My recent Hallmark/Lifetime and similar Christmas film viewings have been a very mixed bag. With some surprisingly good hits, where regardless of how predictable they are succeed in being full of charm, warmth and heart so succeeding in being light-hearted and undemanding fun. But also some quite big misses, where the characters are not likeable, everything is forced and shallow with implausibility too in some of the worst cases, the acting and writing being weak and basically with just nothing to them. 'Christmas Harmony' is a strong example of the former and left me very surprised, as something who was in all honesty not expecting to like it that much as the concept on paper didn't wow me. As far as the Lifetime films go, which generally are very variable in quality and most are between lacklustre to just slightly above average, 'Christmas Harmony' definitely struck me as one of the best. Am judging it by the way on how it fares on its own terms instead of comparing it to anything or implying that it is on par, worse than or better than anything better known and better regarded. There is no doubt, with it being the case with all Lifetime Christmas films and being a long way from being a novel premise, that the story is very predictable and quite safe throughout, so there are major plot points and developments that can be seen from a long way away. Including the overused trope of so many films' bias against big cities. Writing has always never been a strong suit in Lifetime films, and their Christmas ones certainly. 'Christmas Harmony' is not excepted, it can lack subtlety and parts do make you cringe. The popstar boyfriend character is a jerk and not just for his cold treatment of Harmony, which does stick out like a sore thumb as he is the only non-likeable character in the whole film. However, count me in as another person who loved the songs and soundtrack. Not just because they are easy to remember but because they had emotional impact, "Hearts Know It's Not Goodbye" especially was heartfelt. Didn't find any of them bland and the lyrics are not ones in my opinion worth mocking, found them quite meaningful. Adam Mayfield and especially Kelly Jackle are immensely appealing leads and their chemistry is adorable and very natural. Sally Struthers is a supporting cast standout and the younger actors weren't maudlin or annoying to me. Production values are slick and never drab or garish, while the story is poignant and brought a lot of warmth to my heart. A fair share of amusing moments that never felt overdone and an equal amount of never too over-sentimental serious ones. In summation, surprisingly good. 8/10
Comedy / Drama / Music
Comedy / Drama / Music
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A successful songwriter returns to her small hometown to rediscover music, family bonds and the magic of the Christmas season.
December 26, 2021