Nobody will question that Dolly Parton is an awesome performer. Her melodies, from “Jolene” to “I Will Always Love You,” are basically composed yet have resounded profoundly with eras of music mates — and not simply down home music partners — as she can talk about her own involvement in a way that has general interest.
Her choice to transform some of those mark melodies into out and out, occasion themed TV motion pictures may fulfill her fan base — a year ago’s “Jacket of Many Colors” piled on more than 15 million viewers for NBC — yet the current year’s portion, which has the inconvenient title “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” demonstrates that the vocalist’s biography, when told by others, conveys buzzwords by the container and treacle by the truckload.
After a sincere presentation by Parton, who remains before her lucrative amusement stop “Dollywood,” singing a couple bars from “Hover of Love” and uncovering that, at age 70, her unmistakable soprano is fine condition, the film begins. We are transported back in time — 1955, to be correct — to Locust Ridge, Tenn., where Dolly’s folks, Robert and Avie (Ricky Schroder and Jennifer Nettles) are bringing their colossal brood up in a little lodge and confronting the possibility of a dreary Christmas. Mrs. Parton has set aside enough cash to get one present for each of her eight youngsters, yet what Mr. Parton needs most is to purchase his significant other the wedding band he would never bear to give her. Avie lets him know not to stress. “After eight children, I’m about as wedded as I can get,” she says with trademark pleasantness.
The Partons needn’t bother with much to keep them upbeat and scenes of them singing “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” with Avie playing the mandolin and Dolly (Alyvia Alyn Lind, excessively charming considerably) the guitar seem to be valid. The motion picture’s principle plot, in which Robert and youthful Dolly think of an arrangement to understand that wedding band, appears to be invented, particularly as it prompts to a progression of close debacles that must be eradicated by another arrangement of helpful supernatural occurrences. One after another, we have a snowstorm that traps Avie and the children in the lodge without warmth or nourishment, an infant who takes wiped out and a mine blast that strands Robert far from home. In one of the film’s numerous snapshots of custom made hokum, the genuine Dolly Parton says in a voiceover, “Our tears solidified on our appearances.”
Yes, she truly says that.
We have become acclimated to occasion movies that exaggerate their hand, eventually estranging viewers with gooey wistfulness in a urgent endeavor to promise its gathering of people that there is no place like home and love will overcome all (notwithstanding crushing destitution), and this “Hover of Love” is no exemption. While the movie producers behind the Parton Christmas establishment (among them veteran daytime cleanser essayist Pamela K. Long) have sprinkled some honest to goodness minutes in the story and made an extraordinary contract in giving Nettles a role as the steady Parton authority, they have coincidentally made their subject, the alluring vocalist herself, into somebody whose life you’d rather not catch wind of any longer.
Now and again, a story is best told in a three-minute melody.