Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Tonight's Movie: Christmas Under Wraps (2014)

It might be January, but it's still the Christmas season and I'm determined to enjoy every last bit of the season until Epiphany arrives (and maybe after!).

To that end I pulled the Hallmark Christmas movie CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS (2014) out of my Christmas viewing stack. It was my second Hallmark film of the season, following A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER (2016).

The story of a young doctor who unexpectedly finds herself working in Alaska will remind viewers of the classic TV series NORTHERN EXPOSURE, and it also shares some of that show's unexpected whimsy. At the same time, CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS puts its own unique spin on the theme and features a delightful lead performance by Candace Cameron Bure.

Dr. Lauren Brunell (Bure) has planned to be a surgeon like her successful father (Robert Pine), but pride goes before a fall, as Lauren makes the mistake of applying for only one surgical fellowship, believing she's a shoo-in.

When that plan falls through she's forced to take the only fellowship available, in very rural Alaska. She's stunned to arrive at the hospital in Garland, Alaska, and realize that she's the town's sole doctor, with a support staff of four. This wasn't the career she had in mind!

The town embraces Lauren with open arms and she gradually begins to look at both the town and her new job from a more positive perspective. It doesn't hurt that she's also attracted to architect-turned-handyman Andy Holliday (David O'Donnell).

Then there's Andy's father Frank (Brian Doyle-Murray), who heads the somewhat mysterious Holliday Shipping business, and whose busiest night of the Christmas season is Christmas Eve, when all shipping should be finished...

Bure carries most of the film on her capable shoulders. The screenplay does a good job of keeping the story firmly grounded in reality, yet with a bit of unexpected fantasy in the background. It's a charmer. Both this film and A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER are good examples of Hallmark Christmas films at their best.

It was fun to see Robert Pine in this as I met him many years ago at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival, in the days when he was appearing on CHiPs. He married the daughter of actress Anne Gwynne and is the father of Chris Pine.

CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS was directed by Peter Sullivan, who also contributed to the story. The movie was filmed by Theo Angell, with Utah standing in for Alaska.

Coincidentally CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS was just released today on DVD.

It can also be purchased in digital format from Amazon.


Blogger Patrick said...

How can you go wrong with a Hallmark Christmas movie,right? Such fun fluff and they get you in the spirit of season...

12:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

This was a really good one, I'm enjoying having the Christmas spirit linger into January!

Best wishes,

10:56 AM  

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