“Anything lost can be found again, especially if it’s in your heart.”
Country star Melody is shocked when she’s accused of stealing a Christmas song by her mentor. She’s given until Christmas to settle or prove that she wrote it.
So Melody decides to go home and visit her family – where she also runs into her ex, Chase. It’s the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie, “Our Christmas Love Song” (2019).
Our Review: Our Christmas Love Song
Overall, “Our Christmas Love Song” is good, but it could have been so much better. Even though the story moved along fine, the writing was definitely hit or miss.
Let’s start with the premise – Melody (Alicia Witt) needs to find proof she wrote a song as a teenager. And that proof seems to be everywhere in town – her family and everybody she runs into in town remembers her performing the song in concert many years ago (there’s even video footage of a concert where she performed the song, apparently – though that video never is actually shown and nobody even ASKS to look at the footage – one of a few thread the movie left hanging).
We’re not lawyers, but we’re fairly sure that’s one lawsuit that would get thrown out fairly quick.
So there’s not really much drama in that aspect. Melody’s entire search for proof is less than frantic.
But apparently only the original sheet music was proof enough – and you know it’s only a question of when it will be found (and if you pay attention close enough to the dialogue, you’ll probably figure out where it is long before Melody figures it out).
Had “Our Christmas Love Song” managed to weave its entire story together slightly better, and actually played out a few of the ideas they set up, rather than abandoning them, we would have given this movie a much higher score. Because it really always comes down to the details – and how much they detract from your enjoyment of the watching experience.
Despite a few misses here and there, there was some really enjoyable and fun dialogue in this one – probably enough to classify this as a rom-com. The banter between Melody and Chase (Brendan Hines) was quite good – and Dot and Chase has some great exchanges as well.
Still there were issues. Let’s break the rest of “Our Christmas Love Song” down.
The Nice List
Our Favorite Scene
The first kiss between Melody and Chase was good, but what put this scene over the top as our favorite (and funny!) moment from the movie is what came next – when his sister, Dot (Ava Darrach-Gagnon), walks in.
Chase gets a bit rambly, trying to act like nothing is going on, when obviously something is going on. Leading Melody to sum up Chase like this: “He’s very repetitive.”
Aside from that scene, Melody and Chase had pretty good chemistry throughout “Our Christmas Love Song”.
We also liked that there wasn’t some contrived mixup that sent her out of town – in fact, he told her she should perform on Hunter Hamilton’s Christmas concert special. Because, you know, she has a career and this would be good for it.
Plus, we know a duet with Hunter Hamilton is the only thing missing from Melody’s career.
Aside from the post-kiss shenanigans, we also couldn’t help but laugh when Hunter arrives unexpectedly at the family’s front door, with an, “Evening, ma’am, how are you?”
Jillian (Andrea del Campo), quickly excuses herself, shuts the door, and asks someone else to check if Hunter Hamilton is indeed at her front door.
There was so much Christmas. In every scene.
When we talk about Hallmark setting the bar high for visuals, look at this movie for an example!
Plus, there was plenty of good music – including two original songs and a couple of regular Christmas carols.
That Looks Familiar!
As we mentioned in our review of “Holiday Hearts”, Alicia Witt indeed wore the same white sweater in “Our Christmas Love Song” as Ashley Williams wore in “Holiday Hearts”. #SweaterBuddies?
Overall, the acting was good.
Alicia Witt remains a favorite, as she’s always a joy to watch in any Christmas movie. This tweet says it better than we could:
It’s one of my favorite nights of the year: Alicia Witt movie premiere night! She laughs the way Christmas would laugh if Christmas was a person! #OurChristmasLoveSong #hallmarkchristmasmovies @hallmarkchannel @hallmarkmovie @aliciawitty
— readingnarwhal (@readingnarwhal) November 25, 2019
Although Dot wasn’t featured much, we noticed that every scene she was in was pretty great. So that makes her a standout to us, as she was a big part of making those scenes so good and fun.
Lucy (Anna Anderson Epp)) was a bit too over-excited at times, but not terrible for a child actor.
The Naughty List
Good Writing, I Miss You
This was another one of those movies where there’s a big music special in five days and they’re still putting it together the week before Christmas. We’ve been there, seen that, multiple times. Enough already. It’s silly.
That wasn’t the only instance of odd writing. For instance, they talk about going to see Santa. They never actually go. The same was true about the nutcracker. They talked about it, but never went and seemed to just entirely skip ahead to a different day. So why talk about it?
Oh, speaking of trends, “Our Christmas Love Song” featured another one that’s getting old quick: terrible auditions. These wouldn’t bother us so much had we not already seen it a few times before this year. But these just lose their effectiveness each time another movie does it.
Terrible auditions are no longer unique. It’s already starting to feel like more of a checklist item writers were given this year.
Lucy Didn’t Get Her Christmas Wish
Another strange writing choice was Lucy’s dad NOT coming home. Early on, we learn he’s stationed overseas. And Lucy wishes (in a Christmas movie!) that her father was home.
It seemed so obvious what would be coming – he’d be home right before the end credits.
They even did a video hookup at the concert. Usually that’s the prelude to an actual in-person surprise.
Nope. Not this time. Lucy’s dad never came home.
This was quite unexpected – especially when parents coming home is easily one of the hottest Hallmark Christmas movie trends of 2019. They’ve had more military homecomings in movies this year for characters who had smaller roles than Lucy.
- What happened to the rest of the acts in the Christmas concert?
For the most part, we liked Chase. But a couple of times, he got a bit catty.
The first time was when, after telling her to leave, he complained about not needing a second microphone.
And then, during the concert, he just has to point out that this was SUPPOSED to be a duet but… you know… Melody is just off making one of her lifelong dreams come true – even though HE told her to go! How dare she!
It would have been better if Melody had simply shown up a couple minutes earlier to join Chase right before they performed. Then we could have avoided this awkwardness altogether.
Both of these moments didn’t reflect well on the character. He could – and should – have been a bigger man in both of these instances.
If You Liked “Our Christmas Love Song” You Should Watch:
- The Road Home to Christmas (2019)
- Christmas in the Smokies
- Catch a Christmas Star
Our Christmas Love Song
“Our Christmas Love Song” did a lot well – mostly when it came to the romantic leads. However, it also fell victim to some of eye-rolling tropes and subpar writing at times. With a few tweaks and attention to detail, it could have been great. But there’s still enough in “Our Christmas Love Song” to demand the occasional rewatch.