The 2021 movie with Hallmark’s “Queen of Christmas” is a different feel this year. Still, many enjoy seeing the popular star feature in her yearly cinematic piece of festive cheer. The Christmas Contest is fun but also helps to bring its characters full circle.
The Christmas Contest (2021) Hallmark TV Film Review
Working hard and developing a good work ethic is the only life Lara (Candace Cameron Bure) knows. Her mother instilled a work hard ethic in her and this is what she survives on. She’s made BIG accomplishments in her professional life, but now personally, she suffers. Her mother (Barbara Niven) wants her daughter to enter a contest that donates 50 thousand dollars to the winner’s charity of choice. With the senior center her mother volunteers at in need of some serious help, that prize would come in handy. With little time, Lara reluctantly enters only there’s an annoying snag in the plan.
Looking for some help with the non-profit center he runs, former baseball player, Ben Winters (John Brotherton) is ready to do more for the work he’s only half-hearted until now. However a contest he hopes his competitive spirit will easily win is upended when one of his fellow competitors also happens to be another very competitive sport – his ex!
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This year I haven’t been settling in to watch Christmas movies with the same interest. Probably some of the reason why I’m only just now watching the new original from a popular Christmas star. Though this script is the same in terms of its cheery nature and the many Christmas decorations, it’s different both in the role Candace plays and in the way we see certain things . There’s not this big “build up” to the re-meet and instead… it just is, if that makes any sense.
In the past, Candace tends to play her characters “cheerier” even when she does (and has) play the consummate career woman. In this, she plays a real character feeling content (as she should) in accomplishments, but also feeling a desire for some change. I relate (so much) to this, and the idea that change doesn’t have to be wrong or bad. There’s lots of banter between these characters, some of which some viewers may not like. It’s mostly cute with just one or two instances that goes a bit too far, but the story also allows for some good scenes between the characters. What’s more fun is Brotherton and Candace played would-be lovers on the Netflix Fuller House spin off, so the play of making them exes here is more fun.
If you like Candace’s films, I think you’ll enjoy this. It may not be my most favorite of her hers but it’s far from my least.
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Content: this one is the old school standard of TV-G rating.
Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press
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