Outsiders, what’s a Christmas season without a Henry Winkler sighting? Trust us, you’ll want to check out this movie.
Winkler was part of the cast of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It’s an oldish movie, given that it was made in 2008. But Hallmark loves to rerun it. The movie was on Sunday afternoon and it has three more airings between now and the end of the year. Its next airing is primetime, Nov. 29.
So what does Henry Winkler do in a Hallmark movie? He plays an uncle and an accidental matchmaker. All Hallmark movies involve a love story, so this movie definitely gives us the proper romance vibe.
Winkler plays Uncle Ralph, a crusty retired police officer who travels to Chicago to spend the holidays with Jennifer, his niece, and her son, Brian. Uncle Ralph helped raise Jennifer, so she’s more like his daughter. Jen is a businesswoman who doesn’t do Christmas very well. Her boyfriend also is rich and snooty. Needless to say, Uncle Ralph thinks his niece can do better.
Uncle Ralph isn’t a seasoned traveler, so he needed help checking in at the airport. That’s where he met Morgan, who helped him get through all the traveling traps. They both arrive in Chicago. But because of weather issues, Morgan’s flight to Denver is canceled. And it’s Christmas! What to do? Since it’s Hallmark, strangers usually evolve into best friends, especially around the holidays. Henry Winkler invites Morgan to Jennifer’s home. After all, the free-spirited Morgan is a chef and can help Jennifer prepare the holiday meal.
We’re not going to spoil the ending.
So if you’re Henry Winkler, why make a Christmas movie? They’re big business. Actors like Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years), Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) and Lacey Chabert (Party of Five) are all over the network this time of year. Katrina Law, who now stars on NCIS, was the female lead in three Hallmark Christmas movies. Her sister-in-law wrote two of the three. Two of Law’s co-stars in the movies are queens of classic TV — Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement) and Donna Mills (Knots Landing).
Most of the cast of The Brady Bunch also make appearances on a Lifetime Christmas movie set for premiere next month. Lifetime is trying to cut into Hallmark’s holiday market share. And the network surely will create a buzz with PEOPLE Presents: Blending Christmas, Dec. 12.
According to Entertainment Weekly, there are 146 new holiday movies to watch during the 2021 Christmas season. And more than half of those movies are from Hallmark (41) and Lifetime (36). Even Discovery+ and the Food Network are getting into the festive movie spirit. Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond stars in Candy Coated Christmas, which streams on both the platforms.
Plus, Henry Winkler knows how to make a Christmas movie. Besides acting, Winkler does some directing. And his first time directing a TV movie was in 1986. That’s when he was in charge of A Smokey Mountain Christmas starring Dolly Parton and Lee Majors.
Although it’s not even Thanksgiving, it’s the time to start getting into the Christmas spirit. So let Henry Winkler help with that.