Magical Christmas Ornaments (2017) Review
Though I’ve said it before, I’ll reiterate something. Each of the originals put out under the Hallmark branding are sweet. They speak of old-fashioned romance and festive cheer (or those at Christmas do). That said, even though we establish that each one is lovely, sometimes there’s that one that really stands out. This year, Magical Christmas Ornaments does just that.
Broken hearts are meant to mend, but in the two years since hers broke, Marie (Jessica Lowndes) is still healing. Making the situation worse is the date things ended with the man she thought she’d marry. While on a romantic getaway, he broke up with Marie on Christmas Eve. Perhaps this is why Marie is something of a Grinch. Even her mother can’t seem to convince Marie to indulge in some holiday cheer. This year, she’s changing things and sending Marie Christmas ornaments from their family trees over the years. Ornaments that, along with memories, seem to carry with them, magic. Coinciding with the arrival of these gifts is a change at Marie’s job… and Nate.
Marie has been stuck editing nonfiction books for far too long. Now after many successes, she’s ready to follow her dream of editing fiction. The problem is convincing her boss of this. Then Nate (Brendan Penny) walks into her life. He’s an unexpected coincidence who might remind Marie sometimes love does have a happily ever after chapter.
For a reason I cannot put my finger on, this story is special. Magical Christmas Ornaments works at being unique while still ensuring it is what it promises to be: a Christmas drama. The script develops effortlessly, becoming a pleasure for us to watch onscreen.
Aside from all of the bows and ribbons trimming, the usual charm of these films, this one has some tinsel to make it special. Penned by a frequent Hallmark scripter, what I appreciate most about ‘Ornaments’ is its storytelling. To begin with, the impression is given that Christmas is a few weeks away. Unimportant detail though this may seem, anytime a longer time frame is allowed, this gives the romance and development room to grow. Fortunately, the story frame uses the time well.
Another pro in this story’s column is the way in which the romance progresses. The smallest difference being the story actually takes its characters on dates. Most scripts do give their characters “outings,” but something about this story gives a deeper meaning. It “feels” like they’re actually dating versus just being friends. All while polishing this get-to-know-you characterization with a kind of bashful quality that is adorable. In my opinion, Magical Christmas Ornaments is one of the best TV film romances I’ve seen in a while, all because of these small alterations the story plays out.
Jessica and Branden have a great on-screen connection that helps ensure all of this plays to the best advantage. Their dates are cute, and the “ugly sweater scene” feels somehow “new” even though it’s been a popular trope this season. Because it airs on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, this isn’t quite as lighthearted as those Countdown to Christmas features. Don’t shy away from this one because of its branding. It lives up to its title and is indeed a form of magic. This also works well when it comes time for the eventual breakup sequence. Marie’s past comes into play, and the way her character is played makes her hesitation understandable.
In addition to its old-fashioned messages and trademark, Hallmark also writes some of the best leading men. All reasons you can be sure Magical Christmas Ornaments is another charmer you’re sure to enjoy with your girlfriends.
Where to Watch: Catch encore showings of Magical Christmas Ornaments on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries; check listings for specific times.
Content: The movie contains nothing offensive.
Did you see this one? Tell me what you thought – does the romance seem somehow sweeter to you? Drop all the comments down below!
“You had me at hello.”
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press