Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays (2019)

40% – Critics
40% – Audience

Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays Storyline

Harper returns to Memphis after working in Europe for three years. She is back to visit her sister and her family, but also to interview for a job at an art museum at their branch in London. While waiting for news about the job, she accepts a request to step in as a nanny for a single father, Owen, and his three children. She also gets involved in an exhibition at her former workplace, the Elvis Presley Museum in Graceland. Harper comes in and nudges against Owen’s well-established routines, causing him to reassess certain aspects of his life.

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Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays Movie Reviews

A sequel that isn’t

This sequel isn’t because it jumps to completely different people with a completely different story.

For a movie that relies on so many themes that have been used way too often, it has some moments that aren’t derivative but a lot of what is unique has to do with Graceland. I was especially irritated with how much the controlling father-vs-the-spontaneous-nanny theme was exactly like several other movies, including some not around Christmas.

Adrian Grenier doesn’t seem like he is good at warm romantic. It sure didn’t seem like there was much chemistry between Grenier and Kaitlin Doubleday. I think Doubleday did her part and certainly did well as a high energy and engaging person.

The story lacks any serious conflict and the only tension is Harper’s job search and Owen’s business deal (which I never really understood), neither conflict being earth shaking. In general terms the outcome is predictable and there aren’t any surprises along the way.

Then there’s music and soundtrack. The soundtrack has several Elvis songs and the movie ends with a couple of musical performances. One was Doubleday singing Home for the Holidays with some backup from the kids. Her performance is enjoyable enough, but not really concert worthy. Chase Bryant does a short and not particularly Elvis-like Blue Christmas and then provides background to conversations that advance the movie.

Unfortunately, those conversations just don’t seem authentic. Likewise the outcomes don’t seem reasonable. In at least one case, it involves what would be a total personality change which I just don’t buy.

Overall, I like musical performances in movies if the actors have some talent. The Elvis background will be a plus for some and not for others. The story is without sparkle as is the acting. For a romance, this was one in which I really didn’t care that much because it wasn’t that great. 6 stars may be generous, but then I didn’t find anything that was an overwhelming turn off and good music always raises my ratings.

Irt’s actually a sweet movie…


The storyline is much like every other Hallmark movie, which is really okay, I suppose, if not more than a little predictable.

I liked this one because the actors did a great job. I wasn’t sure that was really Priscilla Presley and had to look her up on here. She’s had way too much work done to stay looking young and it’s had the effect of making her look like, well… A badly made doll?

Finally, the writer could use a thesaurus. They used the word “amazing” so many times (as they do in every single movie) it should become a drinking game.

The setting of Memphis is nice, as I love the city, but to make it a winter wonderland? Memphis is in the deep South and doesn’t get, or keep, that kind of snow. They’ll have one good ice storm a year, that shuts down the city for a few days, but it’s generally warmer there in the winter months. I realize the Hallmark Christmas movies are all about the winter, but really? Memphis with snow on the ground ALL the time? (And before anyone says it, I was married to a person from Memphis for 23 years. I’ve been there so many times, in all seasons, and have NEVER seen snow there outside of the usual January ice storm.)

Hallmark needs to re-think how they do these movies to shake things up a bit.

Makes Wonder Woman look like a rookie.

I certainly agree with the reviewers who commented about the lack of chemistry between the leads. Very lack luster as far as the romance was concerned. It was unbelievable that Gwyneth Paltrow-girl would give up her dream career as an international art-museum curator based in London (is that even a real thing?) that she technically was not even qualified for on the possibility of a future with single dad. They were not madly in love or even committed. Just a weak possibility at best.

The Dad would be forgiven if his primary attraction to her was as great possible mother to his 3 kids. The girl was so perfect and energetic that it was mind boggling. Visiting her sister to have family time, interviewing for a dream position, and volunteering to take charge of a Christmas extravaganza at Graceland would be more than enough for a mortal woman. But on top of all that, she steps in to take on being an au pair to a executive single dad who is losing connection to his children because of over- scheduling and inflexibility. On top of all that, she bakes yule logs, hand makes Christmas ornaments, provides expeditions to the kiddies, reorders Dad’s priorities, takes the kids for a personal Christmas event with Priscilla Presley, saves the Dad’s fund raiser for his corporation, and even steps in to be the stage entertainment (she can kinda sing) when the country star hired for the event is delayed due to weather. I’m exhausted just writing about it. Then she even has time to start a romance and look gorgeous.

Still, I can’t give this less than a 5 because I couldn’t look away. I was afraid I’d miss something.