Chandra West in A Christmas Tail (2014)

A Bit Dog Earred

Maggie McPhail (Chandra West) believes Christmas is a magical time, except her boyfriend decides to dump her, her boss at an ice cream company doesn't appreciate the work she does and her co-worker Brendon (Nicholas Carella) is devious and is capable of stabbing people in their backs. As a pick me up she decides to get a puppy from the pound for her and her son Ethan (Beamer Wigley). Trouble is that Jack Burgin (Antonio Cupo), a sports writer, bought the same dog which Maggie picks for his teen daughter Olivia (Tiera Skovbye) except the dog they named Bear ran away. Complications arise when thanks to Jack and Olivia's tireless search for their lost dog it brings them to Maggie.

"A Christmas Tail" is one of those Christmas movies which is a contradiction as it both works and it doesn't. The trouble is that every part of "A Christmas Tail" is standard and obvious; you know that Maggie and Jack will end up battling over the dog before ending up becoming close. You know that Maggie will end up dealing with her colleague who keeps putting her down and stealing her ideas whilst showing her boss how good she is. And I could go on because there is little to "A Christmas Tail" which is close to being new including the former boyfriend snooping around.

Now a lot of Christmas movies recycle ideas from other Christmas movies, especially those made for TV, and technically there is nothing wrong in "A Christmas Tail" doing so. But this movie feels like all those involved are just going through the motions and for all the Christmassy decorations which are strung up almost looks like this was shot in Spring or maybe even in Summer. It just doesn't deliver that magic of Christmas to make all the familiar nonsense okay. Heck even a cute dog or the appealing combo of Chandra West and Antonio Cupo can make this feel like more than just a quickly made Christmas movie.

What this all boils down to is that "A Christmas Tail" might entertain a young teenage audience who could be distracted by a lovely dog but beyond that this just feels like a Christmas movie going through the motions.

Tags: Christmas Movies, TV Christmas Movies