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Christmas Movies 2022 Review/Preview for Week of 10/28

Must Watch Pick of the Week - "Christmas Bedtime Stories" starring Erin Cahill and Steve Lund. Credit: 2022 Crown Media

The official rom com Christmas movie season began with a fun introduction on the Hallmark Channel led by Lacey Chabert and many of the well-known stars turning on the lights to the holiday season. With Candace Cameron Bure moving to Great American Family network, Lacey will be the new face of Christmas for Hallmark. As a much-adored star, and one of the kindest people to meet in person, she will have no trouble filling the role. Candace is settling in at her new home at Great American Family and was prominently featured in commercials during the network’s first of 18 movies for the season.

Of the five movies that debuted, Hallmark takes a clean sweep for those to watch again with three winners out of their four offerings. Both “Noel Next Door” (Hallmark Channel) and “We Need a Little Christmas” (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) were the fan favorites in our Facebook group of 40,000, offering original stories and great chemistry between the leads.

“A Kismet Christmas” (Hallmark Channel) won the weekend for the best incorporation of holiday magic with a story about Christmas cookies granting love to those who sleep with them tucked beneath their pillows. Three solid movies to watch again, and three paws up.

Unfortunately, one of our Must Watch movies of the season fell flat despite great acting from one of our favorite rom com stars, Kristoffer Polaha. “We Wish You a Married Christmas” (Hallmark Channel) centered on a married couple that has drifted apart and is contemplating divorce. Much of the time the couple are at odds or disconnected, and there is a sadness that permeates the movie. Because the movie is so well acted, many fans felt disheartened by the theme despite the eventual happy ending. Hallmark is experimenting with more dramatic or adult themes in their movies, but this one was a miss. Most people who watch Christmas movies are looking to feel good, cry a happy tear, and experience some magic or wonder. Had this movie been released as a drama during the year I believe it would have played better. Christmas wasn’t part of the story; it just provided a backdrop. Hate saying it for a movie starring Kris, but this is a paw sideways and one-time-watch.

Finally, we come to Great American Family’s first Christmas movie for the season, “Destined at Christmas.” It was well acted, the theme and storyline were appropriate for the holidays, and the characters were likeable. It was even somewhat popular with the fans. But it’s a one-time-watch from us. The story is similar to “Sleepless in Seattle” where the two leads meet and then are separated the entire movie. Had the script been stronger, or the characters richer like Tom Hank’s and Meg Ryan’s roles in “Sleepless,” the movie would be more engaging without the two leads on the screen at the same time. Instead, knowing the outcome from the onset, the wonderful feels of the two main characters falling in love is barely existent and robs the viewer of why they watch these movies in the first place. We’re hopeful scripts will continue to improve at this fledgling network.

Beginning Friday night on Hallmark Channel, we have five new debuts for this Halloween

Is this a sequel? We'll have to watch to find out! "A Cozy Christmas Inn" on Hallmark Channel starring Jodie Sweetin and David O'Donnell. Credit: 2022 Crown Media.

weekend. (And no, there’s not a scary movie in the bunch!) The star power is notched up quite a bit this week with premieres featuring a lot of fan favorites and some new, much-anticipated lead matches. Our picks for Don’t Miss Movies of the Week are “Catering Christmas” with Merritt Patterson and Daniel Lissing on Great American Family, and “Christmas Bedtime Stories” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries starring Erin Cahill and Steve Lund. Both selected for their star power. There’s also been a lot of chatter about “A Cozy Christmas Inn” (Hallmark Channel) that is rumored as a sequel to a perennial favorite, “Christmas Under Wraps,” which stars Candace Cameron Bure and David O’Donnell falling in love in the town of Garland, Alaska. David also stars in this movie set in Garland, but this time with Candace’s “Full House” television sister, Jodie Sweetin. Fans are itching to know how this will play out and if the plot of the original movie will be “ruined” by David’s character loving another. We’ll watch and see.

Happy movie watching!


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