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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 30, 2020



HALLMARK Christmas movies usher in the holidays every year and there’s a new Hallmark film that aims to brighten the Christmas spirit for you, “Christmas with the Darlings”, which just like Netflix’ “Operation Christmas Drop”, is a feel good old-fashioned romcom about two different souls that will eventually become fated for each other. 

Jessica (Katrina Law of “Arrow”) is working as an executive assistant for the boss of a big company, Charles Darlington (Steve Bacic). She has just passed the bar exams and is about to be promoted as a corporate lawyer once the Christmas holidays are over. 

But before she leaves her job as an assistant, she has to do one last thing for her boss, who is the eldest of three brothers. 

The second brother married an Australian woman and they live in Sydney. When he and his wife tragically died in an accident, they leave their two daughters and one son behind to their mom’s sister named, Mathilda (who must be the one who’s waltzing.) 

But now, Mathilda is old and infirm so she is sending the three kids to their dad’s two brothers, Charles and the youngest one, Max (Carlo Marks), who’s a gentleman of leisure and noted for being an irresponsible slacker. 

Charles is leaving for a business trip in Europe so he tells Jennifer to take good care of his orphaned nieces and nephew while he’s away. After the holidays, they’ll all be sent to a boarding school in Vermont.  

Jessica herself is an orphan so she’s not going anywhere for Christmas and even welcomes the idea of looking after the kids. But then, Max pops up and he’s happy to see the kids, so he and Jessica become their surrogate parents for the holidays.

At first, Jessica and Max seem to be odd for each other. She’s very organized, loves to list down things she has to do. He, in turn, is very freewheeling and wants to solve problems by just having fun. But it’s easy to predict where all this will be going.

The movie’s aim is stated by Jessica clearly: to give the three orphans the most New England Christmas of all and you know you’re in for a wholesome snowy yuletide treat. 

The kids are used to a warm Christmas down under as summer in Sydney is in December, so now, Jessica and Max make them experience a snowy Connecticut Christmas. 

They bake cookies and used them to decorate the Christmas trees in the garden so birds can eat them. They then build a snowman and throw snowballs at each other while frolicking in the snow, set to popular Christmas pop songs. 

Uncle Max turns out not be a slouch after all and, whaddaya know, sweet romance blooms between him and Jessica. The movie is reminiscent of other Hallmark Christmas movies about the good memories of the Yuletide season, about love and family. The actors all do creditably in their respective roles, including the three kids.

And yes, for members of the LGBT community, there’s even a lesbian element in the movie with Jessica’s friend Zoe (Morgana WYlie) being a lesbian who finds romance in another girl who’s a hot barista. 

Do they have a kissing scene? Of course not, they don’t even get to hold hands. That would be too much for a Hallmark Christmas movie. But at least, they get to smile at each other. A lot! Merry Christmas!!!!