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A unique twist on the usual TV Christmas movie. R.J. Groves reviews Christmas Catch


A unique twist on the usual TV Christmas movie. R.J. Groves reviews Christmas Catch

Christmas Catch (2018) brings us a unique twist on the usual TV Christmas movie, blending together a whole lot of Christmas intertwined with investigative work. Detective Mackenzie ‘Mack’ Bennett (Emily Alatalo), while a very skilled detective, is terrible at dating. All her previous attempts have ended in disaster, until she meets Carson (Franco Lo Presti) by chance in an extremely cute and serendipitous meeting. The two of them seem to hit it off from the start. It’s just her luck that Carson is suddenly the prime suspect in a major diamond heist case that Mack and her partner Reid (Andrew Bushell) are assigned to.

The Highs

  • Christmas Catch is extremely Christmassy – to the extent that Mack and her mother (Lauren Holly), who is also her boss, love everything Christmas right down to the smallest decorations. So, of course, they’re thrilled to be chasing down a diamond-encrusted reindeer. Good thing Carson is also a Christmas lover!
  • You can’t miss the cleverness of the title – Carson is a suspect, and Mack and Reid are trying to ‘catch’ him in the act. Carson literally catches a falling Mack when they meet. Not to mention his pick-up line about her ‘being a good catch’. It’s corny, but it’s cute.
  • It’s a sweet movie. While Mack is terrible at dating, the chemistry between her and Carson is tangible, and their genuine conversations and connections are really sweet, making you root for the couple and their HEA.
  • There is a HEA.
  • The supporting characters, particularly Reid and Mack’s mother, help tie in the value of friendship and family with characters that are actually loveable.
  • The film is a blend of Miss Congeniality, Christmas, a cool soundtrack and a whole lot of awkward humour, which, for me, is a pretty good combination.
  • It’s family friendly.

The Lows

  • While there are a lot of good parts in this movie, there were some parts where it felt a little slow and the conversation didn’t feel natural, which is not what you’d expect conversation to feel like when it’s between a main character and her supposed best friends.
  • There was so much pushing to find out more about Carson’s ex-wife that it just felt too much. Wouldn’t he have been suspicious when his date brought up his ex-wife every time he saw her?
  • I didn’t like ‘Special Agent’ Robinson from FBI from the start. She annoyed me. Considering she’s actually Carson’s ex-wife, her dislikeable character is probably on purpose, but it would have been a lot more surprising if she was a character that was a bit more likeable at the start.

Awkward moments

This movie is so full of awkward moments that I oftentimes wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cringe, so I ended up doing something somewhere between the two.

  • Mack’s ‘sexy walk’ at the start of the movie and interactions with the suspect at the start. Oh boy. She really is socially awkward when it comes to her personal life.
  • Mack’s attempt at flirting truly was bad, at least before her more natural flirting with Carson.
  • When Mack talks on the phone with Carson to agree to go on a date with him –incredibly awkward but also kind of cute.
  • The pep talk with herself in the mirror. Saying that, I’m pretty sure mirror pep talks are always awkward and cringeworthy.

Lingering Questions

  • I wasn’t left with too many unanswered questions at the end, but Special Agent Robertson, Carson’s ex-wife, was still getting to me. None of the characters seemed to like her, so wouldn’t they have at least checked her credentials or double-checked that she was who she said she was?
  • What was in it for Carson’s ex-wife to tell Carson that Mack is a cop? If it was just to get the cameras out of Carson’s house so that she could get the diamond-encrusted reindeer back, couldn’t they have just dismissed him as no longer being a suspect anymore?
  • Why would his ex-wife even need to involve the police with trying to figure out the location of the reindeer in the first place? If she was as good at finding out things as Carson had said she was, surely she didn’t need to get so many other people involved.
  • Considering Mack’s friends knew so much about dating, why were they never seen with anyone else?
  • How was Carson hurt at the end? Was he shot? Knocked out? Drugged? When he came to, he didn’t seem able to pull himself upright which is something I would assume he would do if there were two bad guys threatening him and his girlfriend.

Missed Opportunities

  • I would have loved to see more development in the relationship between Mack and Carson. The amount of time spent talking about his ex-wife didn’t leave much time to actually get to know each other.
  • There was a lot of awkward date talk. I would have loved to see their connection blossom a bit more.
  • At least a little bit of romance for the supporting characters or a bit of promise for some in the future.
  • The movie ends with their first kiss, but with all the Christmas loving throughout the movie, I would have liked to see it end at her mother’s Christmas dinner Mack asks Carson to come to.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not the best Christmas movie I’ve ever watched, Christmas Catch is still pretty solid. It’s a sweet storyline heavy on the Christmas theme with a bit of tension and a whole lot of awkward moments and great characters, which are all things that I love in a Christmas movie.

If you love awkward humour and law enforcement-based storylines, Christmas Catch is for you. It’s perfect for helping get into that Christmas mood and will potentially make you want to buy cute ornaments. Would I rewatch it? Probably. And I’d enjoy it too.


Australian author R.J. Groves has been passionate about writing since she could put pen to paper and can usually be found jotting plots and stories down on anything she can get her hands on. Describing herself as a mum, wife, author, and coffee lover, her other passions include music, cooking, books, adventures, and searching for plot bunnies in even the most mundane activities.

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