My Hallmark Obsession

Hallmark Movie Review: Open By Christmas

Well, this was unexpected.

When I see my girl, Alison Sweeney, front and center on the cover of a movie poster, I am expecting sassy and spunky and feisty and fun to be had….this is not what Open By Christmas delivered.

Also, I’m not quite sure that this movie didn’t belong in the Miracles of Christmas line up over on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries….it was much more serious and heartfelt than a rom-com in my book.

A story of a long lost Christmas Card love note mystery…..that I ended up not even caring about at all…. hmmmm

So here’s how I break it down:
5 categories, 5 hearts possible in each

CHEMISTRY (between the leads) ❤️❤️The last 5 minutes of this movie is what put Nicky & Derrick on the heart map…but juuuust barely. Listen, my love for Sami Alison runs so so so deep. (remember our first born daughter is named Samantha….not a coincidence) But, she has STRENGTHS and I felt like they just weren’t used in this paring. I also enjoy Brenden Elliot….but, you see…..I just couldn’t believe this Nicky character being so down her luck in love…and the two of them together just didn’t spark for me. I actually think their acting was spot on to the characters they were playing, but if you don’t use Alison’s spunk, I just feel like you are wasting this girls’ talented…..then they had to go and CRY in the final scene and give us a real kiss. I mean, where were those two all movie????

STORYLINE (overall plot of the movie) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️There were so many interesting things going on here! I know the main plot was about the found Christmas card love note….but I was 100% more invested in Simone’s life. I know it’s because I’m a mom….and a wife….so I totally related to her worries about her son growing up/pulling away/becoming more independent. I think about that a lot. Makes me so sad. Ugh. See? I also loved the way they told the story of Simone and Miriam. It was so honest and touching how they came to understand each other. This movie really had two fully separate storylines running parallel throughout. I loved Nicky Simone’s friendship…true and life long. Really different concept!

SUPPORTING CAST ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️As I said…Simone was so much more a part of this movie than a supporting cast member…feel like she should have been on the poster too! Simone and Miriam nailed their roles. Even when they started getting along and understanding one another, I love that Miriam didn’t totally change her personality….still reserved and quietly judgy 😉 I loved the Jeremy/Anthony relationship and story too. This was all so very different from many-a-Hallmark movie.

FEELS ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️What got me is how I felt the feels in all the parts I wasn’t expecting to. I come into these movies wanting the love story….I didn’t get what I wanted from this one, but I still got some BIG feels in other parts of the story. ALL the mom feels for Simone…ugh, why do our babies have to grow up?!?!?! I absolutely LOVED the surprise Jeremy was able to pull of for Simone. I knew that was coming and STILL got excited like I was getting a new house! Obviously, the last scene between Nicky & Derrick was so touching. Man, they didn’t have to bottle that all up until the very end though!

HALLMARK SURPRISE (what made this different from typical Hallmark movies) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️This whole cast and movie surprised me. Especially since I didn’t even find myself caring about the main characters as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t kitschy or cheesy at all….so honestly, the big surprise for me is that it was billed as a rom-com.

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…


  1. My Christmas gift-giving game is weak. Can you imagine gifting someone a whole darn house….completely furnished? Decorated for Christmas? With a big party? WOW!
  2. I would totally make my 15 year old get that pic with Santa. Lay off Miriam, Nicky, Jeremy, and anyone else that stands in my way. Traditions are traditions, yo.

22/25 I didn’t get what I came for, but I ended up leaving with a heartfelt story just the same. It was a solid Hallmark heart grabber for me….just not the fiery love story I expected.

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