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‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square’ review: Even Dolly can’t save this one

Parton is a true talent.

Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton?! Dolly Parton is full of pure talent. She has starred in great films such as 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias and of course has graced us all for years with her beautiful voice. Even if you ignored all her films and songs, we’d all still adore her simply for being such a pure joy of a person and for being so charitable… having said all that, this Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is just flat out low quality. The script is about as cheesy and fake as you could get, many of the actors are not up to the job, and the songs are unfortunately not memorable.

So let’s begin by stating what should be obvious to everyone – Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski are professionals and are extremely talented. Both Parton and Baranski do what they’re supposed to do in Christmas on the Square and they prove to be the only good things this has to offer. Christine Baranski has been in FAR BETTER musicals and FAR BETTER Christmas films and God bless her she tries her best to lift up this film but an actor can only do so much. She has quality moments where her performance gives us a temporary break from the lifeless schlock that permeates this film. Dolly Parton has her moments of charm and grace too, she’s her usual joyous self here and that is always pleasant to behold – if only the other ingredients were as delicious. 

'Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square' review: Even Dolly can't save this one
Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski

As I always say – a film’s script is its engine, its beating heart, and in Christmas on the Square‘s case – it just fails to run properly. This film wants to be a joyful uplifting holiday treat for all but everything is just too fake and bland. Watching this film is kind of like seeing a beautiful cake and thinking it’s going to be delicious but then biting once you bite into it ,it’s tasteless. It’s next to impossible to become invested because the dialogue is so poorly written – there were a lot of eye rolling moments.

And what’s also bad is that not only is the script poorly written but the supporting actors just cannot act to save their lives. I’m sorry but wow… I just had to laugh at some of the line deliveries. I’m not sure if some of the people in this are just inexperienced or what but some of the acting is as if they’re attempting to spoof a Christmas film. The pastor and his wife are particularly cringeworthy and unfortunately so is Treat Williams. I kept wanting to the supporting actors to get on the same level as the film’s two main stars but they never did.

This isn’t just a holiday film, it’s also a holiday musical, so are the songs any good? Well… I honestly can’t remember any of the songs. After seeing a great well done musical you always leave with the songs running through your head; that won’t happen here. The songs are just like the script, bland and largely lifeless. They were all just boring and lacked the spirit that songs in a musical must have.

So what about the visuals and the set decoration? Well, not all of the visuals here are bad. A few select scenes take place in pretty Christmas shops, which is nice. On the other hand, a lot of the CGI is poorly done and looks very fake. At the start, I said that Parton and Baranski are the only good things this has to offer, but I must adjust that slightly. The only other positive thing here is the diversity. I really did love seeing the diverse cast full of different races and there is also a lovely gay couple. If only this beautiful diversity had a better film to be in.

'Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square' review: Even Dolly can't save this one
Jenifer Lewis

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square boasts two fine lead actresses but the bland script, subpar songs, and bad supporting cast makes this a Christmas gift you’ll want to return.

A good movie to watch with the family?

christmas on the square
‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square’ review: Even Dolly can’t save this one
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square touts delightful moments from Parton and Baranski and should be very proud of its diversity. Unfortunately the bland script, unmemorable songs, and bad performances from the supporting cast makes this one to skip.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Dolly Parton
Christine Baranski
Diversity
Bland script
Bad performances from the supporting cast
Unmemorable subpar songs
Fake looking CGI
3.5
Meh

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