Movie Review: Christmas at the Plaza (2019)

Synopsis: Historian Jessica Cooper is hired to research the Plaza Hotel and put together a historical Christmas display. When she is paired with professional decorator Nick Perrelli, their immediate chemistry puts her relationship with her current boyfriend in doubt.

Who's in it? The movie stars Elizabeth Henstridge, Ryan Paevey, Bruce Davison, Julia Duffy and Karen Holness.


Review: My wife and I watched multiple Hallmark Christmas movies yesterday and, while I had doubts, I did find I enjoyed most of them more than expected (at least the ones I didn't doze off watching). Some of them, however, just weren't as enjoyable as the others and, after some reflection, I feel this is one of those movies.

I thought the premise sounded somewhat interesting, mostly because I enjoy history myself. Unfortunately, as this movie progressed, I realized the premise wasn't enough to save what ended up being a sub-par movie, even by Hallmark standards.

There were a couple reasons I wound up feeling this way. One of the main ones was I felt the relationship between Jessica (Henstridge) and Nick (Paevey) seemed to be a bit much. OK, so he had some good things going for him but, as a dad, I don't think I'd want my daughter dating him. I mean, he made a career as a Christmas decorator (or so the movie made it seem). How do you pay the bills 12 months out of the year with that? I just feel like Jessica will wind up regretting that choice after she's been working all week and he's been lounging around on the couch waiting for his next paid "Christmas" gig.

I also have to say this movie really does shove the whole holiday spirit thing down your throat, especially with Nick's Christmas-obsessed family. As I was watching the Christmas karaoke scene, I couldn't help but think how they reminded me of a family I might see in a bizarre holiday-themed horror film.

The worst part of it, for me, was how the movie went out of its way to make her current boyfriend (Dennis Park) seem like a real ass, both being clueless about what she wants in their relationship and even going as far as belittling her career choice. I don't know if it would have been enough to completely save this film but, if the film would have given the boyfriend some redeeming qualities, it would have, in  comparison, made Nick seem like a stronger character too.

Final Opinion: As I said, this film has a good premise but, ultimately, it tries a bit too hard by both forcing the Christmas theme down the viewer's throat and making Nick seem a little too perfect solely by comparison to Jessica's crappy boyfriend. It's probably not the worst Hallmark romance I've watched but it also isn't memorable.

My Grade: C

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