Ryan Hendrick’s Lost at Christmas is a charming Christmas rom-com that allows Natalie Clark to shine with a wonderful performance set in the beautiful Highlands.
Lost At Christmas is set in the remote Scottish town of Fort William, on Christmas Eve, when life is turned upside down for Jen (Natalie Clark) and Rob (Kenny Boyle). Suddenly finding themselves heartbroken, single and stranded, they team up to try and reach home 100 miles away to be with their families.
It is a story we have all seen before, two strangers join forces to get home before Christmas Day. One is constantly positive and full of festive cheer while the other is more pessimistic. Bickering starts as they encounter some comedic obstacles and along the way realise that the other is the one they have been looking for the entire time.
Due to being adapted from the acclaimed 2015 short Perfect Strangers, Lost at Christmas falters on its script. There are obvious padding moments and periods of pause throughout that signal that there were struggles to bring this to a feature length run time. This is especially the case when we know how the film will eventually finish before the credits. So, for audiences we are waiting for something important or different to happen. It doesn’t and in the setting with such strong lead performances it is a shame. There feels as if more should and could have been done here considering the setting. This casual pace in the first half is happily picked up when we get to the second when our duo encounter more instances that effect their journey together.
Despite the script issues, this is a gorgeous looking film with director Ryan Hendricks and cinematographer John Rhodes taking full advantage of their setting. They are able to portray the snow covered Highlands to its fullest beauty and will make you want to venture off to find a lovely little hotel off in the hills somewhere nearby. Their work here is so good in fact, you don’t want to leave the outdoor sequences. This scenery helps elevate Lost at Christmas from the standard UK Christmas rom-com to something a little more.
Natalie Clark is the standout here and is able to carry the film with her endless enthusiasm. Even when that enthusiasm begins to wane, she gives another scope to her range as an actress. This should be the start of more feature work for her as she is the true heart of the film. Kenny Boyle appears to get too wrapped into the pessimistic side of his character. To the point that when he does open up. It is a struggle to believe him. It’s a shame as he doesn’t quite bounce off Clark as well as he could to make their dynamic work. The supporting cast are rife with well-known Scottish talent who are able to bring enough to the film without deterring us from the main plotline
Other than the script and pacing issues Lost at Christmas is a charming little Christmas flick that is easily enjoyed as the cold nights start to creep in.
Lost at Christmas will be released in UK cinemas from 4th December and on Digital from 7th December.
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