It’s that wonderful time of year again! You know what I’m referring to. The Hallmark channel is filled with festive movies twenty-four hours a day. And while, I am happy to agree with the naysayers that the movies are predictable and even cheesy, I have to draw a line in the snow when they say this makes them unwatchable.
Yes, I know how it’s going to turn out, and I love that! It’s comforting. Yes, I know they’re cheesy, but cheese can be a good thing, like a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. What these holiday movies bring is two hours of warm feelings, Christmas memories, and sweet romance. All things I love.
I’ve watched most of the 2020 movies that have come out so far. There are some exceptions that I’m not going to go back and watch, but there are also some I’ve already watched more than once. I want to share my favorites now, so you can catch them before the season is over and they’re packed away until next year.
If I Only Had Christmas – This is Candace Cameron Bure’s newest movies, and it’s based on one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz. I loved the premise and enjoyed the movie. And Warren Christie is a favorite leading guy from an older Hallmark Christmas movie. I still liked him in this one, but not as much as his older movie. I give this one 3 Christmas stars as a solid movie I’ll probably watch again.
Five Star Christmas – I love just about any movie with Victor Webster, and I enjoyed this one too. With disgruntled family members pretending to be guests at their father’s new bed and breakfast in order to impress a travel writer, the level of funny in this one goes through the roof. Painfully so, according to my husband who has trouble watching anyone (even movie characters) in embarrassing situations. While not my absolute favorite so far, I will be watching this one again. I give it 3 1/2 Christmas stars.
A Nashville Christmas Carol – This is another adaptation. I wasn’t sure what to think of this one at first. I love Jessy Schram and Wes Brown. It’s the non-actors that I was concerned about. And while some of their performances were over-the-top, it really worked for the story. And while there was no ghost of Christmas future, the reason given for the lack was perfect. Though it isn’t my favorite for either of these actors, I will watch this one again. I give it 3 1/2 Christmas stars.
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater – I think I would watch Niall Matter explaining how paint dries. I always seem to love his characters. And this movie gives him a good pairing with Ashley Williams. It’s traditional Hallmark Christmas movie fare, and it’s an enjoyable movie. There was nothing extra special that made me fall in love with the story, but I will watch it again. This movie gets 3 1/2 Christmas stars.
A Timeless Christmas – This movie is Ryan Paevey at his best! He perfectly portrays the out of time Charles who wakes up in his home in the future to find it’s been turned into a museum of his life and unexplained disappearance. This one is one of this year’s favorites, and I give it a solid 4 Christmas stars.
Christmas Waltz – Lacey Chabert is wonderful as always. And how do I not remember Will Kemp? I went back and searched some of his other Hallmark movies. I’ve seen him in others, with Lacey Chabert, and I still didn’t remember him. But I loved him in this one and will be rewatching the others he’s in. The looks he gives at times are powerful. You can feel the hurt or happiness. Some of the dance scenes go the route of old Hollywood movies, but it doesn’t detract from the movie. This is also one of my favorites for 2020, and I will watch it each year. I give this one a firm 4 Christmas stars.
Cranberry Christmas – This one is a little different. Unlike most of the Hallmark movies, the couple is already married, though estranged. They’ve gone different directions in chasing the dreams that brought them together in the first place. The thing I like about his one is that you get Christmas and memories and all the same wonderful feelings, but you also get a realistic look at relationships. One of the characters even makes a statement like, “Marriage is hard work.” Not the usual fare for Hallmark, but it’s a message worth repeating in a time when difficulty often means throw it away and start again rather than work for it. That message alone is enough that I give this movie a four Christmas star rating.
This is a tough year to determine a favorite, but I think I’ve found mine. I reserve the right to detract this statement since there are several new ones still to come out. With 4 3/4 Christmas starts (because is there really a 5 star movie out there?), my favorite Hallmark Christmas movie of 2020 is On the 12th Date of Christmas. This one stars Tyler Hines and Mallory Jansen. I’m not sure I’ve seen Mallory in anything else, but Tyler is a favorite of mine. The two together are pure magic. From the time they’re forced to work together, trying to meld completely different personalities, to the time the sparks start to fly, these two sell it. I will watch this movie again and again and again.
Have I left any out that you enjoyed this year? Do you disagree with any of my ratings?