Welcome to the Hallmark Channel Raymond & Catherine!
I was not expecting the cheesiness of a “ghosts of Christmas Past” be so very NOT cheesy!
I almost want to skip right to the rating system because I feel like this hit so many hearts in all the categories, but I will take a minute to touch on a few things. The total and complete FRIEND ZONE that was so clearly being thrown at our man, Nate, had me squirming so much that I wasn’t quite sure how Lauren was going to be redeemed in the eyes of the viewer. Nate wasn’t just in the Friend ZONE…it was more like a PRISON! Poor guy. We all want someone to look at us the way Nate dreamly pined for Lauren….FOR LITERAL YEARS! AMIRIGHT!?!?!?
So here’s how I break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each:
CHEMISTRY (between the leads)❤️❤️❤️❤️As I said up top….if I was strictly voting off our our boy, Nate….this would be 5 hearts, for sure. From the opening scenes to the final kiss, he played the love struck fool to perfection! I’m just so hung up on Lauren and her avoidance. At first, I was thinking there was NO WAY she doesn’t see how Nate feels about her…so if they would have played it like that, I think the whole movie would have lost me. I’m so glad she acknowledged that she knew. That being said….the fact that it took the whole darn movie for her to have this epiphany….they get docked a heart. I said what I said.
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️❤️ This plot actually worked for me! It was so much better than I expected. Each visit from a boyfriend of the past showed Lauren just how abruptly she ended their relationship. The tie-in to the time of year her mother left actually didn’t even dawn on me until the end though. I mean, childhood trauma effecting the way you approach your adult relationships? RELATABLE, for $200, Alex! It still was hard to watch Nate waiting in the wings the whole movie. Man, that dude tugged on my heart strings!
SUPPORTING CAST❤️❤️❤️❤️ Appa=GOLD! I loved his relationship with his daughter…both silly and so heartfelt. Even her stepmother was the sweetest. ALL the boyfriends did a FAB job! My one beef was Lauren’s girlfriend not giving her the “what for” regarding Nate sooner. If this group of friends have been friends since college, they ALL should have seen this sitch, right?
FEELS❤️❤️❤️ Have a mentioned yet that Raymond Ablack KILLED Nate’s character?!?! This man had my heart wrenched the entire movie. Hence, why I thought I wasn’t getting out of here even liking Lauren. Welp, my girl did turn it around, and the few minutes from the conference room to the community center at the end saved her entirely for me. That kiss was worth it….and even the ending scene had me melt a little bit….but only because it was simple and more real than all wordy-like Hallmark normally does.
HALLMARK SURPRISE ❤️❤️❤️ The most surprising part of this one for me was we never had to see Lauren’s mother. I’m so glad they didn’t bring her into this. She wasn’t needed. Obviously so much of Lauren’s heartache was triggered by her leaving, and I’m glad the movie ended with Lauren & Nate getting their happy ending surrounded by her Appa & Yong. Of course, the all new Hallmark cast made me so happy to see…especially because we got to get a peek at new food, new customs, and amazing actors/actresses! I hope we see these two again soon!
NEW (ungraded) CATEGORY no hearts given, but I feel like some of the “traditions” or decor in these movies NEED a little spotlight. I mean…
WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?!?!
- Christmas Game Night complete with CHAMPIONSHIP HATS!
- Tree Lighting…..but with FIREWORKS!