Heartwarming and with an aggressive amount of product placement, My Christmas Inn is exactly what you’d expect from a Christmas film
Starring Tia Mowry, Rob Mayes, Jackée Henry, and Tim Reid
Originally broadcast as a Lifetime Original Movie, and now on Netflix, My Christmas Inn does very little to separate itself from the multitude of other festive-themed romantic Christmas films. Still, it’s a charming enough way to spend a bleary December evening, and demands remarkably little attention.
Jen Taylor (Tia Mowry) is an important city executive. She is very good at her job. We know this, because people applaud her when she gives speeches in meetings, and she never takes time off. She works herself to the bone in the name of her lofty career aspirations with a prestigious promotion on the line. She simply does not have the time to journey to Alaska to deal with the inn that has been bequeathed to her by her great aunt. However, in making the time, she learns that all of her career aspirations were stupid compared to staying in an uneventful, though festively decorated, town with a gentleman she’s fallen in love with despite the fact that he’s vaguely unremarkable.
It’s easy to ridicule this type of film, but it was actually quite sweet and well played by those involved. Rob Mayes plays love interest Brian Anderson very well, and though there’s little in this movie to surprise, it’s pleasurable enough. It also features a Sister, Sister reunion with Tia Mowry’s parents being played by old co-stars Jackée Henry and Tim Reid.
I do take umbrage at the fact that Jen, a driven career woman, ultimately gives up on all of her dreams so that she can run the inn. It might have been nicer to have found a way for her to maintain her career and still find love, as the modern woman can, indeed, have it all, but instead the film elected to put in a half-baked storyline about her losing her artistic passion, which has been reduced to doodling on coffee cups.
Tia Mowry also better be picking up a rather hefty check from Balsam Hill, such is the aggressive amount of product placement. Most scenes have moments in which certain items are put into the foreground, but never before have I seen an entire conversation dedicated as to where to find quality Christmas supplies. Credit to them, it is an offensively festive image that they have created throughout Chestnut Hill.
My Christmas Inn is streaming now on Netflix