HCM Review: Christmas Festival of Ice

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Festival of Ice

Emma Parkers recently finished law school and has moved home to Westford to take up with her mother’s law firm while she waits for her Bar exam results. Westford is a quaint little town located in what looks like the rust belt of America, maybe Ohio or Michigan–somewhere cold and with that look of salt-of-the Earth town. The town is small, but is known in their area for the great Christmas Festival of Ice. The annual event features many Christmas festivities, but the trademark for the event, which is more than 60 years old, is the ice sculpture competition. Emma and her architect dad participated every year as a team, teaching Emma the delicate art of shaving ice methodically. Emma and the whole town of Westford is passionate about ice sculptures, which is why everyone is sent into a tizzy when the culminating pinnacle of art is cut from the festival. Gasp! This begins to send Emma on a mission to raise the funds to support the event being continued.

Meanwhile, Emma happens upon a pop-up tree stand that drew her in with the alluring scent of pine trees, but transfixes her when she sees a beautiful ice sculpture in the middle of the tree stand. Totally normal, right? She ends up meeting the guy who runs the stand, Nick, who carries candy canes around in his shirt pocket to make everyone’s day that much more festive. Nick is a misunderstood grump about Christmas and especially about ice sculptures. When Emma tries to find out who made the sculpture and he quickly comes up with a story about his antisocial brother who wouldn’t be interested in competing at the upcoming festival–I don’t buy it. I have immediately pinned Nick for a closeted ice sculptor.

I’m not really sure what else there is to say about this movie. It really explored the underground world of ice sculpture and the passionate people who are part of it. The romance between Nick and Emma was cringe-worthy and the whole concept was basically a giant block of……cheese (you thought I was going to with ice, right?). Let’s take a look at the HCM standard story features showcased in this film:

  • A festival takes place (uh that would be a yes…see title).
  • Reference to and execution of a ‘Christmas Miracle’ – check.

I am actually coming up short for the cheesy standards in this movie, but maybe that’s because the whole movie is a cheesy standard. I was really disappointed in this movie because I normally really like each of the lead characters, played by Taylor Cole and Damon Runyan. This movie debuted on November 4, and was unable to chisel a morsel of redemption from the ice block of my heart. Harsh?


Have you seen this one? I’d love to hear your thoughts below! If my raving review has inspired you to watch this movie, check out the next time you can catch it here.

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