Alison Sweeney, Brennan Elliott and a whole bunch of other Hallmark familiar star in this 2021 original. It’s got some similarities for those who love Signed, Sealed, Delivered but is also dissimilar in its premise.
Open By Christmas (2021) Hallmark TV Review
Coming home for Thanksgiving is an exciting trip for Nicky Beaton (Sweeney). Not only will her hometown see her spending time with her parents, but she’ll also leave New York behind to see her best friend Simone (Erica Durance). Once home, Nicky learns more than one surprising thing. The first is that her parents are selling the family home for something smaller. She’s ok with this but she’s not sure about staying for three weeks to help them pack – surely they aren’t moving that fast?! Her second surprise is the card she finds tucked inside one of the boxes from her childhood.
The card is from one of her fellow classmates who, it would seem, had a crush on her but was too shy to tell her. Now, Nikki and her bestie decide to try and discover – maybe – who sent the card.‘OPEN BY CHRISTMAS’: SWEET STORY THAT'S LESS ABOUT ROMANCE #HALLMARKIES #COUNTDOWNTOCHRISTMAS #CHRISTMASMOVIES #HALLMARKCHRISTMASMOVIES #ALISONSWEENEY #BRENNANELIOTT Click To Tweet
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It’s rare, but once in a while, they’ll be a new kind of playbook in a Hallmark film. Open By Christmas is one of these. It’s the same but also shifts its focus to a kind of friendship celebration and this sort of takes away from Nicky’s separate story in many ways. That said, this isn’t bad or wrong, it’s just different and I’m here for it. There’s still family and hints of romance, it’s just not the only story there is to tell and it’s a good kind of change.
If I have one complaint about this it’d be that Sweeney overplays a couple of scenes. It feels like she’s being more emotional or reacting “too much” in a couple of scenes. But that’s likely me. The story is easy to relate to in terms of some of the things the characters struggle with or trying to come to terms with. There’s still Christmas, but for the most part, nothing comes off as overdone. The balance here is one of the better examples and I just have to say, we need more of that.
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Content: there is one same-sex couple we meet at a party. Beyond this, everything is the TV-G normal.
Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press