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Christmas Festival of Ice (2017)
Good Acting but Horrible Plot
Emma made it through 7 years of school and studying for the Bar Exam and now is back home in time for the Christmas Festival. The scenery is great. It is clearly set in the winter.
We have a Christmas Tree farm, but outside from the beautiful sculptures, there isn't much other Christmas-y stuff. There is a "tragic" backstory with our hero that he needs to get over in order to enjoy the holidays. Didn't really see the chemistry between the two, though.
Ending doesn't sit right with me. Another reviewer called it "First World Problems". This is not a movie I would have my teenage daughter see without pointing out all the things the heroine did wrong, presumably with her parents money.
A Gift to Remember (2017)
One of the Best of Hallmark
Darcy runs over a handsome gentleman while riding her bike to work. He develops amnesia, and Darcy bends over backward to help him find out who he is and connect him to his loved ones. It is a cute and amusing Hallmark movie. It doesn't have one of staple plot lines, like the city vs. country conflict, or an evil competing boyfriend. The mystery of finding out about Aiden's life adds nice content. Wonderful chemistry between the leads, and solid supporting characters.
Naughty or Nice (2012)
Good one for Hallmark
Loved this movie. The acting was excellent, and the heroine's lapse into ridiculousness is very brief. My pet peeve with Hallmark is they like to make the heroine emotional to the point of illogical. I thought the plot was different, and I usually don't like the fantastical themes, but this one was well played. Only criticism was that I didn't think there was a ton of chemistry with the boyfriend.
Baby's First Christmas (2012)
Poorly Executed Christmas Movie
Hands down, this is at the bottom of the Hallmark Movie list. The female lead was abrasive, so the male lead had little to work with. She was constantly mad at him about the world. She was supposed to be a lawyer, but I didn't see anything analytical or thoughtful about her. She'd spout off at the mouth with such negativity so quickly, it was extremely unattractive.
The attempt at romantic dialogue made no sense. The male lead asks her, "Why didn't we ever date?" Seriously? She's been screaming at you for hours. At one point, she yells at him that she thought he'd changed. Even if the problem was his fault, when would he have changed? The story is all taking place on Christmas Eve.
Even the serious emotional issues the male lead had with his father was handled poorly. The grandfather threw out insults even though he was responsible for the bad family history. Yet, we were supposed to believe that the male lead was the villain of the entire story. Totally don't understand why they still air this.
I'll Be Home for Christmas (2016)
Solid Acting, Enjoyable Performance
I have watched most of Hallmark Christmas 2016 movies. I also saw many of the older movies as I am relatively new to Hallmark Christmas. I rate this one high, because it was well acted. There was no portion where I wanted to stop watching because the actions (usually the heroine's) were cringe-worthy, painful or too unrealistic.
The plot wasn't incredibly original, but it was well put together. A father reconnecting with his daughter after a number of years, and a heroine with multiple romantic interests. The little girl in the movie was adorable, and Hallmark didn't shy away from divorce this time. Even the dog was a nice touch. Frankly, this was one of the better movies of the season, even if it didn't hit us over the head with Christmas. Even the dislike of the holiday story line was short lived and not dragged out. The scenes with the grandfather and granddaughter were cute.
Overall, I think perhaps this season Hallmark may have produced too many movies this season, because the quality appeared to not be as good as some of the older movies. Still, this one was pleasant.
A Christmas Melody (2015)
Excellent Hallmark Christmas movie
I've watched almost all of the Hallmark movies this season. This was definitely one of the best. The acting was good, and the conflicts weren't dragged out. I like most of the Lacey Chabert Hallmark movies. While it was predictable, it was well executed.
The musical performance was one of the better Christmas Festivals. Obviously, this was helped by Mariah's directing.
Most of the Hallmark movies with this plot requires the female to give up her "dream", but this one just pointed out that the dream could be pursued in a more supportive location.
My only criticism was there was a bit of overindulgence of children's "attitudes" in the movie.
Merry Matrimony (2015)
Not one of Hallmark's best
I've only been watching Hallmark movies regularly since this summer, but I've seen a lot of them. Some good, some bad. This one was really hard to finish. The acting (or lack thereof) should have warned me, but I tried to stay for the storyline. Unfortunately, even that wasn't very good.
The storyline was very predictable and not particularly well executed. As with most Hallmark movies, just when it appears the couple will get together, a "misunderstanding" happens. Even while watching the movie and predicting what the "misunderstanding" would be, the problem was that the acting didn't make sense. Ultimately, the male lead was so nonchalant about the source of confusion and how the female lead had been mislead, he confirmed he was a bigger idiot than he looked.
Sorry, I wasted my time.