12 Days of Netflix: My Christmas Inn
Ivan Radford | On 25, Dec 2020
Director: Peter Sullivan
Cast: Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Rob Mayes, Jackée Harry, Tim Reid
Watch My Christmas Inn online in the UK: Netflix UK
Anyone who grew up watching Sister, Sister will immediately be excited to see the name “Tia Mowry” in the cast list for a film. An actor with strong comic timing and an easygoing charisma, she’s always a pleasure to see in action – except, perhaps, when she’s checking in to My Christmas Inn.
The film, in time-honoured tradition, follows a go-getting career woman who learns to love the smalltown life – the same narrative that has driven almost every Christmas movie of the past 20 years. In this case, our high-flying businesswoman is Jennifer, an ad exec lining up a promotion with its own office and everything. But when he aunt passes away, she inherits an inn in Alaska goes to inspect the property before selling it on. Along the way, she meets a host of townspeople who may or may not be charmingly grounded and welcoming – and a handsome attorney (Rob Mayes) who is also able to help her make the bedrooms up for some unexpected guests.
None of this is surprising, which would be no problem if it were funny or even endearing, but the script that Mowry is given offers little room to do anything of note. Even the generic love interest has the blandest name possible, “Steve”, and the way he keeps popping up to insist that home is where your heart is, and knowing where your heart is is the key to being happy, and being happy is how you decide where you should be living, because where you’re living is where you home is – gets annoying rather than charmingly heartfelt.
The result, then, is a disappointingly lifeless vehicle for Mowry, who only gets a chance to shine when Jennifer discovers that the inn she’s inherited has a polar bear room – and a moose room. It’s never a good sign when a documentary about a fictional B&B would be more entertaining than the rom-com set within in.
My Christmas Inn is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.