The Christmas Spirit (2013)
A Christmas Ghost
Newspaper reporter Charlotte Hart (Nicollette Sheridan) has been spending some time in the small community of Laurel Springs to help her sister-in-law with the kids as their father is serving overseas. It is whilst there she becomes intrigued by a property developer, Daniel Huntslar (Bart Johnson), with a massive real estate proposal for the town and heads off to meet him. But on the way Charlotte is involved in a car accident which leaves her in a coma but her spirit is very much awake and aware of everything including the spirit of the property developer who was the driver of the other car. Discovering the deal is not as good as it sounds Charlotte must try to not only warn the community so they vote against the proposal but try and change Daniel's mind.
I have lived in the same market town for almost all my life and have reached the age where I like things how they are, I don't want to see something which has been there for decades destroyed to make way for a supermarket or more flats which won't be much use in a couple of decades. But of course I am not a big businessman who is detached from the town and can only see the percentages when it comes to costs and profits in redeveloping it. In a way "The Christmas Spirit" builds on this situation as we have a woman opposed to a redevelopment and the developer stuck in limbo getting to view the community and the people from a detached point of view. It is quite a good idea but one which ultimately ends up conforming to expectations.
As such once the set up is in place "The Christmas Spirit" serves up some typical aspects such as Charlotte and Daniel bickering and having some sort of romantic spark tossed in there as well. We also have the touching side as from their detached position can observe and try and help the people they know such as Charlotte stopping a bully from punching her nephew and so on. Whilst this is going on we have Charlotte trying to sell what is special about Laurel Springs to Daniel so that he can see why he shouldn't go ahead with the redevelopment. As I said it is a nice idea and one which in a way is close to many people's hearts in this changing world but suffers from too much typical thrown in there.
As for the acting well to be honest Nicollette Sheridan and Bart Johnson have the right look to be convincing as an attractive couple but there is no real depth to their characters. In fairness you don't expect a great deal of character depth from this sort of movie and the familiarity of them works.
What this all boils down to is that on one hand "The Christmas Spirit" has a clever idea when it comes to the battle between traditional and redevelopment. But sadly what it serves up is often just typical of the made for TV movie market and not that Christmassy with it really only using the season as a setting.
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