Throughout my whole Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas film completest quest undertaken namely late last year through to early this year, an interesting quest but very mixed one, there was never the mentality of expecting a classic or the film in question to be flawless. Something that was never managed with Hallmark's output. There was always the expectation of seeing a film where one can see at least some effort rather than merely cash-in level. One could see that with most of Hallmark's output but not all. 2020 was a variable year for the Hallmark Christmas output. 'Heart of the Holidays' is closer to being in the weaker category. It is not a terrible film, it does have good things and it does get better. It is also not particularly good, have seen a lot of Christmas films recently that start off very badly (and even terribly) but improve if given a chance (something that was common with the 2019/2020 output of both Hallmark and Lifetime, and UpTV). 'Heart of the Holidays' is one of those films. As said, 'Heart of the Holidays' did not get off to a promising start. Pretty terrible in fact, with the storytelling being slow and uneventful, the dialogue being awkward and cheesy and with none of the characters being worth investing in due to exaggerated character flaws. Any conflict could have done with more tension and not tried too hard and the ending is another rushed and too tidy one. Plot-wise, 'Heart of the Holidays' is nothing special. It is a tried and tested story and the execution can feel tired. Especially in the first half. Corey Sevier has had far more likeable characters than the one he has here, Sevier is a likeable, confident presence in the second half once the character starts to grow but he comes over as too simpering and naive initially. However, a lot is still done right. Vanessa Lengies is a bit manic to begin with, but she bursts with energy and charm once her character tones down. Sevier has a likeable understated quality to his acting and looks at ease, again once things have settled. Their chemistry is definitely there and grows at a realistic rate. The supporting cast are solid. It looks nice as a film, especially the scenery. The music has a nostalgic festive atmosphere and doesn't intrude as much as most Hallmark Christmas films. The film is generally light-hearted, charming and heart-warming once it gets going and the dialogue on the whole is a lot better in the second half, it flows more naturally and isn't as corny while occasionally still forced. Concluding, not great but watchable. 5/10.
Heart of the Holidays
Heart of the Holidays
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After her life in New York unexpectedly falls apart, powerhouse stockbroker Sam Wallace returns to her small town for the holidays and reconnects with her high school sweetheart who helps ...
December 6, 2021