A Hollywood Christmas review: Self-aware but out of place

In ‘A Hollywood Christmas’, a film director sees her life transform into the story of a Christmas film after meeting a network executive who comes to shut her down. The movie is now streaming on HBO Max.


Jessica, a popular director known for her Christmas movies, meets Christopher, the finance guy of the network where her movies are released, during her latest film’s shoot.

Christopher came to inform her about the staff change and the closure of their Christmas Movie Division, which would mean that her next film is her last with the network as they want to focus more on thrillers.

Jessica questions the decision, and they both argue over the concept and relevance of Christmas films. Before she could leave, Christopher lets her know that he would be present during the shoot of her new film to oversee the budget she will be using.

Jessica’s colleague, Reena, notices the whole argument and points out to Jessica that her life is now resembling every Christmas movie out there.

A big-city boy meets a small-town girl, and though they have conflicts, the magic of Christmas brings them together. Their story would make sense.

The next day, Christopher joins Jessica on the set, and despite being against each other, they grow close over time.

Jessica falls for Christopher but soon finds out that the network is taking desperate measures to shut her down and that Christopher is with someone else.


Jessika Van as Jessica perfectly captures the essence of the lead characters the viewers usually see in these Christmas romcoms. Van’s acting falls short only during the emotional sequences of the film.

The same can’t be said about Josh Swickard’s portrayal of Christopher. The character arc of Christopher seems rushed, and it’s hard to find the reason he is so into Jessica and her film. Swickard’s chemistry with Van doesn’t click at all, though it should.

Anissa Borrego as Reena, Jessica’s best friend who understands her well, is quite pretentious, and it’s hard to take her seriously with the dialogues she has and the situations her character proposes.


The movie is quite self-aware when it comes to the kind of story it is presenting. On top of that, it sends a message about why Christmas movies or these kinds of romantic comedies are still made to this day and what makes them special.

These movies might not be the best, but they do provide the comfort some viewers are looking for.


From the very beginning, the movie is out of place and always seems rushed from one point to the other. There is a lack of depth given to the character arcs and their backstories.

It’s hard to connect with Jessica emotionally when she talks about her childhood. Furthermore, the film repeats itself when she tries to confront her flaw.

For no apparent reason, she is made to discover her flaw twice in the film within a few minutes. The scene where Reena asks Jessica to confront that flaw is odd, and it could’ve been done in a different way.

Though the film is aware of its cliches, it doesn’t even try to do something new to close the movie toward the end.


On paper, ‘A Hollywood Christmas’ sounds quite interesting as it tackles aspects of its own genre, but the execution isn’t up to the mark.

The film somehow ends up falling victim to the same old formula of Christmas movies, though it has a window to do something different this time.

A Hollywood Christmas
A Hollywood Christmas review: Self-aware but out of place 1

Director: Alex Ranarivelo

Date Created: 2022-12-01 13:30

Editor's Rating:

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