A Christmas Romance
Times are tough for Julia Stonecypher (Olivia Newton-John) and her family. A widow with two young daughters, Julia has struggled to keep up financially. To make matters worse, she loses her job just days before Christmas. So when Brian Harding (Gregory Harrison), an upscale banker from the city, comes to collect on her outstanding bills, Julia is unable to pay. After informing her that she will lose her house, Brian takes off into the snowstorm, but doesn’t make it far. When he crashes his car and injures himself, Julia allows him into her home despite his surly attitude. But as they wait out the storm together, Brian seems to have a change of heart and it looks as though this might be a merry Christmas for Julia after all.
Struggle is a daily challenge for young widow Julia Stonecypher and her two precocious daughters living high on a mountain in a small southern town. Days before Christmas, Julia loses her job when difficult economic times affect her employer. However, this plucky mother is determined to hold onto the family home, it’s assortment of beloved animals and the only life her girls have ever known. Her determination is challenged when Brian Harding, big city banker, comes to call on Julia’s mountain personally delivering an eviction notice just before the holidays, threatening her resolve and all she holds dear.
Brian’s attempted return to the big city after his unwelcome delivery is thwarted by a snowstorm of epic proportions. He loses control of his car and careens on a curve not far from the home his bank is attempting to foreclose on. Julia chooses to help him return to her little abode and wait out the storm nursing his injuries until the fury of the storm subsides. Personality, values and priorities differ greatly between these two strangers tossed together in a most unlikely setting.
The film includes wonderful themes of love, hard work, strong family, commitment and small town flavor woven into the fabric of each scene. Julia’s determination to keep her family together after the untimely death of her husband several years prior and the hurt her girls carry is a powerful underlying premise to this story. We see Brian, Julia and the girls begin to discover that differences can be wrestled with and commonalities can be found in the most unlikely of settings.
While we found this to be a wonderful story and the fact it could have been enjoyed as a family film, we are regretfully unable to approve “Christmas Romance” because of an unfortunate episode of strong language in this otherwise delightful story.