Would Have been Kind of Awful Except for the Great Cast.
Cindy Busby is one of my favorite Hallmark actresses, so I gave this one a whirl. She plays a journalist who has been given an opportunity to write a feature on the secret of a happy marriage. At first, her character, Noelle, is very annoying and does some really stupid things. Like buying a dog while living in her boyfriend’s apartment without consulting with him, taking the badly behaved dog to work without permission, and being incompetent writing her feature story. She is not likable at all. She is also snotty to her office mate, a handsome but kind of dorky fellow writer. And the dog is possessed by the devil. But, hey, Cindy Busby! I couldn’t stay irritated for long, and she finally starts to redeem herself. She is dumped by her commitment-phobic boyfriend of 5 years, and, now homeless, is invited to spend a country Christmas with her super-nice and dog-loving office colleague.
The male leads were superb, which further bumps it up. Christopher Russell plays the bad boyfriend, for a change, and does a great job. Greyston Holt was very very attractive and the complete opposite of his rival. He played a bit of an eccentric with long hair and a beard. For a change, he also had a fiance who shared his outdoorsy and adventuresome spirit, which added some interest to the final happy ending. I also liked his quirky sister and Cindy’s older friend.
Clichés, tired plot elements, and unbelievable coincidences would normally doom a Hallmark movie. But this one is saved by the cast, some well fleshed out characters, and a few unusual additions.
December 23, 2018