Don’t turn to Hallmark if you’re looking for a feel-good Christmas movie with plenty of color, music, and holiday spirit. Instead, go and see a special theatrical event at “Christmas Jars” on November 4.
In the story of Hope Jensen, “Christmas Jars,” a newspaper based on Latter-day Saint author Jason F. Wright, reveals the remarkable secret of the holiday phenomenon, money-filled glass jars that are offered anemic to people who are in need.
More than just a short movie with a big heart, “Christmas Jars” expertly takes on the classical formula of a Christmas film and infuses it with an astonishing profundity and themes of self-discovery and sacrifice. Yes, there is a lot of sweetness, but those with a “Bah humbug” attitude to Christmas movies will find sometimes too saccharine. Such moments are nevertheless balanced with great humor and adequate growth of character.
Jeni Ross is the film star of Hope, a young journalist who wants to prove with her boss. Hope finds a big break after a number of losses, including the death of her adopted mother, when a large jar of cash is left outside the apartment. Hope’s research report leads to the Maxwell family, a pleasant clan who runs a woodshop out of their home and freelance as the generous benefactors of the Christmas Jars each season, and who is determined to discover those who left the Christmas Jars throughout the city. Hope will find more than she ever thought, with her warmth and generosity, including a surprising conclusion that tears the audience. Her lies, however, threaten to disrupt her new-found relations, particularly with the son of Maxwell, Ian.