Christmas by Starlight (TV Movie 2020)

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Christmas by Starlight: Directed by Gary Yates. With Kimberley Sustad, Paul Campbell, Darren Martens, Bruce Dawson. When her family’s beloved eatery, The Starlight Café, is slated for demolition, Annie vows to put a stop to it before Christmas.

“This is a very good Hallmark Christmas movie; it is one of the best thus far this 2020 season. The plot, of course, was quite predictable: I knew the ending already 10 minutes in after the scene at the coffee stand where the leads make a deal. However, to be fair, most people watching Hallmark films are not in it for unpredictability. I think, what is most important is whether the film pulls you in, engages you. This one pulled me from the start. I wonder if the writer was at all influenced by the film Two Weeks Notice (starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock), as this film reminded me a little of that one. The script, I thought, was well-written, especially the dialogue, the banter between the two leads. It was fun, cute and touching. Regarding the latter, I especially enjoyed the scenes with the gift Annie gave William and the one near the end where they have their first kiss (Annieu0026#39;s response to William here was touching, I thought). Overall, the acting was great. Kimberley Sustadu0026#39;s performance as Annie was impressive; for example, she did an excellent job with her dialogue (her banter) with William (played by Paul Campbell). Campbell had a good performance as well. I typically enjoy his Hallmark movies. The chemistry between the two was good but not great, not as good as the leads in, e.g., The Angel Tree (another very good Hallmark film this Christmas) or Lifetimeu0026#39;s A Welcome Home Christmas. That said, the banter between the two was excellent. The supporting cast also had a good performance. Darren Martens had a strong performance in the role of Lyle. Finally, the scenery, props, and sets were all well-polished and quite festive. I did not notice any, e.g., fake snow in this one. Overall, this is a very entertaining Christmas movie, a nice new edition to Hallmarku0026#39;s 2020 movie lineup/collection.”

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