Double Holiday Is No Hallmark Chanukah Movie

Photo: Kristoffer Polaha, Carly Pope, Ellen David, Judah Katz, Matthew Stefiuk, Gryffin Hanvelt, Jamie Lauren Harris in Double Holiday. Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Albert Camicioli.

Double Holiday is one of two Hallmark Channel original films to incorporate Chanukah but the reality is that this film is more Xmas than anything else.

The gist of the film is that cubicle mates Rebecca Hoffman (Carly Pope) and Chris Coulter (Kristoffer Polaha) are fighting for a promotion.  They’re forced together to team up and plan the Bennett and Swanson holiday party in order to woo the foundation run by Mel Jenson.  As all of this starts to begin, Rebecca has to start getting ready for the Hoffman family party for the first night of Chanukah.  Chanukah soon takes a backseat.  This is because of the promotion and wooing the Dorothy Jenson Foundation.

From the very moment that this film started, I knew I would have a sick feeling by the end of it.  I went into it with an open mind thinking that there’s no way that they could screw this thing up.  Folks, I’m sorry to say that they really screwed this film up.  For starters, Chanukah is not just about the oil lasting miraculously for eight days.  It’s about the fight against assimilation.  To see a Jewish woman planning a holiday party (that’s just being PC because a holiday party with wreaths and trees do not a Chanukah party make) in hopes of obtaining a promotion by wooing a client tells us everything we need to know here.

The cell phone battery comparison to oil is such a cliche at this point that it’s so over done.  Moreover, Double Holiday makes it seem that Chanukah is just about latkes, dreidel, and gelt.  True but again, there’s much more here than the film even gets into.  When Awful Chris tells Rebecca that he knows nothing of Chanukah, I find it hard to believe.  You’re living in New York City!  This is a city with the biggest Jewish population in America.  And I’m supposed to believe that Chris is completely ignorant?!?

Musically speaking, the score is so full of Xmas songs.  There is practically nothing when it comes to Chanukah music.  No, the first blessing in the Chanukah blessings doesn’t count.  Moreover, the film completely ignores the second blessing as well as the Shehecheyanu prayer recited only on the first night.  Here’s a newsflash: you can’t even light the candles until AFTER those prayers are recited.  There’s a complete absence of Maoz Tzur altogether.

If you’re looking for a Chanukah movie, skip Double Holiday and watch Full Court Miracle on Disney+ or The Hebrew HammerDouble Holiday is a complete and utter joke because the film completely ignores the meaning of Chanukah.

DIRECTOR:  Don McBrearty
CAST:  Carly Pope, Kristoffer Polaha, Laura Cilevitz, Barbara Eve Harris, Kyana Teresa, Matthew Stefiuk, Ellen David, Judah Katz, Chad Connell, Jamie Lauren Harris, Gryffin Hanvelt, Ceyon Crossfield, Paulino Nunes, Jane Luk, Jon Mclaren, Nick Allan

Double Holiday will air Saturday, December 21 (8 p.m. ET/PT) on the Hallmark Channel. Grade: 1.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.