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If you feel like Dolly Parton has been busy lately, you are right. She has had quite the slew of podcasts, movies and special appearances premiering one right after the other.
One of those movies is Dolly’s new Hallmark film Christmas at Dollywood, which premiered Dec. 8, as part of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas event.
Christmas at Dollywood stars Danica McKellar, Niall Matter, and Dolly herself. (Hallmark claims that it stars Dolly – but don’t get too excited, she’s mostly in the last 20 minutes or so. But I’ll take it.)
In the movie, Rachel (played by McKellar) travels home to Pigeon Forge from New York City to work on a special project for Dollywood. She is partnered up with Luke (played by Matter), and the two end up finding an unlikely relationship with a little help from the magic of Dollywood.
I will admit that I’m not the biggest Hallmark movie fan. And I think even if you are, you have to admit that they tend to come with a certain level of cheese. (And for the record, it’s perfectly okay to like cheese.)
That being said, about once a year I like to throw in a Hallmark Christmas movie as I’m wrapping gifts. And, in my biased opinion, if you’re going to pick one Hallmark movie this year, it should be this one.
Is it predictable? Sure!
Do the two leads have immediate chemistry at the start of the movie? No!
But is it fun to see Dollywood at the centerpiece of a movie? Yes.100% yes.
Watching our characters at Dollywood during the Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration brings back so many memories and nostalgia. And even though the film likes to use the same opening shot of Showstreet Palace Theater most of the time, you’ll still see a glance of a Dollywood parade, Glacier Ridge and even the Mystery Mine (which I tend to think is one of the prettiest coasters this time of year).
I also appreciate the fact that they wrote the Imagination Library into the story. Dolly’s Imagination Library mails free books to children from birth until school age, no matter the family’s income, and has given millions of books to children around the world. I appreciate that the charity gets its own special nod in the movie.
Finally, Dolly makes her appearance toward the end, but she swoops in like a beautiful, real-life angel, saving the day and helping our leads finally come together. It’s always a true joy to see her on screen, and that alone is reason enough to watch.
Where to Watch
If you haven’t seen it yet, catch it on the Hallmark Channel during these times:
- Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
- Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.
- Dec. 19 at 10 p.m.
- Dec. 21 at 6 p.m.
- Dec. 25 at 5 p.m.
- Dec. 29 at 4 p.m.
- Jan. 1 at 4 p.m.
- Jan. 4 at 5 a.m.
You can also stream it on FuboTV, Sling TV, Philo TV or AT&T TV Now.
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