“Memories are the things that we use to wrap ourselves up and to keep us warm at night.”
All Willow wants for Christmas is to give her sister the wedding of her dreams. She wants to do that at the inn her father built, which is now owned and run by David, a lawyer/widower/single father. Complicating things: he wants to sell the inn.
David reluctantly agrees to let Willow put on the wedding in the barn, as long as she takes care of all the work. It’s the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries movie, “A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas” (2019).
Our Review: A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas
One of the key themes of “A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas” is learning to make new memories without letting go of old memories.
That’s because “Two Turtle Doves” explored this theme just about a week earlier – and “Two Turtle Doves” did it way better.
Rather than watching this movie, a better use of your time would be watching “Two Turtle Doves” instead. Or “Christmas at Pemberley Manor”, which also explored similar territory (it featured a main character was contemplating selling his manor and “letting go of the past,” despite having many great memories there).
“A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas” is the worst 2019 Hallmark Movie we’ve watched so far. Hopefully it is the worst and things improve soon.
Before we break down the bad, there were two things we liked about this movie:
- The pathway to the barn that lit up with Christmas lights as you walked through it. That was magical and gorgeous.
- They came up with a fun game that we’ve yet to see in any other Christmas movie. Essentially, it was a take on a three-legged race. But in this game, a team of two had their arms tied together with ribbon. Whichever team could open their wrapped Christmas present first, using their tied arms, won.
That’s it. Two moments – neither of which significantly played into the main storylines.
As for the rest? Pretty much everything in this movie went so wrong. Here’s why.
The Naughty List
Seriously, it was all so terrible and boring. But let’s focus in on the dialogue in particular.
Like in “Christmas Camp,” they talk about the same things over and over.
Willow (Rachael Leigh Cook) promises to take care of everything repeatedly (and never does). Then there’s the whole idea that maybe SHE should buy the place, or not. Yes. No. Yes? No? Yes! No!
David (Benjamin Ayres) constantly talks about selling the inn (he has to let go of the past, you see, because being a lawyer is super important, but more on that in a minute). He has to make his case that selling is the right thing to do, but he fails to make a compelling enough argument! And he’s a lawyer?
Robert, the guy thinking of buying the inn, has to come look at the place 20 times (because he’s so indecisive about buying, apparently).
Look no further than this beauty from David’s mom, Pam (Chilton Crane), as a sign of the quality of writing:
“I’ve never seen David so engaged, so passionate, so happy, as he’s been these last few weeks… in a long time.”
So, is it never or a long time? Big difference there!
Everything in “A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas” was just weird, shallow, and underdeveloped.
Character development? You won’t find much here, which makes it hard to invest emotionally here.
David Is Unlikable
Everything coming out of his mouth was negative. All variations of no, no, no. It was his answer to everything. He fights everything and shoots down everybody’s ideas. It gets old fast.
And for Mr. Busy Lawyer Guy David, who wants to be partner, he’s never at work! Over 3 weeks, all we see David do is spend all his time hanging out with Willow, either shopping or making cookies. The only time he’s at work, he’s leaving it or talking about leaving it.
David should have been the bad boyfriend – the inconsiderate jerk who gets dumped at the holidays. He doesn’t seem like the typical leading man of a Hallmark movie.
Even the attempt to tack on the sister having cold feet, for some last-minute wedding drama, felt entirely lazy.
We barely heard from Juni (Christie Burke) the entire movie. Why does she have cold feet? Why should we care? (Who knows, and we don’t.)
Note to all soon-to-be brides: The solution to cold feet is apparently super simple – just put on your pajamas and eat cookies. Apparently, doing this will eliminate any concerns about your impending marriage.
Henry, the Lost Reindeer
Oh, and we can’t forget about Natalie. She had the best performance of the entire cast.
Her big storyline, though? We learn early on that she lost her stuffed reindeer (the one her mom gave to her before she died three years ago). Except – they forgot to revisit this story for the entire middle of the movie!
There was nothing to see here between Willow and David.
Willow had more chemistry with the handyman!
Heck, the handyman would’ve been a better lead!
Underwhelming Visuals & Sound
OK, it looked Christmasy throughout. We’ll give them that.
However, the scene where they light up the inn and reveal the snowmen decorations? All so basic.
Hallmark has set the bar high for this sort of thing. Look no further than “Two Turtle Doves” or “Merry and Bright”, which were stunningly beautiful in so many scenes. This movie fell way under that bar.
While the actors had to pretend it was actually amazing and gorgeous, we don’t. We could drive around any town at Christmas and see equally or more beautiful displays.
Oh and there was a CGI tree at the tree lighting? Really?! That was beyond embarrassing. Hallmark, you’re better than this!
As for the music, the only Christmas carol you’ll hear is in the opening 20 seconds of the movie. After that, it’s just generic background music. There are no carolers and the family sings no carols.
As for the other Christmasy sounds, you get a few of the usual suspects (e.g., sleigh bells ringing), but it all fell into the “nothing special” category.
- Why did it take so long to get the Christmas trees to the house to decorate them? There is a scene early on when Willow, David, and Natalie shopping for the trees. Then about three weeks of movie time go by! The trees only arrive at the inn just in time for the wedding ceremony. Where were those trees all that time?
- What happened to the wreath David bought for the barn door earlier in the movie, when he was shopping with Willow?
- How did Natalie get chosen to hit the button to light the tree at the town tree lighting? Especially since David thanks Willow for suggesting they go to it. According to the movie, they only decided at the last minute to go, but somehow she gets chosen instead of the mayor or the local big businessman, or whoever. It was weird. How’d they decide this? “Hey, I’ve got it! Let’s just let some random town kid hit the switch since she’s here!”
In nearly every scene indoors, we see it (fake) snowing outside of the window. Even if the scene takes place immediately after the characters were outside (and it wasn’t snowing), or is followed by a scene that takes place outdoors (and again, it was never snowing).
Another snow goof: at the beginning of the movie, it was snowing at one end of the block, but it wasn’t “snowing” on the street where the characters were talking.
Details, details. This movie paid attention to few.
The WORST List
Where’s the Wedding?
The whole movie revolves around a Christmas wedding. So what did we get?
All that build up. To nothing?
We didn’t get to see any vows exchanged. We didn’t even hear the traditional wedding march – some generic background music played as Willow, Juni, and their mom, Linda (Jill Teed), walked down the aisle.
It was just all part of the underdeveloped background and lazy storytelling. The story of the wedding had a beginning and end, but no middle or climax.
Why Did They Call This A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas?
This movie could have taken place anywhere. The only time they even reference the location is when one lady takes a deep breath and comments on the air.
The main street they use in this movie is the same street you’ve seen in countless other Christmas movies!
Also, the movie ended on the wedding day – two days before Christmas. So we didn’t get a wedding or a Christmas.
You’ll Yell at TV…
- When you see the FAKE CGI TREE they use at the tree lighting. (“THAT’S NOT EVEN A REAL TREE!”) Why, Hallmark, why! Why would you use a FAKE CGI TREE?! So weak.
A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas
“A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas” is totally underwhelming. This movie fails in so many ways. Don’t waste your time on it. There are so many better Christmas movies.