Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

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Finding Christmas airs tonight (12/15) @ 8:00 PM ET on The Hallmark Channel.

Synopsis (from The Hallmark Channel website): Single mother Ryan (Tricia Helfer) has just about given up on dating after her divorce, happily accepting her young son as the most important man in her life. That all changes when Ryan’s brother Owen (JT Hodges), also feeling unlucky in love after a bad breakup, swaps his home in their small North Carolina town with New York City adman Sean (Mark Lutz). Ryan feels an instant spark with her new neighbor, but Sean, who signed up for the temporary home swap after a proposal gone wrong, is out of his comfort zone in his new rural surroundings.

On the other end of the housing exchange, aspiring musician Owen is charmed when he meets Sean’s sassy assistant, Mia (Cristina Rosato), in New York City. As Owen acclimates to his swanky New York City digs with Mia’s help, he begins to realize Mia might be just the right girl for him. With Christmas approaching and the home swap nearing an end, the future for both of these new relationships is up in the air. Can these temporary holiday arrangements lead to long lasting love?

Review: I found this story especially interesting since a good friend of mine used to run a website that offered people the opportunity to swap homes for vacations. If fact, we even pitched a TV series based on the concept. So, I kinda had an entry point for relating to the concept — which is, of course, as light and breezy as they come. Still, there is some wisdom enunciated in the course of plot — including the idea that is in living in the moment (by giving and accepting love) that we build a solid foundation for the future. The four leads cast, meanwhile, are so good-looking that I nearly had to shield my eyes from their collective glow.  Country singer JT Hodges projects enormous onscreen charisma (somebody should cast the guy in a TV series) and performs standout renditions of Joy to the World and Silent Night. Meanwhile, women in the audience will no doubt also enjoy watching Mark Lutz as they city guy who trades pads with Hodges’ characters. He, in fact, is already starring in a Canadian drama pilot called E.M.S. the He too possesses that mysterious thing called star quality. And, while this film certainly falls into the general category of “chick flick,” few guys are going to mind spending  watching two hours either Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice) or Cristina Rosato (Rookie Blue). Add to that the fact that, at least in this humble correspondents’ opinion, both their characters are fall-in-love-with worthy. Extremely watchable holiday flick. Recommended.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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