By Hita Mohan
Photo by Abbie Ryan
“Christmas at Graceland,” the newest Hallmark movie, spotlights Memphis and one of its most popular tourist attractions.
“Christmas at Graceland” is a lighthearted story with fairytale-like romance. If this sounds like every holiday “rom-com” ever produced, one element sets it apart for Memphians and Elvis-admirers alike: the location. The movie was filmed at one of the most famous houses in the country, Elvis’s iconic home, Graceland.
The movie stars Emmy-nominated, country music artist Kellie Pickler and actor Wes Brown; the movie also features holiday songs made famous by Elvis such as “Santa Bring My Baby Back,” “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Blue Christmas.” It is currently the highest rated movie in Hallmark’s annual “Countdown to Christmas.” It premiered on the Hallmark Channel on Nov. 17 and will be aired frequently on the channel throughout the Christmas season.
The story follows Laurel (Pickler), a businesswoman from Chicago, who returns to her hometown of Memphis with the hopes of purchasing an old family-owned bank. The romance begins when she runs into her ex-boyfriend and former musical partner Clay (Brown) while in Memphis. Clay, a local music promoter, charms Laurel and she finds herself remembering the years they had spent singing together. She rediscovers her love for music and makes her way back to her roots.
Ruby Liles (11) said, “It was not lower than my expectations because I came in with zero expectations considering the cliche element of Hallmark movies. I also am not the biggest fan of Kellie Pickler’s voice. She sang “Silent Night” ten times.”
However, Ruby acknowledged the benefits of the movie when she said, “It paints a nice picture of Memphis so if anyone sees it, they could hop down to Memphis, therefore, increasing tourism.” Having been filmed exclusively at Graceland and around Memphis, it increases the publicity of our city and one of its most loved tourist attractions.
According to director Eric Close, this movie is the first to ever be filmed on the estate. If you want to watch the movie at Graceland, a free screening of “Christmas at Graceland” will take place at the Guesthouse at Graceland Theater Dec. 15 at noon.