Holly (Kelli Williams), a social worker in her early 30s, doesn’t really go in for Christmas. That’s because Santa never made good on his promise 20 years ago to give her a boyfriend. I wouldn’t say that’s the best reason to throw in the Christmas towel, but that’s about as deep as things get in A Boyfriend for Christmas, which glosses over plenty of plot elements to force its story through to its natural, romantic conclusion.
It’s never really clear, for example, how she reconnects with the same mall Santa (Charles Durning) from her youth. He hears her dismiss the holiday and decides to right the wrong with a little help from a friend. When a stranger, Doug, (Patrick Muldoon) suddenly appears on her doorstep on Christmas morning, Holly unquestioningly invites him in and even brings him home to see the parents. In fairness she thinks he’s a prank gift from her friend, but I don’t know any friends who would rent a human being as a joke.
The unquestioned plot holes are irrelevant though. Hallmark Channel movies have gotten away with much less. The standard here is whether the viewer achieves a reasonably warm, seasonal feel after two hours, and the answer is…sort of. There’s plenty of misbegotten romance to go around, and the main characters have an abundance of generosity. Between hunting for Christmas trees and ice skating outdoors, Holly tries to deal with the after-effects of her relationship with editor Ted (Bruce Thomas), whose reappearance complicates things. Her potential relationship with Doug also hits some bumps when he reveals his own secrets.
Thomas does an adequate job being the detestable ex, and Muldoon, despite a somewhat cocky demeanor, is also competent as a caring lawyer who loves to work pro bono and volunteer at homeless shelters. Williams is by far the highlight of the movie though. She’s not tasked with much, but she embodies the gold-hearted do-gooder who deserves to be with someone she loves. Besides her performance and the amusing if far-fetched premise, however, there’s little else to lift this holiday effort.
Prod: Alpine Medien Productions
Dir: Kevin Connor
Writer: Roger Schroeder
Cast: Kelli Williams, Patrick Muldoon, Charles Durning, Bruce Thomas, Shannon Wilcox, Martin Mull, Bridget White, David Starzyk
Time: 90 min
Country: United States