In the Spirit [1990]

Genre: Comedy
Imagine you're relaxing in a plush limousine, cruising through a luxurious American suburb (near Chicago, perhaps, or in Connecticut), sipping a creamy cup of hot cocoa and gazing out the window at a nonstop parade of nice homes, all decked out for the holidays. That's pretty much what it's like to watch this soothing DVD, which offers a drive-by tour of dozens of houses spangled with ambitious arrangements of Christmas lights and holiday decorations. (It's like one of those Yule Log novelty videos, only a bit more colorful.) Some of these impressive arrays are so elaborate you'd think they'd need their own hydro-electric dam to keep them glowing, and there's even a variety of animated lighting arrangements that move in dazzling sequences of action. Nativity scenes? You've never seen so many--you'd think this was a casting call for the many incarnations of the infant Jesus. (We particularly like the ones lit from within, as if to simulate His divine illumination.) And because no scenic holiday tour would be complete without yuletide Muzak--er, music--the visuals are accompanied by easy-listening renditions of just about every carol in the repertoire. Whether this is engaging or dull will depend on your tolerance for ubiquitous holiday atmosphere, but if you play this DVD while decorating your tree or opening gifts, only a Grinch would dare to complain. --Jeff Shannon

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