McRaney & Judd's Seasonal Favourite
Ever since his sister died Cal (Gerald McRaney) has looked after his teenage niece Fern (Alison Pill), not an easy task as not only is Fern a bit of a loner but his job as a school assessor means they are always on the move. Their latest move sees them in the town of Bethlehem and staying with quirky grandpa Jake (Andy Griffith) who despite having long been retired still has a fondness for the old days in the Air Force. Whilst there Cal meets music teacher Lily (Naomi Judd) who manages to bond with Fern as she discovers the seemingly moody teenager is a talented musician. It is not only Fern who comes out of her shell as the stiff Cal grows fond of Lily but with tough decisions to make over the school things get complicated.
As I have found myself often saying when it comes to Christmas movies especially those which are made for TV "A Song for the Season", which is also known as "A Holiday Romance", is a familiar movie. We are in that romance with complications scenario as two people fall for each other but a business decision could scupper new found hapiness. Yes we have a variation as we also have an uncle looking after his niece but that is just a variation on the widow and child set up. But whilst familiar "A Song for the Season" is not bad and has a radiating warmth which floats across what is for the most a predictable story.
The simple reason as to why "A Song for the Season" works is down to the casting as the central 5 characters are perfect. Naomi Judd delivers warmth as Lily which makes her perfect playing opposite Gerald McRaney who makes Cal incredibly reserved but amusing when he starts to have nervous feelings for Lily. As these two cover the romance the humour comes from the great pairing of Andy Griffiths and Jayne Eastwood as the quirky no nonsense oldies that are just the right amount of grouchy. And finishing it off is Alison Pill whose transformation from moody teen to vibrant young girl gives "A Song for the Season" the life it needs not to be boring.
What this all boils down to is that "A Song for the Season" is another Christmas movie which takes a familiar storyline and switches it around a bit but stays true to the familiar formula. But despite its predictable familiarity it still works because of the good casting and a general warmth which carries it across the fact it is predictable.