2018 was rather up and down when it came to Hallmark's Christmas output. There were winners, such as 'Marrying Father Christmas', 'Once Upon a Christmas Miracle' and 'Christmas Bells are Ringing'. There were also misfires, namely 'Christmas at Graceland', 'A Gingerbread Romance' and 'Last Vermont Christmas'. Most ranged between average and pretty good. 'Entertaining Christmas' did sound quite charming despite not being particularly big on Jodie Swetin.
'Entertaining Christmas' for me is not quite one of the winners of the 2018 batch, but it is closer to that than the misfires categories. It is one of the pretty good outings with many great things that make it close to being one of the best of the batch, but it is let down by a few things that were not developed enough and a couple of the story flaws found a lot in Hallmark's Christmas offerings. Not a great film, but definitely worth watching. 'Entertaining Christmas' is also one of not many films where Swetin was one of its best aspects, so that was a nice surprise.
As said, a lot is good here. It is very professionally filmed and the locations look lovely too, sure the snow effects are artificial but that has been done far worse in other Hallmark films. Some of the soundtrack has a nice nostalgia and captures the festive spirit quite nicely. Swetin is a very likeable and charming female lead and after seeing so many female lead characters in Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas films recently that have exaggerated and over-emphasised character flaws it was great to have one that was easy to root for. While having problems with his character, Brendan Fehr does a good job with what he has and what there is of their chemistry when it features is sweet enough.
None of the supporting cast bored or irritated and while they are not meaty the characters at least felt real. The script is not too cheesy or schmaltzy and the flow isn't awkward. The story has maturity with a mature subject matter done quite movingly, while also having a charming light-heartedness and not coming over as too serious.
Did think however that the central relationship was underused and wasn't developed enough, there is chemistry but the actual romance in the story felt too like the writers had forgotten about it until quite late into the writing stages. While Fehr is good in his role, John as a character felt underwritten and has too little to do.
The story is a bit too more of the same, with not enough freshness to typical material. There could have been a little less of the scoring which intruded at times, while having moments.
Overall, pretty good. 6/10.
Liz is a cookbook author, crafting expert, and television personality whose name is synonymous with perfection. As she contemplates retirement, her daughter Candace (Sweetin) is poised to become the new face of the Livingstone brand. The only trouble is, Candace can't cook. Or sew. Or do any of the signature things her mother is known for. When a young girl posts a video online requesting Liz help welcome her deployed father home for Christmas, Candace is sent in her place in an effort to prove herself a worthy successor to the board of directors and win the job. As Candace does her best to make a good impression, she gets more than she bargained for when the young girl's uncle John turns out to be a reporter for the local paper, looking for his next story. —Hallmark
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 10, 2021 at 10:06 PM