Netflix continues to reinvent the holiday movie with a series of original films that are a departure from the traditional Christmas movie mould. A California Christmas City Lights is an unabashedly sweet romance that focuses on the journey of the two protagonists of the movie- Callie and Joseph.
The film is directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino, and the film features real-life sweethearts- Josh Swickard and Lauren Swickard as the protagonists.
– A California Christmas City Lights review does not contain any spoilers –
A California Christmas: City Lights is the Perfect Sequel
A California Christmas City Lights is better than its predecessor but still not as good as many other holiday movies. The film gets brownie points for its pleasant scenery and southern charm, despite what some say was a lacklustre plotline.
Netflix calls A California Christmas a “holiday classic” in its press materials. Still, the prequel was more of an anomaly than anything else: It arrived on the streaming service suddenly and unexpectedly, and viewers gobbled it up with little word-of-mouth to hype the movie.
The sequel arrives in a slightly different way. Not entirely as unexpected — it came out first as a short film on Netflix — but still a surprise. The new movie picks up where the prequel left off in sunny Northern California. The director understands the importance of a good, solid story with compelling characters. He develops the relationship between the leads and makes you care about them in ways that can be both heartbreaking and joyous.
Lauren Swickard weaves in intensity in the characters of the sequel – City Lights
The film also has an excellent supporting cast. They are so well-developed that you would think they were part of the main storyline. City Lights is a beautiful film full of moments that make you laugh and cry. It’s also a movie highlighting some of December’s best parts, with winter weather and glittery lights. But even if you’re generally not into Christmas movies, this one is worth watching at least once.
I couldn’t wait to see what the sequel would bring to the screen and if it would follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. Would it capture the magic of a small-town Christmas? Would it pull at my heartstrings just as much? Would it have me wishing for a California Christmas?
Luckily, I am happy to report that it did all of these things and more!
How does City Lights prove its mettle as a Christmas movie?
To many, Christmas symbolizes a time of year for friends and family to gather, but it’s simply a time for lights and decorations for others. A California Christmas City Lights, the holiday film, is set in the latter perspective. Filmed entirely in California, this movie will take you inside the lives of two individuals who think they’ve lost everything that matters until they discover what matters most.
In this sequel, the story arc is more emotional than dramatic. It explores what it means to be in love with someone who doesn’t fit into your life plan or your vision of “the perfect life.” It uses the city as an external antagonist to challenge the couple’s romance. It’s about not giving up on love – even when you think you should.
A California Christmas 2 also requires Callie and Joseph to grow together, shaped by loss, love and learning. But most importantly, it needs them to believe in each other enough to take that next step forward together.
A California Christmas City Lights is a beautiful film filled with emotions
It’s a new storyline from the first film that puts a fresh spin on things for fans and characters. What ensues is a story of love and loss; learning who we are versus who we want to be; and finding a balance between our dreams and reality.
The vast difference between country and city life is one of many themes that make this movie relatable to audiences everywhere. The idea that we all have different dreams and goals that sometimes cause friction in relationships is another theme viewers can relate to in their own time.
Stream It or Skip It?
If you enjoyed the prequel A California Christmas, you would not want to miss this one! If you haven’t seen the first one, don’t worry; you will still love this one too! It is just as sweet and charming.
A California Christmas: City Lights is streaming on Netflix.Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.