Edward Burns in The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012)

A Fitzgerald Family Reunion

Since his father walked out on his mother along with his siblings, Gerry (Edward Burns - Man on a Ledge) has taken it upon himself to take charge of the family. It is why when out of the blue his father gets in touch and asks whether he can spend Christmas with the whole family he calls all the siblings together to discuss the matter. It puts a spanner in the works for some who were not planning on spending Christmas together but it is Christmas and under Gerry's influence the family is going to spend it together.

"The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" is a Hallmark movie for those who don't like Hallmark movies. Okay so I lied, it isn't a Hallmark movie but with a storyline which sees a Christmas family reunion, siblings with lots of issues, an estranged father, secrets and some middle aged romance the storyline is exactly what you would expect from a Hallmark Christmas movie. But "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" is also a movie which is written and directed by Edward Burns whose styling is certainly not what you would call Hallmark with a much drier tone and characters who are a lot more cynical when they talk as well as more grown up and darker issues than you would typically find in your average made for TV movie.

Connie Britton in The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012)

So as I said this means that "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" is a Christmas movie with a Hallmark style storyline but for those who don't like Hallmark movies and as someone who is an admitted fan of Hallmark movies it didn't work that well for. I enjoyed the story and the familiarity of all the aspects of the siblings having their issues which leads to a stressful reunion, some bonding and so on. But I did find Edward Burns' tone and styling not always easy to embrace with some of the characters ending up too much of a stereotype to make this feel natural and the collection of individual issues to much to be believable for one family. It makes the movie feel overcrowded and forced because there is simply too much going on.

What this all boils down to is that "The Fitzgerald Family Christmas" is not a bad movie and the tone of it will appeal to those who probably don't enjoy the commercial sentimentalism of many a Christmas movie. But for someone who likes the glitz of a sugar coated made for TV Christmas movie the drier tone and darker element of this didn't work as well for me.

Tags: Christmas Movies