If you’re looking for a feel-good Christmas movie with loads of light, laughter, and the holiday spirit, don’t turn to Hallmark. Instead, go and see “Christmas Jars” on November 4 in a special theatrical event.
Based on the best-selling novel by Latter-day Saint author Jason F. Wright, “Christmas Jars” shares the story of Hope Jensen, a reporter who uncovers the remarkable secret behind a holiday phenomenon: money-filled glass jars anonymously given to people in need.
More than just a small film with a big heart (though it certainly is that), “Christmas Jars” expertly takes the classic Christmas movie formula and infuses it with surprising depth and themes of self-discovery and sacrifice. Yes, there is also a lot of sweetness; those who generally have a “bah humbug” attitude towards Christmas films will find some moments too saccharine for their tastes. However, these moments are balanced with great humor and ample character growth.
The film stars Jeni Ross as Hope, a young journalist looking to prove herself to her boss. After a series of losses, including the death of her adopted mother, Hope finds her big break when a large jar filled with money is left outside of her apartment. Determined to discover who is leaving the Christmas Jars throughout the city, Hope’s investigative reporting leads her to the Maxwell family, a jolly clan who run a woodshop out of their home and freelance as the generous benefactors of the Christmas Jars each season. Through their warmth and generosity, Hope will find more than she ever imagined, including a surprise conclusion that will leave the audience in tears. However, her lies threaten to ruin her new-found relationships, especially with the Maxwell’s son, Ian.
The inclusion of Hope’s romantic relationship with Ian, originally found in the book’s sequel, is one of the best changes made by the filmmakers. It proves heart-warming and irresistible to watch while upping the stakes for Hope as her lies begin to unravel. Overall, Hope’s interactions with the Maxwell family are at the heart of the film and it takes a little too long in getting there. However, it’s worth the wait. The strength of the supporting cast is definitely unusual for a Christmas film; stock characters these are not. From the entire Maxwell clan, who you’ll desperately wish you could spend dinner with, to Hope’s delightful and hilarious co-workers, you’ll find yourself invested in the characters and the story.
“It’s tough to articulate what it means to see ‘Christmas Jars’ finally coming to life,” said Jason Wright, author of the book. “I’m so thrilled with what the team has done and that I don’t have to pretend to like the adaptation of my novel. I’m absolutely in love with it. Even more than buying a ticket and eating some popcorn, I want folks to go home and join the ‘Christmas Jars’ movement by putting a jar on their counter, filling it up and giving it away anonymously to someone in need during the holidays.”
If you want to watch “Christmas Jars” in theaters, you have one magical day to do it. A special showing hosted by Fathom Events, “Christmas Jars” can be seen in theaters around the United States on November 4, 2019. Playing on a Monday night, the film makes a great family home evening event for your family, those you minister to, and friends. Click here to get your tickets.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.