Movie

Holiday in the Vineyards (2023) Movie Review

Holiday in the Vineyards Christmas tree
6
(6/10)

Movie Review

About Holiday in the Vineyards

“Holiday in the Vineyards” is a charming Christmas romcom released December 13, 2023. The romantic movie offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It is directed by Alex Ranarivelo and written by Cecilia Franco and David Zanardi. The movie stars Josh Swickard as Carter, Argentinian actress and model Sol Rodriguez as Valentina, Omar Gooding as Moe and Eileen Davidson as Maureen.

Holiday in the Vineyards the playboy male character

Story

The film follows Carter (Josh Swickard), a playboy tasked by his mother (Davidson) to secretly spy on a struggling vineyard owned by the widowed Valentina (Rodriguez). Carter  is torn as he grows to understand the widow’s wish to keep her family’s legacy alive. Sparks fly as Carter clashes with his mum’s determination to acquire a vineyard from people he has grown to understand and to whom he is starting to get attached. The way that his immaturity plays against him but eventually gives him a step towards the younger child while the new context is a first step to waking his growth is particularly well zhandled.

Script

Holiday in the Vineyards Gooding Swickard main male characters

The script by Franco and Zanardi is predictable but heartwarming, offering a familiar holiday rom-com formula with a dash of family drama. Director Ranarivelo keeps the pace light and breezy, with picturesque Californian vineyard landscapes and the season adding a touch of holiday magic. Viewers can also appreciate the little pieces of simple and warm wisdom sprinkled around the scenes, mainly delivered by the mothers, as well as the down-to-earth, flowing and uncomplicated humour delivered by the supporting character Moe brilliantly played by Omar Gooding. It is frankly refreshing to see a leading romantic female who is not spoiled, unrelatable, unreasonable or a drama queen turning the third act conflict into a pantomime: rather, the script, while unoriginally following the formula, introduces the third-act conflict in a natural way and handles it rather well. The speech about the heart growing twice as much so you never have to split your love (vaguely paraphrased to avoid excessive spoilers) is a favourite.

Cast Performances

Holiday in the Vineyards Christmas treeJosh Swickard sheds his usual “good guy” persona to play the initially arrogant playboy Carter, making his eventual transformation more believable. Rodriguez shines as the strong-willed Valentina, bringing warmth and vulnerability to the role. In her relationship with her character’s sons, she also shows believable care and wisdom. The supporting cast deserves a shout-out, particularly Omar Gooding as Moe, the friendly local shopkeeper who injects a dose of humour into the story. The chemistry of the children and their acting mother is palpable and the children’s acting very believable. While the main plot focuses on the central romance, the supporting characters like Moe and Valentina’s children add depth and dimension to the story.

Holiday in the Vineyards female cast

Verdict

While “Holiday in the Vineyards” won’t win any awards for originality, it delivers exactly what it promises – a light, fun, and heartwarming holiday watch. The beautiful visuals, charming performances, and predictable yet satisfying narrative make it a perfect choice for a cozy night in with a cup of hot cocoa.

Editor’s notes

At the time of writing, Holiday in the Vineyards is streaming on Netflix.