Movie Review: Christmas In Rome (2019)
Synopsis: Inspired by her parents' love story and needing a change of scenery after her fiancee broke off their wedding plans, Seattle native Angela de Luca now lives in Rome, where she works as a tour guide. After losing her job a few days before Christmas, Angela is fortunate enough to run into Oliver Martin, a businessman looking to acquire an Italian ceramics company but with no knowledge of the city or Italian traditions. He hires Angela to be his personal tour guide and even helps her with starting her own business but, as their partnership becomes more romantic, Angela wonders how they would make it work once Oliver goes back to the United States.
Who's in it? The movie stars Lacey Chabert, Sam Page, Franco Nero, Holly Hayes and Bryan Bounds.
Review: Since my wife and I have watched multiple other Lacey Chabert Christmas movies this month, we decided to continue that trend by watching this film last night. It ended up being a good choice.
At first, I wasn't sure if I would like this movie. Part of this was because the plot seemed to be somewhat predictable but a larger part of it was because there were times when this seemed more like an advertisement for Rome than an actual movie. I even suggested a drinking game to my wife - take a drink whenever someone mentions how important Christmas is to Rome. As the movie progressed, however, I realized it was much better than I was expecting it to be.
For one, the film wasn't as predictable as I thought. Since it was a Hallmark movie, there was no doubt in my mind they would find a way to make things work, likely from the result of Oliver (Page) choosing to stay in Rome to be with Angela (Chabert). However, I wasn't sure how his business acquistion attempt would turn out. While he seemed to be making some progress, with Angela's help, the business owner, Luigi (Nero), seemed like the type of person who would simply choose not to sell the company that had been in his family for generations.
I also found I liked the love story between Angela and Oliver and the way the movie made it progress in a way that made their attraction was something more than physical. Helping with this was the way the writers made an effort to give Oliver some depth rather than have him be a one-dimensional character that seems like a carbon copy of dozens of other male love interests.
I do feel like the movie could have had a bit more suspense toward the end, either with Oliver facing the loss of his job because Luigi said no to the acquisition or by having Luigi say yes and then discover an evil plot by the company Oliver was working for. This is mostly because the main drama, how would they survive a long-distance relationship, wasn't exactly something that was going to have me on the edge of my seat - like I actually believed for a second he would choose his career over true love.
Final Opinion: Truthfully, there's really not about this movie that sets it apart from other films and, there are times when it feels like a travel documentary. However, there is decent chemistry between the two leads and the overall "feel good" nature of this film does make it worth watching if you're in the mood for a romantic movie.
My Grade: B+
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