I had to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for this one.
In case you don’t know me personally, I feel like I need to preface this review with a little background on me. A few years ago I lost one of my brothers very unexpectedly (unknown causes) followed by mother (due to cancer) within a year of each other. So, grief triggers are very real. Although those waves do come fewer and farther in between now, holidays, tv shows, movies, and music are still very jolting at times.
I guess, you’re probably wondering why I even watched this movie. Well, normally, I absolutely would do my best to avoid it. (Hello, “This is Us”, which I haven’t even side eyed since 2016) However, since I am hosting my 2nd annual Hallmark Christmas Movie Showdown Bracket, I put on my big girl sweatpants, poured myself a drink, grabbed a full bock of tissues, and packed up all my baggage to ride this Hallmark train.
This was not exactly what I expected.
In a good way though…..kind of.
I was confused as to how they would run the serious storyline parallel to the a romantic one. From what I saw….it seems the writers were too?
GOTTA SPEND A MOMENT TO CAPS LOCK THIS:
WE FINALLY HAVE A WISCONSIN MOVIE! HOLLA CHIPPEWA FALLS! THEY EVEN PRONOUNCED IT RIGHT! ALSO, UW-MADISON!!!!! GO BADGERS!!! ON WISCONSIN!!!!
So here’s how I’m going to break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each
CHEMISTRY (between the leads) ❤️❤️❤️ Listen, give me Jeremy Jordan any day. He was great. The chemistry between him and Janel was great. However, if you’re going to have a falling in love story along-side an adoption/instant family story….let Adam and Melody have a few kisses BEFORE they commit to a life long family, would ya? I’ll give you a hint scene: in her house, she’s seducing him with book quotes….you know what I’m talking about . [insert kiss here] Really, there just wasn’t enough time in this movie to have them be that into it! (I would’ve FREAKED too, Adam) Glad we had a timehop at the end….but wasn’t enough for me.
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️❤️TOO MUCH. just too much. The whole storyline with Holly & Ivy, their mama, Nina, and Melody would have been an AMAZING Hallmark Hall of Fame flick. They would have shown more. Yes, there would have been more tears, but it would have landed better. Save Jeremy Jordan for a MUSICAL. I was so sad there was no singing. (obviously that wouldn’t have worked in this one) Aside from what it was missing….I LOVED the librarian dream story, the book mobile….made me miss taking our kiddos to the library as our local one does all that fun stuff too! Ugh, 2020.
SUPPORTING CAST ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Holly and Ivy. The sweetest little girls. I’m glad we didn’t have to see all the horrible hard parts, and they got the happiest ending we could have prayed for with the circumstances…..I’m going to also chat about Marisol Nichols here…I know that she could have really made us bawl, but I don’t think that’s the Hallmark Christmas Movie way. Maybe she was trying to show us how strong she was? I almost felt she treated Melody as her child too (not so much her friend) and that’s why she didn’t show too much emotion? Not sure. My mom did that too. I didn’t like then either. 🙁
FEELS❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I could probably give this one 6 hearts. There were so many feels for me….(but, you know, most of them were pre-packaged) All the obvious feels you can imagine….but I have to talk about those elves….and the gift. I LOST all my chill when Nina gave her that gift. It completely took me by surprise, and I bawled like a baby.
HALLMARK SURPRISE (anything that really jumped out from the “norm” Hallmark Movie equation) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ This whole movie was a surprise for me. It brought some real life to the Hallmark screen. Holidays aren’t all sunshine and roses for everyone. (even when they seem to be glowing on the outside) Melody made the best of hers…and her choice to take in and love those girls because of it…well, now I’m crying again.
21/25 ❤️ This was a beautiful thought of a movie. I probably filled in the gaps with my own life experiences though. Will I watch it again? no. don’t be crazy.
Now, if Janel Parrish & Jeremy Jordan want to make another movie together….SIGN ME UP FOR THAT ONE!