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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
A Christmas Gem
by Betty Jo Tucker

I love Christmas movies. Thinking about the best of them puts me in a good mood even on a hot summer day. Happily, Hashtag Blessed is now on this list with such classics as A Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Meet Me in St. Louis and A Muppet Christmas Carol.  All these films deliver stories filled with compassion and messages of hope.

Directed by Stephanie McBain and written by Dalea Faulkner, Hashtag Blessed introduces us to Jessi (Isabella Blake-Thomas), a beautiful but sad young woman dissatisfied with her life. One of her problems involves social media. She spends too much time there where everyone seems better off than she is. And because Jessi is mostly down in the dumps, sheís having problems with her boyfriend. Sheís also not doing well at work and doesnít have enough money to pay off her student debt. Plus, Jessi misses her terrific parents who died in a car accident years ago.

What Jessie does have is a wonderful grandma (Mama Char) who loves her dearly.  

A Christmas gem is ďHashtag BlessedĒ

though Jessi feels her life is messed.

Why did she lose her yuletide glow?

By watching closely you will know.


Her grandma tries to help Jessi

in many ways as you will see.

This lovely story made me smile

as it unfolded to beguile.


The message here? Itís loud and clear.

Helping others induces cheer.  

Itís a treat to watch the loving relationship between Jessi and her grandmother. Blake-Thomas and Mama Char nail these two important roles. They seem to be the characters, they are portraying and that makes us believe everything they do Ė even baking cookies together.

Supporting cast members also deserve recognition, especially Amanda Michalek as Brittany who wants to renew a relationship with Jessi, Nicholas Heard as Jessiís new boyfriend, and Joel Payne as Saint Nick.  

Because this story takes place during Christmas time, most  people are enjoying the season, so Jessiís state of mind seems even worse. But does she reach rock bottom? Sorry, I canít tell you without disobeying my criticís oath.  

But donít worry, folks. Itís exciting to see the way Hashtag Blessed shows Jessi getting her yuletide spirit back and the way she takes to helping others.

Happily, like most of my other favorite Christmas films, Hashtag Blessed includes lots of holiday music, snow scenes, colorful Christmas trees, and Ė of course -- a Santa.

Oh, Christmas isnít just a day. Itís a state of mind. Ė Miracle on 24th Street

(Released by DarMar. Not rated by MPAA. Expected release in November, 2022.)    

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