“It’s not important where you are. Because you’re already home. For one fine Christmas.”

It’s Christmastime on Christmas Street. One daughter desperately wants her family to reunite for Christmas; one husband is too obsessed with work and neglecting his wife; another couple is surprised when his son returns home with a wife; and another woman copes with the loss of her husband and son.

Will the neighbors all learn what’s really important this holiday? It’s the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) movie “One Fine Christmas” (2019).

Our Review: One Fine Christmas

“One Fine Christmas” lives up to it’s name. It’s a fine movie.

This movie is billed as a comedy and drama, but really it’s at least 95 percent drama. Don’t expect any big laugh out loud moments, just a couple chuckles here and there.

We liked the ensemble cast. Jumping between stories of the dysfunctional families helped with the pacing, though some stories were more compelling than others. That said, the pacing wasn’t always perfect.

As “One Fine Christmas” begins, and we’re meeting the cast of characters, we jump between stories fairly quickly. We’ve got:

  • Haley & Family: She’s upset that her family is fractured; that her mom, Susan, works too much and throws money at problems; and that her grandmother, Alice, won’t join them on Christmas to celebrate. Haley also has to help her mother put on a last minute dinner party.
  • Al & Matty: Al thinks work is his whole life, and his wife, Matty, is getting tired of it.
  • Bob, Diana, Jesse & Misaki: Jesse returns home from the military and surprises his parents with news that he’s married – and she’s with him.
  • Miss Daniels: Her son and husband died in a car accident years ago. She puts on a brave face and makes cookies for her neighbors.

As we near the halfway point of the movie, the focus really shifts to the story involving Bob, Diana, Jessie, and Misaki, moving the other stories to the background for a bit. (Not that there were ever any painfully boring or slow spots.)

It was a bit odd, considering that Haley is the narrator of this tale. You’d assume the narrator would have the most compelling story and she and her family’s tale would get the most screen time.

However, we found Haley’s story to be the weakest. Most of her time in “One Fine Christmas” was spent complaining (mostly about her mother) – to her mother, Susan; her grandmother, Alice; and her neighbors.

We were also a bit surprised there wasn’t something a bit more dramatic (like, say, a major blowout fight) that forced Alice out of the house she had been sharing with Susan.

By the end, all of the big storylines are resolved, with the characters learning important lessons on the way (aside from Haley).

It all leads to a sweet, feel-good ending – and one of the highlight moments of “One Fine Christmas” – where the neighbors come together outside of Miss Daniels house, caroling “Silent Night” to help her feel less alone.

As for the rest?

The Nice List

Our Favorite Scenes / You’ll Cry…

We combined these two categories for “One Fine Christmas” because the two best scenes are the big tearjerkers of the movie.

Our first favorite scene was when Diana apologizes to Misaki, and Diana says that she is gaining a daughter. It is a touching moment.

Our second favorite scene was the ending. When the neighbors all sing to Miss Daniels, and they show her emotional face as she watches, you will feel all the feels.

It’s a Very Warm Climate Christmas

Unlike your typical Hallmark/Lifetime small town movie, you won’t see any snow in “One Fine Christmas”. Seeing palm trees rather than evergreen trees may be a bit jarring at first, but we quickly got over it.

The Christmas decorations in “One Fine Christmas” aren’t as over the top as most of the 2019 Hallmark or Lifetime movies we’ve seen this year. You won’t be wowed, but you won’t be disappointed – they were realistic and it was just enough.

Deep Cuts

In addition to the more traditional carols you’ll hear, Al busts out Christmas records featuring a couple holidays songs we don’t remember hearing before.

In one of those scenes, he puts on a record called “Christmas for Lovers” and as the music hits, he starts dancing around singing into the paintbrush. That’s when you knew he had the heart of a romantic.

The Naughty List

Robotic Bob

For the most part, the acting was pretty good. In particular, we thought Marla Gibbs had a nice performance.

Then there was Bob. The delivery of so many of his lines just sounded unnatural or a bit forced. It was never bad, but it was never quite good either.

Diana’s Fast Turnaround

Diana was SO rude to Misaki at certain points. Just for that she earns her spot on the naughty list. However, Diana was able to turn her attitude around.

Still, that turnaround felt a little bit too fast and unrealistic. Most people are unable to move so quickly and recognize the error of their ways. So naughty to the writers for rushing this along.

The WORST List


Yes, we’re going to complain about Haley. How meta!

Rather than trying to find a way to solve her problem, it just felt like Haley complained to everybody.

What might have been better? Maybe they could have had a wise (perhaps older) person who could suggest some ideas to Haley, which she could then try to bring the fractured family together. (Maybe even someone from “up north”?)

You’ll Cringe…

  • When Alice refuses to join Haley and Susan for Christmas, because she has to be with her friends. The movie gave us no backstory before this conversation happened early in the movie, so we thought Alice was just so mean for not wanting to spend Christmas with her own family!
  • When Bob offers coffee to Misaki. Um, dude, she’s pregnant. Bad, Bob!

If You Liked “One Fine Christmas” You Might Like:

  • Almost Christmas
  • This Christmas
  • Love the Coopers
  • Christmas in Angel Falls
One Fine Christmas


“One Fine Christmas” is indeed a fine Christmas movie. If you like ensemble casts and a little dysfunction in your Christmas movies, this may be just the movie you’re looking for. We plan to revisit the neighbors on Christmas Street again.

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