Great American Family

Christmas in Maple Hills (2023)

December 11, 2023

On the 0-Christmas scale I give it a "Nostalgic Attempt Falls Flat"
7.0/10

This movie started as an 8.1 on IMBD, then jumped to 8.2, and now is at 7.1! I would expect it to continue to fall just a bit!

I was thoroughly excited to watch this film from Great American Family! Early on, it was the highest IMDB rated film from GAF, in competition with Hallmark’s A Biltmore Christmas starring Kristoffer Polaha. These were the two films that originally were in the 8s, which is quite the IMDB feat! And while both have slid a bit, Biltmore is still at 8.0 and Christmas in Maple HIlls is barely hanging in the 7s. This shows a few things. First, the diehards are not being objective early on. Second, time will correct scores. And in this case, time is getting it right!

Okay, let’s dive in. Valerie Warrick (played by Emily Alatalo) is a rancher who wants to expand into milk processing to cut out the middle man and keep more profits. Unfortunately, when she attempts to get a loan she finds the land isn’t in her family name. Mystery shrouds every next step as she and Dr. Walker Jennings (played by Marcus Rosner) try and Sherlock the case. Doc Jennings, happens to be the interim physician at the veterans center but also a history buff who apparently knows everything about this town.

Through twists and turns and flashbacks to World War II we gradually find out how the ranch came to be…only would the news spell doom on the plans for the ranch, or would they even be able to keep it???

Apart from the cliffhanger I just left you, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an actress look so different when she was smiling and not smiling. It was slightly off-putting, as I felt like they were switching out female leads every scene. My wife agreed. We aren’t trying to be judgmental or mean-spirited here. Purely an observation that GAF might be employing a shapeshifter.

 

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