A Dream of Christmas (2016)

Oh, single ladies. I don’t know if this is the kind of movie to embrace or avoid. On the one hand, I found it easy to get attached to since the main character, Penny, spends most of the movie partner-less and helpless to do anything about it. Welcome to my world, honey. But on the other hand, she’s single because of a misguided wish and, if I know anything about Hallmark movies and I think I do, that means she’s going to be snuggled up with her husband by story’s end while I’m curled up with my dependable body pillow and a tin of shortbread cookies. Still, I think the script and a strong performance from Nikki Deloach tip it towards the favorable.

When her wildlife photographer husband and professional hottie, Stu (Andrew Walker), decides to take off to some tundra to photograph migrating reindeer just before the holidays, Penny (Deloach) offhandedly wishes to her sister (an always lovely Lisa Durupt) that she’d never gotten married. Her wish is granted, and she is immediately flooded with regret. She’s also flooded with loads of cash, a blood red Jag, and a proper corner office since being single means climbing high up the career ladder, or at least it does for alternate universe Penny.

Deloach’s freak out at her new Stu-less reality is wonderful. It’s not that she plays her shock that differently; it’s more that she just owns the wackiness. When she calms down and realizes that is she now single, she tries to navigate her new life and a way back to her husband, who is now a stranger. She figures if she can just get back to him, then together, they can work through whatever this is.

Penny’s love for Stu is sweet and her regret palpable. Regardless of your romantic status, we’ve all been through these stages of grief. She begins to appreciate the passion her husband has for his photography, which is the reason she took a corporate marketing job in the first place. That allowed him to pursue his dream of publishing a book of wildlife photography but also meant that he was away for long periods. Without each other, both find themselves going down career paths and meeting new partners that don’t quite match them. Will she get another chance to prove her love? Is this a Hallmark movie?

Released: 2016
Dir: Gary Yates
Cast: Nikki Deloach, Andrew Walker, Paul Essiembre, Stephanie Moroz, Lisa Durupt, Cindy Williams, Christopher Russell
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark
Reviewed: 2016