Movie Review: Magical Christmas Ornaments (2017)

Synopsis: Years after her college sweetheart broke up with her on Christmas Eve, Marie still refuses to even have a Christmas tree in her apartment. Hoping to change that, her mom begins sending her Christmas ornaments with a special meaning and, as if by magic, Marie's life begins to change for the better, including meeting her handsome neighbor for the first time. However, when the publishing firm she works for assigns her to help her ex-boyfriend write a book, her newly-found holiday spirit begins to fade.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jessica Lowndes, Brendan Penny, Farah Merani, Stephen Huszar and Tim Matheson.

Review: When my wife and I were looking for another Hallmark Christmas movie to watch last night, I wound up picking this one out because it sounded somewhat unique. As it turns out, it was probably one of the most predictable movies we've watched this holiday season but it still ended up being enjoyable.

My oldest daughter and I were joking about playing a game of "Hallmark Bingo" yesterday, using all the recurring themes that have popped up in multiple movies we've watched this year (someone not wanting a Christmas tree, ice skating, etc.). If we had, this movie would have likely checked all the boxes. Probably the only thing missing was a blatant product placement scene involving Folger's coffee. Still, the movie managed to make things work.

I think my favorite part of this movie was the stories behind the various ornaments Marie (Lowndes) received from her parents. It was a great way to give the main character depth without bogging down the film. Plus, when combined with some very heartfelt scenes of her interacting with kids at the local hospital, made her a genuinely likable character.

I thought her main love interest, Nate, was a bit on the bland side (typical one-dimensional male character) and it would have been nice to see the movie make a little more effort to make him seem a bit more "human." However, the movie does a great job making up for that by creating some real emotion between Marie and her ex-boyfriend, Clark (Huszar). There were times when I wondered if maybe she would wind up back with her ex because, while there was obviously some negative history between them, he didn't seem like that terrible of a guy (and made some valid points about why he broke up with her).

I'll even give the ending a passing grade. It couldn't have been more predictable but, as part of the larger picture, was still a good way to end this particular film and, at minimum, didn't ruin an otherwise decent movie.

Final Opinion: I don't know if this movie was particularly memorable, especially when compared to other Hallmark movies, but we still enjoyed watching it more than expected.

My Grade: B


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