I struggled to get through the first thirty minutes or so, I am afraid. And it wasn't until the last thirty that I started to truly engage with the story, engage with the performances. At face value, the story is a warm and sweet one. With a city neighborhood as the backdrop, the movie gives you a bit of a sense of Harlem during the holiday season (I've been told). And, as another reviewer has pointed out, inner-city settings in Hallmark movies are rare. The story revolves around Jazmin (played by Olivia Washington), a successful corporate fixer who returns to Harlem for Christmas (the neighborhood where she grew up) after a bit of a talking to by Mama Belle (played Tina Lifford), as she puts it, 'I don't want any more dried fruit baskets. I want to see you'. When Mama Belle is injured in a yoga accident, Jazmin decides to stay longer and takes over the block's annual Christmas Jamboree. However, there is one catch, she has to co-chair the event with her old best friend Caleb (played by Will Adams). And so, our romance begins, as we watch the two prepare for this community holiday event, all the while reconnecting and maybe, just maybe, falling in love. The script was decent. The writer (and director), I thought, did a good job of setting the scene (e.g., the opening scene thru the neighborhood) and portraying a sense of community spirit. The dialogue too, especially between Mama Belle and Jazmin, felt real, authentic. One problem with the story, with the script, however, is the balance between drama, comedy, and romance is a bit off in some parts of the film. These elements should reinforce each other, reinforce the overarching narrative of the story, and this is not always the case here. Another issue is the acting. Overall, it is a mixed bag. I had a difficult time connecting with Washington's performance. She has several noticeably awkward scenes, particularly early on in the movie, which made her performance difficult to engage with, I felt. Don't get me wrong, she does have some good scenes, particularly in the second half of the film. Indeed, her performance in the latter half is strong. Similarly, Adam's performance took a while to grow on me. Unfortunately, the chemistry between the two was not very convincing. Simply put: their romance never really developed on-screen. I did not feel it, especially their kiss at the end. This is partly due to the script, as another reviewer suggests, and partly due to the acting, of course. What stood out for me, and what arguably kept this one afloat, was the performance of Lifford. She was absolutely delightful in her role as Mama Belle. Finally, the movie does instill a bit of Christmas spirit and holiday cheer. There are some fun and festive scenes, including the Christmas Jamboree. And you got to love the Christmas sweaters. What's up with the soundtrack? The music for much of the first hour is a bit odd, and distracting at times. All in all, 'A Holiday in Harlem' is a decent Hallmark Christmas movie, a warm story with some unexceptional acting.