Christmas with Holly (2012)
A Touch of Christmas Holly
It's been 3 months since her mum died and young Holly (Josie Gallina, Lucy Gallina) has not spoken since despite the best efforts of her uncle Mark (Sean Faris) who has moved to Seattle to look after her. With the school wanting to hold her back a year Mark decides it would be best for them to return to the island of Friday Harbor where he grew up and where his two brothers still live with all three of them joining forces to try and raise Holly. It was on the way home on the ferry that Mark and Holly meet Maggie (Eloise Mumford) who having been stood up on her wedding day is heading there with her sister Kate (Catherine Bérubé) to open the toy store she always dreamed off. Whilst Holly still doesn't speak her school work starts to improve after Mark takes her to the toy store where despite her silence gets on with Maggie.
What happens if you add 1 and 2 together, you get 3 plain and simple and that is what "Christmas with Holly" is as during the first 30 minutes it gives a series of characters and situations which seeing this is not only a Hallmark movie but a Christmas one as well is only ever going to end one way. Now in truth that doesn't bother me as I have watched more than enough of these types of movies to be able tolerate predictable movies but ones which limp along in that air of predictability they become a bit of a struggle and sadly "Christmas with Holly" limps along.
So I said the dreaded word predictable and lets just look at the plot; we have Maggie who is single having been left at the altar and has her own toy shop, we have Mark who is the good guy trying to do a good job of looking after Holly whilst juggling life including a selfish girlfriend in the city and of course Holly the cute child who doesn't speak. It doesn't take a genius to know how things are going to play out between these 3 characters and in a cute, heart-warming way it is nice especially a scene in the toy store where Maggie shows Holly the inside of the fairy house she has in her store.
But the predictability doesn't end there as we have Mark's brothers; Scott the builder and Alex the science nerd who of course not only rag on each other but are inept at doing the parenting thing. As such we have a Thanksgiving scene where they try to cook a meal to make Holly feel at home and it is a complete and utter catastrophe of cremated Turkey and a kitchen full of smoke.
The trouble is that whilst "Christmas with Holly" ticks so many boxes from attractive cast through to humour and of course the mix of Christmas and heart-warming it just doesn't quite come together to deliver the magic. All these things play out but there is no great laughs, no real spark, no amazing chemistry, I hate to say it but at times it just feels like it is going through the motions.
What this all boils down to is that "Christmas with Holly" is okay, it has all the typical Hallmark Christmas movie ingredients and what it comes up with is inoffensive. But sadly "Christmas with Holly" is not great and not memorable either, making it one of those movies which if you are channel surfing during those December afternoons is a pleasant distraction but nothing more.
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