01 h 33 m
Jonah Feingold
Leighton Meester, Robbie Amell, Michael Hitchcock
"Unwrapping the Layers of `EXmas`: A Festive Film with a Twist"

Posted Monday, Nov 27, 2023 126

Set against the glistening backdrop of the holiday season, `EXmas` is a film that takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions. Navigating the complexities of fractured relationships, it centers on former lovers Kayla and Tom, as they coincidentally reunite at a Christmas-themed resort, where they are compelled to relive the past while dealing with the present.

The themes of love, forgiveness, and the spirit of Christmas run deep in this film. The tone is a mix of heartwarming nostalgia and biting reality, which gives `EXmas` its unique charm. It masterfully balances the joyfulness of the season with the nuanced struggles of revisiting an old relationship, culminating in a tale of personal growth and seasonal cheer.

The leads, portrayed with heartfelt authenticity, bring Kayla and Tom`s story to life with palpable chemistry and vulnerability. The compelling performances of the supporting cast, who play the meddlesome but well-meaning friends and family, round out the dynamic of a realistic holiday gathering.

The director weaves through the festivities and drama with a deft hand, creating an aura that is both intimate and expansive. With a keen eye for emotional beats, each frame feels purposeful, guiding the audience through the characters` internal journeys.

EXmas movie review

The soundtrack is a tapestry of classic carols and contemporary hits, setting a festive mood that complements each scene. The original score underpins the emotional landscape, at times subtle and at others swelling to drive home poignant moments.

Cinematography in `EXmas` captures the winter wonderland with a crispness that feels like fresh snow. The play with light and shadow as evening festivities come to life imbues the scenes with a magical quality befitting the season.

The production design deserves a nod for its meticulous attention to detail. Every set piece from the decorations to the cozy interiors of the resort reflects the warm, fuzzy embrace of Christmas, contributing richly to the film`s atmosphere.

While not reliant on heavy special effects, the film employs subtle visual magic to enhance the holiday vibe. The twinkle of lights and the gentle fall of snow are crafted with care, adding to the overall enchantment.

EXmas movie review

The editing is sharp, providing a pace that keeps the story moving while allowing for moments of reflection. It gracefully navigates the emotional highs and lows without losing the viewer`s interest.

With a brisk pace that rarely falters, `EXmas` keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish. The quick-witted dialogue assists in maintaining momentum, even as the film takes its time exploring deeper sentiments.

The dialog is witty, realistic, and at times profound. It captures the essence of reunion and the awkward dance of rekindling friendship, with lines that are likely to resonate long after the credits roll.

Despite its strengths, `EXmas` is not without its clichés. Some plot points feel predictable, and while it expertly crafts its main characters, a few of the peripheral players fall flat, serving more as holiday props than as fleshed-out individuals.

Watching `EXmas` is like sipping hot cocoa by a fire – it`s comforting, sweet, with just enough heat to keep things interesting. It wraps its audience in the complexities of human connection with the bow of holiday spirit. While it may not redefine the Christmas movie genre, it leaves an imprint with its authentic portrayal of love and the redeeming power of the festive season. Above all, `EXmas` makes you feel the possibility of second chances and the belief that the holiday magic can bring people together in the most unexpected ways.