Plot: Kara (Keshia Knight Pulliam) is a radio personality known for her Radio Christmas broadcasts, so she has poured a lot of time and effort into this year’s programs, hoping to land a promotion. But when an accident forces her station off the air for a month, she has to start from scratch since she is relocated to another town during the outage, away from her contacts and sources. She tries to make the best of the situation however and prove she can be an investigative journalist, so she begins to learn about the town and its holiday traditions. One story that stands out is about how the town was facing certain financial peril, but a mystery benefactor not only bailed out the town, but made it stable for the foreseeable future. Many local businesses were saved and of course, the local holiday celebrations were also kept alive, all thanks to the unknown donor who made it all possible. Kara decides to uncover the truth about the philanthropist, but can she crack the case and earn her promotion?
Entertainment Value: Radio Christmas didn’t leave much of an impression, but it does fall in line with similar Lifetime holiday romances, which means it is light and harmless, aimed right at the network’s built in fan base. The narrative is passable and sets up the typical holiday romance elements, but I was never that reeled in, as it felt more generic than most in the genre. Even within the formula these holiday romances usually follow, there is room for creative touches or a little variance, but Radio Christmas plays it super safe and never veers off the path. I don’t mind that it feels like other movies of this kind or even that it is always predictable, but the story just doesn’t spark and the overall movie is rather forgettable. Which again isn’t to say Radio Christmas is bad, as that isn’t the case, I just think it falls into the crowd and disappears. The kind of movie you might watch if it happens to be on, but isn’t likely to be one you revisit in specific. But in any event, if you’re a fan of the Lifetime/Hallmark style holiday romances, you will probably be mildly entertained here.
The cast in this one is fine, but as I mentioned before, the story is rather mundane and by turn, the characters aren’t that memorable. I think bright, colorful characters can work wonders in formula driven movies like this, so while the writing here is competent, it does little to stand out in the crowded field. Keshia Knight Pulliam has the lead and she holds up her end of the deal, but again, isn’t given a lot to work with and her effort winds up as run of the mill. But that isn’t her fault, as she does what she can, but the script just never lets her stretch her talents or really shine. So we are left with a capable, but not at all memorable turn from Pulliam. The romance element is light and burns on low at best, so the lack of electric vibes between Pulliam and Michael Xavier isn’t a concern. After all, these are light and wholesome romances, not steamy ones, so as long as both are likable, that’s what count in these cases. The cast also includes John B. Lowe, Belinda Montgomery, and Tim Reid.