The typical holiday film usually features a cis-hetero romance at the center of a hectic holiday season. The fate of the BIG HOLIDAY EVENT is often at stake, and yet the entire film is spent following the star as he or she sabotages themselves. We love these formulaic films. However, it is time for something new. The “new” something is The Family Tree. The film is set in Panama and features three people who, over the course of a handful of holidays, redefine not only tradition but what it means to call someone, “family.”
Victor (Keith Roenke) is a man who seems in need of something more from life. He has a relationship with Alina (Anaïs Lucia) is a happy one. This Christmas, however, both of their lives are changed by a new face, Roy (Michael Joseph Nelson). He sweeps in like a Christmas angel and turns their lives upside-down. Victor’s idea of love is challenged and changed, so is Alina’s until this threesome discovers the perfect fit for themselves—family. Victor needs one as his father hasn’t been anything like one.
The only thing is that the moment this family finds its foothold, that Christmas movie sabotage strikes and threatens everything. Despite the tragedy, there is hope and family leftover. Director Jorge Ameer explains in an interview with The Black Cape how this hope and family is the ending that the story needs.
The Family Tree works to add a nontraditional element to a genre steeped in tradition. It is an inclusive story that also gives us a view of Panama that we’ve yet to see. The stunning cinematography will make every COVID-bound viewer’s cabin fever pitch. The complex romance does offer a few comedic moments, but none that come off cringe or unnecessary. Audiences may find the transitions a bit clunky, but these never get in the way of the story at hand. The Family Tree is a film worth diving into whenever you are in the mood for a fresh little romance.
Stream The Family Tree everywhere today.
Rating 3.5 of 5
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