Film Marie O'Sullivan's Film Reviews

Film Review: Lost At Christmas (2020)

Lost at Christmas

The ‘first ever Scottish Christmas rom-com’ possesses most of the elements of its traditional counterparts, but is unexpectedly low-key and a lot more gentle than other stories set around the festive season. 

There’s fluffy snow, fairy lights, festive knitwear and a whole host of other Christmas cliches in this low-key romantic comedy set in the Highlands of Scotland, from writer/director Ryan Hendrick. 

Rob (Kenny Boyle) and Jen (Natalie Clark) both find themselves unexpectedly single, heartbroken, and stranded when they are thrown together on Christmas Eve, and decide to pool resources to try to get home to Glasgow for Christmas.

Amid the cold weather and low spirits, they and a group of strangers who find themselves snowed in together avoiding Christmas at a Scottish highland pub find some glint of hope to cling onto – of course they do – among the turkey legs, brussel sprouts and paper hats. 

Boyle and Clark are the central couple whose meet-up fuels the narrative. Rob is a down-to-earth, ordinary type of guy whose girlfriend unexpectedly ends their relationship on Christmas Eve. Jen is annoyingly quirky, relentlessly positive, and mad about Christmas, but has just discovered that her boyfriend is not exactly who he claimed to be. The first act of Lost At Christmasthen turns out to be a bit of a snow-bound road trip, with the couple bickering in a car, arguing over a compass, and having to share the (naturally) only remaining room at the inn.

The other residents in the remote pub, and its landlord, do not share Jen’s Christmas cheer and are hiding out in the Scottish countryside to avoid festivities as much as they can. Her attempts at lightening the mood are not welcomed, and she seems to be surrounded by yuletide grouchiness.

The supporting characters each carry their own sadnesses and frustrations which become clear as the story unfolds, and provide some colour and contrast. Many of the names and faces will be familiar to UK audiences, and some will be known wider afield too; Sylvester McCoy, Frazer Hines, Sanjeev Kohli, and Clare Grogan are all present propping up the bar, with McCoy and Grogan being particularly engaging.

Described as a comedy romance, Lost At Christmas possesses most of the elements of a traditional wintery rom-com, but is unexpectedly low-key and a lot more gentle than other stories set around the festive season. As you might imagine, the supporting characters all learn to let go of their burdens for a little while, and Rob and Jen eventually click – but is it too soon after heartbreak for either of them to embark on an exciting new relationship?

Lost At Christmas is available in UK cinemas from 4th December, and will be on digital release from 7th December.

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