'Christmas On The Range'
(Quinton Aaron, Anais L. Blake, Brielle Carter, et al / DVD / NR / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: All Kendall Riley wants for the holidays is to save her family's ranch, but her longtime rival, small-town scrooge Brick McCree, has other plans in mind.
When Brick's son, Clint, comes back to town, he is immediately drawn to Kendall and offers a helping hand.
DVD: When Kendall Rileyís (Erin Cahill) parents passed away, all she was left with is their struggling cattle ranch and a dream to keep it alive.
Her love for the land, passion for the animals, and devotion to her parentsí memory are evident from the start. However, all her attempts at making Last Chance Ranch a success are dashed by a powerful neighboring rancher, Brick Mccree (A Martinez).
When a handsome stranger with a connection to her father shows up, Kendall is understandably hesitant to trust. For as long as anyone can remember, the Mccree and Riley families have been at odds, but the tide is soon to turn when Brickís son, Clint (Nicholas Gonzalez), and ex-wife, Lillian (Lindsay Wagner), return to the ranch in search of healing.
'Christmas on the Range' is probably the best ďmade-for-TVĒ type movie Iíve seen in a while. The acting is superb, the story and writing is top-notch and the production is beautiful and thoughtful.
The entire cast does a phenomenal job of drawing you into this Romeo-and-Juliet-set-on-a-cattle-ranch vibe, without being too cheesy or predictable. Itís a lovely story which jams a lot of very thoughtful character development into its compact one and a half hour package.
Every character is given room to arc and shine, even down to the supporting charactersí subplots. This is a fully rounded film that is an immense pleasure to watch.
We see Kendall, a strong but not impervious female lead, fighting for her ranch and her familyís legacy; Clint, a sort of reverse prodigal son, returning home to make things right with his father; his mother, Lillian, a woman deeply hurt but still in love with her estranged husband, and finally, Brick, our villain, whom we may discover is not as evil as we think.
The core themes that are dealt with so tactfully in this film, without being over-dramatic and soap opera-esque, are universal. Integrity, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, honesty and relationships; thereís not much that this simple little film doesnít cover.
This is a great option for families because itís a Christmas romance that also has a solid storyline, which means it will please a variety of age groups and genders; plus, itís clean, so no worries for mom and dad.
Given the strained family relationships and the questionable ethical behavior, itís also a good place to start some thoughtful conversation with the kiddos about subjects like gossip, jealousy, and pride. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Behind The Scenes