The Holiday Calendar is Netflix's latest attempt to capture the Christmas market. An original movie to the streaming service, it follows aspiring photographer Abby, played by Kat Graham. You may know Graham from her performance in All Eyez On Me (review here).
It's Christmas and Abby is in a rut. She dreams of being a professional photographer but instead has found herself stuck taking photos at Santa's grotto. Living the life of a poor starving artist (though she is neither poor nor starving) she is tempted to throw in the towel and go work at her father's law firm.
She also has no love life, a very popular theme in Christmas movies! But things begin to change when her grandfather gives her an antique advent calendar left to her by her grandmother. This interesting wooden calendar opens a door at midnight each day and inside is a little toy. Very quickly, however, Abby realises that they toys are magical and predict the future.
Cue the arrival of her best friend Josh, played by Quincy Brown. He has decided that it's time to stop travelling the world and has returned home to settle down for good. But the path to true love never runs smooth and before they have a chance to realise their feelings for each other, Abby meets Ty. Ty is a perfectly nice, yet incredibly boring doctor and the two start dating – as predicted by the magical calendar.
But as Christmas draws closer her friendship with Josh becomes more strained. She suffers a major setback at work and Ty starts to get on her nerves. Overall things are not looking good for Abby. Can she solve all of her life's problems by the time the last door on the Holiday Calendar opens?
This film is exactly what is says on the tin. It is a Hallmark style Christmas movie that is not designed to test your brain power in any way. It is glossy and formulaic and is, as always, set in a beautiful town that is covered in snow. Fires are burning, lights are twinkling, carollers are carolling. It won't win any awards but it's a solid movie for the family and kids will love it.