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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Heart of the Holidays 2020 * * * 1/2 Stars


"Welcome home". Me, well I "welcome" the holidays 24/7. That's even if it's in the monstrosity that is 2020.

Anyway, Heart of the Holidays is a whimsical, luxuriate, and lighthearted romantic drama. It's also my latest review. As something about a woman who reconnects with an old boyfriend in her hometown via Upstate New York, "Heart" has the most appealing of female leads while packing a small wallop in emotional, yuletide convention. You can smell the bark of the tree, the Christmas cookies baking, the hot chocolate churning, and the Christmassy candles a blazing. "It's the most wonderful time of the year". Indeed.

Granted, Heart of the Holidays gets a little too soppy at the end and its setting of Upstate Crawleigh is purely fictional (I guess it's supposedly located somewhere near Buffalo). Still, "Heart" has likable characters, unforced flash, plenty of holiday pluck, and slow-burning chemistry between its dewy-eyed stars (Vanessa Lengies and Corey Sevier who's also the director). "Heart" minus any adulterated innuendo or suggested dialogue, is like watching a G-rated tinsel version of 2002's Sweet Home Alabama

Look for exterior overheads of New York City coupled with interior scenes filmed in Ontario, Canada (it's merely a Hallmark thing which is okay by me). Also know that Heart of the Holidays is cutesy like other Hallmark flicks but much more full-grown in its approach. Sevier's direction here is cozy, unforced, and tranquil as he gets every garnishing shot just right. 

The personas in "Heart" are good-natured denizens who deserve to have good things coming to them. Added to that, "Heart's" setting is pure, pop-up Christmas card with mellow panache and tones of soft, background lighting. Basically, the late Nora Ephron, the late Garry Marshall, and Nancy Meyers would be proud. I "heart" for Heart of the Holidays

Written by Jesse Burleson

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