Hallmark's "Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas--" Is Holland Roden the Best Co-Star for Tyler Hynes?

Four days before Christmas, Elizabeth receives a voicemail from a number she doesn't recognize from a man who makes one final plea to the love of his life. Starring:  Holland Roden, Tyler Hynes, Tenille Townes  Image:  Hallmark Media Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas Is a Compelling Story The movie plot combines tragedy, triumph, love, and mystery--there's a lot going on to keep the viewer engaged.  Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas also uses my favorite trope:  The Misunderstanding . Elizabeth (Holland Roden), Josh (Tyler Hynes), and Andrew (David Lennon) have been best friends for years.   After college, Elizabeth has big plans to be a writer for The New York Times .  Three years later, she is working as an executive assistant at her mom's company instead of following her dreams. When a man accidentally leaves Elizabeth a voicemail asking the woman he loves to meet him at "their spot" on Christmas Eve, she is determined to follow the few clues s

Review: Here's Why Hallmark's "A Royal Christmas Crush" Is a Disappointment

Ava accepts the opportunity of a lifetime to work at the Royal Ice Hotel which leads her to a surprise whirlwind romance with the most important guest of all, the Royal Prince himself. 

Starring:  Katie Cassidy and Stephen Huszar 

A Royal Christmas Crush
Image:  Hallmark Media

A Royal Christmas Crush Premieres During Hallmark's 2023 Christmas in July Event 

When Hallmark premieres dozens of new Christmas movies in the fourth quarter faster than Mrs. Santa cranks out sugar cookies, you expect a handful of duds.  Hallmark's business model is quantity over quality.

Hallmark fans eagerly await Christmas in July. They adjust the air conditioner to chill the house, snuggle under a fuzzy blanket, sip hot chocolate, and get swept away with the magic of Christmas, even during the hottest month of the year.

As a special treat, Hallmark premieres one or more Christmas movies each July to add a delightful twinkle to summer--and not the blinking kind from all the lightening bugs in your backyard.

A lot of buzz surrounded the launch of A Royal Christmas Crush, and since it was only one of two new movies for the Christmas in July season, fans had high expectations.  

Unfortunately, A Royal Christmas Crush did not live up to the media hype.

A Royal Christmas Crush Is Too Generic

Not even a unique, fancy ice hotel could save this movie.  The Hotel de Glace in Quebec is the same ice castle where Baby It's Cold Inside (2021) and Winter Castle (2019) were filmed, so nothing new to see here.  

Some Hallmark fans are disenchanted by royal movies while others never tire of the classic fairytale story structure.

A Royal Christmas Crush uses the same, worn-out formula.  Prince Henry is feeling pressured to marry, but he wants to fall in love organically, not through the matchmaking chicanery from his meddling family and staff.

The winter castle provides a holiday escape for the royal family where they can relax and enjoy a break from their duties and decorum.

Prince Henry struggles to write his annual address to his Nordic nation of Friørland.  Ava inspires him (not sure how--she just sits around sketching), and the speech ends up being his best yet. 

Yawn.  It's the same royal plot with new characters and scenery.

The only difference is an added antagonist, Brigitta, who is determined her daughter will marry the Prince, and she'll do whatever it takes to keep Ava away from him.

A Royal Christmas Crush Has No Holiday Vibes

The set for A Royal Christmas Crush is illuminated with so many pinks and blues that it looks more like Elsa's ice castle from Frozen than a Hallmark Christmas backdrop.  It would have been better as a winter movie for the New Year, New Movies season.

A Royal Christmas Crush ice hotel
Image:  Hallmark Media

Despite the snowy landscape, a sleigh ride, the Christmas Eve ball, and Ava's red dress, the movie doesn't drum up enough Christmas spirit to make Santa's sleigh fly.

A Royal Christmas Crush Is Riddled with Flaws

Katie Cassidy lacks onscreen warmth, which isn't surprising since she gained cinematic attention from being a scream queen in horror movies--not exactly the Lacey Chabert saccharine charm we've come to expect.  Cassidy is icier than the castle her character is designing, which makes it all the more astonishing that she captured Stephen Huszar's heart in real life.

Speaking of Huszar, have you ever heard a faker accent?  It would have been better had he spoken in his natural accent than trying to use one that makes him sound like he's from Planet Weird.  No wonder the country he governs is fictional--no one talks like that anywhere in the known world.

Why do Prince Henry's parents look his same age?  Is this the casting director's first day on the job?

How about the scene where Ava suggests they get into a hot tub, even though she has no bathing suit.  Doesn't everyone jump into the hot tub fully clothed?

A Royal Christmas Crush
Image:  Hallmark Media

It's common for Hallmark to redeem the "bad guy" by the end of every movie, but Brigitta's sudden change of heart simply isn't believable.  It's too forced.  Brigitta is set on her daughter marrying Prince Henry and tries to keep Ava busy designing shelters for the royal pooches.  She and Von Trier conspire to paint Ava as a fraudster based on her association with her felonious ex-fiancée. They are giddy that their plan is working, only to abruptly fall in love with each other and be delighted that Henry and Ava wind up together after all.  What?  

Ava leaves the airport on her flight back to America.  Moments later, she appears at the royal Christmas Eve ball as if she stepped out of a storybook.  How does this happen?  She simply tells the pilot she wants to return to Friørland, and he turns the plane around.  That's a common occurrence, right?  Now you know--if you're ever flying the friendly skies and change your mind on your destination, just ask the pilot to turn around!

Hallmark Inserts Woke Activism AGAIN

Under the watch of CEO Woke Wonya Lucas, Hallmark laces many of their new movies with political talking points.

A Royal Christmas Crush combines left-wing environmental worship with Socialist housing entitlements to promote activism no one should want to see in a movie meant to entertain.

Ava's passion project is to create sustainable housing communities.  She drafts mock-ups of mini domed dwellings constructed from recycled materials that could house low-income families.  How about vote for leaders whose policies don't decimate communities?  Ava says her plans could help after natural disasters, which is true, but Friørland partners with her to construct just such a community.  They must have streets in Friørland that look like San Francisco.

A Royal Christmas Crush
This mini-igloo on set looks similar to the sustainable housing units Ava wants to build.  Who wouldn't want to live in something the size of a doghouse?  Image: Hallmark Media

Is A Royal Christmas Crush Worth Watching?

A Royal Christmas Crush has nothing new to offer, but it can still hold your attention the first time.  It's worth watching once, but once will be enough.

A Royal Christmas Crush
Image:  Hallmark Media


  1. I agree with this assessment of the movie.

  2. I agree, most definitely! She felt cold, and the couple had no chemistry!

  3. Not the best in the list of Christmas in July movies. She was just boring


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