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Saturday, November 12, 2016

'The Spirit of Christmas' DVD: The Ghost & Ms. McBeal

Monarch Home Entertainment releasing "The Spirit of Christmas" (nee Lifetime Movie "Hollygrove") on DVD on November 15 follows the 2016 trend toward extending holiday promotions into mid-November. "Spirit" also is very reminiscent of the (Unreal TV reviewed) Monarch 2014 DVD release of the film "Oh Christmas Tree" (nee Hallmark Channel film "Fir Crazy"), which has a driven career gal fall in love with a mellow Christmas tree operator with whom fate has placed her at odds.

A review of the Monarch companion release "The Dogwalker's Christmas." which almost certainly is Lifetime or Hallmark movie, is scheduled for Thanksgiving week.

The following YouTube clip of the "Spirit" trailer nicely conveys the Lifetimeiness of the film while providing a largely spoiler-free synopsis of the movie.

The more general theme of "Spirit" makes it particularly awesome due to similarities with the classic film and (Unreal TV reviewed) '60s fantasycom "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." The lore of this one is that the titular spirit is a 19th century sea captain who continues occupying his coastal Maine house decades after his untimely demise, and the titular widow clashes with him on moving into that abode initially unaware of the current resident. In both the film and the series, the pair fall in love.

The supernatural entity in "Spirit" is 1920s New England B and B owner Daniel Forsythe. His untimely demise on Christmas Eve triggers his reverting to his full corporeal form from midnight December 13 to midnight December 24 each year. This, in turn, traditionally prompts the mere mortals who occupy the property the rest of the year to skeedaddle to give the former owner his privacy.

Career-driven yuppie Ally McBeal style attorney Kate Jordan comes on the scene as the legal representative of the trust that owns the inn. She is sent to move things along after appraisers who are hired to determine the value of the property flee in fear.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Lifetime or "Muir" knows that Daniel initially startles Kate, that he tries to oust her from the building, that they subsequently fall in love, and that they both "live" happily ever after.

Intrigue comes in the form of the mystery surrounding the death of Daniel; allowing him eternal peace requires determining the circumstances behind his body being discovered in the woods near his home.

Daniel portrayor Thomas Beaudoin steals the show; he perfectly plays the gallant reserved '20s era gentleman. His tall solid frame allows him to rock the period costumes, and he has a strong grasp of the understated humor of the show. The one flaw is that he is not so dreamy that he would inspire any of us to even approach engaging in necrophilia.

Like the aforementioned Monarch releases, "Spirit" is an entertaining family film with something for everyone. It is a good choice for soothing frayed nerves after playing the home game of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" during Thanksgiving dinner.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Spirit" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.