We all love a good “once upon a time…” story. One network consistently gives this to us; the Hallmark Channel. ‘Starry’ ushers in the first in a string of 12 all-new movies in the 2014 Countdown to Christmas campaign, and doesn’t shy away from plenty of fairy tale-esque moments.
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This first original is a story about a woman named Holly (Sarah Carter), who has just graduated with a doctorate in astronomy. Her aspiration is to someday teach. Her grand Christmas plans – which include making new traditions with her longtime boyfriend Adam, go array when he leaves their home in Chicago to fly to New York hoping to land a client.
This forces Holly to follow Adam to New York where she makes plans to surprise him, and be with her parent’s for the holidays. Along the way, she meets a charming cowboy named Luke (Damon Runyan) on his way to, what else, an actual rodeo!
It’s nice to see some movies can give us all the trimmings of the season’s normalcy along with the healthy dose of romance (even if it is full of, and I say this with love, well-worn sentiments – we know that’s why we heart these movies and we love it), and still be a story with a voice all its own. As far as this title is concerned there are two things I really enjoy about this one. The first being that though this is a girl-returns-home script, it not the typical “small town” kind of homecoming. (In future, may I just give this note to writers: living in the city isn’t bad and we could use more city-heavy stories.)
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Within these confines, for those of us who do enjoy the smaller-setting, the sets do lend a cozier feel to the big city, which is nice – in particular, the sequence that has Holly and Luke spending the day together is very reminiscent of a smaller setting without actually being a small town. There is a sense of holiday nostalgia because of this.
Following that up is the cuteness of having a cowboy as the leading man and the travelling sequence, which is seriously adorbs. The script for the scene is especially cute, and I like the true gentleman vibes the character embodies in these moments. The end wanders into some stereotypical, “silly” fairy tale fluff, but it’s also perfectly appropriate. As films in the genre go, this one is a darling way to kick off the season. It’s better than anticipated and is sure to get you into the spirit of the season, which is just what any Christmas movie should do.