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Philippe Martinez
Elizabeth Hurley, Kelsey Grammer, Billy Ray Cyrus
Philippe Martinez, Megan Brown Martinez

Joanna's holiday is shattered when her sisters tell her that their dad has dumped, he isn't responding to any calls and disappeared to a Caribbean island. The sisters decide to go to save their father and bring him home for Christmas.
Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 11/15/2022

• Trailer


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Christmas in Paradise [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 7, 2022)

With Elizabeth Hurley, Kelsey Grammer and Billy Ray Cyrus in tow, can we claim Christmas in Paradise comes with an all-star cast? No, but at least they offer some “above the title” appeal to this direct-to-video project.

Joanna Christmas (Hurley) plans a quiet yuletide season with husband Felix (Ray Fearon) and infant daughter Chloe (Aaliyah Fred). However, this hope goes down the toilet when she and her sisters Caroline (Nathalie Cox) and Pamela (Naomi Frederick) learn that their father James (Grammer) recently ditched his fiancée Jackie.

James retreats to a tropical island where he enjoys a non-stop party. This places the clan into a mix of conflicts as they debate how to spend the holidays.

Decades ago, it became a Hollywood cliché that older male actors would match with much younger female actors for romantic partners. This meant I went into Paradise with the idea that it’d pair Hurley and Grammer as a couple, with Cyrus in the mix as a rival for Liz’s affection.

Imagine my surprise when I realized Grammer would play Hurley’s father, especially given that they only enjoy a 10-year age difference. I actually feel a little bad for Grammer, as he’s literally too young to be Hurley’s dad – though the story tries to compensate with a notion that James was only 17 when Joanna came along.

Never mind the stretch of reality that casts 57-year-old Hurley as the mother of an infant. I thought the movie might indicate she and her husband adopted or used a surrogate, but nope – the film intends for us to believe Joanna birthed that baby herself.

Sure, Hurley looks amazing for her age but c’mon! All of this led me to fear Paradise would become more of a vanity project than anything else. Heck, some poor kid gets stuck with lines that tell Joanna how beautiful she is and that she looks like a princess!

Though not just an ego boost for Hurley, as co-executive producer Grammer and long-faded singer Cyrus get their own jolts as well. James proves irresistible to everyone – including hot, much younger women – and Cyrus plays “Jimmy Ray Love”, described as one of the greatest Country singers of all-time.

Yeah, the man remembered solely for “Achy Breaky Heart” and fathering Miley Cyrus plays a country legend. Um, sure.

This allows the movie to indulge in seemingly endless scenes that feature Cyrus’s music. We get the inevitable use of “Achy” – Calypso style! – and other sub-mediocre mush along the way, all of which waste minutes of film for no real purpose.

Not that Paradise comes with anything else to sustain it. The movie attempts to balance a mix of conflicting tones, as it hops from romance to broad comedy to wistful nostalgia to drama to tragedy.

All of these shifts feel awkward and they fail to blend in a positive manner. At its heart, it seems like Paradise wants to offer a wacky comedy about sisters and their late-life-crisis dad, but the film instead indulges in weepy Hallmark Channel sentiment too much of the time.

Indeed, all the promotion for the film emphasizes potential comedy, but the movie barely attempts laughs. Paradise opts for a mostly somber tone that shoots for emotion it never remotely earns.

Nothing about this movie works. Basically a sketch of a story made by filmmakers with little discernible talent, this turns into a pretty awful holiday tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Christmas in Paradise appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a good but not exceptional image.

Sharpness could offer a minor distraction at times, as shots occasionally seemed a little soft. This appeared to stem from some gauzy photography and ended up as a relatively minor issue, for the majority of the flick boasted appealing delineation.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to mar the proceedings.

Despite the tropical setting, colors tended toward a fairly standard teal and amber blend, with some green in the mix as well. Though the hues could’ve boasted greater breadth, they felt largely appropriate.

Blacks seemed fairly deep and dense, while shadows offered good clarity. Expect a perfectly watchable image.

One also shouldn’t anticipate much from the movie’s mediocre DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, as it proves ordinary. Music blended to the side/surround speakers and occasional beach ambience crept into the mix, but the soundscape remained restricted.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that sounded natural and concise. Music offered good range and tonality as well.

Effects lacked much to do, but they felt accurate and concise. This winds up as an adequate but unexceptional track.

The disc includes the movie’s trailer but it lacks any other extras.

A messy melange of genres, Christmas in Paradise never threatens to connect. Amateurish and clumsy, the film lacks any heart or entertainment value. The Blu-ray comes with perfectly acceptable picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. Avoid this Christmas turkey.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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