A California Christmas is another typical love story, where Callie (Lauren Swickard), already drowning in debt and trying to save her ranch from a big business that’s trying to buy her land, and Joseph (Josh Swickard), the son of the big business owner, fall in love. Joseph is a womanizer and so his mother (a.k.a the business owner) sends him to Callie’s ranch to charm her with his ways and buy the land. If he fails to do so, then he would have no stake in the company and would have to give up his flat, his personal valet Leo and other assets.
However, on arriving there, Callie misunderstands him and Joseph ends up pretending to be the ranch help, Manny, who was supposed to come. Unable to tell her the truth at that moment, Joseph continues to pretend to be Manny and works on the ranch for two weeks. Over those two weeks, they both fall in love.
This movie barely qualifies as a Christmas movie, because apart from the fact that the deal should be done by Christmas and the last scene, A California Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with the festival. Even the setting did not quite represent Christmas.
The chemistry between the main characters was quite real and a pleasure to watch. Additionally, the supporting characters – the personal valet Leo and the real-life Manny made the movie bearable. The friendship between Leo and Manny was cute, it was a delight to see the two of them bond on the side.
In general, the romance between Joseph and Callie was fine. Like any another rom-com, the duo had their fair share of fights as well as sexual interactions. There were a few jokes here and there but didn’t really bring out much laughter. Overall the entire plot was kind of lame, typical and predictable. Although the music and cinematography were basic, it made this film so much more bearable.
Stream it or Skip it?
Skip it! Just because A California Christmas is set in December does not make it a Christmas movie. Honestly, I thought it was a waste of time because it didn’t bring anything new to the table. Apart from the plot, the main actors, as well as supporting actors, did a fantastic job and I watched the movie solely to see them perform. Watch only if you’re looking for a short and satisfying feel-good watch and nothing beyond.
A California Christmas is now streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.