Mena Massoud is back on the big screen for the holidays with ‘Hotel for the Holidays’. He’s pairing up with Madelaine Petsch for a workplace holiday romance with a hint of royalty thrown in for good measure. There’s a lot happening in this movie, but it never feels like too much. If you love friends to lovers, this may be a holiday romp for you to enjoy. The backdrop of New York City is always the right choice for the holiday season.
Massoud has arguably always been leading man material. It’s too bad that industry racism has held him back. He has incredible chops as a romantic lead and it’s great to see him be able to showcase his talents. He’s charming and able to hold a candle to the best pining love interest. He continues to prove himself in each movie or show he appears in, no matter how large or small the role. Like many actors, he deserves much more, and this movie is proof.
Hotel for the Holidays features a very fun girl-boss, Georgia. In addition to clearly being a great hotel manager, she’s also a great friend. She wants the best for everyone around her. Her journey to recognize her own needs and wants is a relatable one. Women so often struggle to put themselves first when they consider everyone else’s needs above their own. Georgia is a reminder that we all need to take that extra minute and look out for ourselves at least some of the time.
This movie is a Little Mosque on the Prairie reunion and it’s adorable. That show had such an incredible ensemble cast, and seeing any of them together again is a joy. Jayne Eastwood and Neil Crone embody second chance love at any age. It’s too bad that there wasn’t more time devoted to this secondary love story. In these types of romantic comedies, there’s too often an age limit when there doesn’t need to be one. These Canadian legends deserve all the love in the world.
Pandora (Kayleigh Shikanai) makes an incredible B-story. At first, it seemed that the movie was going to mock this character for being both untalented and out of touch. She quickly becomes sympathetic, however. This is another story that it’s too bad there wasn’t more time to focus on. She proves herself worthy of a Prince. Honestly, this writer believes in her career.
Finally, the use of setting in this movie is enthralling. As mentioned, New York City is always the right choice for a holiday adventure. This movie doesn’t waste a square inch. However, it’s never overwhelming.
Hotel for the Holidays is a sweet holiday romp that has an unexpected amount of heart. It’s fun, and plugs in classic romance tropes without feeling cliche. The characters are endearing, and the romances are delicious. This is a worthy addition to any holiday movie binge.
Hotel for the Holidays is available to stream on Amazon Freevee.