Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square Review

Not a perfect pick for this Holiday season

Richard Mahesh -

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square Review
Movie Rated

What is the story about?

Its Christmas season and the people across the little town are joyfully indulged in celebrations until the hard-hearted Regina Fuller (Christine Baranski) decides to sell off the town that sends everyone a gloomy blow. With just a day or two left for the evacuation, she is shocked to hear her doctor say that she might be having a brain tumour. Things get confusing when she gets visited by a mysterious angel (Dolly Parton), which exposes her to unheralded revelations.  



The ‘Dolly Parton’ brand owns a decent fan base, and with this festive seasonal piece of work announced, it did create decorous expectations. By the initial moments of ‘Christmas on the Square’, we are assured that a comme il faut Christmas holiday treat has arrived, but sooner, the scenario turns bleak as we struggle to travel along with the dramatic narration. We know the story premise and naturally, a holiday-festival flick wouldn’t end on an anti-climax. So what’s the big deal? With a 100% predictable plot, the basic strength lies beneath the musical strokes, which look good in places but eventually drops down below the lines of average. Despite the running duration is limited to 98 minutes, we feel the sluggishness in many places and even tend to fast-forward a few portions.  


The musicals aren’t merely gonna bank its substantiality on tracks. Well, the responsibilities can’t be placed upon the composers, and the performers are supposed to handle the main task. Dolly Parton’s erstwhile musicals have proved to be impeccable showpieces having the best spells. In this ‘Christmas on the Square’, there is ample scope for the performers to go ahead and score the brownie points. Christine Baranski effortlessly brings up a laudable performance that involves multi-dimensional aspects. From being a rude ignorant woman to the innocuously transformed person, her expressiveness and deliveries of songs and dialogues make her ‘Regina Fuller’ character look completely perfect. Dolly Parton as Angel has nothing special to offer. Treat Williams exhibits an admirable performance despite his role limited to minimal prominence. Jenifer Lewis finds more space with a prominent role. Josh Segarra is a talented artist, yet his role doesn’t offer him much to remain under the spotlights. The main plot revolves around his character imbibing to the emotional aspects, but still, it goes missing. 

Music & Other Departments

With the Genre itself claiming it, the complete show belongs to music, and Dolly Parton’s magical essence is found in all the 14 major tracks. But what steals our attention is the opening track that serves as a dual purpose of establishing the characters and the emotions they are inclined. On the flip side, not all the tracks are extraordinary, and some blatantly look like a namesake track. The art department could have been better from what it is now. A musical-themed film needs to have wowing visuals with set decorations, but this one looks too average. Cinematography is good, and it does justice to what a musical film demands. There’s nothing exceptional to mention about the editing. 


  • Just a few songs



  • Predictable narration
  • Lacks the emotional connection that the ‘Musical’ genre needs

Did I enjoy it?

The initial moments were good, but the rest was a below-average fare.

Do I recommend it?


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