Sleigh Bells Ring (2016) – Small Town Romance with Magical Matchmaking

Saturday, December 24, 2016

From small towns to the big man in red himself, the 2016 programming on Hallmark Channel has covered every angle, plot and concept there is while throwing in some unique markers to every respective story’s DNA. 

Premiering last week, I finally watched Sleigh Bells Ring, a fun little romp with a sprinkle of magic.

Holiday rush is about to take on a whole new meaning for Laurel Bishop (Erin Cahill). As the Parks and Rec manager, the mayor of the small town she calls home asks that she bring back the town’s annual parade – in under two weeks! But the good news is at the end of the time-consuming project, a promotion looms. Still, Laurel’s list of many tasks is further complicated by one setback after another not the least of which being the restoration of an old sleigh.

As she works to put this parade together, Laurel worries about neglecting her daughter, and the return of her ex, Alex (Dave Alpay). Alex and Laurel were the “meant to be” sweethearts in High School and College. Everything changed the day he left without saying goodbye. With the help of a little girl who wants her mother to be happy, and the magic of a sleigh, Laurel and Alex just might find a surprise end to their second chance.

As has been said of each Hallmark film previous to Sleigh Bells Ring, this one is dripping in all things good. From charm to romcom bliss, it has everything it needs to be perfectly suited to this line up. If there was one thing I did feel “disconnected” the story a time or two, it would be the cues or reactions. There were a few times when the timing felt “off” or as if the actors reacted at the wrong direction. Still, I fully own to this being a “nitpick” comment.

The cast all do a really nice job with their respective characters. Each one of them is fun to know, and I liked that Laurel and Alex share a past. Though I’ve said it before, this allows their budding romance to be more genuine and engaged rather than the meet-cute beginning the limited 90 minutes would have otherwise had to work with.

Of course, the parade plans give the production and sets lend the production a bowl full of jolliness. Everything else is simply icing on the cake of the festive spectrum. Laurel being the one who stayed is a nice change in comparison to it always being the girl who left, and I really liked the cute subplot that was Laurel’s assistant.

By the time the last float disaster is averted, Sleigh Bells Ring is another Christmas film sure to put you in a jolly mood. That alone is enough incentive to make it part of your Christmas festivities.

Photos: Hallmark

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