Snowed in at the Airport for Christmas

JoBeth Williams and Barbara Barrie in A Chance of Snow (1998)

Having just signed her divorce papers after her husband, Matt (Michael Ontkean), cheated on her, Maddie (JoBeth Williams) along with her daughters Kirby (Traci Christofore) and Ellie (Angelica Chitwood) as well as her sister Katherine (Dey Young) head to the airport to fly to her mother's for Christmas. But whilst there not only does a blizzard force the airport to cancel all flights in and out but they find themselves stuck with Matt who is waiting for his flight to Miami. Following an argument they individually meet old couple Ruth (Barbara Barrie) and Earl Pulmer (Charles Durning) who witness Matt and Maddie's argument and decide to offer them advice.

There really isn't a great deal to say about "A Chance of Snow" yet there is quite a lot going on. We have the relationship issues between Matt and Maddie as she can't forgive him for being unfaithful despite still being in love with him. We have their children who would love for them to get back together and we have the old couple, the Pulmers, who have been together for 49 years take it upon themselves to befriend Matt and Maddie to offer some advice from their years of marriage. And just for good measure there is Maddie's sister Katherine who finds herself meeting Craig, a divorcee who she knew from school. All these little stories play out in a soothing manner with a pleasant warmth which keeps you watching.

Charles Durning and Michael Ontkean in A Chance of Snow (1998)

But having said all of that whilst "A Chance of Snow" is a warm movie it is also one which is pretty obvious. It doesn't take a genius to spot where each of the stories will go be it Earl Pulmer offering Matt advice over a beer about how to keep a marriage romantic to Ruth Pulmer doing the same with Maddie over a cup of coffee. It is the same with Katherine and Craig because from the minute she runs in to Craig you know they are going to end up getting along. I am not saying there is much wrong with "A Chance of Snow" but for the most it doesn't really take you by surprise, maybe in the entire movie just a couple of scenes catch you off guard.

The reason why "A Chance of Snow" keeps you watching despite being obvious is that the characters are nice. Maddie, Matt, Earl and Ruth are all characters which have plenty of warmth and the actors radiate that warmth. When Barbara Barrie as Ruth offers Maddie some advice you listen to everything she says because there is compassion in her voice it is the same when it comes to Charles Durning as Earl. Even the young actors who play the children do a good job, making them ordinary kids rather than the annoying sort which you find in a lot of Christmas movies.

What this all boils down to is that "A Chance of Snow" is a sweet, pleasant little Christmas movie which has quite an original story but one which for the most is obvious. Not that it is bad for being mostly obvious as it has just the right amount of drama to stop it from becoming a procession.

Tags: TV Christmas Movies, Christmas Movies

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