‘Midnight at the Magnolia’: Best Friends Get New Year’s Kiss


Much as we enjoy the festive Christmas movies, sometimes it’s nice to see what comes after the most wonderful time of year. This film looks to the New Year for its romantic backdrop.

Midnight at the Magnolia (2020) Film Review

Mornings are the best friend of Maggie Quinn (Natalie Hall). They’re how she makes her living and when she does her best work. One half of the Windy City’s “Wake Up with Jack and Maggie,” the pair are on the potential verge of a partnership with a wider audience. Friends since childhood, the two know everything there is to know about one another, and their fathers are even business partners in the historic jazz club called Magnolia.

The opposite of Maggie in every way, Jack Russo (Evan Williams) isn’t a morning person. But together, he and his best friend are their best on the radio. The one big problem they share is being unable to hold onto a long-term relationship. When part of their job depends on introducing their significant others to their families (on air!), the pair soon realize they may be doing something wrong.


‘Midnight at the Magnolia’: Best Friends Get New Year’s Kiss. A review (+content guide) of the film (on Netflix) with Natalie Hall. © Rissi JC

Netflix is a place I haven’t been for nearly two months now (if you’re curious as to why, it’s because of Hallmark and Lifetime movies), so needless to say, I’ll have plenty of “new” to browse. One of the available titles on the streaming giant is Midnight at Magnolia. A romantic-comedy that begins immediately after Christmas, and is exactly as its sounds.

I often wonder why more films this time of year don’t release that celebrate the New Year. There are a select few (perhaps part of the reason I do like Hitched for the Holidays), but with the rare exception, Christmas trees over a confetti drop is the preference. There is something really charming and catching about this film, which I’ll confess surprises me – all in the best way. I’ve seen films produced by MarVista before, and for the most part, they’re cute, but the production quality is often unforgettable. This one makes me laugh throughout, and while it has flaws, it’s lovely.

You’ll recognize Natalie Hall from a handful of Hallmark originals; I think this is her best role yet. She’s good and believable as a radio personality and together, she and Williams are fabulous. They have the ideal best friend banter and it feels right for the characters and roles. (I think the “break up” sequence overplays its hand, and wanders too far into “brat” territory, but that’s my only real complaint.) This script fills up on “good people” characters and I love every second of Midnight at Magnolia. It’s one of my best surprises of this seasonal movie-watching season.


‘Midnight at the Magnolia’: Best Friends Get New Year’s Kiss. A review (+content guide) of the film (on Netflix) with Natalie Hall. © Rissi JC
‘Midnight at the Magnolia’: Best Friends Get New Year’s Kiss. A review (+content guide) of the film (on Netflix) with Natalie Hall. @MarVistaEnt #Netflix #ChristmasMovies #NewYear Click To Tweet

Content: nothing to note, the film is actually a TV-G and is very family appropriate.

Photos: MarVista

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


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