Lifetime’s vacation film season begins with An Ice Wine Christmas. Roselyn Sanchez and Lyriq Bent are the channel’s first romantic leads of the yr, they usually’re able to soften the ice with their simmering chemistry. However is that this vacation romance as wealthy as a glass of real ice wine, or is it extra like a field of a budget stuff?
The Gist: Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids) performs Camila, an outstanding sommelier who travels from the massive metropolis (Philadelphia) to picturesque Evergreen, NY. Again residence her vacation is dominated by custom—and that’s how she likes it! Her godfather Henry (Richard Fitzpatrick) owns the winery and yearly volunteers journey from throughout to be a part of the ice wine harvest (you gotta get these grapes whereas they’re frozen!).
However there are some unwelcome wrinkles in Camila’s vacation plans. First, Henry’s handing the winery off so he can spend winters in Florida! And second, Camila’s sister (AnnaMaria Demara) employed a wine manufacturing specialist named Declan (Lyriq Bent, She’s Gotta Have It) to poke across the winery and apply all types of, like, science to their ice wine harvest. Uh—Henry at all times glided by his intestine and the style of filth, Declan, and issues have been fantastic! What’s going to occur to the winery? Will Camila get this Declan man to chill it with the logic and belief his emotions? And, extra importantly, when will they kiss??
What Films Will It Remind You Of?: That is about as by-the-numbers as you may get, so in case you’ve seen a Lifetime Christmas film, you realize what you’re in for. Huge metropolis to small city, profession girl meets honest man, aged mentor in want of a break, a number of elaborate vacation occasions which might be at all times well-attended—you realize the vibe.
Efficiency Value Watching: Actually, I gotta give this to not a performer, however relatively the chemistry between Sanchez and Bent. Lifetime’s vacation choices could be a little steamier than Hallmark’s (whereas nonetheless being utterly TV-G, thoughts you), and these two have a pure pull in direction of one another that’s irresistible. Like, you realize they’re going to do it proper after the credit roll.
Memorable Dialogue: Camila wants Declan to know exactly one factor about Evergreen: “I don’t suppose you perceive the way it works right here. Christmas and ice wine go hand in hand.”
A Vacation Custom: Clearly the annual harvest of frozen grapes is the massive one. As is instantly defined within the first 30 seconds of the film, there’s solely a small window of time to pluck the grapes after they freeze if you need that top-notch ice wine taste. There’s additionally the annual Christmas competition, and Camila’s household has a bit of custom of their very own: a gift-wrapping-in-your-pajamas occasion.
Does the Title Make Any Sense?: The very first strains of dialogue are concerning the attract of ice wine so, sure.
Our Take: Since there have been hundreds of flicks constructed across the identical, tried and true vacation romcom system, filmmakers have to search out some approach to make their story really feel recent. That results in some vacation films constructed round extremely area of interest subjects, like a Christmas car or Christmas scavenger hunt. This film is constructed round ice wine. Since critiquing the construction is pointless (we need to see the massive metropolis lead be charmed by small city life!), you must concentrate on what makes this film distinctive: the central premise and the performances.
As I discussed above, the performances are all strong. The solid feels smaller than is typical of those films, however that additionally means we get much more time with our two extremely charming leads. There’s a maturity that Sanchez and Bent deliver to their roles that feels refreshing, like they’re adults enjoying adults with grownup concepts about careers, love, and ice wine.
Ice wine is a really particular premise for one in all these films, and the central level of disagreement between our two leads is that she’s all concerning the product and he’s all about manufacturing. She cares concerning the purity and sincerity of ice wine, that it’s constructed from grapes that have been frozen by a Christmas frost; Declan thinks it’s fantastic to make use of CRYOEXTRACTION (sorry, it simply appears like that must be written in all caps) to freeze and squeeze the grapes all yr spherical. Camila can style the distinction, and he simply needs effectivity. She’s about religion and he’s about science. See what I imply about these two being adults with grownup disagreements?
That is the place the film falls quick. I utterly assist constructing 90 minutes of vacation will they/received’t they round one thing as area of interest as ice wine; hell, Hallmark began their season off with a movie about an arborist. I simply suppose An Ice Wine Christmas wanted just a bit extra one thing. The plot with Camila’s sister and brother-in-law attempting to start out a household may’ve been an actual subplot, nevertheless it was barely touched upon. Camila’s jubilant mother (Maria del Mar) may’ve had some scenes of her personal, possibly with candy previous Henry. Possibly Camila and Declan’s date may’ve had nothing to do with wine, or possibly the film may’ve saved up the working joke about Declan packing insufficient garments for ice chilly Evergreen. The performances have been all there and there may be actually no matter too obscure to construct one of many films round—you simply have to actually construct one thing substantial round it. This one simply left me wanting extra.
Our Name: A really hesitant SKIP IT. It’s completely nice, checks all of the packing containers, and has nice leads, nevertheless it feels prefer it was launched earlier than it was ripe.
https://decider.com/2021/11/12/an-ice-wine-christmas-lifetime-review/ | Stream It or Skip It?