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.
Emotionally scarred by a failed
marriage, Katherine has plunged into her successful career as a NYC
marketing executive, but her workaholic ways are taking a toll on her 8
year old son, Zack. Concerned over Zack's increasing disaffection,
Katherine decides they will spend Christmas in her home town in
Louisiana's bayou country, where her mother, Lilly, is soon match-making
with a vengeance. When Caleb, Katherine's old admirer, tries to
rekindle a childhood romance and convince her to move home, Katherine is
torn between the bright lights of the big city and the quiet, gentler
rhythms of her Southern roots. But a small Christmas miracle,
orchestrated by the mysterious Papa Noel, convinces Katherine that her
heart belongs back in the bayou where she was raised.
(Summary from Lifetime)
Our Two Cents:
Many of these movies have a major motion picture counterpart, and this one is a holiday Hope Floats. This movie (and Tyler Hilton) will win you over with it's southern charm and you might just start considering making a trip to the bayou yourself.
Single mother Ryan (Tricia Helfer) has just about given up on dating
after her divorce, happily accepting her young son as the most important
man in her life. That all changes when Ryan's brother Owen (JT Hodges),
also feeling unlucky in love after a bad breakup, swaps his home in
their small North Carolina town with New York City ad man Sean (Mark
Lutz). Ryan feels an instant spark with her new neighbor, but Sean, who
signed up for the temporary home swap after a proposal gone wrong, is
out of his comfort zone in his new rural surroundings.
On the other end of the housing exchange, aspiring musician Owen
is charmed when he meets Sean's sassy assistant, Mia (Cristina Rosato),
in New York City. As Owen acclimates to his swanky New York City digs
with Mia's help, he begins to realize Mia might be just the right girl
for him. With Christmas approaching and the home swap nearing an end,
the future for both of these new relationships is up in the air. Can
these temporary holiday arrangements lead to long lasting love?
Our Two Cents:
Yes, you have seen this before. Last time it was called TRADING Christmas, and the time before that it was The Holiday. Though it had a few cute moments, this movie just didn't do it for us. Copies of copies never come out as good. We say stick with the other two.
With her California hometown in the rearview mirror, Belle heads north
on business to facilitate the estate sale of a mansion. While the job is
a dream, the client, Hunter Lowell, is not. But, as the two spend more
time together, his icy demeanor begins to melt. Although their
relationship is budding, Belle’s long-time suitor, Tony, arrives,
sending mixed signals to Hunter while adding chaos to the holiday
Our Two Cents:
Oi. We've watched some BAD Christmas movies in our time. This one takes the cake. There are just so many things that made this movie beyond bad, but straight up AWFUL.
Let's get this out of the way: We joked in the first scene as Belle was walking through town greeting passersby (Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour Bonjour Bonjour!). Wait, what? This really IS a Beauty and the Beast? Yes. And that could have worked if done right, but... it wasn't done right and it surely didn't work. (Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!--Sorry. I couldn't resist.)
There's ultra poor writing and character development. Hunter's back story is
not nearly strong enough to make him the Beast. And then in the blink of an eye, he just became nice. And then... he became a completely gullible pansy (but he doesn't believe anything Belle tells him, just believes the saboteur...).
There's the acting. It was bad.
There's the cheesy filler shots, many of which were too long, and definitely repeated. (Ok. We get it. Hunter goes running through the vineyard every morning.)
There's the music. The CONSTANT dramatic (but not necessarily fitting the tone of the scene), way too loud music. When I say constant I every single second of the movie has music. It's enough to make you want to rip your hair out.
Have we convinced you yet? Stay away. Stay FAR away. Unless you are some kind of masochist... Or if you need to punish your children. You were warned.
Jaded rock star Dax (Drew Lachey) is found by New York paparazzi passed out in his car with a frozen holiday turkey in the passenger seat. In order to repair his tarnished image, Dax publicly agrees to grant a fan’s “Dear Santa” Christmas wish. To his dismay, his manager Jason drops Dax off in Cedar Grove, a Midwest small town, where he’s committed to spend a week and perform in a local holiday Christmas concert.
At first, Dax is horrified to be stuck in the Reverend Harding family’s home with strict rules and a curfew. In spite of himself, he soon becomes charmed by the Reverend’s wife Lynne, and very surprised contest winner and daughter Kelly (Mackenzie Porter), a sassy, unemployed book jacket writer.
Between the family’s backyard collection of llamas, quirky Christmas traditions and their overall kindness, Dax starts to appreciate what the Hardings have as a family – love, caring and an uplifting holiday spirit.
Our Two Cents:
We literally just finished watching this movie. We heard about it a while back though suggestions on Amazon, and have been watching for it to come on TV, so when it started a bit rough, we were a little worried. But after the first few scenes it started improving dramatically and we ended up loving it!
With the threat of having to close her father's candy store, Wendy and
her six-year-old daughter Grace travel to the big city in hopes of
making extra holiday cash to save the store.
Her best friend Angie is able to get Wendy's foot in the door at Wolman's Department
Store, where she has her day job. Run by its founder Harry Wolman and
Harry's nephew Tom Wolman, Wolman's is an old fashioned business that
runs on family values, treating staff truly like members of their
family. Much of the Wolman family's values are under the gun as it is not doing
Its Board of Directors has hired a retail consultant,
Teanna Musk, for the Christmas season to turn the store's financial
fortunes around. Nicknamed Cruella by the store's staff, Teanna has no
sentiment toward traditional Christmas values, only looking at the
bottom line. Beyond being a directive by the Board, Tom feels like he
has to abide by Teanna's decisions because she is also holding the purse
strings for a much needed investor. What Tom is unaware of is that
Teanna has ulterior motives, one of those motives being to get Tom as
her man. As such, she has to get rid of who Tom seems to have eyes for,
namely Wendy. But as much as Wendy likes Tom, she isn't sure if she is
willing to give up her Quinton life for the prospect of romance.
Our Two Cents:
We've seen the male lead in this movie before. Remember Holiday High School Reunion? If your answer is no, count yourself lucky. Probably one of the worst
Christmas movies we've seen. This movie is made by the same people and
isn't much better. A little better, but not much.
There are so many things we could say that are wrong with this, and they are all glaring, but that would take a lot of paragraphs, so instead we'll say what we liked. There's a cute scene with Tom and Wendy singing at the piano.
Also the little boy that is in the daycare center for employee children with Grace is super cute, though his story is terribly sad. His mom isn't an employee. She just likes to shop. A lot. She leaves him there because he gets in the way of her shopping. He's there everyday. We want somebody else to adopt him.
Note: Pay attention when Wendy and Angie are each watching a movie. Can you figure out what it is?