Writer/Director Kate Montgomery
Producers Mitchell Stein, Sarah Wasserman, Kate Montgomery
Genre Romantic Comedy
Theatre Release Date: November 4, 2005
Official Web Site: Christmas in the Clouds
The film introduces Choctaw actor Tim Vahle as “Ray Clouds on Fire”, a well-educated but overly conscientious divorced yuppie who is general manager to his tribe’s struggling ski resort. When a letter arrives from the exclusive Worthington Travel Guide to announce that an anonymous critic has booked a suite there for the holiday, Ray dreams of sold out suites. He is determined to get his staff in shape and garner a 4-star review.
He has his work cut out for him. The resort’s passive aggressive vegetarian chef (Graham Greene) doesn't want to cook meat, the maids (Shirley Cheechoo, Georgina Lightning) are scheming to bring their kids to work with them, the resident handyman (Jonathan Joss) is distracted by the ski bunnies, the marketing maven who runs the front desk (Sheila Tousey) lives in a fantasy world of romance novels and Ray’s father, Joe, the tribe’s retired Chief (Sam Vlahos), dreams of winning the brand new Jeep Cherokee at the big Christmas bingo so he can impress his pen pal.
The Old Chief has been corresponding with a Mohawk woman (Mariana Tosca) that everyone assumes is a senior citizen because she’s a widow. Christina Little Hawk is really young, beautiful and heading west uninvited and incognito hoping to meet the man who has been sending her so many wildly flirtatious letters. When “Tina Pisati from New York” arrives and checks in using her maiden name, she is immediately mistaken for the undercover critic.
In a matching comedy of errors, Tina erroneously believes that the handsome Ray is her pen pal. As they set out to charm each other, Tina and Ray begin to fall in love. But while everyone bends over backwards to make Tina’s stay a pleasure, the real critic, Stu O’Malley (M. Emmet Walsh), encounters one mishap after the next. He begins to question not only the resort’s quality, but also his own sanity. When Joe and Stu go missing in a blizzard after a jaunt to the “high stakes” game of Bingo, Ray and Tina’s romance hits the rocks, a potential family tragedy looms and Christmas doesn't seem so merry. But despite the twists along the way, when love is in the air, a happy destiny awaits.
It's been a long time since I've seen a heartwarming, romantic comedy that you can watch with the whole family.
Despite a PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) rating you'd be hard pressed to find a movie that is as family friendly as this one. The rating signifies that the film rated may contain some material parents might not like to expose to their young children - material that will clearly need to be examined or inquired about before children are allowed to attend the film. In Christmas in the Clouds, the rating was likely given because of a few "romantic" scenes which do not show anything vulgar or gratuitous. There is also some "flatulence" humor that some might find offensive.
Christmas in the Clouds is a movie that has just the right elements of romance and love with comedy and quirkiness. The story line is both soul-searching and thought provoking without too much complexity. All ages are entertained by the various characters. Even young kids will be entertained by Katie, the young girl who befriends "Warrior Mouse".
While the movie title suggests a Christmas theme, this is not just a holiday movie. The time of year only adds to the spirit and feeling of the movie. The amazing cinematography of the movie is simply breathtaking. Filming at Robert Redford's ranch in Utah was the perfect location for this movie.
The mostly American Indian cast, and being set on an Indian reservation may imply Christmas in the Clouds is an "ethnic" or "cultural" movie. It is anything but. The Native themes are not preachy or judgemental. We can all easily relate to the characters and the story line on a personal level.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will watch it again. Though perfect for the holiday season, because of the heartwarming messages in the film, it really could be watched any time of the year. Due to the few "love scenes" some parents may not want young children to watch, however, there is nothing violent or gratuitous in this film. One other subtle aspect of the movie I enjoyed was the wonderful music, again, a perfect match for the story line.
Big studios tend to overlook local realities when they market to families, spending millions of dollars on TV, radio and print advertising while stuffing cheap toys into fast food meals.
That idea is the basis of a unique grassroots promotional plan for the release of “Christmas in the Clouds” The filmmakers will be helping hundreds of school districts around the nation do premieres, sneak previews, and special holiday screenings as fundraisers where all the money from ticket sales goes directly to local schools. For more information on this fundraising opportunity, visit the Christmas in the Clouds web site, click on Fundraising in the navigation.
Talk about this movie on the Kids' Turn Forums