Friday, December 14, 2018

Movie Review: "The Holiday Calendar" (2018)

Director: Bradley Walsh
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A photographer named Abby has just inherited an antique advent calendar from her grandmother, who recently passed away. As its door opens each day, whatever is inside starts to relate to strange occurrences in Abby's life, and she begins to believe this calendar may have magical powers.

The Holiday Calendar 2018 Netflix movie still Kat Graham Ron Cephas Jones
"That calendar is just a calendar, right?" (Image Source)
Pretty soon, people will have to ditch their Hallmark holiday socks and swap them for a pair of Netflix Christmas socks since it's painfully obvious that they are on a quest to become the king and queen of cheesy Yuletide romances. "The Holiday Calendar" is directed by Bradley Walsh, who is known for directing Hallmark Christmas movies like "Christmas Encore," "Christmas Festival of Ice," and "Christmas in Angel Falls." It is written by Amyn Kanderali and Carrie Freedle, whose only other writing credit is the Hallmark movie "My Secret Valentine." This film tells the story of a photographer named Abby (Kat Graham), who wants to be a photographic artist, but is stuck taking cheap portraits for Christmas cards and holiday family snaps. Abby's photographer best friends Josh (Quincy Brown) has just returned from his European adventure where he was working on his travel blog. During their annual Christmas gathering, Abby's Gramps (Ron Cephas Jones) gives her an antique advent calendar, which was left to her by her recently deceased grandmother. Every single day when the clock strikes midnight, the doors on calendar day open, and the items found inside on that specific day start to manifest themselves into Abby's real life. As more coincidences mount up, Abby believes her calendar is magic and may be leading her to her true love and calling.
The Holiday Calendar 2018 Netflix movie still Kat Graham Quincy Brown
"I want to be fearless enough to go after my dreams like you." (Image Source)
When it comes to movies like "The Holiday Calendar," there are certain things we just have to accept. We have to know going in that it will be predictable, which this movie absolutely is. We know it is going to be schmaltzy, and there is no doubt that this film qualifies as saccharine-sweet cheese. What isn't always so obvious is whether or not the film in question will be entertaining and capture the joyous spirit of the holiday, or whether or not it's just an excuse to get pretty people together in the dumbest way possible for a picturesque, snow-filled holiday romp. Honestly, this is what we've come to expect from movies like this. For us, "The Holiday Calendar" does this as well, but it still manages to be semi-relatable and super cute while doing it. Sure, the film is flawed and follows the expected rom-com formula to the tee. Sure, Kat Graham's hair noticeably changes length from scene to scene, but hey, they drop a "Silent Night, Deadly Night" reference, so that's got to be worth a point or two on its own, right?! There's nothing new or original or unique in "The Holiday Calendar," but we'll be damned if we didn't enjoy this film. Looks like we do have souls after all. What you'll find here is the true meaning of Christmas and an adorable love story about two friends who know they should be together but seemingly find any excuse to be apart no matter how much they love each other. Kat Graham and Quincy Brown (who we had no clue was Diddy's son) are adorable together as friends who have electric chemistry with one another.
The Holiday Calendar 2018 Netflix movie still Kat Graham Ethan Peck
"Take a shower, Abby, you smell like Cheetos and sadness." (Image Source)
If you hate Hallmark-style made-for-TV movies, we suggest you avoid this film, however, if you can enjoy the guilty pleasure of mounds of syrupy-sweet, overly dramatic Christmas cheese, put "The Holiday Calendar" on your nice list.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.7/10
RT Rating: ~40%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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