‘Gingerbread Miracle’ Review: When Destiny Prevails
‘Gingerbread Miracle’ is a heartwarming tale that premiered on the Hallmark channel as part of the entertainment company’s Christmas programming on November 5.
Popular Hallmark director Michael Scott best known for festive hits such as ‘Window Wonderland,’ took the helming reins for this title, working with a script penned by a collaborative effort consisting of Emma Claire Martin, John Benjamin Martin, and Tracy Andreen.
The movie set in Colorado was filmed back in August in the Burnaby and Langley Ares of British Columbia, Canada, and stars Merritt Patterson, Jon Ecker, Jorge Montesi, Elyse Maloway, and Sunit Prasad, among many others.
‘Gingerbread Miracle’ follows the story of Maya, a freelance attorney who, after suffering a minor career setback, seeks homage in an apartment above her parents’ garage and has been using the Casillas Panaderia as her makeshift office for the last couple of years.
This bakery is the same café where this lawyer worked in her teenage years alongside her crush and colleague Alejandro Casillas who happened to be the gorgeous nephew of the café’s owner.
Hence the café, known for its magical gingerbread cookies that are believed to grant wishes, has some lovely warm memories for Maya. But now, the owner wants to sell the establishment and enlists Maya’s help to help find a buyer.
When Alex learns about the deal, he sets on a beeline home to celebrate one last Christmas in the bakery and help Maya find the best client regardless of whether the latter wants his assistance or not.
A new hunk from downtown Denver who owns a French pastry shop there shows up looking to buy the business. Alex, who is fresh from heartbreak, feels threatened by this new lad.
Despite what happened in their childhood and the hard feelings Maya holds for Alex, he doesn’t want to screw up a second chance with Maya and is pretty jealous about this new hotshot.
Fortunately, fate works in their favor, and all the parties involved eventually get their happy ending.
Generally, even though the storyline is pretty predictable with little tension and no real highs or lows, it has some interesting threads. However, the overall theme of the narrative focuses on the two leads trying to sell a family business which is a pretty common theme in these kinds of movies.
The dialogue is great though nothing out of the ordinary that would make it stand out of the overflowing pool of Christmas-themed movies that are getting released as the festive season draws near.
Contrary to other holiday movies audiences have seen from Hallmark, ‘Gingerbread Miracle’ has a couple of intriguing holiday traditions that makes the film fascinating.
The chemistry between Ecker and Patterson is quite okay though nothing outstanding. Sometimes Alex falls into mildly petulant jealousy, but the rekindled attraction between Alex and Maya still plays out beautifully.
The performances are great, and one can’t help but recognize Patterson’s upbeat and easy-going persona in this feature. Ecker, best known for shows such as ‘Firefly Lane’ and ‘Chicago Fire,’ is great as well, exuding some serious Wes Brown vibes.
Considering the main subject is a Mexican bakery, some Spanish is spoken in this movie, paying homage and giving a sense of identity to the storyline.
This Latin influence is a welcome inclusion in the attempt by the Hallmark Channel to integrate diversity and inclusivity in their content.
Just like any other Christmas movie ‘Gingerbread Miracle’ is packed with tropes right from the opening scene, which starts with a bakery, lots of snow, and a front porch of the family house.
Other tropes include Maya and her sister going for Christmas tree shopping, decorating the tree, and a trip and fall meet, cute.
Another notable trope is the Christmas market, complete with Reindeer games, and at the end of the movie, audiences see snow start falling when the leads share their first kiss.
When it comes to the gingerbread race, which was a very fun adventure, the racing course didn’t look good.
Contrary to the expectations that would ensure a fair race, the field was set in a way that the obstacles were laid side to side instead of being in a straight line, meaning that some competitors had to run farther to get to the same barrier as compared to their counterparts.
But the decoration stations were all timed, meaning that as long as all participants got to the table by the time the timer elapsed, they were all even-steven again, quite a fantastic idea, but sadly, one cant say the same for the execution.
For fans of holiday movies from the channel, one would notice that the Hallmark lobby that was frequently used back in 2018 is back. It is a pleasant surprise as despite being so constantly used before, recent features have refrained from incorporating it, making the comeback refreshing.
Some notable aspects do not add up when pitted against reality. For instance, Alex’s New York City apartment doesn’t exist unless one is pulling around $300 grand a year, and considering he is a grunt attorney, there is no way he could afford living there.
But it’s a movie, and movies are fantastic make-believe; hence one is allowed to dream just for a little bit.
The opening credits are carried along by one of the greatest Christmas songs titled ‘Its Christmas Time’ by Devin Jay Hoffman, Holiday Rogers, and Skip Armstrong.
Another pleasant tune is the track ‘I Saw Three Ships,’ a highly underused track in movies that brings back plenty of nostalgia.
‘Gingerbread Miracle’ is far from being the greatest holiday movie of all time. Despite the few challenges, it is an excellent feature to watch with their clan this festive season. It replicates all the fun and happy moments people look forward to celebrating and sharing every end of the year.
It also emphasizes the fantasy of fate and destiny, highlighting the aspects of souls meant to be together will always find each other regardless of whether they lose their way along the path.
It is a great movie worth spending some quality time on and will definitely set one into the Christmas mood already.