Christmas in Homestead- Hallmark Movie Review and Challenge

On first glance, “Christmas in Homestead” seems like a rehash of movies we’ve seen before, but strong acting make this one totally worth it and heartfelt. 
The Story:

A famous movie star, Jessica, is producing a new Christmas movie in the small town of Homestead, Iowa.  Homestead is the perfect small-town of these movies with local gatherings, beautiful and elaborate Christmas traditions, and a hot b&b owner who has the cutest little girl known to man. Oh, and he’s also the town’s mayor.  There is a subplot concerning the town’s festivities potentially being ruined by the filming, but this one is really all about the romance. 

My Thoughts:

I was not particularly excited about this one because I don’t really like the “fancy Hollywood-type” becoming a fish-out-of-water in a small-town, and “aw, shucks!” she really likes it there, eventually.  The reason I usually don’t like these stories is because they make the small-town folks seem more like caricatures than real people and insinuate that everyone would be better off if they just slowed down and took it easy. What this movie does right is show that small-town people are normal people who live regular lives that have the same ups and downs as everyone else.  Is the setting pretty? Sure, but there is a realness as well.  My favorite thing about this movie has to be the secondary characters. From the paparazzo to the bodyguard, the quirky sister, the ex-boyfriend, and the prototypical little girl, all the secondary characters shone with depth that is not normal in movies such as this.  The little girl, Brooklyn Rae Silzer, is the hands-down, best kid actor that I’ve ever seen in a TV movie.  My other fave is Michael Rady as Matt; his inauspicious, regular-guy routine won me over in spades, and I hope to see in many more Hallmark movies.  And Taylor Cole… it isn’t fair how beautiful she is. She was perfectly believable in this role. 

Christmas Satisfaction:

Since this town has lots of Christmas traditions, there was plenty of Christmas spirit to go around, although the story didn’t “need” the backdrop of Christmas to advance the plot. We have a snowman-building contest, town-lighting, and decorations galore. 

The Bottom Line:

The characters drive this one, not the Christmas backdrop or the plot.  But, (I am almost embarrassed to admit) I did cry a few happy tears at the end of this one, and I will watch it again if it happens to be on. 4 ½ stars

Challenge:

I’ve lost count. Is this the 10th movie? 11th? While I enjoyed this one, the movies are piling up like a big ball that is chasing me, gathering dirt as is goes. More to come, assuming I’m not squashed by the ball first.

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