Plot: Holly (Elizabeth Berkley) is a single mom trying to get her life back on track, as she has fallen onto some hard times of late. Her financial situation is her main concern, as she is taking whatever work possible to make ends meet, but dreams of putting her culinary skills to use in her own restaurant. In other words, Holly could use some luck and with Christmas around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time. And she does indeed have a boost of luck, with a lottery win that makes her a millionaire and of course, that is beyond her wildest dreams. But the good luck is offset by some bad luck, as her car was stolen and her ticket was in the glove box, meaning she is unable to cash in and there is a time limit to redeem the ticket. Meanwhile Mike (Jason Grey-Stanford) is upset with his friend for stealing the car, but runs into an ethical dilemma when he learns about the ticket. How will Mike handle the situation and will Holly’s luck turn around one more time before Christmas?
Entertainment Value: I like these lighter, more humor driven Hallmark holiday romances and with Elizabeth Berkley in the lead role here, I had to check out Lucky Christmas. The narrative does what it needs to do, but of course gets bogged down in complicated plot devices to enable the main story. So it doesn’t always make sense and some simple fixes are ignored, but if common sense was employed, there wouldn’t be much of a movie, right? The movie follows the typical Hallmark Christmas romance formula, which isn’t a bad thing at all, since these films are comfort food style pictures, so they’re aimed at the channel’s built in audience. The romance angle is tepid at best here, as there’s no chemistry between Berkley and her romantic interest, while the humor aspect is rather mediocre as well. The film has some basic charm at times, but it doesn’t really do much that works beyond a passable level. I can see this as background noise while Hallmark fans do whatever else, but it just doesn’t offer much that makes you sit up and take notice. As soon as the end credits roll, you’ll likely remember little of what you’ve seen, as Lucky Christmas doesn’t leave much of an impression and isn’t memorable at all. At the same time, if you just want a light Christmas movie to turn on, you could do worse.
She might not be the best actress around, but I always look forward to Elizabeth Berkley’s movies. Maybe I am just biased because of my affection for Saved by the Bell and Showgirls, but I usually have fun watching Berkley, even in her more phoned in, wooden efforts. She brings good energy to Lucky Christmas and has some light emotional outbursts, which is fun to watch. The material isn’t taxing at all, so Berkley isn’t pushed outside of a basic performance, but as I said, she is energetic and I think her charm shines through here. In an otherwise forgettable movie, she provides the most enjoyable element, so that’s worth a mention. I think the main reason the movie stumbles is that Berkley has no chemistry with her costar Jason Grey-Stanford, which is not good since this is supposed to be a romantic narrative. The two perform well, but there’s just no spark there and that hinders the entire movie, more or less. The cast also includes Julia Arkos, Mitchell Kummen, and Alicia Johnston.
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