Once again, Hallmark dresses a rather unsubstantial romantic story, this time at Christmas, with the background of an appealing, historical destination. Heidi, an American artist of German heritage has the opportunity to exhibits her hand-made Christmas ornaments at the fabled Heidelberg Christmas Market, while discovering her family's roots. Hosted at the Oppermanns' guest house, she is welcomed to share their Holiday traditions and bonds with their son, Lukas, also an artist with a kin soul. With some twists and turns, that shall not be revealed, the story follows to a predictable outcome. How does it work?
LOCATION: the movie offers appreciable glimpses of the historical vestiges and the culture of this city, that I regret never been able to visit. This is a definite plus.
PLOT: some original elements are inserted in an otherwise fairly bland story.
PERFORMANCES: frankly, I am not overly impressed neither by the acting abilities of Ginna Claire Mason and Frederic Brossier or their chemistry in this production.
ATMOSPHERE: despite some charming sequences, Hallmark shows the usual superficiality in handling other cultures. Somehow, the feeling of a real German experience is missing in most of the scenes. A major omission, which could have been easy to provide, with a little attention and minimal cost, is real German Christmas music. Germany has an enormous wealth of beautiful traditional music, dating back to the Middle Age, that could have created a magical background for the action, Instead, other than a token rendition or "O Tannenbaum" and a short run of 'Es ist ein Ros einsprungen" melody, the soundtrack is quite generic and uninspired. In my book, this is a badly missed opportunity.
Overall, the film is "Christmas-y" and family-oriented, with some endearing moments and worth a look, though it could have been so much more.