Holiday Date

And for Something a Little Different…

This is a genuinely amusing little variation on the usual Hallmark template. It starts off with all of the clichés in place: Nice girl gets dumped before the holidays when she is expected to bring the dumper to meet the family for the first time. she can’t bear the humiliation or to disappoint them so she falls in with a plan to substitute an actor to impersonate the architect “Mr. Christmas” ex-boyfriend. He is a born and bred New York City actor who is anxious to visit a small town to get a feel for a role he is up for. One problem. He is Jewish and can’t even build a gingerbread house. The chemistry between the charming leads was great, there was some ample support from veteran actors Bruce Boxleitner and Teri Rothery. And the talented Anna Van Hooft, who usually plays the villain in Hallmark movies, does a credible job in a throwaway part as the supportive sister, for a change. And let’s not forget the contribution by a Hallmark stalwart Peter Benson as the brother-in-law and all of his helpful advice.

This was a nice romance with some good laughs fueled by the tension of when will the truth come out, and what will happen then, and the cluelessness of fake fiancee Joel, played with aplomb by newcomer Matt Cohen.

One of the best this year. Hallmark Christmas movie fans: Don’t miss it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

December 16, 2019

Love, Romance, and Chocolate

Not the Worst, but Pretty Darn Bad

Lacey Chabert has some good comedic chops when the material is there. It wasn’t in this one. Also, someone needs to take Lacey aside and tell her to lose the ever present nervous giggle and the eye-liner. They are both seriously distracting. One is a very tired look, and the former threatens to be the next Hallmark inspired drinking game. Also character she played seemed a little man hungry.

Even for a Hallmark, this was cheesy, trite, and dull. Cupcakes, baking competition, small business in trouble, dumped but still game heroine to the rescue, successful lucrative career given up for love and a childhood dream, royalty in the house, Cinderella entrance at a ball…was there any Hallmark cliche left behind?

The stars I did give it were for the location filming in Bruges, a pretty hot kiss at the end, and for Brittany Bristow who played the owner of the B&B. She was a charmer.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

February 21, 2019

Christmas at the Palace

One Royal Romance too Many (I Wish)

Could this movie be anymore Hallmark cookie cutter? No, it could not. All of the characters came out of the Hallmark hero and heroine, best friend, child playbook without a bit of alteration. There was not an original second in the whole movie. What gave it a 4? The Prince was very handsome. The princess was a beautiful child. Merritt Paterson was not annoying and was age appropriate for her character, though she was too heavily made up. The setting was pretty. Also, it did not feature a mean royal fiancé or mother. That’s all. Hallmark needs to find a new gimmick. I’m sick and tired of the commoner and the royal fall in love trope.**4 out of 10 stars**

December 8, 2018