Opposites Don’t Attract. Until They Do.
The best thing about this movie was the acting. Tamera Mowry-Housley plays a widowed mother of an adorable little girl. She is a rocket scientist and the team’s supervisor. The manager of the company is Evan, played by Ronnie Rowe, Jr. Now Evan is a very interesting character. To say he is not a people person is putting it mildly. He is brilliant but cold and uncaring of his employees. He cannot seem to understand or have empathy toward others. He almost behaves as if he is “on the spectrum.” 3 valuable employees have resigned, citing his management as the cause and because of that, he is in trouble with the board of directors. They tell him not to be such a demanding taskmaster and get a life, essentially. If one more employee quits, he will be fired. Yet right after that, due to a deadline, he informs his employees that they will have to work Christmas Eve and possibly Christmas. He is just clueless and disconnected. It is too much for Tamera, and she tells him off and quits on the spot. But that day, she had to bring her daughter Grace to work for a few hours, and the little girl, nicely played by Isabel Birch, takes one look at her mother’s hateful boss and believes he is the “Christmas Prince” from a story passed down through her family. She believes this fantasy figure, who picks out one little girl or boy every Christmas to grant 12 wishes to, is real. Tamera knows what’s up with her boss’s bosses and tells him she will return to work if he poses as the Prince through Christmas. If she doesn’t he will lose his job. He is horrified but has no choice. Yes, she probably should have told her daughter the truth and not blackmailed her boss, but then we wouldn’t have a movie, would we?
As Evan spends more time with Tamera and her little girl, he starts to open up and warm up. His communication skills improve as well. During their first dinner, for example, his conversation is like, “I see you eat carrots. Do you eat carrots often?” Scintillating! But soon they are opening up to each other, confiding, and empathizing. He learns she is a widow. Three years ago, when her husband died, he approved her bereavement leave but didn’t even care enough to ask who died! When she reminds him of this, he is shocked. It causes him to see himself clearly and make an effort to change his ways. Besides his personal relationship developing with Tamera and Grace, By the end of the movie he becomes a great boss, and even gets promoted, instead of fired!
That Ronnie Rowe Jr. makes his character sympathetic is little short of a miracle. His transformation is slow and subtly done, even changing his body language and the way he stands. Fantastic Job. Mowry-Housley was so funny, warm, and charming in this. The Maitre d’ scene was a stand-out. The secondary characters are entertaining as well. She has a support group she started to help her cope with her husband’s death. It includes Caitlin Stryker, a Hallmark veteran who is always good. I’ve never seen Nathanael Vass who plays Lorenzo, her “work husband” but he was a treat as well. I hope I see him again. Definitely Hallmark Hero material. Even the other little kid actors did well, especially “Sherman.”The actual plot was cheesy as heck, but the writing was bright and amusing, and considerably elevated by the actors’ talents.