When a major developer sends Evan to evaluate the value of Holly Lodge, he and lodge owner Sophie have an instant attraction. But when Sophie realizes the reason for Evan’s stay, she must convince him the lodge is a bad investment — while trying not to fall in love.
At the start of this film I did not think I would be giving Christmas At Holly Lodge such a high rating. After all, the “Meet Cute” occurred using one of my least favourite tropes: two strangers catch each other’s eye from across the room, the world stops and they fill instant attraction to each other …. shortly followed by a lot of bumbling and awkwardness.
But after this cringeworthy introduction, the leads made the film more than bearable. Sophie is like a straight Arizona Robbins and Evan is adorable. Jordan Bridges never ages either! He looks just like he did in the short-lived TV series Conviction that aired a decade ago.
Given the instant attraction I was worried that Sophie/Evan would get together very early on and I would get bored but just before they go there Sophie finds out Evan’s purpose behind being at the lodge and what follows is a whole series of attempts to put him off buying the place, some of which are quite childish.
What this film did well was have other story arcs going on as well as the main romance: Nadine and the little girl’s relationship was sweet and the secondary romance between Vince and Callie was cute but I wish we had seen more of this. I also thought for sure that Evan would get jealous of Vince and his protectiveness over Sophie so it was refreshing that the writers didn’t actually end up playing this card.
There was a high number of young children in this film, even for a Hallmark film, but thankfully most of them stayed in the background apart from Zoe.
Something else I noticed and enjoyed more than in any other film watched so far was the musical score running through it. Some pretty romantic motifs in the vein of Love Actually or The Holiday.
Most eye roll inducing moment: when their eyes met across a busy room …..