The chemistry between perky cheerful girl next door Phoebe and exotic looking Eric was fantastic. It made this Christmassy movie in which nothing much happened than romance a joy. Usually I like multilayered plots, but the romance between these two nice and a little shy people deserved to be focused on. Both Beverley Mitchell and Marc Ghanine were wonderful. Beverley is always a welcome sight although at first I though she overdid the perkiness a bit. But she toned it down. I had seen Marc in another Christmas movie recently and he was just OK. But I loved him in this. A lovely surprise.
I gave this one a “10” on my special scale for Hallmark movies. This one is set apart by the writing, the enjoyable characters, and most especially, the casting. There are probably 5 or 6 basic plots for these things. This one is the closed down/sad widower with a child who needs our heroine (Gwen) to reawaken him and save his relationship with his kid. No the plot is not original, but I judge the good writing in the little details. The relationship between our heroine’s sister (the wonderful Beverley Mitchell-so glad to see her again!) and her husband was fleshed out and added to the enjoyment. The appearance of the Mom at the end was a nice touch and added to the depth (don’t laugh) of the story. Gwen was cute, funny, charming, quirky, and so very likable. The actress(Meredith Hagner) was another Meg Ryan at the height of her romantic comedy powers. She was an absolute delight. Don’t ever change. The Dad was handsome and appealing, making his journey from cold and hostile to warm and open fun to watch. The villainess Anna Van Hooft) was very scary. What more could one ask for? Great chemistry between the two leads, that’s what. And yes, it delivers there as well. **10 stars out of 10**