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There is no way that under any other circumstances I would ever decide to watch a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie but to be frank, most of these movies really aren't as bad or predictable as most people would expect. I won't say that they're good but they often really serve their purpose and bring some good, warm, entertainment to the screen.

And yes, this movie really is no different. It's very simple, it's very basic but it works, so I'm really not complaining that much about it. Despite of all of its clich├ęs and other weaknesses it still manages to provide plenty of originality and entertainment, without never loosing its Christmas spirit either.

It's a typical story of a person finding the meaning and joy of Christmas but in the process there is plenty of other stuff happening as well. Good news about it also is that it never turns into a fluffy, happy and forced type of Christmas movie, that's putting things on too thick. The characters feel like genuine humans, the drama feels like genuine drama and the comedy of the movie never becomes anything too over-the-top and goofy.

The main plot line in essence basically still is a very predictable one but the movie does a good job throwing in some story lines to distract from this and make things a bit more surprising and original to watch at times. There's a certain mystery element to it and the movie takes its time to set things up and tell its story, without ever making it too obvious what's going to happen next.

Not everything in the story works out though. Some things that happen in it are just a bit too convenient or random but once you decide to simple 'just roll' with it, it doesn't become much of an issue. After all, this is a movie to put you in the Christmas spirit, not one to blow you away with its story and clever plot twists.

The atmosphere of the movie is pretty decent. At least it feels cold and winterly, unlike most other modern, cheap, made for TV, genre movies, that look like they got shot in the middle of summer. It generally speaking isn't a cheap looking or feeling movie. It helps that the movie got shot on location and doesn't feature too many interior sequences.

Worth checking out but definitely no big deal if you miss it.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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