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Based on the New York Times best- selling novel by Jason F. Wright
Hope is an aspiring reporter who has had her fair share of tragedy in life. Abandoned at birth, she’s grieving the recent death of her adopted mother when her apartment is burglarized of all her possessions. While reporting the burglary to the police, Hope discovers a jar full of money, labeled “Christmas Jar.” Shocked and grateful for this act of kindness, Hope discovers that people all over her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, have been receiving Christmas Jars for years during times of need. The jars are always anonymous and always contain different amounts. In this heartwarming Christmas classic, Hope goes undercover to discover the secret behind the Christmas jars, putting into motion a series of events that will change her life, and her community, forever.
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MOVIE REVIEW: SPOILERS
So a few weeks back I was offered a DVD copy of the Christmas Jars movie to own if I would review it for it’s release date. After reading the synopsis I jumped at the chance because, well, free things, Christmas, and I thought my family would love it. Review deadline got closer and closer and I still hadn’t received my DVD. Eventually the tour organizer provided a link to the movie for reviewers to view and then make the review. So, yes I did watch it, no I was not compensated in any way since I don’t own the copy which I received a link to.
On the surface this is a feel good movie with an inspiring story about the spirit of giving at Christmas. I loved the idea. And like most parents might feel, I thought it would be a great family movie. What the synopsis above doesn’t go into, is the devious and not very honest way that Hope goes about getting the scoop while investigating her first big story. From illegal assistance from a police officer checking vehicle registrations in a security video, to outright lying to the Christmas Jar family to get closer to them; Hope is the very essence of what I don’t want my kid to be.
The aspiring journalist worms her way into a giving family and the heart of the oldest son but doesn’t start to feel remorse for her deception until she falls in lover with him as well. Instead of coming clean, Hope tries to convince her boss not to publish her article about the Christmas Jars. She never did tell family she infiltrated the truth about what she was doing, they just happened to come by her place of employment to purchase advertising and saw her boss telling her that he was going to run the Christmas Jars story.
Everything end up working out in the end. And I hate that a because I’m still mad at Hope for lying to such nice people. Which is how I know how great this movie is. Sure it’s a bit formulaic. (I’m praying it’s not based on a true story.) Yet, the family who started the tradition of Christmas Jars are incredible. They are friendly, kind, thoughtful, and have so much love to give to everyone in their lives. They’re the kind of family I wish I knew more of in my personal life. This family know how blessed they are and don’t have a problem sharing those blessings with others who are not so fortunate. More than that, they remind you that you aren’t so different from them, and that kindness is often paid forward.
Aside from the main plot, there are Hope’s quirky coworkers. I kept laughing all through the movie at the great depictions of the boy-crazy bestie, and the nerd who couldn’t catch her eye no matter how hard her tried. The family interactions are genuine and adorable and I ended the movie wanting to call (or at least text) my sister and tell her to watch this movie.
Christmas Jars will make you fall in love with Christmas all over again as you see bits of yourself, your friends, and your family in the totally relatable characters.
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