I will be one of the first people to admit that, this year, I have been failing at keeping up with Hallmark’s Christmas movies. So far, I have only seen three of Hallmark’s newly released Christmas offerings. But, by reviewing Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe, this short list will have grown to four movies. Because of this review, I have now seen both of the Hallmark Christmas movies that feature a modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. What got me interested in seeing this film is the character reversals that take place within this story. For example, instead of Mr. Darcy, we have a female protagonist named Darcy. This role reversal reminded me of one of my favorite Hallmark movies, Midnight Masquerade, so I was willing to give Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe a chance. Do I think this movie was better than Christmas at Pemberley Manor? I’m glad you came to this review because you’re about to find out!
Things I liked about the film:
Lacey and Brendan’s performances: Whenever Lacey Chabert is cast in a Hallmark movie, you know she, more often than not, is going to bring her A game when it comes to her performance. Her portrayal of Darcy Fitzwilliam was no exception, as Lacey brought the right amount of sweetness to this role in order for her character to be likeable. I’ve seen Brendan’s lead performances in ‘Tis the Season for Love, Autumn in the Vineyard, Summer in the Vineyard, and Chesapeake Shores, so I knew he would have what it takes, talent wise, to lead his third Hallmark Christmas movie. Not only did Brendan pull off a really good performance, but he added the right amount of charisma for his on-screen presence to be as delightful as possible.
The Fitzwilliam’s house: I don’t know where Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe was filmed (probably somewhere in Canada), but wherever the production location was, the Fitzwilliam’s house was magnificent! The architecture was great to look at and showcased well on-screen. What was also great about this house was how it was decorated for Christmas-time. All of the decorations that were seen in this movie really complimented the features of this particular house!
The idea of auctioning off Christmas trees: When Darcy’s mother mentioned the idea of selling customized Christmas trees at the annual action, I thought it was a really creative concept. While auctions, especially charitable ones, have been featured in Hallmark movies before, the idea of selling Christmas trees at an auction is something I haven’t really seen in a Hallmark Christmas movie before. This idea’s originality is what carried my interest in that aspect of the plot. Maybe this idea could, one day, lead to a Hallmark movie about a Christmas tree decorating contest.
What I didn’t like about the film:
A slow pace: While watching Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe, I noticed that the pace of this film was slower than most of the Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel. This caused the plot to feel more drawn out than it might have been intended.
The performances of the supporting cast: While Lacey and Brendan’s performances were really good, the performances from the actors in the supporting cast were weaker. The quality of these performances ranged from ok to less-than-stellar. There were even times when some of the actors appeared to be going through the motions, making it appear as if Lacey and Brendan were carrying the majority of the film on their shoulders.
The character of Carl: In my review of The Christmas Card, I talked about how I didn’t like the character of Paul, Faith’s boyfriend, because it felt like he was placed into the story just for the sake of adding something to the plot. Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe had a similar problem with the character of Carl, Darcy’s boyfriend. Not only was his presence in the movie very limited, but the only time this character added conflict to the film’s overall plot was in the last twenty minutes of the movie. The character of Carl could have been written out of this story and it wouldn’t have made a difference.
Not so strong on-screen chemistry: While Lacey and Brendan had on-screen chemistry, I don’t think it was as strong as it could have been. To me, it didn’t feel like a romantic relationship was developing between Darcy and Luke. Instead, it appeared as though Darcy and Luke’s friendship was growing over the course of the film.
Little resemblance to the Pride and Prejudice story: In my Christmas at Pemberley Manor review, I said that the only thing I didn’t like about the movie was how few resemblances to Pride and Prejudice were found throughout the film. Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe had the exact same flaw, with even fewer characters being given the names of characters from Jane Austen’s book. If you remove the fact that this movie was supposed to be a modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice with a twist, it would have come across like just any other Hallmark Christmas movie.
My overall impression:
Before the start of Hallmark’s Christmas movie line-ups, I knew there would be at least one movie that wasn’t good. Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe is the first Christmas movie, that I’ve seen so far, from this year’s line-ups that I didn’t like. As I’ve mentioned before on my blog, I watch every movie with low expectations and an open mind. However, there are times when a movie just can’t reach those levels of expectations, no matter how low they are. On paper, the idea behind Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe sounded creative and interesting. But, in practice, this concept was not as compelling as I had hoped. During this movie, there was an advertisement for a Hallmark movie titled “Love, Romance & Chocolate”, which is supposed to premiere next February. This film will also star Lacey Chabert. Whoever stars in this new movie as the male lead actor, I just hope “Love, Romance & Chocolate” is better than Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe was.
Overall score: 5.7 out of 10
Have you seen Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe? What 2018 Hallmark Christmas movie do you like so far? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!