Title: Christmas at the Plaza
Year of Release: 2019
Available On: Hallmark Channel – Christmas In July
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells
So this is a Christmas movie that has a hotel as a character. Not quite sure about that, honestly, because of the capitalist undertones — but I do like the old building and history aspect.
The first strike against this movie, and it’s a major one, is that they didn’t bother to get a live tree for a scene where the two roommates, Cassidy (Karen Holness) and Jessica (Elizabeth Henstridge), are trying to set it up in their apartment. Meanwhile, both actresses are wearing gloves and the tree is “tied up” like a live tree would be when you bring it home… Y’all couldn’t wrangle a single live tree, Hallmark? Side note: I just realized that I have access to the Hallmark Channel and just in time for Christmas in July. So we’re in for it now. In deep trubs.
Jessica is a PhD student who has been told (ordered?) to do a Christmas exhibit at The Plaza Hotel. When she arrives, she finds the archives a shambles, and she’s challenged to find a “story” to tell with her exhibit. She considers giving up, much to the chagrin of the hotel holiday decorator, Nick Perrelli (Ryan Paevey). Jessica reconsiders when she spots that year’s tree topper — finial d’abre — and finds out that there’s been a different one every year since the hotel’s opening. She gets to work with her brilliant idea, and Christmas work montage commences.
Unfortunately, despite the sparks flying with Nick, Jessica has a boring boyfriend who is only moderately interested her. At the same time – imagine that coincidence! – Nick’s ex re-emerges from the ether. Will they find one another?? Will they fall in loooooove?
I mean, this is Hallmark We know. The plot thickens when they are unable to find a tree topper for one year, 1969. A mystery develops.
Cassidy: Do you want this receipt? My accountant says I can deduct Christmas-related beverages as research.
This was a medium watch. Token light-skinned Black friend who served only as plot device. Aforementioned set and prop issues. The plot was fine, I guess, but the dialogue was forced. Acting was fine, nothing that took you out of the story. Just… medium.