Movie Review: Jolly Good Christmas (2022)

Synopsis: American architect, David Burnside is working for a firm in London and dating his boss's daughter, Charlotte. He wants to buy her the perfect gift for their first Christmas together but all he can come up with, partly because of his busy schedule and partly because they've only been dating for three months, is a gift card. When a chance encounter results in him meeting Anji, a professional shopper, he enlists her help but even the "gift whisperer" discovers shopping for him is a challenge.

The movie is also known as Christmas in London.

Who's in it? The movie stars Will KempReshma ShettyCallum BlueSophie Hopkins and James Faulkner.

Review: Since it is getting cold outside and we recently had some snow, I figured it was as good of night as any to start our holiday moving watching. My wife and I ended up picking out this Hallmark film from our library and it proved to be a good choice.

Like many movies from this genre, the film was a little predictable. The second David (Kemp) met Anji (Shetty), it was pretty obvious they would eventually end up together and his obvious lack of chemistry with Charlotte (Hopkins) only supported that theory, though the movie did at least make his girlfriend a decent human being, making it easy to see why he would consider dating her.

The side story about his big project and the meeting he needed to attend proved to be one of the more interesting parts of the film. It was one thing to have him trying to find a present before his appointment but the other obstacles he ran into, including falling into a river and being interrupted by Charlotte as he tried to approach the client at a party, made the film more memorable.

My only real complaint about the movie is I wasn't really feeling much chemistry between Anji and David either. I think a lot of that was because David didn't seem overly emotional, even when his life seemed to be falling apart, and always seemed to have a bit of smugness to him. It kind of felt a little like Charlotte dodged a bullet by him meeting someone else. I mean, it's not like his big Christmas gift at the end required any real thought. Anji pretty much pointed it out to him, making it way too easy.

I also was a bit disappointed the movie left us in the dark about the pub that had been in Anji's family for years. I get it wasn't what she wanted to do, and she wanted to live her own life, but it also seemed a bit sad it might end up closing or being sold to someone else when her parents decided to retire since it seemed like such a nice place. I probably would have liked the movie a little better had there been a bit more closure regarding that.

Final Opinion: As I said, it was a bit predictable and there were a couple things I wasn't a fan of. However, it still ended up being a decent movie and a good way to start the holiday movie season.

My Grade: B


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