Eldest child Tilly wants her poverty-stricken family to have a prosperous Thanksgiving- how? By lying to an estranged relative, of course! You too can do this: just say your dad’s been kidnapped by gypsies (why she didn’t just say her dad was dead- y’know, the actual true case- is beyond me) and some other untruths to make your letter the 18th-century equivalent of those emails you get from Nigerian princes who are down on their luck.
Don’t worry if your estranged and super-minted grandmother finds out the truth- in Tilly’s case, she instantly becomes the favourite grandchild as a result. Tilly’s scheme is surely psychotic (or at the very least, dishonest and pretty thoughtless) but it has literally no negative repercussions for her, so hooray for terrible behaviour! The film’s dialogue sounds like it’s just been recycled from an 80s soap opera- excepting the few “shall”s and “hath”s, it’s just people dying and being bitchy to one another. Rich bitch grandma is a prime example: watch out for lines like “from the moment you were born I have felt your judgement!” That’s one judgemental newborn.
The film itself is all just bickering, buying things and going against your word (see Tilly’s mum being all “don’t buy me things” and then when they do buy her things anyway she’s like “this is a Thanksgiving miracle”). There’s this “jeopardy” that one of the main characters might die of Scarlet Fever but they’re so clearly going to pull through that it’s no big surprise when they’re up and about two days later. There’s also Tilly’s shrine to Byron in the woods, which makes sense given that she’s a godless child who feels fine deceiving/ignoring/abandoning her loved ones. Also somebody needs to have a word with whoever was in charge of hair- for the olden times, the love interest’s hairstyle is soooo 2007.
Rating: Ho/Ho Ho Ho (nearly Half a Ho)