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New musical from Dolly Parton focuses on themes of goodwill and grace

Christmas on the Square,” a new musical holiday movie from country music star Dolly Parton, explores grace and goodwill toward others.

The plot centers on a despicable and wealthy woman named Regina Fuller, who returns to the small town she grew up in after her father’s death. Her objective is to drive out all the local residents, and then sell the land to a mall developer – just ahead of the Christmas holiday. But Regina begins to reconsider her plans after connecting with the townspeople, catching up with a former sweetheart, and accepting advice from an angel.

READ: Parton says duty is to work for God

The film stars Parton, Christine Baranski, Jennifer Lewis and Treat Williams and features 14 original songs by Parton, including “Christmas on the Square” from her new album “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” which is her first Christmas album release in 30 years. Parton said the film demonstrates the importance of forgiving others, a timely message while the nation remains deeply divided over multiple issues.

“There’s a lot to be said about forgiveness; it cleans you for other good stuff to come in,” she said. “If you go around with a bunch of hate and anger and bottled up stuff in you, you can’t blossom as a person, and you’re not doing yourself any favors or anyone else. It’s just so much better to forgive.

“And of course, we can’t forget; we still remember things. But I think when they say ‘forgive and forget,’ that just means to forget about that now and move on. I really think that that’s so important to cleanse your own heart and your own soul, to be able to forgive and to ask forgiveness. You never should be too proud to ask for forgiveness.”

The 74-year-old said she “loves to touch on things that are meaningful to people.”

The musical will debut on Netflix on November 22.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice