1000 Miles From Christmas review – joyful but standard Christmas fodder

December 24, 2021
Kira Comerford 0
Film, Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
3

Summary

’Tis the season for festive rom-coms, and Netflix’s new film, 1000 Miles From Christmas, is another addition to their 2021 slate. It is typical Christmas film fodder — very formulaic and predictable in nature, but enjoyable enough that it wouldn’t be out of place on your viewing roster this year.

3

Summary

’Tis the season for festive rom-coms, and Netflix’s new film, 1000 Miles From Christmas, is another addition to their 2021 slate. It is typical Christmas film fodder — very formulaic and predictable in nature, but enjoyable enough that it wouldn’t be out of place on your viewing roster this year.

The film follows Raúl (Tamar Novas), an auditor who hates Christmas, would you believe? Every year he books a holiday trip to avoid the festivities, and this year is no exception. A few days before his flight, however, he is sent on one final audit for the year, in the town of Valverdes, which is the place where Christmas itself may very well have been born given the enthusiasm all the locals have for it. The question is, will Raúl manage to resist the festive joy, or end up playing a bigger part in Christmas than he has ever done before?

It has all the makings of one of those made-for-TV Christmas films that there seems to be a bottomless archive of, but that doesn’t change the fact that 1000 Miles From Christmas has an undeniable charm that wins over even the most skeptical viewer. The setting of a town that could easily be a part of one of those model villages you see at Christmas light displays like it was lifted straight from a Christmas card is one of the many things that help you to get in the spirit of things here. On top of that, the warm, cozy aesthetic and buckets of familial, small-town interactions make you even more willing to overlook the fact that this is a film that is far from reinventing the wheel. What it lacks in originality, 1000 Miles From Christmas more than makes up for with its spirit and general air of goodwill.

I was quite surprised by how funny I found parts of this film. Usually, the comedic elements can be a bit cheesy, much like the overall tone of the films themselves, but I will admit 1000 Miles From Christmas raised more than a giggle on more than one occasion. It was nice, I suppose, to have the snobbier part of me brought around to the idea of the film and to actually enjoy it quite a bit more than I had expected to. Christmas miracles and all that, eh?

What 1000 Miles From Christmas did very well was capture the things that define the season itself. The goodwill, the heightened sense of joy that encapsulates whole communities, and the sense of togetherness were all portrayed wonderfully and I think that’s why it worked so much better than I thought it would. It really understands Christmas and what that means for so many people, but also highlights through Raúl so many of the reasons why the festive period can be hard for people too. What was so good about this though was it didn’t dwell on these points or make them so that they were massively set apart from the rest of the film in relation to their tone. It almost stated them as a fact, and then moved on, which was nice because it didn’t lead 1000 Miles From Christmas into territory that didn’t suit it.

On the whole, I think it’s fair to say that I was pleasantly surprised by 1000 Miles From Christmas, and I’d like to think that a few other people will get to be too. It’s not ground-breaking by any means, and you’d struggle to say that it goes where no Christmas film has ever gone before, but it’s as warm and cozy as a mug of mulled wine in your living room on Christmas Eve, so even if all it does is keep you company as you wrap your last few presents, it’s worth sticking on the telly.

You can stream 1000 Miles From Christmas exclusively on Netflix.

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