It was a warm and heartfelt Christmas movie, one of Hallmark's better movies this season. At its heart for me was family: the love of family (the discovery of that family love),and being surround by people you love and people who love you (during the holiday season, of course). This was the underlining theme I took from the film. And I think the writer did a great job of conveying it thru the dialogue and interactions between the characters in the script. Our protagonist in this film is Christina (played by Mia Kirshner),an Italian restaurant owner keen to learn more about her biological family (as she was adopted). She is excited to find out from a recent DNA test that she is part Jewish and has genetic relatives living nearby in the city (who are open to meeting her). And so, her journey in this story begins: meeting new family, discovering and connecting with her roots, and, just maybe, leading her to a new, unlikely romance. I can't comment on the portrayal of the Jewish family in this film as others have done on here, but what I can say is that the film treats Hanukkah as more than just a complement to Christmas. Due to the nature of the story, the movie spends a significant amount of time presenting the celebration of Hanukkah and its traditions. Similar to other reviewers, I thought this element of the film was lovely, nicely done. What makes all this work, of course, is the acting. Kirshner's performance was outstanding. She did a great job of threading the line of someone who was a bit guarded but, at the same time, eager to meet her new family/romance. Simply put: her performance was believable, convincing. Ben Savage's performance was also strong (playing David, our other protagonist in this film). I have not seen him on screen since the 90s, but after this performance, I am wondering why not. The chemistry between the two was just about right for this family-focused movie. The supporting cast was brilliant. What stood out for me was Marilu Henner's performance (playing Ruth); it was an impressive performance, I thought (it pulled me in). As usual, with Hallmark Christmas movies, the scenery, props, and sets were festive, elegant, and well-polished, though I was not a fan of the ribbon on Christina's tree. It covered 80% of the tree, you barely knew it was a pine tree. All in all, this is a lovely new edition to Hallmark's Christmas movie lineup this season. I highly recommend it.
Love, Lights, Hanukkah!
Drama / Romance
Love, Lights, Hanukkah!
Drama / Romance
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As Christina prepares her restaurant for its busiest time of year, she gets her DNA test revealing that she's Jewish. The discovery leads her to a new family and an unlikely romance over eight nights.
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A warm and heartfelt Christmas movie...
Christina Rossi (Mia Kirshner)
Favorite scene with
Christina Rossi (Mia Kirshner) - Her second meeting with David. The Cannolis are for Dessert, not for Review. Love their Chemistry already! BTW #1, I love Brandi Alexander! BTW #2, Beautiful story about Family and Love!
Just plain enjoyable
This movie pushes a lot of my sentimental buttons. One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time is The Christmas Note. If you've seen it, you know the parallel.
In this movie, we find out early on that Marilu Henner is Christina's biological mom. When that was revealed, I thought at first that it was too early, but that's just the first of many such moments. And that moment was done so well. Both Henner and Kushner had great responses to the situation.
Mia Kushner! Wow. She was great throughout. And her chemistry with Ben Savage was so strong. There was a lot of good dialogue between them especially, but with everyone.
So much happens in this movie. Some of the things are predictable to a point, but they just keep coming.
I love movies like this because of the theme of love of family. Finding a whole new family and then falling in love with all of them is so great.
My only complaint about this movie is that it ended too soon. I wanted it to keep going.''
To reviewers who say that Jewish isn't something that can show up on a DNA test, tell that to the company that did my DNA test. My test recently came back showing a significant portion as Jewish. Jewish families have protected their genealogies since Jacob.