Gingerbread Had Nothing to Do With It.
Instead of “save the store,” in this one we have “sell the store.” Don’t worry, with Hallmark no store is ever allowed to be sold, they are all saved, so we’ll just get that out of the way right now. The cheery Merritt Patterson is a freelance lawyer who is trying to re-establish her career in the big city after a bad breakup sent her back to her hometown. The glum and sinister-looking (but nice) Mexican baker (I thought all bakers were jolly?) and proprietor wants to retire, so he asks her, a trusted friend, for help in finding a buyer for his bakery. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? However, his nephew, a big city lawyer, visits for Christmas and wants to horn in. I found him very out of line, pouty and whiny to boot. He doesn’t like being a lawyer and wants to be a baker instead, but instead of having the guts to do something positive about it, he tries to put the kibosh on the sale of the bakery. Rude.
Merritt and Alex, the nephew, have a history of mutual crushes on each other, bad timing, and communication problems as teens. As adults, the reboot of their romance goes pretty well, and they do have some chemistry. Alex is very attractive and once he got over himself and Merritt realized that she was happy in her hometown rather than re-joining the rat race, all proceeded to the usual conclusion despite the appearance of a handsome French patisserie owner.
There was also some magical gingerbread involved but it was more of a superfluous gimmick than a miraculous gamechanger. It was cute though. I also enjoyed the Mexican Christmas customs. All in all, this was perfectly pleasant, but nothing really special.
December 18, 2021
Very Very Boring.
This one was really just a lot of Christmas scenes strung together by a really weak plot. We have city girl coming home to small town. We have the Christmas pageant. We have the single Dad. We have the snowball fight. We have the tree shopping. We have the hot chocolate. We may have missed the mistletoe and the cooking baking: I really don’t remember. There was no tension or suspense. The unsuitable city boyfriend was disposed of around the halfway point. Merritt Patterson is usually pretty good, but even she could not inject any life into this one. Amazed at the high reviews. Also, I found the kid annoying and granny needed to mind her own business.
November 14, 2019
Has There Ever Been a Hallmark Movie without a Festival of Some Sort?
In some ways I liked how this movie avoided all of the oft-used to death stupid conflicts and misunderstandings that the prospective lovebirds have to get past. The heroine’s current boyfriend wasn’t a super smooth too handsome bad guy with evil intentions. The one time he overstepped the line by giving her unwanted and bad advice, he apologized the next morning and complimented her judgement over his. He was actually kind of goofy looking. In a good way. The hero and heroine were not separated in their youth because of a big bitter misunderstanding or lack of communication. They just decided to chase their own career paths. Near the end, she even admits that it probably wouldn’t have worked if he had followed through with his marriage proposal. That they each had to take their own paths first.
Unfortunately, this also made this movie a little uneventful. There was some lazy writing. For example, the older woman that Jenna meets turns out to be the long lost first love of hero’s father. When she first meets her lost love’s son, she comments that he reminds her of an old friend. Yet she doesn’t seem to make the connection, or quiz him, or seek out the love of her life who is still running the same hotel and hasn’t moved a muscle? Not even an ounce of curiosity? Why did they never see each other until the very end? Very anticlimactically, I might add.
Oh well, I give it a seven, because the scenery was great, and my eye rolls were kept to a minimum. Just don’t scrutinize it too closely and take your breaks during the musical numbers. No need to put on pause. Lastly, a big shout out to the hairdresser who styled the current day Merritt Paterson’s sleek sophisticated hair do. It really set the mature Jenna apart from the young Jenna.
September 19, 2019
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