One of Hallmark’s greatest strengths rests with the people they cast. Whether they recruit actors who’ve been in five of their originals or they’re filming their first one, they always seem invested in their roles. This year, they take their casting talent to a new level with Enchanted Christmas.
Enchanted Christmas (2017) Hallmark TV Film Review
Tragedy has touched her young life, but Laura (Alexa PenaVega) has a good life. Her career in LA is flourishing and then there’s her daughter, Nikki, the most important person in her life. As Christmas approaches, Laura’s latest project manager job is about to send her into the past. Her boss has just acquired a hotel located in Laura’s hometown. Trouble is, the Enchanted Lodge isn’t just a former landmark in her hometown, it’s where she fell in love.
Determined to get through this job with little fuss, Laura’s well-ordered plan is tossed on its axis when she comes face-to-face with
Ricardo (Carlos PenaVega). Ricardo is the boy she once danced with and her first sweetheart. But despite all the happy memories he’s in, Ricardo is also the boy who broke her heart. Their reunion is not something Laura plans on, but it’s an emotional one she has to find a way to deal with. All while doing her job, taking care of her daughter, and protecting her heart.
Though they do every year, one of the best things about the Countdown to Christmas line up of 2017 is the impressive (respective) cast lists. Including Enchanted Christmas. What ups the fun factor of this title is the leads being real-life marrieds.
Alexa Vega (Destination Wedding) is best known for her Spy Kids franchise and though I’ve seen Carlos in very little (Fox’s Grease is probably it), it was fun to see him co-star with his wife. There’s a nice, genuine chemistry to their characters because of this freedom. Not only that, but these two also competed on the same season of Dancing with the Stars, so their dancing may very well be them really performing.
Seeing these two together allows for a deeper kind of connection between these love interests – and as the audience, it also (whether we realize this or not) makes us cheer their love story all the louder. Beyond this, I must mention the supporting cast including the adorable actress who plays Nikki! Chelsie Hightower also has a supporting role, a name Dancing with the Stars fans may recognize.
Everything about this title is enchanting. It’s a lovely story about second chances and the choices we make in the wake of their appearance. It’s a love story with romanticism of an old-fashion kind that inspires us to feel so much more for the outcome. Finally, of course, is a festive tale full of ribbons, bows and all the trimmings.
Those of us who enjoy fresh faces breaking up Hallmark’s normal will enjoy seeing a new leading man. But those who enjoy the familiarity will appreciate the staple elements and moments, including the obligatory tree trimming is all bundled in this sweet story. With an emphasis on family, and an ending that works through the complicated emotions of choices and the best possibilities, there is no denying this script lives up to its title. Everything about the production is traditional “Hallmark” branding while still introducing us to a new kind of story that sure to become a classic Christmas movie in its own right.
Photos: Hallmark Channel