The first “Miracles of Christmas” of the 2021 season….and for me, I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised with just how much I enjoyed it!
There is just always something about music in movies that speaks to my soul. Well, I guess I need to qualify that statement….there’s something about GOOD music in movies that speaks to my soul. In addition to that, Christmas in My Heart tackled some pretty heavy and important topics with honesty and ease. I really liked this one!
So here’s how I break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each:
CHEMISTRY (between the leads)❤️❤️❤️I love that Beth’s attraction was evident from the first meeting, and Sean really played the widower father so well that he was oblivious to all the attention given to him. This relationship really felt authentic as it matured. The reason I’m stuck on 3 hearts: this movie wasn’t really about Sean & Beth…at least it wasn’t the MAIN focus. And unfortunately, there is only so much you can convey in a couple hours….so the turnaround did seem a little rushed for me. Movies about grief are so hard to watch…I can’t imagine acting them out in scenes multiple times. Anyhow, I liked these 2 together. Seemed a bit forced in the middle….but I loved that the end was sweet and simple.
STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️❤️ These Miracles of Christmas movies are always a challenge for me. (and truly, anyone who has experienced real, gutting grief in their lives) Sometimes I’m in the mood for a good cry, and sometimes I’m just not. I LOVED so many things about this storyline though. Even when the tough/relevant topics of grief and race were on the table…it was so honest and real. I loved the relationships explored between Grandma Ruthie & both Katie and Sean……how the story showed traumatic loss of people that are dearly loved can effect so many lives in a community….how music can be so interwoven in our lives that it is sometimes lost in grief but then can be so healing as well. My one critique was that the Hanukkah celebrations/gifts seemed to not fit….they didn’t even explain who Hersh was until almost the very end (I mean, I figured he was Sean’s agent…but was he family too? Was part of Katie’s family Jewish? Just saying it seemed like a big deal, but it was never explained).
SUPPORTING CAST❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I hate to even put “Katie Kat”…how cute is that nickname?!?!? (Maria Nash) in this category—that dear child was every bit a LEAD in this story, and she NAILED it! I loved how she portrayed the innocence of a child in all these hard places….how kind, loving, forgiving, and amazing kids can be. I can’t tell you how many times I thought of one of my girls when Katie spoke. What a sweetheart! And all of this was acting! Keep an eye on her. We’ll be seeing lots more of her soon, I’m sure. Grandma Ruthie!!!! Sheryl Lee Ralph is a GEM! I could listen to that woman talk, sing, and give advice all day! “You can’t just be here….You’ve got to live here.” And just when you think this movie was getting too serious….Sheila would pop in with a one liner and make you smile!
FEELS❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Ugh. Well, what feels didn’t I get from this one? My heart ached, it swelled, it wept….and when Heather Hemmens picked up her violin….the goosebumps were out in full force. Sean’s face at that concert was ALL of US. I thought her two very emotional performances were the best of the best…but then that last stage performance DID.ME.IN! I was holding it back until Grandma Ruthie joined the trio, and that was it. Flood gates opened. And the Heart-to-Hearts! Father/Daughter, Teacher/Student, MIL/SIL, Grandma/Granddaughter….so much emotion. ALL THE FEELS!
HALLMARK SURPRISE ❤️❤️❤️❤️ This might not be a popular opinion, but I’m nothing if not honest: Sean’s Christmas song was not good. It was painful to listen to….(not to be confused with the torture of the jam “On Christmas Day in the Morning” that they had playing on the radio earlier in the movie) I’m referring to the song that he wrote and performed for Beth. No good. But she actually kind of told him so…and I COULDN’T believe it! Facing down some real Hallmark tropes in this one!
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?!?!
- Making your own Christmas Angel Tree topper to look like you/someone you love. That was just the sweetest.
- Celebrating all the holidays= more presents? This might be a stretch, but this movie didn’t get too “out of the box” as far Christmas traditions or activities.