Holiday movies fill our hearts with joy. Between Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas, It's a Wonderful Lifetime (or Fa La La La Lifetime, if you prefer) and ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas, there are so many movies and so little time.
To help you, our friends, we have sacrificed by watching as many of these movies as possible and will give you our two cent review. Hopefully this will help you know what you do or do not want to watch.
When event planner Chloe is
hired to plan the local Christmas Festival, she is beyond thrilled to
embrace the challenge. Professionally, everything is going great, but
much to the dismay of her mother, Chloe confesses she has given up on ever finding Mr. Right.
That all changes the night of the opening of the festival when she meets
Evan. The two begin a whirlwind romance, but as Christmas Day nears,
Chloe learns that Evan is being transferred overseas for work. What
follows is three more Christmases where Chloe and Evan cross paths at
the annual festival, but each year something, or someone, stands in
the way of true love. Will a touch of Santa's magic on their fourth
Christmas Eve finally bring them together?
Our Two Cents:
Ugh. We hate writing negative reviews, but we gotta be honest... There wasn't much we liked about this. Poorly written. Poorly acted. No chemistry. Lots of large sheets of cotton polyester blankets laid down over fake bushes and sidewalks that we are supposed to believe is snow. We say skip it.
Connie Forrester (Melissa Joan Hart, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"), a
young single mom, and Will DiNova (Mario Lopez, "Holiday in Handcuffs")
each run their small, family-owned toy stores in Connecticut. Similar to
their families, Connie and Will have been business rivals for year,
until both of their livelihoods fall into jeopardy when the big box toy
store "Roy's Toys" has its grand opening right before Christmas. In
order to save their businesses, Connie and Will band together to save
the stores that have defined their families for generations, and in the
process, might just find love in time for Christmas.
Our Two Cents: This was a HUGE disappointment! We generally love Melissa Joan Hart. And her first collaboration with Mario Lopez 10 years ago, Holiday in Handcuffs, was such a ridiculous and AWESOME movie that we had high expectations. This was just awkward and boring and lame. We wish we could list some redeeming qualities about this one, but the commercial with the squeaky dog toys creating the tune of Jingle Bells was more entertaining than this movie.
While settling his father’s estate, Finn Conrad becomes suspicious as to
why the man left a nurse $50,000. His dad knew her for less than two
months before he died. Just before Christmas, Finn wants what to reclaim
what he considers his family’s money, going undercover to investigate
the bed and breakfast the nurse has recently taken over. When Finn meets
Willa, he discovers she’s not a conniving gold digger at all, but a
woman in need who put the money to good use. When she discovers his true
identity, will it keep Willa from ever trusting him again?
Our Two Cents:
After several duds and a few movies that were only okay, the holiday movie season has finally begun with A Bramble House Christmas. We found this movie to be delightful, especially the exceptional location shots! Of course there was that certain level of predictability you expect in our beloved holiday movies, but
this one had a twist that kicked it up a notch and left us quite satisfied.
Now that the praise is done, we must ask:
Were we the only ones who noticed Willa wore the same style skirt in different colors throughout the entire movie?
Interior designer Laura returns to Utah to spearhead the renovation of
an old hotel in time for the annual Christmas Eve show run by Ricardo,
her ex-boyfriend and dance partner. When Laura steps in to dance in the
finale with Ricardo, she is pulled between her job, her family, and her
reawakened feelings for Ricardo.
Our Two Cents:
You know we love the dancing movies! The chemistry in this movie better be good because it stars real life husband and wife Carlos PenaVega and Alexa PenaVega. Of course it's predictable, but aren't they all?
When struggling pastry chef Kylie Watson (Chabert) learns she’s made it
to the finals of the American Gingerbread Competition, she thinks her
competitive spirit has finally paid off and hopes the publicity will
help her jumpstart her new café. There’s just one problem — the oven
she’s supposed to use breaks down right before the contest. Determined
to enter, she reaches out to Nick Mazannti (Coco), her old boyfriend
from culinary school who gave up his dream of being a pastry chef to
take over his family’s pizzeria. Nick allows her to use his industrial
pizza oven at night to craft her ambitious gingerbread confections. As
the two reminisce about the dreams of their youth, their romance is
rekindled. But just as Kylie is on the cusp of taking the grand prize—and embracing true love—things get complicated when her ex-boyfriend
takes drastic steps to win her back. Kylie realizes she must embrace the
Christmas Spirit or risk losing both the contest and her new love.
Our Two Cents:
Oh, Lacey Chabert, Lacey Chabert. I hate to say it, but I do not care for Lacey Chabert. (If you pronouce Chabert the way I think it's pronounced "SHA-bear" then that should be a nice little Dr. Seuss rhyme for you from me. Merry Christmas and you're welcome.) Seriously, her acting is okay, but she has the same dry sugar toast personality in every movie--which is actually NO personality. Sadly, the same goes for her costar in this one and the love story fell flat.
Lydia, a successful professional organizer, is constantly trying to grow
her business, but even her ambition takes a back seat to love when she
meets Robert, a frazzled widower with two young children. A toy
inventor, Robert is asked to present his new Christmas toy line to a
superstore. His challenge is he only has 12 days to get his life and his
business in order. Talk about a Christmas rush! Lydia shows Robert that
this task goes way deeper than messy junk drawers and encompasses every
aspect of his life. While she’s intent on helping him straighten out
details he had long ignored, Robert teaches the buttoned-up Lydia that
messiness can be a delightful part of life.
Our Two Cents:
This one did not meet our approval. We can forgive a lot of plot and continuity problems and even bad acting, but if there’s no chemistry… no bueno. It wasn’t the worst, but it was a bit of a chore to finish. I think I'll only remember it because of the reality-defying toys.
Nicknamed “Miss Christmas,” the official tree finder for Chicago’s
renowned Radcliffe Tree lighting is left desperate to find the perfect
tree. A letter from a young boy promising his tree is perfect sends her
to a small town where she learns the young boy’s dad isn’t willing to
part with his tree. While sparks fly, she’ll be forced to confront what
she’s really been missing for Christmas.
Our Two Cents:
This has everything you want and expect. The Christmas fanatic meets the Scrooge, the sugar sweet love story that gets a brief dose of vinegar, and of course the “surprise” ending that you see coming a mile away.