A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS ROMANCE

 (140)
5.41 h 24 min20207+
Mandy sets out to find the owner of an old book, letter, and coin with the help of Jonah, a contractor who first came upon and donated the book.
Directors
Candlelight Media Group, Inc.
Starring
Nicola PosenerBrad JohnsonRenny Grames
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
Wuta BetaCarter BroughXander BroughArchelaus CrisantoTerry D. GibsonJerome Brad HalgrenSashleigha Hightower
Producers
Brian BroughBrittany Wiscombe
Studio
Lifetime
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

140 global ratings

  1. 57% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 21% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

RomComConnoisseurReviewed in the United States on January 11, 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
Are you ashamed of Utah?
Verified purchase
This is another production from the Utah based Candlelight Media Group. Below we see some of their best.
Timeless Love (#1 by far)
Christmas Angel (#2 by far above #3)
An Hour Behind

Next we see some of their tier 2 movies
Lights, Camera, Romance
Prescription for Love

And some of their tier 3
A Crafty Christmas Romance
Bookworm and the Beast

My first sighting of Nicola Posener (Mandy) was in "Bookworm and the Beast", which was released after this one. In 'bookworm", I thought more of her than I do here. She too often recites lines that do not feel very real. More so this time than in "Bookworm".

Seeing Brad Johnson's (Jonah) face appear in this movie instantly lowered my expectations because he is associated with numerous low grade productions. He met my expectations.

This production is another film directed by Brian Brough, who makes many like this. Too often he operates on a shoestring budget, as is apparent here, which can be detected by (among other things) the appearance of several family members in the production crew and cast extras. His movies can be hit or miss. He has done some of the notable ones named. Not this time.

This and all of the above are filmed in Utah along the majestic Wasatch Front Mountains, which cannot be missed by those who know. But in most if not all of these movies, the cars are given fake license plates from Colorado or some other place. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. They try in futility to hide that the backdrop is Utah. Are they ashamed of Utah, I ask? Well that shame is shameful. Would they film in Portland, showing obvious landmarks and then pretend it is Texas, when viewers can see Portland? Their movies get downgraded by me for this trickery.

Anyway, from the list we see that "A CRAFTY CHRISTMAS ROMANCE" is tier 3, a lesser production. Much of it was bland and humdrum where nothing very exciting happens and the characters and plot are uninteresting. It started out with an interesting premise, but by the 30 minute mark it was dull and I bailed. They failed to make me care about the coin or the failing business.

I returned to finish it just because I had spent 3 dollars on it. Still had to fast forward through the long dull sections where the leads were together, conversing, bonding, etc., and I realized the dull was due to lack of chemistry and shallow script. Then it picked up about the time she lost the coin. After that it worked and there was a touching ending. Even with the dull parts fast forwarded, I was glad I finished it.

My tepid recommendation is to give it a try and see what you think. For me, it did not qualify for my permanent collection, and I won’t watch again.
Cornelia AmiriReviewed in the United States on August 22, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sweet and cute but a weak plot
Verified purchase
The movie is silly and overly sweet. And the quality certainly is not above a B-movie. But at the same time I thought this was cute.
Kelsey GraceReviewed in the United States on December 18, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very cute hallmark type movie
Verified purchase
Favorite character was victor the old man whose name is written in book he rocked the movie
H. BalaReviewed in the United States on November 11, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
lots of trying to solve a 70-year-old mystery, not so much DIYing with arts and crafts
For my neighbor three doors down - I call her DIY Donna - this movie must've come off like Hallmark had finally addressed her pleas. I'm sure there are other movies out there about crafting and hobbying. But this is the one that I saw. A Crafty Christmas Romance - a.k.a. Crafting Christmas - is actually a Lifetime flick, meaning that them Hallmark suits are still ghosting DIY Donna.

Probably some plot spoilers.

It's about Mandy (Nicola Posener) and her impromptu quest over the holidays. In the town of Everett, she operates a DIY crafts and hobby store and, uh-oh, I feel myself about to go off on a tangent. The store's got an interesting history. Mandy's great-grandfather founded it as a book store that morphed into a toy store when her parents ran it, and then Mandy took over.

Back to the plot. Mandy Page is thumbing thru an old, donated copy of A Christmas Carol when she finds an envelope within the pages. In it is one of the most amazing letters to Santa a child had ever written, and an old silver dollar. Mandy is moved enough that, right there and then, she determines to seek out the letter's author and return the letter and the coin.

Problem: the Santa letter was dated December 11, 1947. It's signed by a Judith, but that's not the most uncommon name. Mandy does have a starting point. The copy of A Christmas Carol was stamped with the name of the local church. Pursuing that clue, she's able to suss out who donated the box of dusty things that included the Dickens classic and Santa's letter.

At the Creek Hill Chapel, Mandy runs into contractor Jonah Canton doing some repairs for the pastor. Jonah (Bradford B. Johnson) is intrigued by the mystery letter and, let's not front, intrigued by the woman with the letter. When later asked by Mandy why he chose to help her, his response is "It's intriguing and kind of noble." Uh-huh, sure, fella.

A bit of background on Jonah. His construction business is in trouble. He's being flooded with past due bills and getting calls from upset bill collectors. It adds a bit of tension in that he needs money fast and the silver dollar happens to be a valuable proof coin now worth $30,000 if in mint condition.

Me, I enjoy those Christmas movies that carry elements of mystery and suspense. The Christmas Note (2015) is one excellent example, as is The Christmas Secret (2014), and, most recently, The Christmas Ring (2020). And now this one. A Crafty Christmas Romance is good at showing each step our amateur sleuths take to locate the elusive writer, that is, if she were even still alive. That Santa's letter dates back to over seventy years ago.

I've got two takeaways from this movie. One is get thee an employee willing to cover your shift while you're away chasing mysteries. Mandy ought to give the very supportive, very frank Gabby (Renny Grames) a raise. I actually wanted more scenes with Gabby. She seemed very interesting. I got sort of hooked on her character once I learned she met Mandy when she knocked on her door as a saleslady trying sell her solar panels.

My other takeaway is that, if you were in construction, be careful who you subcontract to. Jonah won't ever forget that plumber who didn't do his due diligence and whose carelessness left Jonah in the lurch.

The romance is okay. Maybe I'm just not built for sappy love stories. I dunno, I wasn't feeling the two leads in their scenes together. I guess they were okay. But their dialogue sometimes worked to undermine whatever chemistry they had. I can't help but eye-roll when I hear someone spouting corny lines like "If they saw what I see in you" or, when asked what their Christmas wish was, one person replied, "I asked for you to love me."

One of my rom-com pet peeves reared its lame old head again. In those shopworn scenes in which the two romantic leads lean in for a smooch, only to get interrupted, why don't they ever just straightaway go back in for another try? It's like, one interruption, and the moment's ruined, and you give up! Did these filmmakers go to Bollywood Cinema 101?

Ah, I'm just venting. Never mind it. I recommend this movie. I was into the whole investigative legwork, and the dead-ends and the coming up short, and the braving of several cross librarians and research clerks. But the payoff was worth it, and maybe I even teared up a bit.
3 people found this helpful
Ames511Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five stars
This is my favorite Christmas movie for 2020 so far.
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