Saturday, December 7, 2019

Review: "Christmas Jars" (2019 film)

At this time of the year, my TV and movie viewing consists almost solely of Christmas movies and specials. So when I was given the opportunity to review Christmas Jars, which aired on BYU TV last weekend and also released on DVD, I jumped at the chance!

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.

This movie is so good! It's about 5% Hallmark-style cheese and 95% heart. So let's get the cheese out of the way first: some of Hope's coworkers are clearly there for comic relief, and they can be a bit over the top (children watching will probably enjoy some of the pratfalls, but I just rolled my eyes). But then we get to the heart: Hope is a young woman who has gone through much trauma, and when she receives a jar of money just when she needs it the most, she sets out to find the giver and sees the potential for a story that could jump start her journalism career. But when she finds the family behind the jars, she discovers friendship and potential love, and she doesn't know how to tell them the truth about her identity.

This movie is heartwarming, emotional, and not at all boring (quite the compliment when you look at this year's slate of new Christmas movies!). Tearing up while watching a Christmas movie isn't at all unusual for me, but the full out sobbing I was doing within the first five minutes is! Though the film isn't perfect, it's easily one of the best Christmas movies I've watched so far this year. It's completely appropriate for the whole family, and it could lead to great discussions about giving and honesty. I highly recommend it! 4 stars.

Buy the movie. (affiliate link)

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this DVD free for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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