My viewing of the 2020 Lifetime movies marches on with Too Close for Christmas, a title, given its cast, I had seen on social media and made an assumption it’d wind up on Hallmark. But instead a competing network airs it, and now it’s time to chat about the who’s who and what’s what of this Christmas-y title.
Too Close for Christmas (2020) Lifetime TV Film Review
Perfection in organization is what Hayley Parker (Jessica Lowndes) does best. It’s why she works so hard at her job as an event planner, even without a long overdue promotion. But for the first time in too many Christmases, Hayley is spending the time with her sister (Vanessa Sears), and her Amy’s new family. The one stipulation she has is that her sister’s brother in law not be there. You see she had a bad experience with him at her sister’s wedding, and she doesn’t need that again.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Paul (Chad Michael Murray) is indeed at the family’s vacation home. BUT it’s only for one night. Or so Hayley thinks until the following morning when his flight, which would take him to his ski trip in Switzerland, is actually cancelled. Thus begins a series of Christmas activities Hayley isn’t quite sure what to make of.
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In the small circle of people I see watch these TV films, Too Close for Christmas is one no one likes. This is why I hit play with lots of trepidation, but like usual, I’m going against the popularity game and have to say; I like this one. It got me to laugh out loud ten minutes in, and as I’m familiar with the cast, I knew what to expect going in. Add all that together, and you get another jolly little romantic comedy.
Lowndes has appeared in numerous Hallmark films from Merry Matrimony to A December Bride (which is a Denise Hunter novel adaptation). Murray too has been in a handful of the Hallmark Christmas movies, though this is the first he and Jessica appear together. They do a pretty good “frenmies” banter, and when it comes to the turning point, there might not be the same spark, but it’s still enough. I don’t think the end “break up” is super authentic, but again, for what this is (a good time Christmas movie), it’s fine. I like the relationship of the sisters (minimal screen time it has) and also really appreciate that, while Hayley’s job has issues, we don’t have a “choice” trope.
This title has as good a chance as any of the Christmas movies to delight (or disappoint). Some of the typical scenes are omitted, but this doesn’t bother me. There’s still plenty of cheer in these two hours, and popular or not, I am here for that.
Content: this one contains nothing that is worth mentioning. It’s the usual TV film content, and is one I’d put in the “clean romance” tag.
Photos: Lifetime Pictures