26 September 2023

Hallmark Christmas 7

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Directors: Jonathan Wright, John Bradshaw, Via Vision Entertainment.

Audrey Hepburn described the meaning of love beautifully: “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other”. Add romance with the spirit of Christmas and you have magical festive cheer for the whole family with the three movies on offer.

In the first film – The Christmas Parade – a famous talk show host Hailee Anderson (AnnaLynne McCord) is embarrassed on air after her fiancé Jason Keppler (Drew Scott) is linked to a socialite, prompting her to leave New York. She finds herself stuck in a small town where she is befriended by Beck Thomas – a budding artist who asks for her help to save the local community art centre.

Her drive out of the city ends up in Carver Bend, Connecticut, unfortunately crashing through a local judge’s fence. Forced to do community service, she helps out her rescuer Logan (Jefferson Brown), by building a float for the town’s annual Christmas parade to help save the town’s art centre.

One Starry Christmas sees aspiring astronomy professor and Christmas enthusiast Holly Jensen (Sarah Carter) is unhappy when her longtime boyfriend Adam (Paul Popowich) schedules a business trip and leaves her alone over the holidays. When she decides to surprise both Adam and her parents, Ken and Betsy Jensen, with a Christmas visit, fate, or perhaps the Christmas spirit, intervenes. Her bus companion Luke Shetland (Damon Runyan) is a Texas cowboy/rancher who is participating in a rodeo in New Jersey. They forge an instant connection over their love of constellations and Christmas.

In the spirit of the season, Holly invites Luke and his brother Bull to join her family and Adam for Christmas. Naturally, sparks fly between Holly and Luke. The question is whether Holly will embrace her festive gift?

Director John Bradshaw’s Catch A Christmas Star sees a widower, reconnecting with his high school sweetheart, with the help of his two precocious kids.

Nikki Crandon (Shannon Elizabeth) is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, and basketball coach/widower Chris Mitchell (Steve Byers) was Nikki’s first love in high school. When Chris’ 10-year-old daughter Sophie (Julia Lalonde) finds out her Dad still has feelings for the singer, she takes matters into her own hands to reunite them. Sophie succeeds in reuniting the two with her eight-year-old brother Jackson (Kyle Breitkopf) in tow.

Then when a misunderstanding and the growing glare of the public spotlight threaten Chris and Nikki’s happiness, one can only wonder: will fame get in the way of a Merry Christmas?

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