November 30, 2013

Dear Secret Santa

After getting news of her father's bad fall, Jennifer, moves back to the house where she grew up, reuniting her with old flames and old memories. One day, Jennifer gets a Christmas card from a secret admirer in her mailbox and becomes curious as to who sent it. The admirer knows so many personal things about her that she decides to write back. Can she solve the mystery of who is sending her the Christmas cards?

Our Two Cents:
With a good cast, some cute moments and some good music, this movie is a little reminiscent of The Lake House, but it’s not quite the same story line. It has a few twists. Can you figure out who her Secret Santa is?

Side Note: Ok, so the mystery isn't that hard to figure out. Most plot summaries give it away. So if you want to be surprised, maybe don't follow the links or watch the trailer.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •  Official Site



Have you seen Dear Secret Santa? Tell us what you thought of it! 

Let It Snow

When Falcon Resorts acquires family-owned Snow Valley Lodge from retiring owners Karla (Gabrielle Rose) and Paul (Dan Willmott), driven executive Stephanie Beck (Candace Cameron Bure) must spend the week before Christmas in Maine preparing a proposal on the property's renovations. Determined to impress Falcon's president, her detached father Ted (Alan Thicke), Stephanie reluctantly departs her warm Arizona home to immerse herself in the lodge's property and decide how to change it to fit the hip, young Falcon brand. While preparing to rebuild the Snow Valley Lodge from the ground up, Stephanie butts heads with her property guide, Brady Lewis (Jesse Hutch), Karla and Paul's son, who has decided to leave his family's business over creative differences with his dad.
A self-defined Grinch, Stephanie begins her stay at Snow Valley Lodge immune to Christmas sentiment. But as the lodge's festive traditions provide the Christmas Stephanie never had growing up with her distant father, Stephanie finds herself enjoying every minute. To complicate her professional duties even further, the combative feelings she felt toward Brady turn into romantic ones. With Stephanie's newfound Christmas spirit and unexpected holiday romance, she begins to question Falcon's overhaul. As her Christmas Eve deadline approaches, she's faced with a decision: should she transform the lodge into a new winter hot spot or embrace tradition and let it snow?

Our Two Cents:
Besides being mildly offended/disappointed with their not-quite-how-we-do-it Feast of the Seven Fishes, we found this one pleasantly enjoyable. And if you feel tempted to mimick the Swedish tradition on the night of the Feast of St. Thomas to dream of your future spouse, we won't judge.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer:


Have you seen Let It Snow? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 28, 2013

Holidaze

Melody, a high powered corporate workaholic for a retail conglomerate, is happy to spend the holidays jet-setting with her girlfriends. However, she's in for an unpleasant surprise when her boss sends her to her sleepy hometown to convince the reluctant townspeople to allow them to build a new discount store. Now, forced to reconnect with her family and her childhood sweetheart Carter, her task is not so simple, as all are vehemently opposed to everything Melody's company stands for. Desperate to get out of town and back to her real life, Melody takes a spill and wakes up in an alternate universe where she never left home and is married to Carter! Once determined to leave her small town life behind, Melody must make sense of her new life and decide if you truly can go home again.

Our Two Cents:
Another silver screen rip off--this one is like The Family Man. There are a few things about this movie that leave us shaking our heads, inwardly saying "really?" to the TV. But it has some really good moments too. We like it for the good moments, and it's just a teensy bit a guilty pleasure for the bad ones.


Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★

Links:
IMDB

Trailer:


Have you seen Holidaze? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 24, 2013

Fir Crazy

Busy career woman Elise MacReynolds (Sarah Lancaster) has no time or desire to take part in Christmas festivities. However, a few twists of fate land Elise in the middle of her worst nightmare: unemployed, newly single, and running her family's Christmas tree lot for the dreaded holiday season. As the de facto representative of her family's business, Elise must navigate a contentious relationship with the lot's new landlord, Gary Dixon (Colin Mochrie), who thinks the MacReynolds' lot is hurting his business and wants them gone...fast. But, things are looking a little brighter as the newly single Elise has a budding relationship with Darren (Eric Johnson), one of her customers.
It doesn't take long for Elise to begin to embrace the Christmas spirit. But when her landlord discovers a way to shut down the lot right before Christmas, Elise must use her newly found holiday spirit, her business savvy, and help from her new friends. Will she pull off a Christmas miracle?

Our Two Cents:
While we liked this one, for some reason though, it's not as memorable for us. It's pretty standard fare for a TV Christmas movie. The most memorable thing about this movie might just be its invention of the word "mistletotally," which was both awkward and awesome.

Note: This is also known as  Oh Christmas Tree.
 
Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★
Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •   Official Site

Trailer:


Have you seen Fir Crazy? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 23, 2013

Window Wonderland


It's no holds barred when two Manhattan department store employees vie for the same job during the busy Christmas season. Sloan Van Doren is a driven young woman determined to become the next window dresser at McGuire's department store and to uphold a 95-year-old artistic holiday tradition. Serious and professional, she's the polar opposite of the happy-go-lucky Jake Dooley, who also wants the job. When Mr. Fitch, the head of advertising and promotion, gives them a challenge, the competition is on: each will create a series of seasonal storefront windows twice a week until Christmas. The creator of whichever window display gets the most attention from passersby will get the job.

As they go through their paces, with Jake's obvious talent grabbing the public's attention, a silent but mutual attraction develops between the pair, hampered by the contest and the presence of Kenneth, Sloan's blueblood boyfriend, who can't understand the importance Sloan is placing on this job. Supporting the efforts of the window dressers are McGuire's veteran window washer Mac (Terence Kelly) and brassy bathroom attendant Rita who have eyes for each other but haven't done anything about it yet. Love is in the air at McGuire's, but things aren't exactly what they seem. Who will win in this love triangle?
(Summary from IMDB)
Our Two Cents:
More like Window Wonderful! Cute, funny, and full of surprises and great banter between lead characters. It's just good. Don't miss this one because it's not available on DVD.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★

Links:
IMDB  •   Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen Window Wonderland? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 17, 2013

Catch a Christmas Star

Nikki Crandon (Shannon Elizabeth) is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. Whether she's singing the National Anthem or promoting her latest album, everyone knows who she is—none more so than New Jersey high school basketball coach and widower Chris Mitchell (Steve Byers), who was Nikki's first love in high school. When Chris's 10-year-old daughter Sophie (Julia Lalonde) finds out her dad still has feelings for the singer, she takes matters into her own hands. With her 8-year-old brother Jackson (Kyle Breitkopf) in tow, Sophie succeeds in reuniting the two. But when a misunderstanding and the growing glare of the public spotlight threaten Chris and Nikki's happiness, one can only wonder: will fame get in the way of a Merry Christmas?
 
Our Two Cents:
Catch a Falling Star, in a word, is MEH. It's not great, and it's not really bad. Well, it's kind of really bad. The plot doesn't make too much sense. She's a huge superstar. Fans wait in line all day just to meet her for a few moments and get an autograph. She fills a huge Madison Square Garden-size stadium for a concert featuring CHRISTMAS SONGS (that concert itself is a bit far fetched). So how would a romance with someone who is a highly attractive, family man, works for a high school and is incredibly nice guy hurt her reputation? I don't get it. And the ending! Yikes. Yeah, it's not really that good, but you know we watch it every year anyway!

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen Catch a Christmas Star? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 16, 2013

The Christmas Ornament

Newly widowed Kathy (Kellie Martin) plans to skip out on decking the halls and trimming the tree this Christmas, trying to avoid anything that will bring back memories of her late husband. The only Christmas tradition she will observe is baking cookies for her friends, a passion since she was a child. When Kathy meets handsome Christmas tree shop owner Tim (Cameron Mathison), their undeniable chemistry - along with an ornament Tim gives her that symbolizes hope - helps Kathy open up to the joys of the season again. With the support of her best friend Jenna (Jewel Staite), and the budding relationship with Tim, Kathy begins to embrace the hopeful message of the ornament.
Although Kathy wants to take a chance on Tim, she struggles to find the balance between preserving the memory of her husband and moving on with her own future. Is the Christmas ornament a sign that she can have a hopeful future?
(Summary from Hallmark)

Our Two Cents:
The Christmas Ornament is jam packed with holiday movie cliches (you know them well: the Christmas baker, holiday retail store/ Christmas tree lot owner, ice skating, the widow with painful Christmas memories) but it somehow manages to pull it all together into a pretty darn cute movie with a really sweet story.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★
Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •   Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen The Christmas Ornament? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 10, 2013

A Very Merry Mix-Up

Shop owner Alice Chapman (Alicia Witt) is nervous to meet her future in-laws at Christmas, especially because she is arriving ahead of her new fianc√©, Will Mitchum (Scott Gibson). Alice's trip becomes more stressful when her luggage is lost and her phone is damaged, leaving her no way to find Will's family! As fate would have it, she meets her future brother-in-law, Matt Mitchum (Mark Wiebe), at baggage claim and is happy to get a ride home with him. As Alice meets Matt's doting family, mom Penny (Susan Hogan), dad Joe (Richard Fitzpatrick) and Grandpa Charles (Lawrence Dane), she falls in love with their festive holiday traditions and warm welcome to their home. And when unexpected romance comes calling as Christmas approaches, Alice must decide if her “Merry Mix-Up” will actually turn out to be her destiny.

Our Two Cents:
Last year, we started this and didn't watch the whole thing. I don't know what it was that turned us off, but we weren't getting it. We'd heard from others it was good so it surprised us that we weren't into it. This year we decided to give it another chance and found it delightful! We love the chemistry between Alice and Matt--and his whole family!

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★
Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •   Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen A Very Merry Mix-Up? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 09, 2013

Snow Bride

Greta Kaine (Katrina Law) is always in search of juicy gossip. As a tabloid reporter at "Pulse! Gossip" in Los Angeles, it's her job to expose the rich and famous for the entertainment of the magazine's readers. So when word gets out that one of the late Senator Tannehill's two sons might be proposing marriage at the family's Big Bear compound during Christmas, Greta and her chief rival Wes (Tom Lenk) are challenged by their old-school editor to get the scoop. There's incentive to be the first, too-- the editorship of the magazine's new online incarnation.
Greta's assistant tells her that Wes has a head start to snowy Big Bear, so she dashes to the mountain resort. When she mistakenly ends up as a guest of the family, she's in the middle of what could be her best story yet! However, she soon discovers that the family, including matriarch Maggie Tannenhill (Patricia Richardson) and caretaker Peters (Robert Curtis Brown), are more down-to-earth than she ever gave them credit for. Increasingly guilt-ridden about her game of subterfuge, Greta must make a decision: how far will she go for the sake of a story?

Our Two Cents:
I think I remember being not so sure about this movie at first. But when we are introduced to Ben Tannehill, all uncertainty went out the door. Quite frankly, he's dreamy. The story actually is pretty good and the characters are all likeable, unless, of course, you aren't supposed to like them. This is a good one. Just wish it was on DVD. (Update: Good news! It now IS available on DVD.)

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★  •   Acting ★★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site  • DVD

Trailer:
 

Have you seen Snow Bride? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 03, 2013

Christmas Song

Though two schools have recently merged into one, students at the newly formed Carter-Cresswell Academy have yet to blend into one harmonious body. Particularly for the award-winning choral groups of the two former schools, old rivalries die hard. Music teachers Diana Deason (Natasha Henstridge) and Ken Stoddard (Gabe Hogan) are forced to compete for a single music department position by entering dueling musical acts in a televised Christmas song competition.
The success of either group will determine the fate of the music department and will determine who will get the job as the school’s only music director. As the musical teams duke out their differences at the competition and in the school halls, sparks begin to fly between Diana and Ken--romantic and otherwise. Confused by these sentiments, Diana is forced to reevaluate her priorities and choose what is really worth fighting for.

Our Two Cents:
Another movie we didn’t finish. We got a bit farther into it than some others. The chemistry between Diane and Ken was there. But the music! It was just too awful. We're no experts, and apparently neither was anyone on the movie crew. If you have any musical snobbery, you might want to avoid this.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •  Official Site

Have you seen Christmas Song? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 02, 2013

The Thanksgiving House

When Boston lawyer Mary Ross (Emily Rose) inherits a house in Plymouth from her late aunt, she has no idea she may have inherited a historical treasure. Mary's initial desire to sell the house is supported by her slick boyfriend, Rick (Adam Kaufman), but she is shocked to discover local historian Everett Mather (Justin Bruening) has evidence that her house is located on the site of the first Thanksgiving! With the house turning into an unexpected tourist attraction, putting Mary in the media spotlight at the prying of unscrupulous gossip blogger Ashleigh Mulligan (Cerina Vincent), Everett tries to prove his theory and Mary tries to prove anything that will keep the house in her hands. Suddenly, Mary clings to the house as an artifact of her own history before her happy childhood memories were tarnished by her father's abandonment.
Ultimately, Mary must decide if it is more important to preserve the house’s historical ties or make it the site of many happy Thanksgivings to come. What will she choose?

Our Two Cents:
While this isn't really a CHRISTMAS movie, per se, it still has all the great nuances that you love, as you can see by the labels below. So this is why we like The Thanksgiving House. First, it's nice to give Thanksgiving it's own movie. Second, it has a sweet love story which is why we watch these movies, right? And third, it has a great message about family.


Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★  •   Acting ★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer: