“I know you like to be able to control things whenever you can. But love? Love doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it and it doesn’t mean you can’t make it work.”
Harper returns home to Memphis to visit her family, hoping to land a job at a museum. Instead she somehow ends up becoming a nanny to the three children of Owen, a man who is obsessed with schedules and structure.
And since she once was a tour guide at Graceland, she is the perfect person to put on a fundraiser/exhibit at Graceland. It’s the Hallmark movie, “Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays” (2019).
Our Review: Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays Review
Christmas at Graceland: I reign supreme as the worst Hallmark Graceland movie ever. Two words: Kelly Pickler.
Wedding at Graceland: Um, hello? Did you not see me?
Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays: Hold my peanut butter and banana sandwich!
“Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays” is just a giant hunk of crap. The writing, dialogue, acting, pacing – all of it is terrible.
So our hero is “world traveler” Harper, who has been working at museums in Europe for the last three years. So, naturally, when she comes home to Memphis she takes a random nanny job (because she’s also a master of baking and crafting, and a gifted musician), while also putting together a fundraiser and an exhibit for Graceland.
The logic for taking the job and staying at his guest house? So she doesn’t have to commute on the icy roads of Memphis.
Umm…. More on that coming up in The Naughty List.
Oh, not to mention that she steps up as the on-stage singing talent when Chase Bryant is delayed by the oh-so-icy roads of Nashville.
(Speaking of Chase, what’s the first thing he did after arriving after his long delay? He immediately takes a 5 minute break – as if he’s done a long set! When he actually did perform, it was pretty terrible and went on way too long.)
Harper is flawless. Despite having nearly every skill imaginable, apparently she somehow lacks confidence. Why? Because she doesn’t have a boyfriend? Sigh.
Harper’s big tragedy? She once had a serious relationship. Then he changed his mind. (So basically one relationship didn’t work out, so hardcore!)
At one point, Harper actually tells Owen (the man whose wife DIED) how hard it was on her getting her heartbroken. She never had the realization of, “Wow, what I’ve been through is nothing compared to you losing the love of your life and mother of your children.”
Worse yet, he never points out to her that giant elephant in the room.
Harper and Owen had zero chemistry. He seemed like an ass. We were having flashbacks to the lack of chemistry in “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses“.
It was pretty cringey when Owen assumed Harper was a nanny when they first met, but even cringier when he actually offered her a job as a nanny – why, because she’s a woman? And any woman can be a nanny?
When Owen is on stage thanking people at the fundraiser, he doesn’t even mention Harper by name. Really, Owen?
We don’t really get a conflict – as close as we come is Harper tells Owen that she’s leaving, he wishes her well. Then they go off and dance with his family and look at each other sadly for a few minutes.
Then, just a few minutes later, after saying she can’t stay, she stays. It was all so dumb, pointless, and super annoying.
Elsewhere, we were treated to some truly terrible dialogue. Every scene involving business partners Owen and Davis were just robotic and weird.
We still don’t understand exactly what Owen’s company did – not that we even really care. It’s a Christmas movie, after all, not a lesson in how to do fundraising.
Even visually, it paled in comparison to last year’s Christmas at Graceland. There were also barely any Christmas activities – they decorated trees (twice), made decorations, baked (cookies and a yule log), and went sledding.
Oh, and in case you were worried, there is absolutely no tie to Christmas at Graceland (2018). It just lives in the same “universe”.
The Nice List
“Why don’t we just take these nutcrackers off the table and hide them.”
The Naughty List
Snow Way, Jose
OK, we’re not Memphis experts. We’ve visited Graceland, but we’ve neither lived in Memphis, nor visited at Christmastime.
But we are fairly sure that Memphis is not nearly as snowy and treacherous as depicted in this movie. According to the interwebz, Memphis gets all of 3 inches per year on average (while Nashville gets 6 inches per year on average.)
We know Hallmark Memphis isn’t actual real world Memphis. And there are often some pretty big logic gaps in plenty of other movies. But still… the roads apparently are icier than any you’ll find in Vermont in February!
- Why didn’t Harper bring her own family to decorate the tree?
- How is Harper such a close personal friend with Priscilla Presley? Because she was a tour guide as a kid?
- How does a Memphis-based art museum have international art exhibits? Have they franchised their museum to London and other countries around the world? Why would she work for a Memphis-based art museum yet be based in London?
- Why didn’t anyone in Memphis have a Memphis accent?
The Music (Wait, WHAAAT?)
How do you have a movie about Elvis and screw up the music? Doesn’t seem possible, right?
Oh, “Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays” found a way. There wasn’t as much Elvis music to enjoy this time and provide a few moments of happiness among the disappointment. They even used non-Elvis and totally generic music too often.
So, you have an Elvis event, you’d think that would be the perfect time to feature Elvis music, right? Instead, we got Harper & the Reed-tones, plus Chase (again, he was terrible and unnecessary).
The lighting early on was a bit off. The picture seems a bit dark (poorly lighted) early on, when they’re in the house. Then it’s suddenly dark outside, and the lighting improves. This was was unexpected from a Hallmark movie, where everything is usually well lit.
You’ll Fall Asleep…
Oh yeah. If we hadn’t dozed off watching the first “Christmas at Graceland” (which we watched right before this), we definitely would have for this one.
The WORST List
The Pacing was Terrible
The repetition of a couple elements was really annoying.
For example, Harper gets all fancied up twice, and Owen tell her how incredible she looks, twice. We also had multiple “stay, we love you” moments.
Also, the stuff about having to follow a schedule was just done to death. Once or twice, sure, that would have been fine. But it was mentioned so many times. We got it!
- At the kids. We called them the Stepford kids. The singing is insanely bad. And some of them are just way over excited for what’s happening (e.g., getting a snow globe).
- At the scenes with Priscilla Presley. There was so much weird. When they did show Priscilla “talking”, her words didn’t seem to match her lip movements at times. The rest of the time, we wouldn’t even see her face while she was talking – instead we saw the other people watching her and reacting to her.
You’ll Yell at TV…
- “STOP!” (at the kids painfully bad singing)
- “He is?” (when Harper says Owen is “pretty incredible”)
- “Yes it is!” (after the kids suggest Harper should go on stage and sing, with them as backup, because Chase is late to the show. Regina’s response: It’s not a bad idea.)
Don’t Watch This. Instead, We Recommend Watching:
- Christmas in the Air
- Crown for Christmas
- Help for the Holidays
Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays
If you’re thinking of watching this, just don’t. It’s not worth your time, even if you’re a huge Elvis/Graceland fan. Hopefully this is the last of the “Christmas in Graceland” universe of movies and Hallmark stops being cruel to Elvis and all of us.