A Christmas Miracle (2019)

To call this movie A Christmas Miracle is pushing it. Nothing of the sort happens, not one magical Santa nor a single Christmas angel. Instead, it’s just Tamera Mowry-Housley back on TV as Emma, a recent Savannah-to-Denver transplant and single mother to adorable Tyler (Gabriel Jacob-Cross). She hopes for a full-time writing job but is happy to start as an assistant at Daily Lifestyle Magazine, which is great because who doesn’t love a coworker who hands out mini Christmas trees? Leave it to jealous boss lady, Valerie (Kendall Cross), to ruin everything though.

You can blame it on the stress of the season – they are working on the December issue in December – or fault Valerie’s bad character. Whatever the reason, she ends up stealing Emma’s pitch for a Christmas miracle cover story and writing a piece about a special literary find. That leaves Emma scrambling for a way to save her idea and impress the editor-in-chief. It’s not an easy task considering she’s new to the city and spends her down time trying to help Tyler come out of his shell.

During their adventures, they meet one Santa Dean (Barry Bostwick), a busker of extraordinary talent. Tyler warms up to Dean in no time, saddling alongside him and poking around his keyboard like the budding musician he is. Emma’s journalistic spidey senses, meanwhile, tell her there’s more to Santa Dean than meets the eye. With the help of Marcus (Brooks Darnell), the magazine’s photographer and sometimes dispenser of bad professional advice, she tries to write a new Christmas miracle story into being.

Mowry-Housley and Darnell click right away, and their characters have a breezy rapport that is both professional and friendly without leaning too far to either side. Emma and Marcus see that their working relationship eases into something more relaxed outside the office, like when he shares memories from his own childhood with Tyler. Their growing friendship doesn’t feel forced by badly scripted flirting, which is great for everyone. Sometimes ordinary movies are ruined by couples hopscotching over important moments to get to a romantic conclusion, but this ordinary movie is made slightly better by allowing Emma and Marcus to take the slower road.

Released: 2019
Dir: Tibor Takacs
Writer: Mark Amato
Cast: Tia Mowry-Housley, Brooks Darnell, Barry Bostwick, Kendall Cross, Gabriel Jacob-Cross, Anna Van Hooft, Rebecca Staab
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Movies and Mysteries
Reviewed: 2019