Movie Review: Hallmark Channel’s Christmas at Dollywood (2019)
December 4, 2020
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Last year, while on a visit to one of my friend’s home, we talked about Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. We talked about how silly and ridiculous many of them are as well as some of our favorites. One of my friends suggested I watch Christmas at Dollywood whenever it comes out on DVD. It sounded like a movie I would enjoy watching, especially since Dolly Parton is in the movie, so I made sure to keep an eye out for a DVD of it. After searching, I finally found one at my closest Walmart in October. I bought it and, after watching it, I can finally say what think of the movie.
The movie is about Rachel, widow and single mother and a New York City event planner, that, during the Christmas holiday season, the event business she works for informed her she has some time off. Despite this, Dollywood’s event planner for their 30th Annual Smoky Mountain Christmas fell through and they need an event planner. After hiring the event planning business Rachel works for, Rachel, who is the only event planner free to work on short notice, is set to Tennessee to pitch an event plan for the Smoky Mountain Christmas. Although Rachel is from Tennessee and is happy to bring her daughter for a Christmas with her mother and father. Problems begin when Luke, a candidate for the Head of Operations job at Dollywood, is paired together with Rachel to create the perfect Christmas party. Luke thinks he can handle the planning of the party on his own, which causes conflict between the two. As Rachel and Luke begin to get a long, they are torn between their growing love for each other, their love for Dollywood, and their aspirations for their careers.
Although I’m not a huge fan of romance movies or stories, especially Christmas themed ones, this movie was very enjoyable. It was fast paced, but the story is simple and well written enough easily to follow. The script drops enough hits about each character, their background, and other parts of their lives without being over dramatic, loosing the charm, and enjoyable elements that make Hallmark movies family friendly and calming to watch. Danica McKellar and Niall Matter do a great job as Rachel and Luke and I really enjoyed watching them on screen.
Even though Dollywood is where most of the movie takes place and Dolly Parton is mentioned many times throughout the movie, Dolly does not make an appearance until the end of the film. This becomes a reoccurring theme in the movie because Rachel, who grew up attending Dollywood, has never met Dolly Parton. Despite mentioning this a few times and a close call meeting her, Rachel does not get meet Dolly until the end of the movie. Even though the lack of appearance of Dolly in the film may make some viewer upset, especially if they are watching the movie with the expectation of Dolly to be a prominent character in the film, I’m not bothered by this. To me, the story is interesting and enjoyable enough to watch from start to end. Also, the story is meant to be a romance film between two characters, neither of whom are Dolly. Still, I know people who felt a little mislead into watching the film expecting more appearance by Dolly than there are due to the marketing and branding of the movie. Even though I didn’t feel mislead, I can see how this can happen and wanted to note this in case anyone is wondering about the amount of times Dolly appears in the movie.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this movie. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, country music, and, of course, Dolly Parton and Dollywood.