Among their 30-some Christmas originals comes this quiet drama. You’ll recognize familiar faces and story inside this small-town world, but Hope At Christmas is also one of the better dramas from the network.
Hope at Christmas (2018) Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Review
Life for Sydney (Scottie Thompson) didn’t go as she planned. Ready to enjoy a simple Christmas, she takes her young daughter to the small town where she spent time with her grandmother. There, the house her grandmother left her awaits. Without a job, she makes plans to sell the house, little knowing exactly “what’s next.” While in Hopewell, she meets again with the kindly book store owner Bea, and rediscovers a love of books.
Mac (Ryan Paevey) is a teacher who aspires to someday publish his own manuscript. With dark shadows in his past, he understands Sydney, and finds they share a bond because of their respective pasts. Sydney too is drawn to Mac until her fear of heartbreak tiptoes in.
Like any TV movie, this one isn’t perfect, but somehow, its imperfections work for it rather than against it. Perhaps what makes this one even more special is the central theme of a book shop. This is the kind of setting that will get to me every time; a bookish setting or atmosphere never hurts a story in my estimation.
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The plot is a familiar one, and is in fact one I’ve already seen many times in this year’s Christmas premieres. Irrespective of this, it’s a smooth transition to screen, and is helped by the talents of its cast. From the young Erica Tremblay to the supporting cast, everyone is good together. You’ll recognize Ryan Paevey from previous Hallmark Channel romance, Unleashing Mr. Darcy and its sequel. But if you’re a TV addict (like me!), you may also remember Scottie Thompson from her memorable recurring role on NCIS.
Though this one is part of the “Miracles of Christmas” (‘Movies & Mysteries’), there’s nothing mysterious about it. If anything, it’s just a little more serious than most romances on the network’s sister channel. These films also tend to deal with some weightier subjects (like grief) and don’t feature quite as many saccharine or laugh-out-loud scenes. Never fear, there is still Christmas cheer aplenty, and the talented cast to help make this one shine.Hope at Christmas (2018): a Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Review | Stars Scottie Thompson (NCIS) and Ryan Paevey Click To Tweet
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press