In The Hallmark Channel’s latest original holiday movie, skittish hearts are on a deadline if there’s going to be A Bride For Christmas. Arielle Kebbel and Andrew Walker star in this charming tale of a commitment-wary pair who find their way to each other.
When we meet Jessie (Kebbel), she’s preparing for her third wedding, but first marriage. Yep, she’s a runaway bride who just can’t say no to a proposal and risk hurting the guy’s feelings. As her sister Vivian (Kimberly Sustad) points out, dumping them at the altar isn’t doing them any favors.
Meanwhile bachelor Aiden (Walker) is being razzed by his married office buddies about his inability to commit. They bet him a swanky new office that he can’t convince a woman to marry him by Christmas – just four weeks away. You know, as men do. Jessie becomes the target of the bet after one of the guys realizes she’ll be a tough nut to crack since she’s sworn off marriage.
Rounding out the story is her latest ex-fiance, Mike (Sage Brocklebank), who can’t quite get it through his head that she’s not going to marry him; her sister Vivian who I think may be the first lesbian character in a Hallmark film; and her parents who are a bit obsessed with Jessie’s failed weddings.
This certainly isn’t an original plot, but it’s still a sweet one, which is tricky to pull off when you’re talking about someone who ostensibly leads guys on all the way to the altar (see: [easyazon-link asin="B00003IPFQ"]Runaway Bride[/easyazon-link]). For the most part, Jessie’s “cold feet” are handled gently and it’s made clear that she’s not mean-spirited. Once Aiden comes into the picture, it’s easy to believe that these two would fall for each other, despite their respective emotional baggage. I was particularly impressed with Walker’s portrayal of Aiden slowly realizing that Jessie is the one for him. It helped that he didn’t start out as some boorish dude out to have a laugh (see: [easyazon-link asin="B000VMWXRK"]How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days[/easyazon-link]). Being able to see his emotional journey makes his insistence that Jessie became more than some bet much more believable. Kebbel’s Jessie is a character to root for as she searches for happiness, someone you can believe guys keep proposing to (although I did wonder how she ended up dating these guys in the first place). Also, she has amazing hair.
(P.S. If you’re wondering where you know these actors from, Kebbel was Stefan’s BFF Lexi in The Vampire Diaries and Walker was Abby’s secret hottie Brody in Against the Wall.)
A Bride For Christmas premieres Saturday, December 1 at 8/7c on The Hallmark Channel.