'Inn Love by Christmas' Review: Lifetime explores the beauty of home and relationships with a snowy romance
The film has the right amount of mush and does not go overboard on the emotional quotient
Spoilers for ‘Inn Love by Christmas’
Christmas is the time to be with family and friends. No matter how busy they are throughout the year, most people try to be at home and with their near and dear ones during the festive season. This year has been tough and if there’s a take away from these uncertain times – it is the value of relationships. Lifetime’s holiday movie ‘Inn Love by Christmas’ tries to highlight the importance of home and belonging.
A very successful and passionate Mandy (Jonna Walsh) finally gets some time off her busy schedule to spend Christmas with her Gram (Jayne Eastwood) in her small hometown. From the beginning, it is clear that our female lead is driven and focused on what she wants to achieve. Being in the hospitality business, Mandy knows the needs of customer satisfaction and how to find a quick fix for a problem. Even though her plan is to enjoy Christmas with her Gram, there is also a little bit of business involved in her visit home.
The popular and quaint inn in her hometown is up for sale and Mandy wants to acquire it for her company. Her reason is not just to further her career with the deal but also to give back to the town she grew up in as she believes the inn, with the right leadership, has a lot of potential. But fate has different plans for her. On her arrival, she bumps into her high school classmate and competition Lucas (Jesse Hutch). Due to a mix-up by the car rental service, Mandy and Luke – after an awkward reunion – have to share one car.
During their car ride and a stop at a local diner, we get to know that both our protagonists are achievers since high school and competitive – each of them polished off extra-large bowls of mac and cheese just to get their pictures on the wall of the eatery. However, Mandy is surprised when she learns that even Lucas wants to acquire the inn and that’s the reason he moved back home. Both of them agree to healthy competition to bid for the inn and leave the decision to the owner Tammy (Tammy Isbell) about the winner. Odds seem to favor Lucas because the town wants someone who would be staying at the place and run it with the same care and love that the current owners have been doing for years.
The chemistry and spark between Mandy and Lucas is visible right from the beginning. On one hand, Lucas after working hard and achieving success at his big-city job is burnt out and that’s why he moves back home and wants to run the inn. Mandy is very happy with her job and wants to keep progressing. Through the leads, the film tries to convey that both these ideas are fine and the choices shouldn’t be judged – whether you want a break and focus on your personal life or you want to give priority to your job, what matters ultimately is one’s happiness. We will not give away who ultimately gets the inn, but both Mandy and Lucas put in their best efforts – one brings in the contemporary feel and the other presents the a classic touch.
Walsh and Hutch fit their respective roles well, and so do the other supporting actors. The film has the right amount of mush and does not go overboard on the emotional quotient. Since we have been at home for the most part of this year (and rightly so), the serene snowcapped locations and the exquisite Christmas decorations take us on a heartwarming visual journey. So, if you want to watch a feel-good movie this Friday, you might want to check this one out.
‘Inn Love by Christmas’ will air on Friday, December 11 at 8 pm on Lifetime.