I know this writeup has been a long time coming, but the fourth movie from last weekend was “Deliver by Christmas,” which aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel on October 25. This one starred Alvina August and Eion Bailey, who hasn’t appeared in a Hallmark movie since 2017’s “Switched for Christmas.”
I was originally 100% convinced the movie was filmed in Dahlonega, Georgia (where “Christmas in Homestead” was filmed), but it turns out that the film location around Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. Terry Ingram served as director, and based on his iMDb page he has been directing Christmas movies since at least 2011, so he knows what he’s doing! Interestingly, Mike Mariano is listed as screenplay writer with a story by Jill Bartlett, and neither one of those folks has a Hallmark background. Mariano has primarily written for comedies such as “Yes, Dear” and “My Name is Earl.” I find that surprising given the serious tone of this “Deliver By Christmas.”
In a nutshell
I saved the best of the weekend for last. This movie was fantastic.
Plot (from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel website)
Bakery owner Molly (August) meets Josh (Bailey), a widower who recently moved to town with his young son, but she is also charmed by a mysterious client whom she’s never met in person and she doesn’t realize that they’re the same man.
It was nice seeing Eion Bailey back on my TV screen. He’s a good actor and it shows in this movie. He played widower Josh as even-tempered and laid-back but yet still dealing with grief while trying to raise his young son. Alvina August was sunny and bright and fun to watch. I know she has been in other Hallmark movies, but I hope she gets more leading roles. I’ll also mention Kesler Talbot, who played Josh’s son Charlie. I’ll admit that many times I cringe when I see the poor acting done by the child actors, but Talbot was fantastic and ranks up there with the kids from “Love to the Rescue” and the kid from “Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses.”
Six Degrees of Polaha: Alvina August is 3 degrees away from Polaha. She had a role in 2019’s “The Intruder” which starred Dennis Quaid. In 2015 Quaid shared a screen with Bruce Greenwood in “Truth.” Bruce Greenwood had previously co-starred with Polaha in 2013’s “Devil’s Knot.”
It’s an interesting thing to talk about chemistry for this movie, since Bailey and August really only had a handful of scenes together. For half of the movie they only had phone conversations versus being in front of each other. As such, the real investment was seeing how Josh and Molly interacted with their family AND got to know each other via telephone.
Because of storytelling device (similar to “Bottled With Love” or even big blockbusters like “You’ve Got Mail”), the characters had to really get to know each other, and this was done through their phone calls and texts. It was a great way to allow these characters to get to know each other, and us as viewers to get to know them. As such, despite Bailey and August not having a lot of scenes together, I REALLY liked them when they DID have scenes together.
Oh my goodness, the movie had five tropes all in the first five minutes. I was in heaven! The movie opens with a widower and a young son. That’s two right there! They walk up to a house with a gorgeous front porch. That’s three. They challenge each other to a snowball fight followed by some hot cocoa. WHAAAAAAT?!
But “Deliver By Christmas” did not stop there. This movie had all the things. Christmas tree shopping, tree decorating, cookie baking, a salute to soldiers, a case of mistaken identity (Molly saw Josh standing with his sister-in-law and assumed it was his wife), a town festival, and then capped off the whole movie with a tree lighting.
Bingo Card Score for “Deliver by Christmas”
Y’all! I got a bingo! Fourth movie out and I got a bingo! Last year I had to wait until the last batch of movies to finally get one, I think. I covered a total of 13 spots on my card. As always, if you want to play along with each movie, you can download my free bingo cards!
Did I Hear/See That Right?
I loved this movie so much that I really only have two things to quibble about. First, Josh’s sister-in-law was in charge of the town’s Christmas festival, and yet she kept passing off tasks to other people. So…what was SHE actually doing for this festival?
Secondly, Molly owned a bakery but had no employees. None. Sole proprietor and employee. So she gets up at 3 a.m. to bake the croissants (and everything else) and then is the ONLY one that can actually sell and check people out while the shop is open? If that’s the case, then she would have had NO TIME to make those special orders that she had written on post-it notes on her kitchen’s wall. Let’s figure out her hours. She bakes FOR THE SHOP from 3 a.m. – 7 a.m. Shop is open maybe from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
And from 4 p.m. until ??? I suppose she’s working on the customer orders. 10 p.m.? 11 p.m.? And then she goes home, goes to bed and gets up to be at the shop by 3 am. all over again. No wonder she has no time for dating. It’s a wonder she’s still alive due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. How hard would it have been to let the character have a couple employees? The conversation about her shop someday being super-successful was unnecessary because it never became a plot point. Just let her have a successful bakery from the start.
I had a few things that made me sign with happiness. First, Josh and Charlie’s Christmas tree look fabulous. The lights were all evenly spaced out, there were plenty of decorations. That tree made me VERY happy. I also appreciated the “no more ‘dad’ jokes” moment that Josh and Charlie had. And I, too, love doing puzzles at Christmastime and already have one ready to go here at my house when the time comes.
Oh yeah, I’m watching “Deliver by Christmas” for sure. No doubt about that.
“Deliver by Christmas” is in second place for the year thus far, but based on RAW SCORE it actually scored four points more than Sweet Autumn, so I’d say that is as close to a tie for first place as one can get. If you haven’t watched “Deliver” yet, please do yourself a favor. It’s really good!
- Sweet Autumn (air date: Oct 17) – 693 pts – weighted score: 118.5 (83.1%)
- Deliver by Christmas (air date: Oct 25) – 697 pts – weighted score: 117.4 (82.4%)
- Matching Hearts (air date: Feb 8) – 640 pts – weighted score: 109.0 (76.5%)
- Winter in Vail (air date: Jan 4) – 623 pts – weighted score: 108.8 (76.4%)
- Wedding Every Weekend (air date: Aug 15) – 639 pts – weighted score: 108.3 (76.0%)
- Love in Store (air date: Feb 22) – 637 pts – weighted score: 108.2 (75.9%)
- Hello, It’s Me (air date: Sept 27) – 628 pts – weighted score: 107.8% (75.6%)
- Love on Harbor Island (air date: Aug 8) – 634 pts – weighted score: 106.9 (75.0%)
- The Secret Ingredient (air date: Feb 15) – 617 pts – weighted score: 105.2 (73.8%)
- Country at Heart (air date: Oct 3) – 611 pts – weighted score: 104.1 (73.1%)
- You’re Bacon Me Crazy (air date: Apr 4) – 591 pts – weighted score: 104.0 (72.9%)
- My Best Friend’s Bouquet (air date: Oct 10) – 599 pts – weighted score: 103.4 (72.5%)
- Fashionably Yours (air date: Apr 11) – 594 pts – weighted score: 102.6 (72.0%)
- Follow Your Heart (air date: Oct 4) – 585 pts – weighted score: 101.6 (71.3%)
- Christmas Tree Lane (air date: Oct 24) – 574 pts – weighted score: 100.3 (70.4%)
- A Valentine’s Match (air date: Feb 1) – 562 pts – weighted score: 99.8 (70.0%)
- Love On Iceland (air date: Jan 18) – 563 pts – weighted score: 99.4 (69.7%)
- Hearts of Winter (air date: Jan 25) – 561 pts – weighted score: 98.2 (68.9%)
- Jingle Bell Bride (air date: Oct 24) – 558 pts – weighted score: 97.9 (68.7%)
- Just My Type (air date: Mar 28) – 565 pts – weighted score: 95.4% (66.9%)
- Bad Date Chronicles (air date: Feb 28) – 520 pts – weighted score: 91.0 (63.9%)
- Love in Winterland (air date: Jan 11) – 508 pts – weighted score: 90.7 (63.6%)
- Nature of Love (air date: Apr 18) – 520 pts – weighted score: 90.3 (63.3%)
- Chateau Christmas (air date: Oct 25) – 502 pts – weighted score: 87.3 (61.3%)
- Amazing Winter Romance (air date: Jan 20) – 487 pts – weighted score: 85.6 (60.1%)
- Love Under the Olive Tree (air date: June 20) – 473 pts – weighted score: 85.0 (59.6%)
- In the Key of Love (air date: Mar 14) – 470 pts – weighted score: 82.5 (57.9%)
- Love in the Forecast (air date: Jun 13) – 440 pts – weighted score: 72.5 (50.8%)
- Midway to Love (air date: June 26) – 410 pts – weighted score: 69.0 (48.4%)
- Falling at Look Lodge (air date: Sept 26) – 350 pts – weighted score: 64.0 (44.9%)
- Romance in the Air (air date: Aug 1) – 367 pts – weighted score: 63.2 (44.3%)
- Follow Me to Daisy Hills (air date: Sept 19) – 337 pts – weighted score: 62.8 (44.1%)
- How to Train Your Husband (air date: May 16) – 350 pts – weighted score: 62.5 (43.9%)
To see where this movie lands in my overall rankings of Hallmark movies, visit my Hallmark Movie Rankings page!
What did you think of “Deliver by Christmas”? Comment below and let me know!