Director: Ryan Hendrick
Starring: Natalie Clark, Kenny Boyle, Sylvester McCoy, Frazer Hines, Sanjeev Kohli and Clare Grogan
Run Time: 1h 40min
Christmas loving Jen (Natalie Clark) finds herself unexpectedly dumped on December 24th after discovering her boyfriend has a secret Santa. Okay, I mean family. Not the present she was hoping for and this ruins what is usually the most wonderful time of the year for her. Also in need of some Christmas cheer is Rob (Kenny Boyle), as his proposal to his girlfriend doesn’t quite go as planned.
Due to the convenient circumstances found only in a Christmas film, the pair find themselves thrown together, desperately trying to reach their respective homes in Glasgow. Road closures, train cancellations and the unforgiving Scottish weather conspire to make driving home for Christmas nigh on impossible. The heartbroken couple bicker, yet bond, as they battle the conditions as well as the frosty resentment caused by their newly found single status.
Primarily set in the remote town of Fort William, they take shelter from the storm in a charmingly quaint pub (I guess there was room at the inn after all). Cue the inevitable will they – won’t they scenarios, a quirky assortment of supporting characters all determined to tell Christmas to get stuffed and you’ve got yourself a festive film.
Lost at Christmas does have a lot going for it. There’s a wonderfully atmospheric score by Stephen Wright and the majestic Scottish scenery is showcased to superb effect, courtesy of some spectacular drone shots. However, there’s a distinct lack of chemistry between the two leads, which, given they’re carrying the entire film, isn’t ideal. Natalie Clark gives it her all in a committed performance, but Kenny Boyle’s Rob wallows in self-pity and is as miserable as the freezing elements. It doesn’t help that certain character choices towards the start of the film subsequently lead to a lack of empathy for their plight. Numerous warnings about the dangers in front of them are ignored, including one from the police, making it difficult to root for the mismatched couple.
For a romantic comedy, the script simply isn’t funny enough and there are too many moments where the energy that has been built up, usually by Jen, dips and not enough happens. The introduction of new characters once we reach the cosiness of the pub is a welcome one, but none of them are particularly memorable and only Sanjeev Kohli‘s incompetent landlord brings a smattering of laughs.
Although the climax is refreshingly unconventional, it’s a frustratingly lacklustre ending. A rather self-indulgent, melancholic song means the finale fizzles out rather than with uplifting, heart-warming closure. Lost at Christmas is a perfectly harmless, yet instantly forgettable festive film. Whilst all the ingredients were there for a proper Yuletide feast, the finished product was somewhat undercooked and not quite the Christmas cracker you were hoping for.
Lost at Christmas will be released in UK cinemas from 4th December and on Digital from 7th December