Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed a Christmas rom-com set in Scotland, A Castle for Christmas. Tina reviewed One for Sorrow by Helen Fields, the seventh book in the DI Luc Callenach series, which she enjoyed so much that she intends to read the six previous installments.
I found another new Christmas movie set in the British Isles, My Dad’s Christmas Date. This one’s not a rom-com, but still has gorgeous music and plenty of festive decorations.
The title gives the premise of the movie. A 16-year-old girl named Jules attempts to set up her widowed father for romance.
Olivia-Mai Barrett plays Jules. I haven’t encountered her before, but I look forward to future performances. Olivia-Mai Barrett is trained as a singer and this film utilized that talent without making it the main feature. My Dad’s Christmas Date is not a musical.
The father, David, is played by Jeremy Piven. I know him best as Mr. Selfridge from the TV series of the same name about Selfridge’s department store. Piven is American. I’m not sure if he was cast because they wanted an American dad or if they made the dad American so that Piven didn’t have to adopt an accent. Besides the American accent, there were only a couple of references to his nationality. I thought it was odd that he was a British lawyer. Of all the professions, that seems like a particularly tricky one for an American to enter. That wasn’t explained.
My favorite part of the movie was how the father and daughter interacted. It felt authentic, two years on from losing a wife and a mother — a lot of ordinary teen parenting problems with an undercurrent of sadness, plus the frustrations of figuring out how and when to express their love for each other.
My second favorite part of the movie was York. I’ve never been there, but I loved seeing drone flyovers, picturesque shopping streets, and views of the outside of York Minster. Jenny, a British travel blogger at The Crave Traveler, wrote a long post, with pictures, about the filming locations in York that appear in My Dad’s Christmas Date. Jenny corrected my assumption that the interior church scenes were filmed inside York Minster (tricky filmmakers!). In fact, they were shot in nearby Beverly Minster, which is also lovely. Her posts include how to reach these locations by train, my favorite way to travel. Now, I definitely want to visit York.
This film was released to theaters in a limited run in November 2020. It’s currently streaming at both Netflix and Amazon Prime and is also available on DVD.
What Christmas movies have you enjoyed this year?