“A Hollywood Christmas” does not deserve Hollywood level reviews


Photo courtesy of @HBOmax on Instagram

Christopher gazes at Jessica in front of a Christmas tree for the movie poster of “A Hollywood Christmas”.

By Melissa Redlich, Features Editor

Bad acting. Overdone plot. Annoying supporting characters. A romance that ends with a kiss in the snow. What more could you ask for in a Christmas movie?

On December 1st, HBO Max aired a new movie, “A Hollywood Christmas.” With a movie-within-a-movie plot, “A Hollywood Christmas” is a mediocre watch at best. 

“A Hollywood Christmas” begins with Ashley (Riley Dandy) who owns a local bakery. Then, about two seconds later, Jeb (Zak Steiner), a high-brow finance guy, walks in with some bad news: The bakery is going to have to be shut down.

However, this is not the actual movie that viewers turned in to watch. Surprise! As the scene gets cut, the camera pans to Jessica (Jessika Van) who is directing the film. But, like Hallmark movies always go, Christopher (Josh Swickard) enters and shares some bad news. He is a handsome network executive, but has come to halt production due to budget constraints. Let’s just say, the rest of the movie gets a little magical… 

Santa. Carolers. And a surprise singing number. 

Based on appearances, some may think this might just be the perfect Christmas movie. However, while this movie is a cliche Christmas film, it does not feel like the type of movie to cuddle up on the couch with your family, watch the snow coming down outside or bake Christmas cookies too. In short, there are better movies. 

In fact, when reading the summary of the movie on HBO Max, it writes “a director of Christmas movies finds herself living in one in this holiday romantic comedy with a clever movie-within-a-movie twist.” Unfortunately viewers will have difficulty finding the so called “twist” as many were left wondering when it would come. 

One of the highlights of the movie was the diversity. In many Hallmark and other Christmas movies there is a mostly homogeneous cast. However, in this movie, the directors and producers made it diverse and inclusive – which was a breath of fresh air from normal Hallmark movies. Hallmark Channel, take notes.  

Aside from the few positives, the whole movie felt a little forced into “not being a stereotypical Hallmark movie.” A few times, the assistant of the producer, Reena (Anissa Borrego), would say things along the lines of “this is what happens in the Christmas movies!” or “Christmas movies don’t end with a deal, they end with love!” Since they were making a Hallmark-esque movie in the movie, the main cast acted as if they weren’t also in a Hallmark movie and acted as if they were living real life. Therefore, the movie-within-a-movie plotline didn’t work and instead just made viewers uncomfortable. 

Overall watching this movie would not be the worst choice to waste an hour and 31 minutes for those that love watching Hallmark Christmas movies, but it would definitely not be the best.