When a popular Christmas romance writer gets stranded in a small town, she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle. It's a story worthy of one of her novels. Here's my review of Must Love Christmas which originally aired on CBS on December 11, 2022.
Overview of Must Love Christmas
Natalie (Liza Lapira) is a renowned romance writer who is also known for being a recluse. When her editor suggests that she needs to get out and experience the world in order to write about it, Natalie agrees to travel to upstate New York to go to a book signing. She'll mingle with her fans, but she will not speak with any journalists.
Natalie got burned by a journalist the last time she agreed to an interview, so to say she likes her privacy is an understatement. But Nick (Neal Bledsoe) is a journalist who is looking to save his magazine and write a big story. He figures that if he can nail-down an interview with Natalie and share some behind the scenes info about her, it will be a huge hit with her fans. So he travels to New York to meet her at the book signing.
When Natalie overhears Nick speaking with a fan while waiting in line, she immediately knows that he is not a fan and that he is trying to undermine her career. So as much as Nick tries to meet with her, she keeps giving him the brush off.
With a big snow storm hitting the state, Natalie and Nick both try to drive back to the city and beat the storm. Unfortunately the storm is too intense and they both end up stranded at a small inn at the quaint town of Cranberry Falls. While there, Natalie bumps into her old high school crush Caleb (Nathan Witte). Neal uses his time in Cranberry Falls to chat with Caleb and get the back story on what Natalie was like when she was younger. He also figures that he can follow the two around and try to capture their love story.
Must Love Christmas Review
This is the second Christmas movie for CBS this year and I was really looking forward to it. I wasn't a big fan of the first movie Fit For Christmas, so I was expecting this one to be better. I also really like Liza Lapira in the The Equalizer, so I had high expectations for her in this movie.
Last year CBS aired the movie A Christmas Proposal and I really enjoyed it. One of the reasons why I enjoyed it was because it was different. As someone who watches a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies, it's nice to watch a Christmas movie on a different channel because it usually includes a refreshingly new cast. That is not the case with Must Love Christmas.
Must Love Christmas was produced by the All Canadian Entertainment (ACE), so it's understandable why it looks and feels like a Hallmark movie. Most Hallmark movies are produced and filmed in Canada, so the supporting cast in all of the movies looks the same. That is the case with this movie, and is true for Fit for Christmas as well since ACE produced that one too.
So I guess that brings me back to what I didn't like about this movie. It was too familiar, and I wanted something different. I also wanted there to be a spark between Natalie and her love interests. For the most part I found the relationships to be flat.
And while it was nice to see Liza in a different role and playing someone who is flawed and vulnerable, I guess I was looking for her to be more like Mel from The Equalizer. At times I just wanted her to drop-kick both of these guys.
The Verdict: Tired. Although I would have made some changes to her character, I did enjoy Liza in this movie. My issue is really in everyone who surrounds her in this movie. I'm so tired of seeing the same faces in these Christmas movies. I get it that ACE probably has these people under contract and it is cost effective to cast them. However, if gets old seeing the same faces over and over again.
So if you're a casual Christmas movie watcher than you may enjoy Must Love Christmas. It checks the boxes for what many look for in a holiday movie. But, if you're one who watches tons of Christmas movies each season, I would say that there are lots of other good movies to check out first. You can see my ranking of this year's Hallmark Christmas movies to find one that catches your eye.