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Three of Hallmark’s most popular leading men — Andrew Walker, Tyler Hynes, and Paul Campbell — team up in Three Wise Men and a Baby. It’s kinda like the Avengers of Hallmark movies, complete with colorful costumes. Yes, they’re elf costumes. So what? A costume’s a costume! The question is: is there enough movie for these three megastars, or do they all eclipse each other? 

The Gist: Andrew Walker (A Maple Valley Christmas), Tyler Hynes (An Unexpected Christmas), and Paul Campbell (The Santa Stakeout) play brothers Luke, Taylor, and Stephan Brennan, respectively. They’re the large adult sons of Barbara (Veep’s Margaret Colin) — and they can’t get outta the house. Luke (Walker) is a firefighter who’s in month one-million of building a house of his own because he’s too busy putting out a million personal fires everyday; Taylor (Hynes) is a hotheaded video game designer whose temper just got him fired… and he lives in Barbara’s basement; and Stephan (Campbell) is an overly anxious pet psychologist who lives in the detached living space behind Barbara’s home (Stephan emphatically says that it is not in her backyard).

Three Wise Men and a Baby
Photo: Hallmark

With all the boys at home, Barbara just wants to spend a Christmas together like they had when they were kids — and then the plot of this Hallmark movie kicks in and dashes those dreams! A snowstorm strands mom at her sister’s house and, as the movie’s title implies, Luke finds a baby at the fire station… a baby addressed to him. Of course he takes the baby in and, along with the well-intentioned but frequently misguided help of his brothers, tries to take care of the little guy until his TBD mother returns on Christmas. Will taking care of another life help Luke, Stephan, and Taylor figure out their own lives?

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Are you expecting an answer that’s not Three Men and a Baby? Sorry to disappoint, because the most obvious answer is also the most accurate answer! But it’s more than apt because not only do these movies share a similar premise, they also share a similar laughs-to-minute ratio.

Performance Worth Watching: Matt Hamilton (Turner & Hooch) is so good Mark McClark, the former high school bully of and current next door neighbor to the Brennans. He enters every scene with that high school jock gusto and then quickly runs out steam the instant the Brennans start reacting to him like the full-grown adults they are (“… That it? We done?”). Every performance in this film is worth watching, but the dynamic between Hamilton and the lead trio is just hilarious.

Three Wise Men and a Baby - Tyler and Paul and Andrew
Photo: Hallmark/Ricardo Hubbs

Memorable Dialogue: It’s hard to narrow it down when one of these movies has so many hard jokes in it, but I really loved Taylor and Mark’s first exchange. Taylor, walking past Mark and his huge truck: “Nice truck. It come with an unearned sense of self-confidence?” “No, it came with a snowmobile.”

A Holiday Tradition: Mom’s trying to get her boys to participate in all the old traditions, the first being decorating the Christmas tree. There’s also a choreographed Nutcracker dance routine, and Channel 7 holds an annual “Spirit of Christmas” contest to find the house with the best decorations.

Two Turtle Doves: If you like a movie about three brothers, why not watch The Christmas Clapback on BET (Nov. 24)? It’s about three sisters (Nadine Ellis, Candace Maxwell, Porscha Coleman) who set aside their rivalry to beat an influencer in the annual Christmas church cook-off.

Three Wise Men and a Baby - Ali and Tyler
Photo: Hallmark/Ricardo Hubbs

Does the Title Make Any Sense?: It eventually does, but you might just spend the first 2/3rds of the movie wondering when or if any of these three men will ever do anything wise. There is a steep learning curve when it comes to bachelors learning how to take care of a baby.

Our Take: The movie is great. I don’t know what else to say! If the idea of seeing three of Hallmark’s leading men together in one movie sounds fun to you, then you will absolutely not be disappointed. The three of them have fantastic chemistry together and all of them easily slide into totally recognizable familial roles. They feel like brothers — and they all have their own unique personality quirks and emotional issues that result in hilarious moments (every time Hynes delivered deadpan dialogue at that baby, I cackled) and real, meaty character arcs. You want laughs and feels? Here you go. You get three times the laughs and feels with this one.

The thing I want to point out, though, is that Three Wise Men and a Baby was co-written by Campbell and Kimberley Sustad, who has a fun role in this movie and previously appeared in this year’s excellent Lights, Camera, Christmas. Campbell also wrote last year’s phenomenal An Unexpected Christmas, which starred Hynes and featured Walker in a small part. And two years ago, Campbell and Sustad co-wrote Hallmark’s Christmas By Starlight. So — this does not get talked about nearly enough.

Three Wise Men and a Baby - Tyler and Paul and baby
Photo: Hallmark

Hallmark isn’t just letting actors get annual screen time, dabbling in a number of genres adjacent to the holiday romcom. The network is also cultivating a real pool of talent that they’re letting get big credits behind-the-camera, too — and it’s really paying off. We’re getting movies that don’t adhere to any formula — there are three male leads here and two romantic plots, but all that’s in service of the overall character arcs — and we’re getting movies that look like they were a blast to make. And they’re definitely a blast to watch. There’s nothing cheesy or ironic about enjoying these movies anymore. They’re just fun movies, period.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Three Men and a Baby puts Hallmark’s roster of talent on display, and it’s a joy to watch.

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