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Thursday, December 10, 2020

Christmas Unwrapped 2020 * * * Stars


"Don't you believe in a Christmas miracle?" I believe! I believe! Especially when the tree goes up in Rockefeller Center. It's 75 feet, it glistens brightly, and it shows up a few times in Christmas Unwrapped (my latest review).

Anyway, "Unwrapped" makes sense as a title because it has a reporter trying to "unwrap" the true motives of a millionaire. Said reporter also gets soft on said millionaire because you can't have a Lifetime Xmas flick without that sickly sweet notion. 

Filmed in Ottawa, Canada (but NYC seems to show up) and more mature while less cutesy than your typical holiday levy, Christmas Unwrapped really gets your yuletide juices flowing. Its lavish set design, Love Actually actuality, Frank Capra corn, and Christmassy tunage defeats any inner "Scrooge" you might have. 

Not overly sentimental, featuring a female lead that comes off as a little reserved, and projecting the ultimate holiday setting (New York City in late December), "Unwrapped" is dramatically corporate. Its thought-out script and reality vs fantasy story really hammer that notion home. 

Directed by Bosede Williams, harboring a cast of the obligatory good-looking people, and containing an actual villain (the never aging Cheryl Ladd), Christmas Unwrapped is exoticism meets the good tidings version of 27 Dresses

"Unwrapped" is about a news writer named Charity Jones (played by Beyonce lookalike Amber Stevens West). Jones investigates a rich dude named Erik Gallagher (played by Jay Hernandez lookalike Marco Grazzini). Gallagher is adopted and loves to give millions of dollars of gifts to children in his community. The kicker is that all of the gifts he obtains come from Santa himself (I guess he's best buds with St. Nick). 

Charity and Erik eventually get together and get that big smooch at the end. Don't worry though, there's much more profundity to Christmas Unwrapped than that. Rating: 3 stars.   

Written by Jesse Burleson

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