“Excuse me, are you two together?”
Genre: Family Secrets, Holiday Edition
New Holiday Spirit or Ghost of Christmas Past?: Released 2022. Based on the book of the same name by Richard Paul Evans.
Bonus Content?: A sweet border collie!
Where I Watched: Netflix
Synopsis: Jacob Turner is a famous writer with a complicated childhood. Rachel Campbell is a woman searching for her birth mom. When Jacob returns to his childhood home, Rachel finds he might have the information she’s looking for; her birth mom was his nanny. Is it going to be that easy? Will they figure out the hiccups in their pasts? Are they gonna kiiiiiiiss? No, yes, and DUH!
Worth the Eggnog?: Welcome to holiday rom-com season y’all! And this is a sweet way to get things started. Heck, Diary is worth the time you’ll spend simply to hear the gorgeous singing voice of Barrett Doss. But what makes this story set itself apart from the rest is the way the leads don’t rush into a serious relationship. Sure, they do get lovey and dovey, but they also weigh their individual lives against their budding feelings. And it feels like a certain level of actual thought passed through their heads before the requisite happily ever after.
The combination of Ms. Doss and Justin Hartley as Rachel and Jacob was inspired casting. Oh look; actors that have great onscreen romantic chemistry! That’s not a guarantee in holiday love stories. Y’all know what I mean. Director Charles Shyer is a legend in feel-good films, having given us such constant rotation films like the remakes of The Parent Trap and Father of the Bride, and his deft touch feels like a warm hug in story form.
What I really enjoyed about Diary was that the romance was almost an afterthought. The main characters each have issues they need to deal with/questions they need answers to, and they just happen to fall in love while doing the work. There’s no contrived third act hiccup (beyond the issues we’ve been told about from the jump), and while a HEA was beautiful and definitely earned by these two? I’d have been happy to have seen them grow and move on separately… Okay fine. I was rooting for them, and I’m glad the story ends like it does.
All this, and one of the cutest border collies on TV? Happy Merry to me! Now, to sit down and read the book it’s based on…
Score: 4 out of 5 Hos ❄️❄️❄️❄️