Too Close for Christmas
Hayley Parker, a successful events planner, accepts an invitation to spend Christmas with her sister Amy’s in-laws. However, the week with this seemingly perfect family takes an awkward turn when Hayley starts to fall for the older brother, Paul.
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Hayley (Jessica Lowndes), is excited to spend Christmas with her sister Amy and Amy’s in-laws, Judy and Penn Barnett. But to Hayley’s irritation, Amy’s brother-in-law, Paul (Chad Michael Murray), who is known to leave on a whim to travel the world, unexpectedly arrives. Resentment immediately sets in as Hayley remembers the hurtful comment he made at Amy and Tim’s wedding. But, he’s leaving tomorrow. Well, maybe not — a big snowstorm will shut down the airports in Europe, and he is staying for five more days! Hayley is not happy.
It’s family time at the skating rink and Paul taunts Hayley with a back-handed apology and skates off much to Hayley’s annoyance. To keep the peace, they decide on a truce which includes staying away from each other for the next five days. But when Judy gets sick, and Amy tells Hayley her secret and is also feeling unwell, it’s up to Hayley and Paul to pick up the many pieces and finish off Judy’s multi-paged to-do list, which includes ensuring the Christmas Charity Gala is a success.
As Hayley works through her hostility toward Paul, much more than a friendship is building, but a stark warning from Paul’s old flame brings Hayley back to reality. She cannot invest her heart in someone who “can’t sit still.”
But as Paul heads for the airport on Christmas Day and Hayley hangs back from a family sleigh ride, it’s becoming obvious something is about to drastically change. Can two very different people who’ve grown to care for each other actually be together when one wants to run from life, and the other needs security?
This charming story is all about family ties, trusting each other and believing that true love is waiting to be discovered where you are least likely to look… if given the chance. Handsome Chad Michael Murray is superb in his role, and the on-screen chemistry with Jessica Lowndes, a Hallmark star, is intense and believable. Production value is high throughout, the Christmas scenes are elaborate and beautiful, and this movie is Dove-approved for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
For anyone who has judged someone on hearsay or on a misunderstanding, this movie shows how spending time together creates positive deposits in the relationship bank and opens the door to acceptance, true love, and ultimate happiness.