Ambitious Entertainment Inc., Fries Film Group, Insight Film Studios

Monica Keena, Tobias Mehler, Steve Bacic, Ali Liebert, Sonya Salomaa, Denise Galik, Nelson Wong, Terry David Mulligan

Noelle Dunn (Monica Keena) is an eternal optimist and an employee of the Aikens Christmas decoration factory. The town of Forest City depends entirely on the factory for it’s survival. Noelle’s passion has always been economics and while she’s working there to finish her thesis by analyzing the plant she finds it necessary to try to save the plant from shutdown and financial ruin. The owner died a few months ago and he’s been hiding the sad financial shape of the plant for years. . A misadventure brings drifter Justin Allen (Tobias Mehler) in touch with Noelle and she gets him a menial job in the factory. The owner’s granddaughter shows up to make the decision on whether or not the plant can be saved, and it may be that Justin is more involved in the mix that it appears at first glance.

This is a mediocre Christmas romance. There are a few twists that make the film interesting, but it’s not exactly paced well. It’s hard for me to describe exactly what’s wrong, but it simply makes me feel like the film is over 40 minutes before it is. So that would mean that there’s a lot to tell in the last 40 minutes, but that’s not true either. Basically the big reveal occurs about 2/3 of the way through the film, and after that, everything is already in place. We wait and wait for what has to happen to happen, but when we already know what’s going to transpire, it seems like forever wrapping up the loose ends. I think basically they made 2/3 of a story, and realized that to fit the TV time slot, they needed more time, so they just added on to the end to the film after the climax. It’s a cute romance, and the characters are likable enough. The small town feel is wonderful too, and it’s not a bad story at all, but it is just the pacing that’s a bit off.

If you are in the mood for a nice romantic Christmas film, this one will suit nicely, and if you haven’t seen it before, you’ll probably like it. But it’s certainly not one of those that’s going to be a favorite year after year, in my opinion.

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