Christmas Wonderland (2018)

Christmas Wonderland is a predictable holiday movie that was quite enjoyable until the end. When our two main characters meet at the Snowball dance, embrace, and share a kiss, the movie literally just ends. We couldn’t believe that after all the build-up, the movie just ends. We both looked at each other in complete shock that after a kiss and an exchange of I love you, the screen cuts to black and the credits roll. I’m still miffed about it.

As for the rest of the movie, the story isn’t all that bad. Like I said in the open, it is 100% predictable. Heidi (Emily Osment) left her small town to become an artist in New York City. After a series of events, she finds herself back home babysitting her niece and nephew. Her sister volunteers Heidi to help at the high school’s annual Snowball dance, which is being organized by her high school sweetheart Chris (Ryan Rottman). 

The pair bicker upon meeting for the first time, only to realize that they can achieve something pretty special for the kids if they just work together. Meanwhile, Heidi’s boss in New York needs her to prepare the art galley’s famous Christmas party, which is just days away. There’s a lot on Heidi’s plate, but she can’t deny the feelings she has for being home, feeling inspired, and still in love. 

I enjoyed a few aspects of the story, which included Chris and Heidi’s inspiration to host the Snowball dance.  You can see that when these two are together, they bring out the best in one another. 

The story focuses a lot of time talking about Heidi’s amazing artwork. Since moving away, it’s become an afterthought, even though she is extremely talented. It took spending a few forceful days back home to realize she’s been chasing the wrong dreams and that what will make her really happy is right in front of her. Sometimes these stories work, and sometimes they don’t. As a kid from a small town, I can totally appreciate the story. 

Christmas Wonderland will not be the worse movie of the holiday season, although it may just be the worse ending. People from a small town may enjoy the story about finding happiness at home, while others may mock the idea for giving up on the big city dreams. Either way, it was still a fun movie. 5/10

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