Watching “A Storm for Christmas” made us realize that there is a difference between something sweet and something Christmassy. Though it has a haphazard start, the series diverges into multiple subplots that range from sweet and hopeful to irritating and downright nonsensical. The common theme is that Christmas always finds a way of making people happy. We can’t argue that it is a well-written series with some genuinely sweet and well-connected moments. But when it comes to a Christmas movie, we don’t just want to feel like something is nice. We want those warm and fuzzy feelings, some good laughs, and emotions that make us reminisce about and appreciate the relationships in our life, all in one fell swoop. Honestly, we could tell that “A Storm for Christmas” intended to do that, but it just wasn’t strong enough—that is, for Christmas. Had we seen this outside of the festival season, we would have liked it a lot more. To sum it up, it is more of a dose of optimism than a boost of festive cheer. Let’s get into it.
We once had the misfortune of being stranded at an airport for more than 24 hours. Our biggest worry then was finding a charging point for our devices, unlike the people in “A Storm for Christmas,” who were more concerned with where the bar was. Let us start with Arthur Berg, a pianist who is going through a low patch, and hence, his agent has booked him an economy ticket rather than a VIP one. Upon calling his agent, she tells him that they have only managed to book 32 tickets for his concert, and he must put on a good show if he wants to get back on his feet. He keeps trying to get into the VIP lounge or take that access, much to his embarrassment and the staff’s discomfort. It was a genuinely funny moment when the staff caught him smoking and told him that he could be banned from the airport itself, but he just said, “alright,” while releasing a puff of smoke. Thankfully, he spends the rest of the time at the bar, out of trouble. Marius is the bartender, and he is the nice guy who is proving to keep everyone’s spirits from going down. While looking at him, Henrik, Thea, or even Ingvild, we realize that we often overlook the contribution of the service industry in the celebration of our holidays. They are the ones, in life and in “A Storm for Christmas,” who keep things going for everyone. And that brings us to our next few characters: Ida, Ingvild, and Asal. Ida is a pop star, and the other two are her assistant and bodyguard. She is evidently irritable at the flight delay and is taking out her frustrations on Ingvild. Ida has some issues with her family, as in she feels that they don’t accept her for who she is. In an interview that Ingvild arranges for her at the airport, she talks about how she is used to presenting just a “version of herself” for different people, and she worries that one person won’t be able to accept the whole of her. Ida even goes so far as to say that she doesn’t believe she has a true friend. That evidently upsets Ingvild, even though Ida doesn’t notice it. We could glean from Ingvild’s demeanor that she just wasn’t being Ida’s assistant. She genuinely seemed to respect and care for her, though her attitude put her on edge. We couldn’t help but feel that Ida was extremely self-centered and entitled. It is said that short-tempered people are not really helpless at the hands of their emotions. Because when needed, they seem to be able to stay calm, either in front of their superiors or when they need to put on a mask for their audience. This means that if they are yelling at or abusing someone, it is a conscious decision where they have taken the person for granted. Similarly, Ida doesn’t think much of Ingvild, even though she is the one she should have been grateful for. Ingvild is aware of it, but it really affects her when Ida spots her notebook and reads some of the lyrics she has written. They are about Ida, and even before she reads them, she is furious and yells at Ingvild for “stealing her life.” But her assistant has had enough, and she says her piece and walks away. Ida realizes a little too late that she has overreacted. People catch this interaction on camera, and within minutes, the video is all over social media. Ida is regretful, but they are unable to get a hold of Ingvild. She is crying in the bathroom, where she runs into Arthur. Sometimes, it is only an unrelated stranger that you feel comfortable sharing your most vulnerable self with, maybe because you know that you won’t meet them again and they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of having seen you in that state. It works, and both of them feel better, though Ingvild still needs some time.
Another character and she is probably our favorite, is the lawyer, Bobbie. She is someone we aspire to be one day, as in, just have that much money and be out and proud of it. Seriously, the woman was ready to pay 80,000 Kroner for a short ride of a few hours. We wouldn’t spend that much for a life-or-death emergency, but Bobbie is an awesomer woman than us. However, the driver she is with doesn’t feel very professional. If you are willing to take that much money, shouldn’t you be willing to work accordingly? But he acts as if he wasn’t just getting paid an unnecessarily inordinate amount of money for a few hours of work. Either way, he stops the car to use the washroom and takes longer than necessary to avoid coming back to Bobbie. But there is a snowstorm, and the car won’t start. Therefore, he decides to push the car while Bobbie drives. We don’t think she is a good driver since she backs him over. He is furious and leaves her in the middle of the road, alone, when she finds her wallet and mobile phone missing and can’t pay him. Seriously, how is he supposed to be a good guy? Either way, as soon as he leaves, she finds her phone. But that’s when he comes back, having gained some sense that he was wrong, and takes her to a homeless shelter where she volunteers. Bobbie is happy, and she spends a merry night helping the people there. This is a side of her that Frank was not expecting. The next day, he tells her that he thought of her as “rich, stuck-up, and snobbish.” Bobbie became our favorite the moment she admitted to being all of them. She tells Frank that since she has missed both her meetings, she might as well take it easy and go back to the airport leisurely. While leaving, she donates 800,000 kroner to the homeless shelter. Honestly, it was a sweet friendship, but we doubt it would have lasted had it extended beyond that interaction.
Back in the airport, there is a couple: Trine and Sindre, who are constantly fighting with each other. Their daughter, fed up with their bickering, takes her dad’s card and hides. Her parents are frantically looking for her, but she is taking her own space. Coincidentally, she runs into Santa airport. He has to be a Grinch in disguise because he seems to hate his job. We believe what is ticking him off is that all of the children are asking for iPhones and Chanel bags. According to him, they cost more than most people’s monthly wages. He’s not wrong, but why is that annoying him? It’s not like he has to buy them. Either way, when he runs into Kaja, he finds that this is the first child who wants something different. She just wants her parents to stop fighting. According to her, they love each other, but they are not able to deal with the life that has gotten in their way. Later, he and another girl, Sara, help her parents find her. The family has a heart-to-heart, and they promise her to be more peaceful. But will that really happen since the dad is against seeing a therapist, which means that he is rejecting a feasible method of conflict resolution? But they do say that they love each other, so maybe there is hope. One of the most boring stories of all of them was the one between Olav and Diana. The classic love story between the grump and the romantic, where he becomes her Prince Charming after a few misunderstandings; this is literally every rom-com ever, just in a more concise form.
Then there is Stine, a woman who is clearly having an affair with someone but is desperate to get back to her boyfriend. It proves to be a troublesome journey when she ends up missing her boat and mistaking the taxi driver she hires for a serial killer. However, it is Christmas, and the heavens show some kindness when an old woman picks her up from the side of the road. The next day, Stine tells her the entire story of her journey as she waits for her boyfriend to pick her up. The woman advises her to come clean about it so that she can finally start being happy. There is also Maria, a mother who has spent her entire savings on surgery for her son. But since the delay in flights, she is likely going to lose both the money and the chance for surgery. She is extremely desperate and even resorts to shoplifting to feed her son, but David steps in as a kind stranger and gets them food. David is really a kind man through and through. He really hits it off with the priest Ronja and strikes up a friendship with Sara, though it is rocky for a minute. Ronja, on the other hand, is trying to find an old man who is unable to communicate so that she may help him find his way home. She tracks him down with the help of Henrik and an abandoned dog whom he has really taken a liking to. After finding the old man Abba, they put him on a plane to get him home. Things are resolving themselves, and it looks like Christmas might just be merry after all.
Though Maria’s son’s vision is poor, he has excellent hearing. In fact, he might just be a gifted musician as he starts playing the piano with the help of Arthur. The video is recorded by people in the airport, and it goes viral on the Internet. Ida, who apologizes to Ingvild, shares the video on her social media, giving it a whole new boost of popularity. That causes Arthur’s concert tickets to be sold out. Maybe now he can fly business class. He also talks to Maria and encourages her to see the bright side of things. Maria, having gained enough courage, takes a stand in front of her son’s dad and tells him to step up to his duties. He sends her the money required, and she breathes a sigh of relief. She and her son accompany Arthur to his concert on the plane. Elsewhere, as suspected, Sindre and Trine have started fighting, but Kaja has Santa’s number, and she calls him up to talk to him and wish him a Merry Christmas. Stine comes clean to her boyfriend about the affairs she has been having, and he breaks up with her. She spends her Christmas with the old woman, crying and celebrating her freedom while starting her new journey of self-discovery. To be honest, her story needed to be fleshed out a lot more because what could have been a thoughtful exploration of love and infidelity just came across as comedy.
Diana and Olav are kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower, a cliche ending to a dull subplot. We really don’t care for it much. But the other three stories are more sweet. Rojan figures out that David has no wife, and he reveals that she passed away six years ago. He just goes through the process of buying a ticket as his way of avoiding closure. But Rojan buys another ticket and openly suggests that they should be together. David smiles and agrees. In another place, it turns out that Sara is Marius’ daughter, and she was trying to get to know him before she introduced herself. She takes the pair of shoes she has brought for him and goes to the hospital. This is probably the best subplot of all, and we are glad to know that a man as kind and nice as Marius is going to have company in his tough times. Finally, Ingvild tells Ida that she started writing the lyrics when her family reacted negatively to Ida’s coming out. Understanding that she has a friend, after all, Ida fires Ingvild as her assistant and hires her as a songwriter. Both of them are finally going to start finding happiness with each other. Also, there is a spark between Ida and Bobbie, so good times are ahead. It is starting to look a lot like Christmas now.
“A Storm for Christmas” is a sweet series; that is the one word we can repeatedly use for it. We wouldn’t go out of our way to recommend it to others, but it is a decent watch for the holiday season. Definitely not 100% Christmassy, but good enough. Once you get through the first episode, it gets a lot better. We will also admit that the writing was very thoughtful. Honestly, this is a lot better than most of the other stuff we have seen this season. Maybe that’s what makes it a good watch. Otherwise, it’s average at best.
“A Storm for Christmas” is a 2022 Drama Comedy series Per-Olav Sørensen.
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