Hallmark Summary: “Charles Whitley travels from 1903 to 2020 where he meets Megan Turner and experiences a 21st Century Christmas. Starring Erin Cahill and Ryan Paevey.”
My Reaction? Worth every second! There is a super-fine line between the whimsical and the ridiculous. Time-travel romances often walk this line, and not always successfully. (Looking at you, “A Knight Before Christmas.”) Part of the genius of this story is how the hero acclimates to the twenty-first century by ending up where he started – in his own house. The confusion created when he crashes a historical tour in his own home is a satisfying kind of time-travel fun.
Erin Cahill does a lovely job as Megan who’s as smart as she is likable. In fact, Megan wrote her Ph.D. dissertation on…wait for it…Charles Whitley. So, Dr. Turner already has ample background knowledge to assess Charles when he turns up in the mansion. She quickly determines that H. G. Wells was correct, and time travel is legit – IF you have a Christmas clock. Which they don’t because it’s missing from Charles’ office where he last saw it.
Ryan Paevey is nicely cast as a successful businessman who has the clock but not the time. I first saw Paevey in “Christmas at the Plaza“ and I am definitely charmed by his work here. He’s convincing as a gentleman from 1903 because he does lowkey like a champ. Charles is so busy living for the future, he’s missing the present. Then he winds the Christmas clock, and the future becomes his present. Charles gets double points for his speech at the end. Well done, Paevey & writers!
I enjoyed this movie partly because the protagonists had plenty to do. Between planning for the Christmas Eve party and hunting for the Christmas clock, they also kept up with the daily tours of the mansion and even found time to shop. On top of that, Megan faces a major career dilemma that she can’t avoid any longer. There were a few tried-and-true Hallmark tropes including a tree-lighting, a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and the Awkward Mistletoe Moment.
The subplot with the married actors who are at a crossroads in their shared career is a sweet addition to the story. It brings out the softer side of Charles, and Dan the Man gives one of the most heart-melting speeches that I’ve ever heard from a secondary character.
Added Bonus: Charles’ reaction to a $23 pizza
Festival, Wedding, or Ball? Ball(ish)
Teachable Moment: What exactly is a Christmas moon? You’ll know after you watch this!
My Verdict? LOVED IT! Pairs well with an overpriced pizza and the red wine of your choice.