A Family Christmas Gift (TV Movie 2019) Poster

(2019 TV Movie)

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Not too bad family gift
TheLittleSongbird26 October 2021
Hallmark Christmas films do have a tendency more often than not to be very predictable, cliched, very cheesy, too schmaltzy and over-scored, the worst of them also contrived and unrealistic. There have been many times where they have also been very cute, warm hearted, heartfelt, charming and appealingly acted. Really did want for 'A Family Christmas Gift' to be all of those latter adjectives, as Hallmark have shown quite a number of times that they can make watchable films.

'A Family Christmas Gift' is definitely watchable and not one of those presents that is immediately disposable after being opened, there is quite a lot that is good. At the same time, while charming and inoffensive enough it didn't strike me as a great film or a gift with a fair share of serious drawbacks. Hallmark have done a lot better than 'A Family Christmas Gift' but also a lot worse, 'A Family Christmas Gift' is one of the in between slightly above mixed feelings efforts.

Beginning with the drawbacks, will agree that there is not much of a story and what there is does lag and very little different to other films with the save the show idea (a familiar trope). Also didn't think that it didn't always flow well and felt awkward. Tension is lacking quite badly, especially in the final third, while the ending is very easily foreseeable early on and too tidy.

Some of the dialogue is on the cheesy and contrived side, especially in the early parts of the film. The early parts of the film are not easy to watch, where it is pretty uneventful and where the characters don't really appeal.

Luckily, 'A Family Christmas Gift' does get better. The production values still manage to be great. It's not too drab or garish in photography, the editing didn't seem rushed or disorganised and the scenery has a real charm to it. Often have found the music a problem in Hallmark Christmas films, but 'A Family Christmas Gift' is one of the few times where it not only has not been a problem but actually one of the best things about it. Very catchy and beautiful.

Did think that parts of the script entertained and had affecting good intentions and the characters did become more likeable later once they developed more and when the performances became more settled. While the story is very flawed, there are enough times where it is heart-warming and suitably light-hearted. Did appreciate that it didn't try to take itself too seriously. The acting is not bad, with an amiable Holly Robinson Peete and Patti LaBelle stealing the film in a zesty turn that to me avoided hamminess. She sounds incredible here too.

Overall, far from great but watchable. 5/10.
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Great movie
dianamarinelli2 February 2021
Watched this because of patti labelled but I love the story. Good job hallmark
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A Family Christmas Gift
JoBloTheMovieCritic26 December 2019
7/10 - I love some Holly Robinson Peete and Patti Labelle, so enjoying this one was no surprise!
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Just forward to the music
Jackbv1233 January 2020
I wanted to give up on this movie after the confrontation in the auditorium and probably should have. In the first half of the movie, I did not like Alan, and with Amber my dislike was even more severe. There was so much emphasis on a professional approach to fundraising including some coercing of sponsors. It was probably realistic, but I didn't like the tone. If this is a Christmas romance, where's the screen time for the leads? Maybe this contributes to the fact there was no chemistry between the leads.

Besides the overly used save-our-music-program plot line, the story didn't flow well at times and that showed in dialogue. I'd like to think that these two factors are what made the acting rough also. There was almost no tension outside the fate of the music program. There wasn't much of a story. The movie builds to the pageant where LaBelle sings O Holy Night and it is a good performance. But otherwise there is nothing special and much of the story is almost exactly like all the other Christmas romance movies. The ending is so derivative I found it painful and couldn't wait for the movie to be over.

I wonder if Patti LaBelle's reminiscing for the interview was autobiographical at least in part. If so, that would make it more interesting.
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Very Enjoyable!
manto-093815 January 2020
I LOVE this movie. I think it's one of the best that Hallmark has this year. I've seen it several times already and will see it again. I think the acting was very good and Patty Labelle is just outstanding. If you wanna really fun movie, this is it. I think the negative reviews on this site are absolutely horrible and not warranted at all.
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a bigger slice of Christmas ham
montgomerysue27 December 2019
Last year, Patti LaBelle appeared in the last half hour of the Hallmark Christmas movie, "Christmas Everlasting," and really hammed it up in her couple of scenes. She didn't sing. Well, this year Hallmark gave her more to do as Aunt Dora in this movie - the worst that Hallmark has to offer. The script appears to have been written by a child and the acting all around is stilted and unconvincing. Totally amateurish in every respect - with LaBelle allowed to sing in the end to, I guess, provide a big pay off for sitting through this turkey - or should I say, ham. LaBelles's singing voice is still impressive and strong, but the acting (by her and everyone else involved) is just one big ham - with all the trimmings. A shame really - maybe all these actors (Robinson and LaBelle included) just needed a better script to work with.
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Best tv show
majubane24 December 2019
You really enjoyed it ,chemistry and story line really good .
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A Family Christmas Gift
Prismark1010 December 2022
Amber (Holly Robinson Peete) is a New York publishing executive who gets passed over for promotion.

To get over it she returns to her hometown in Colorado to spend Christmas at her Aunt Dora's (Patti Labelle) inn. She is a is a legendary soul singer who retired to run the inn.

Before long Amber uses her skills to take part in a much needed school fundraiser as the music program is being cut.

Amber gets close to single parent Alan who she initially mistook as an airport pick up driver. Only later being told that Aunt Dora had sent him.

Both fall for each other but Amber gets another chance of getting that promotion back in New York.

Too formulaic but at least this has Patti Labelle singing. I felt that even the director gave up on this one as it abruptly finishes.
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