Three generations of women in the Chapel family gather during the holidays, and try to use the celebrations of Christmas and Kwanzaa as a way to mend their relationships. And, figure out their futures. Holiday Heritage first aired on the Hallmark channel on December 16, 2022. Here's a look at the movie.
Holiday Heritage Synopsis
Ella (Lyndie Greenwood) moved from Pennsylvania to Boston two years ago, and now she's home for the holidays. It's the first Christmas since losing her Grandfather, and she knows that it will be a tough one for the family. Plus, her mother Micah (Holly Robinson Peete) told her that she's not getting along with her Grandmother and that after the holidays she is going to move to Chicago. Ella is determined to use the time at home to repair their relationship.
Ella's grandmother Tess (Darlene Cooke) isn't into the holidays this year, and has been throwing herself into the family business. She is at the bakery round the clock. Her determination to work so hard, and to stick with only her traditional recipes is part of the problem between she and Micah. She isn't giving Micah a chance to have any say in the business, even though she has worked there since high school.
Seeing the tension between her mother and grandmother, Ella thinks that celebrating Kwanzaa together can help bring them all together. Her grandfather had been the mayor of their town, and he was instrumental in the Kwanzaa celebrations each year. The new mayor, Ella's ex Griffin (Brooks Darnell) is carrying on the the traditions and helps Ella use the holiday as a way to bring her family together. Spending time together also gives them an opportunity to discuss their relationship and why Ella moved away.
Holiday Heritage Celebrates Kwanzaa
One of the things that I liked best about this movie is that it celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa. It was nice to see another holiday represented this year on Hallmark. And as someone who doesn't celebrate the holiday, I enjoyed learning more about it.
Holiday Heritage Review
I thought that Holiday Heritage was OK. While I was happy to see a movie that celebrates Kwanzaa, I was disappointed with the movie itself. The story wasn't bad. I mean it's a granddaughter trying to help her mother and grandmother talk to each other. And, to learn what their relationship will look like without the father and husband who had played peacemaker for all those years. It certainly is a dynamic that many can relate to.
I think that my disconnect with the movie was with the acting. I had a hard time watching some of the characters. I didn't mind Ella and Griffin, and it was easy to see how they were a couple. But watching the mother-daughter interaction between Tess and Micah was hard for me to watch. Whether it was a lack of good dialogue, or lack of chemistry between the two, I just didn't like watching them. And that made the movie boring, and uninspiring for me.
The Verdict: Flawed. Holiday Heritage had potential and I think it's one of those movies where it will come down to personal preference. I don't want to say that it will be a love it, or hate it scenario. But, I do think that it won't appeal to everyone. And for others, the appeal of the movie may overshadow the flaws. For me, it was the opposite. The flaws overshadowed the message and the story. So watching it once was OK, but it won't be a movie that I'll look to watch a second time.
Related Article: My ranking of the best Hallmark Christmas movies 2022