No matter how many originals Hallmark packs into their annul programming, I make the effort to see as many as possible. I make time for them each holiday season. Their latest (which edges us far too close to the final premiere) is, in my opinion, one of their sweetest.
My Christmas Love (2016) Hallmark Review
Working in the publishing industry, Cynthia (Meredith Hagner) is a success story. She came from a small town, moved to the city to begin her career, and still remains close to her tight-knit family. When her no nonsense sister plans her wedding for Christmas, Cynthia returns home, complete with a cute guy in tow. Only trouble is, the guy isn’t exactly who she planned to bring home.
Her plus one should have been her boyfriend. Instead he dumps her shortly before they’re meant to leave which doesn’t set well with Cynthia’s romantic heart. So, as the next best thing, she invites her book illustrator – and close friend, Liam (Bobby Campo) along. Upon her return to her hometown, not only does she discover her father (Gregory Harrison) is struggling, but a mystery also draws her attention. She sets out to solve the mystery of the identity of her secret admirer, the man who has been sending her the “12 Days of Christmas” gifts.
Each new campaign Hallmark undertakes impresses me. This is for a variety of reasons not the least of which being the simple fact that I respect what they do and their brand. Their entertainment has meaning (even in the lighthearted fluff), and if ratings are a source to trust, is a wanted source of entertainment in today’s “darker” Hollywood. My Christmas Love is no different.
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The charms of this film don’t stop. From the creative story to the characters, everything sparkles. In fact, I do believe My Christmas Love is, quite possibly one of my most favorites to bear the gold crown emblem to date. The script is sassy, fun, romantic and poignant. I loved Cynthia’s father’s quip to a young man about “designs” on his daughter, and the quick wit of Cynthia’s character.
No review is complete without my mentioning how much I love the characters. This is certainly the case here. Everyone is delightful. I enjoy their interactions and the stark contrast between the sisters. The acting is another thing to praise. I loved seeing Meredith Hagner as a leading lady after liking her recurring character, Libby from Royal Pains. The men also make for dashing potential love interests.
Despite the short run time, another impressive feat is the pace and timeline. Nothing ever feels “too little” (like the “meant to be” couple not sharing enough screen time) save for the fact that I’d have liked this to go on. Simply because it’s that cute. The fact that this isn’t the typical girl-returns-home story also makes this one stand out. As do the scenes of family joy, which were genuine and special, not to mention something that left me with miles of smiles.
Same that is said of Christmas in Homestead can be said here. This is another one that, while sweet in its promos, wasn’t one sure to endear itself as a favorite. But this is an occasion I’m so pleased to be proven wrong. The 2016 Countdown to Christmas has been Hallmark’s best year yet. I’ve not seen every one of their originals, but this is one year that’s been packed with one impressive production after another. From the acting to the sets and scripts, they’ve gifted us some gems this season.