Throughout my whole Christmas film completest quest undertaken since late 2019, an interesting quest but very mixed one, there was never the mentality of expecting a classic or the film in question to be flawless. Something that was never managed with Hallmark's output. There was however always the expectation of seeing a film where one can see at least some effort rather than merely cash-in level. One could see that with enough of Hallmark's output but not all.
'Christmas Getaway' is not a Christmas classic, but seeing it the amount of effort that went into it was more than evident throughout. Hallmark's Christmas output has been very variable, the best ones being surprisingly well done and the worst being terrible. 'Christmas Getaway' in many ways is towards being of their overall best, with most elements done remarkably well and only a few things done imperfectly which was not unexpected in a way.
It is a bit of a slow starter, where it takes a bit of time to get going. Was expecting much originality and the film is pretty formulaic as far as Christmas films go.
Also thought that Emory was a bit difficult to warm to at first, exaggerated negative character traits is a pet peeve of mine and something that Hallmark was guilty of a lot. The resolution agreed is a bit too easy and Alice Bennett is underused.
However, Bridget Regan is truly charming and easy to like and once Emory becomes easier to warm to (which is actually quite quickly) it is very easy to root for her and her goals. Travis Van Winkle matches her beautifully in the easy going charm department and never overoes it while never phoning in. Teryl Rothery had a knack for scene stealing. And she is a breath of fresh air delight whenever she appears. Child performances have varied so much in Christmas films, this is a example of an adorable and likeable child performance that is also remarkably mature.
Variable also in Christmas films has been the chemistry between the actors. The chemistry between the leads is very heart-warming, grows realistically and never comes over as forced. The romance never comes over as too heavy and endears, development is not too aimless and it doesn't feel rushed through.
Moreover, the production values still manage to be great, one of the best looking Hallmark festive films of that year. It's not too drab or garish in photography, the editing didn't seem rushed or disorganised and the scenery has a real charm to it. Most of the soundtrack is nostalgic and appealing to listen to, capturing the festive spirit well. Hallmark had a real habit of over-scoring their films but that's not as much the case here. The script just about avoids being corny and saccharine, both of which are common for Hallmark, and the story is mostly very engaging, easy to be uplifted by and heart-warming. Did like the characters too and they came over as more real than a lot of Hallmark Christmas films.
Concluding, really liked it on the whole. 7/10.
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance
Having gotten the travel bug from traveling around the world with her parents when she was growing up, Emory Blake is now a writer with Journeying, a travel magazine. She plans to spend Christmas alone like she has for many of her adult years in being on assignment in the far corners of the globe. Her boyfriend William has just broken up with her after six months, realizing that he needs a stable life and she would never settle in one place. Emory's editor and best friend, Veronica Giles, gives her a last-minute assignment due December 23 that differs from the usual: write about a traditional American Christmas in whatever form she chooses. Corporate attorney Scott Hays has been a widower for a few years and hasn't started to date again yet. Ever since his wife passed, he has taken his mother Marilyn and daughter Katy out for brunch at a hotel as their primary Christmas activity and hasn't made much more effort toward a traditional Christmas. This year, Katy has a wish list of traditional Christmas activities that revive the vague memories she has of childhood Yuletides when her mom was alive. Emory and the Hays meet when they are double-booked in the same cabin at Pine Grove in the mountains. With no other rooms available anywhere in Pine Grove, they decide to share the cabin. Emory is unable to even start her Christmas article until she discovers Katy's wish list; as they spend time working on it together, Emory, Scott, Marilyn, and Katy begin to catch the true Christmas spirit...and Scott and Emory start to fall for each other. While Emory can envision having a next chapter in her life as a writer in a less travel-oriented form, she and Scott getting together may face the hurdle of Alice Bennett, the single mother of Katy's classmate, as mother and son are also spending the holidays at Pine Grove. Emory can see that Alice would like to be the next Mrs. Hays and believes--mistakenly--that Scott wants her for that role.
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