was with the actors of it. The script was insipid, and although the script can occasionally save the tragedy of inferior acting, it evidently did not in Christmas With a View. There is not an abundance of information to cover regarding the script; the problems the characters experienced were unoriginal, and I simply struggled to respect the ideas, time, and effort put into the movie. Overall, the script was shallow. The stale conflicts were unable to be supported by accurately-expressed emotions, which in the end, contributed to my negative opinion of the overall movie.

Regarding casting, the chosen actors fit the physical look of the characters. But, the talent of the actors did not match the requirements needed to accurately portray the turmoil behind experiencing love after loss and healing after unfortunate experiences. However, the actors did accurately appear as average, everyday people; the makeup artists did a fantastic job with enhancing important features while giving each character a simple, clean look. Overall, the clothing in which each character wore was fitting, and the accuracy involving the look and housing each character acquired was accurate.

Another aspect of Christmas With a View that annoyed me within the first ten minutes of the movie was the horrific, obvious use of a green screen for the setting of the cooking competition. Viewers could clearly observe that the specific setting of the kitchen was computer-generated, and the fakeness of the kitchen truly steered my attention away from the significance of that scene. The feeble utilization of the green screen allowed me to perceive the movie as being developed with an inadequate budget.

Other movies that Christmas With a View can be compared to are the vast selection of other Christmas movies Netflix released this year: A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, Christmas Inheritance, The Christmas Chronicles, and The Holiday Calendar. Though mixed reviews were recorded upon whether each Netflix Christmas movie was enjoyable or not, all of the listed movies share similar themes involving encountering love—through some outlet—during these holiday season.

Overall, the singular positive aspect of Christmas With a View that I observed was its theme. As previously mentioned, the issue of Shane newly becoming an orphan and Clara’s confidence in herself completely diminishing both helped portray the theme of experiencing love after loss and healing after unfortunate experiences. This particular theme was truly touching, and the fact that two people who were totally opposite in what they had experienced but entirely similar in what they wanted and aspired to be was heartwarming. Overall, the theme of Christmas With a View aided the director’s attempt to convey the beauty and ability to heal broken pasts that love obtains.  

Christmas With a View was released on Netflix in 2018, and is based upon the Harlequin novel The Maverick’s Christmas Homecoming by Teresa Southwick. The movie was produced by Brain Power Studio and directed by Justin G. Dyck. The title of the movie has multiple meanings: while gazing at nearby ski hills shining under a dark, clear sky, Clara remarks at the beauty of the view. While glancing down at Clara, Shane agrees. Likewise, the bed and breakfast in which Clara used to work at in high school and Shane’s parents stayed during their honeymoon is called The Mountain “View.”

Overall, Christmas With a View exceeded my previous expectations of the outright cheesiness and blandness that Netflix Christmas movies have to offer. Containing a stagnant plot, leisurely acting, and uninteresting dialogue, Christmas With a View failed to accurately convey—what could have been—a promising, heartfelt story of discovering love during the holidays.