Road Rash Reviews

Christmas at the Holly Day Inn Review***--

Cert 13+ | 87 mins | 2023

3 star very British festive romance.

Christmas at the Holly Day Inn is a 2023 British romcom, written by Lisa Chapman (Heart of a Champion) and directed by Adam Wilson (Crawl to Me Darling) and Monika Gergelova who makes her feature directorial debut.

It will be available to stream on UK Digital from 6th November 2023 courtesy of 101 films.

“At least stay long enough to unwind from the stress of work and the big city. Slow down and smell the roses.”

Emma (Tamla Kari – The Inbetweeners) is fully caught up in the corporate rat race, as we see at the start of the film when she is meeting up with best friend Melanie (Christine During – Melodrive) in the gym at the crack of dawn because it’s the only time she isn’t working. She’s after a promotion, but when she’s passed over again, she impulsively hands in her notice.

At Melanie’s suggestion, she decides to spend Christmas with her father Ben (Colin Baker The Ghosts of Borley Rectory, Doctor Who) at his charming country Guest house and her childhood home, The Holly Day Inn, while she evaluates her options. When she arrives however, it isn’t decorated as it used to be and she realises that since her mother died, it has become too much for Ben.

To top it off, there is an evil corporation trying to buy the land to turn the area into a conference centre and resort. Enter our big bad Larry (Philip Martin Brown – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Darkest Hour) who has sent his best operative Oliver (Kevin Leslie – 13 Graves,, The Rise of the Krays) to get Ben to sign on pain of losing his job.

A chance encounter with Emma leads to her assuming Oliver is a travel writer and inviting him to stay at the Holly Day Inn, where she tries to teach him about the magic of Christmas. In the meantime, romance is in the air for Ben, who is helping Molly (Anita Dobson – EastEnders, Tomorrow Morning) at the local cafe. Will the Christmas spirit prevail?

“Consider it quality control. I mean, you don’t seem the kind of girl who wants to be known for her sub standard baking. Besides, this one’s defective. It’s missing a leg.”

Christmas at the Holly Day Inn is really festive and heart warming to watch. It’s obviously very low budget, but it makes up for it by creating a homely and cosy feeling family setting. Although the script could have done with a little more work, the actors do very well with it and the chemistry between the two couples in undeniable. The only character I didn’t really get was Larry, he’s so over the top he wouldn’t have looked out of place in The Godfather.

It has all the required elements for a Christmas film and also a romcom, sleigh bells, twinkly things, Christmas trees and of course perfectly timed snow. It doesn’t bring any surprises and that’s great. I didn’t want any. All in all, it’s perfect for snuggling up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and getting into the festive mood.

“Thanks for sharing this place with me. I’ll add it to that list of Christmas traditions I’ve never experienced.”

Christmas at the Holly Day Inn is available now on UK Digital Platforms from 6th November 2023.

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DirectorMonika Gergelova, Adam Wilson
GenreComedy, drama, family
StarringTamla Kari, Kevin Leslie, Colin Baker, Anita Dobson,
Category: Digital, film, Review