Hopedale Mail

An Enjoyable Modern Day Christmas Tale

Hotel for the Holidays


Genre: Comedy, Romance
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 24m
Director(s): Ron Oliver
Writer(s): Maggie Lane, Margarita Matthews
Cast: Madelaine Petsch, Mena Massoud, Max Lloyd Jones, Kayleigh Shikanai, Jami Belushi, Jayne Eastwood, Neil Crone
Where To Watch: Available December 2, 2022, on Freevee

RAVING REVIEW: A mix between a good Hallmark/Lifetime original Christmas movie with just a pinch of 90s Nickelodeon. Believe it or not, that’s not meant negatively; this was an enjoyable, if not slightly predictable, holiday movie.

This is only my second Freevee original, and I’m more than impressed; after the fantastic series HIGH SCHOOL (if you haven’t seen it, go check it out now), we get a Christmas original with just the right amount of charm.

I didn’t have a lot in terms of expectations when going into this Christmas movies hold a special place for me, with fond memories of watching them with family over the years. So I had hoped it would be enjoyable and not cheesy; thankfully, my hopes weren’t dashed.

With solid acting and good production values, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure it won’t be walking home with an Oscar, but at the same time, it brought just that perfect mix of holiday magic I had been hoping for. I’m an easy target, but delivering an enjoyable Christmas movie doesn’t take much; almost formulaic, but it’s a tried and true formula that works. I think the core values make me the happiest, the simple lessons learned.

I’ll admit I haven’t watched many Hallmark Christmas movies, but from what I’ve heard, they follow a similar formula. Yet, by pumping out so many, they become redundant and almost unwatchable sometimes. No shame intended if you enjoy them, they’re just not for me. Thankfully I’m three for five this year on new Christmas movies. Hopefully, that trend will continue, as I have at least three more lined up.

I was impressed with the casting for the film. At the same time, I wasn’t familiar with their other roles; the three leads of the film worked well together, with Kayleigh Shikanai specifically standing out in her dual role (I don’t want to spoil the why, but I thought it was a fun experience.)

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