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Winter Castle Preview 

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Hallmark Channel kicks off its annual Winterfest programming Saturday night with Winter Castle, a magical wonderland romcom set against the backdrop of a destination wedding at an ice hotel. Chesapeake ShoresEmilie Ullerup and When Calls the Heart‘s Kevin McGarry headline as Jenny and Craig, who are the maid of honor and best man at her sister’s wedding to his best friend.

Jenny’s sister, Meg (Melanie Mullen), talks Craig up to Jenny as a Mr. Right in waiting until they all arrive for the wedding and he has an unexpected plus one, Lana (UnREAL‘s Meghan Heffern). Lana is a family friend who stepped up in a big way to help Craig and his daughter, Sara (Bellevue‘s Habree Larratt), following the death of his wife a few years earlier.

Unfortunately, Lana misunderstands the intent of the wedding invitation, which gets additionally complicated when both Craig and Sara immediately hit it off with Jenny. Jenny takes the high road when she sees what’s in Lana’s heart even though Craig can’t, or won’t. Thankfully, Lana recognizes her error, too.

It’s a sweet movie that’s slightly exasperating in spots as Craig fumbles along doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. While he’s sorting that out, Jenny presses on with her professional opportunity to finally write a children’s story. Ullerup has some lovely scenes with Larratt as Jenny puts her day job skills as a children’s book editor to work telling Sara stories.

Filmed in Ottawa and on location at Quebec’s Ice Hotel, the movie is part travelogue, too. Marita Grabiak (The Christmas Pact) directs a script by Barbara Kymlicka (Poinsettias for Christmas).

Winter Castle premieres Saturday night at 8 pm/7c on Hallmark Channel. Here’s a sneak peek.

Photos courtesy of Crown Media United States LLC and Johnson Productions Group.

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