Happy New Year! Sorry that I was MIA for just about all of the holiday season. I owe my editor – Lisa an apology for that. There was travel, family, and a hint of drama, but these are all just excuses and excuses are all the same. I’m hoping to make up for it with this review today!
I love Hallmark Movies! I enjoy watching them with my girls, and playing Hallmark Christmas Bingo – See Below. Magical Christmas Ornaments is a Hallmark Christmas Movie, but it’s so much more because it unknowingly scratches at mental illness. During the entire viewing, unlike other Hallmarks, I was kinda unnerved by the heroine – Marie played by Jessica Lowndes. Instead of the heroine coming across as growing into her own, she seemed more and more untethered. It was as if Hallmark and Lifetime wrote a creepy christmas movie. I kept thinking more and more: this should be on Lifetime because it could easily turn left into madness. Then, I searched IMDB and Jessica Lowndes has been in not one, not two, but three Lifetime MOWs: A Father’s Nightmare, A Mother’s Nightmare, A Deadly Adoption, and Maybe, Parenting is Not For Us?! (Coming Soon). In fact, A Deadly Adoption was reviewed by my Editor- Lisa: Lisa’s Awesome Review Here!
Magical Christmas Ornaments does have some of the tropes, but never full-on. My youngest did win the bingo (far left column down), but the hatred of christmas was never that adamant, the jerk boyfriend wasn’t that jerky, and she wasn’t particularly work-obsessed.
The plot was straight-forward: Marie (Jessica Lowndes) didn’t like Christmas, and was nursing a broken heart. Nate (Brandon Penny) played the traditional in love with christmas next door neighbor love interest. Marie’s parents want to reignite her love christmas by sending her ornaments to put on a tree she never purchased. Nate supplies the tree and she begins hanging them, but then she starts to believe that ornaments are influencing the events in her life.
I’m all for implied supernatural tropes especially in Christmas movies, if it’s understood that we are in an implied supernatural story, and Hallmark does that a lot with a real or implied Santas. However, in this story, the magical ornament plot device trends creepy because no one else is on the same page as the protagonist, and the rest of the story is deeply rooted in reality. Also, Jessica Lowdnes’ Lifetime facial expressions and over the top reactions give it a manic feel. She seems to get angrier and angrier as the ornaments seem to portend the future. Marie puts significance of each ornament predicting where her career and love life will turn. When Marie tells the other characters that she thinks the ornaments are in fact magical, the delivery is so earnest that it comes across as Lifetime MOW delusional and the other characters kinda react that way to her too. At one point, she even screams at her love interest, which is way atypical of a Hallmark film and it’s not even over a typical misunderstanding trope that’s often used in a Hallmark Christmas films, but more from pure jealous rage.
Yes, the characters do find love, but when she’s scorned, there is a pall that falls over this film like icy gooseflesh. I highly recommend this film for the Lifetime movie qualities and if they changed the musical score to a typical Lifetime MOW, it would be a nailbiter!
Happy New Year!