“That card brought me here.”
After Jessica’s boyfriend dumps her before Christmas, she decides to send five Christmas cards to the five most important people in her life: her best friend; her brother; her aunt; her music teacher; and a member of a boy band.
One of those cards leads to Jessica meeting Luke, the son of her music teacher, who tracks her down and may just inspire her in new ways. It’s the Hallmark movie, “Write Before Christmas” (2019).
Our Review: “Write Before Christmas”
OK, let’s be real about this from the start.
“Write Before Christmas” is a 90-minute commercial for the life-changing power of Hallmark’s greeting cards. It’s a love letter to greeting cards, written by a greeting card manufacturer.
But here’s the thing. Despite that, it’s a really good movie!
The writing in “Write Before Christmas” is good, for the most part.
Though it isn’t billed as a romantic comedy, there is surprisingly a lot of humor in “Write Before Christmas”. You will most likely find yourself chuckling quite a few times.
This is one of those light-hearted Hallmark movies we really love. But don’t mistake light-hearted for shallow!
There’s a lot going on in “Write Before Christmas” – and most of it works well. We spend Christmas with four of the five of the people Jessica writes those special cards to.
Jessica’s aunt Lila, who raised Jessica and her brother after their parents died. Lila (whose husband died 2 years ago) meets Tom (wife died 3 years ago) and an adorable dog.
Jessica’s brother, Carter, who is in the military and meets and starts spending time with Angie.
Jessica’s BFF, Mimi, who she also works with and relies on to always tell her the truth.
Jax, whose music was the soundtrack of Jessica’s life and helped her get through the death of her parents. Inspired by this letter, he gets his band back together – and they even do a reunion concert that Jessica attends near the end of the movie.
The only person missing? Mrs. Miller, the music teacher who inspired Jessica.
Mrs. Miller is traveling, so as a thank you for her card, Mrs. Miller sends her son, Luke, to Jessica. She also sends a present: a cello. Coincidentally, Jessica is about to audition for an orchestra seat.
And even though Jessica is on a holiday from dating, sparks fly between Jessica and Luke. DeVitto and Murray had great chemistry together.
Plus – we liked how the movie showed Jessica and Luke crossing paths a couple times, but being totally unaware of each other. It was a nice little touch.
The Nice List
Our Favorite Scene
As Jessica and Luke compare their futility at relationships, Jessica suddenly sees her ex-boyfriend, Wes, across the street.
The eventual solution? A (fake) kiss. But there are swooshy sound effects, so we know it’s not as fake of a kiss as she thought it would be.
The Right Amount of Christmasy
Hallmark scores again on the Christmas feels. All the scenes had perfect amount of Christmas and great visuals.
Look no further than Jessica’s home. Even after saying she was going on holiday from the holidays, she never put away any of her decorations – and it was Christmas overload (in the best way).
Also, the purple decorations at Jax’s were crazy good – we’ve never seen room done up like that. Plus, it seems fitting for Jax’s character.
Oh and we had music! Jessica doing multiple Christmas carols on the cello (Silent Night and Carol of the Bells)? We approve!
- When Jessica makes her terrible eye doctor jokes (“I’m sorry, am I making a spectacle of myself?”)
- When Leslie, acting, goes crazy on her blind date with Luke and storms out. The waiter’s response, holding their drink order: “Do you want this to go?”
- When Jessica changes her ringtone to crickets (so hardcore!).
Shout Out to Leslie!
We loved Leslie (Paula Giroday)!
The actress was so good at portraying this doofy role, without sounding stupid, robotic, or cliche – or ever getting overly flirty. She only pops up a couple of times in the movie, and she’s always spot on.
You Want the Moon?
If Jessica had a sixth card, she could have sent it to “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Scenes from the beloved film are featured twice – with Jessica and Luke watching the movie, though not together.
Plus, in the beginning, she quotes the movie to Wes, but he doesn’t get it.
In the end, Luke and Jessica quote that famous “lasso” scene.
The Naughty List
Not 1 But 2 Contrived Mixups?!
First, Jessica sees Luke with Leslie after he prevented her from falling to the ice and gets the wrong idea. So sad Jessica turns around and leaves.
Next, Luke sees Jessica hug Wes in her store. If only he went in he would have found out she just scored an amazing discount on eyeglasses.
Why was her nickname “Messy Jessy”? We never found out.
The WORST List
Not Cool, Jessica…
At one point, Mimi is trying to pry details out from Jessica about her time spent with Luke. Mimi wanted details about their “fake” kiss, and who can blame her?
But Jessica replied with: “We kissed, and I forget the rest.”
Um, really? Were you just not that into Luke?
NEEDLE RETENTION! NO!
OK, we got seriously worried when Jessica said the two words we most dread hearing in any Hallmark movie: “needle retention.”
So many bad movies use this term.
Luckily, this movie escaped the curse. But we can’t forgive this.
Enough. It’s been done and it’s not cool.
If You Liked “Write Before Christmas” You Might Like
- The Christmas Train
- Christmas Pen Pals
- Holiday for Heroes
Write Before Christmas
“Write Before Christmas” has all the right stuff for a Christmas romance movie. While it’s a not very subtle informercial for Hallmark greeting cards, there’s still a lot here to like. Sure, this won’t be a movie we’ll be quoting in 50 years, but it is worth a watch every couple of years – or if it’s airing when we’re not busy writing our Christmas cards.