Mario Lopez plays Tony Ortega, co-owner of a local gift shop called Casa de Milagro, always Christmas. Tony runs the shop named after his late mother with his sister Maggie (Amy Garcia) and father Jose (Ephraine Figueroa).
But without telling his sister and father, Tony reached out to Warm Wishes, who was essentially a Hallmark representative. Tony wants to sell the Casa de Milagro and so his family who can make a lot of money, and also he only wants to sell if his artistic sister Milagro is in charge of the gift design.
Enter: Belinda (Emeraude Toubia), the representative of Warm Desire, is tasked with striking a deal with Tony:
I mean, close the merger deal! I mean mergers between companies! But if you thought Belinda would meet a guy who looked like Mario Lopez and wasn’t blown away right away, think again. Will a budding romance that will get in the way of business, or vice versa? And how do Maggie and Jose react when they learn that Tony has plans for Casa de Milagro that include the company Mom rejected before she died?
If anyone wants to stand up for Mario Lopez. While building a sibling relationship in the charm department, it’s Amy Garcia. Like Maggie, it’s fun to watch Garcia every time she comes on screen. Whether she’s empowering her sibling, working on a masterpiece, overcoming self-doubt. Or advocating for singles’ right to skate for couples in figure skating.
You may also read ‘Clerk’ Review: The movie is an oscillation between charm and cornice
I have seen hundreds of holiday movies like this at this point in my life. Hell, Holiday in Santa Fe is the 20th Christmas movie I haven’t seen until 2021. I mention this because the Santa Fe Festival baffles me as a professional user of Christmas content. Even by basic Romcom cable vacation standards, a Santa Fe vacation feels like it doesn’t work out – just a little.
Why was Tony calling Warm Greetings now? And why was he paying the agency an exorbitant fee to spend five nights in a vacation suite? And then, when Belinda arrived on this business trip, why did she immediately invite Tony to the meeting?
Belinda is on a business trip, but her work ethic is on vacation! I know it’s a silly Christmas movie, but this type of film usually pushes the drama out of the “We have biases towards each other. But we can’t be together because of X”.
Besides, how is Casa de Milagro, which has only one location, known nationally?
And why did the Belinda say that if you have a memory from Milagro’s heart, it is related to a miracle? It will be smeared and dropped instantly! Why is there a reference to the Lopez Feliz NaviDAD holiday film from 2020?
Why did “O Little Town of Bethlehem” become Belinda’s first favourite Christmas song and the 2nd DJ’s choice on the slide for the couple skate song??? And no more spoilers, but watch out for Don Most – yes, Ralph Malf from Happy Days – who plays a minor role as Belinda’s boss. He delivered one of the boldest closing speeches I’ve ever seen in any of these films. Also, never forget to throw away the ham.
Because of that, I don’t know what a vacation to Santa Fe is like. It’s mostly the vacation film of a lifetime with genuinely entertaining performances (Mario Lopez is endlessly charismatic), but there are odd moments that are just half a step too far. If the quirks were a little restrained.
You may also read “Love Me Instead” Review: A Turkish melodrama about a father who is afraid to lose his daughter
For example, the couple’s skate song was even overly romantic — then it would be a solid holiday movie for life. If the weird continues – for example, if this memory magic is a thing – it will be a pleasant stroll. But so, the holiday in Santa Fe are inexplicable. It’s funny, and it’s so good. I like everyone on screen, but I find it inappropriate.
But honestly, if any of my confused reactions blow you away, let it flow. Holidays in Santa Fe are self-explanatory and harmless, but man… that’s a meat toss.