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 champion figure skater Claire becomes injured she is sent to a
rehabilitation center in the snowy mountains where she meets and falls
for a local ice fisherman who shows her there is more to life than
Our Two Cents:
Ok. Here's the truth. We just couldn't finish this one. We're no super feminists, but the lead girl was so flighty and helpless and the male just happened to show up when she got into these stupid and sometimes life threatening situations... Felt the writing was a bit unfair to women.
Aaaand that's just in the first 10 minutes. We didn't even get to the part where it turns into The Cutting Edge, which is the whole premise of the movie.
Plus, the thing that made The Cutting Edge great is that they hated each other and had to learn to work with each other and overcome those differences. In this movie they seem to be twitterpated from the start. Hhhhh...
It may not be as bad as this review makes it seem. Maybe we'll give it another chance.
Note: This is also known as A Snow Capped Christmas.
Isobel Gray (Witt) plans a storybook Christmas with her boyfriend,
including a snow-covered cottage in the Northwest, and a carefully
composed bucket list of classic holiday traditions. But when the
boyfriend goes AWOL, the list proves challenging and a tempting new
romance turns her life upside down. Will Isobel have a White Christmas
ending under the mistletoe?"
Our Two Cents:
The Christmas Movie Amateur will mention Melissa Joan Hart as a repeat offender for these movies. She's actually not even much of a contender. Candace Cameron Bure (6 movies), Lacey Chabert (6 movies) and even Haylie Duff (5 movies) are some obvious candidates for the Queen of TV Christmas Movies. This movie stars Alicia Witt (5 movies) and Gabriel Hogan (6 movies!). The black horses in the competition for the crowns of King and Queen! (Ironically, this is their second movie together. Their first was Christmas at Cartwright's.)
The problem with that is, we are beginning to find her annoying. She kind of jumped the shark in this one. Her typical doe-eyed, childish innocence was a bit too much to take in this movie. We may have liked it better with a different actress. The movie itself wasn't bad. Gabriel Hogan tends to play the same buttoned-up nice guy (you know, the kind that moms want(ed) their daughters to date and marry) and we were hoping he'd be a little more loose in this one. It's all perfectly encapsulated in his hairstyle. We were hoping for a little more dishevelment. Nope, same hairstyle. BUT his character's personality was much more loose and easy going so, we'll take it.
So, to sum up, if Alicia Witt doesn't bother you, you'll probably like it.
One of the most famous actresses in the world heads to the
Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed
movie. She is thrown for a loop when a romance brews between her and
local inn keeper and single dad, Matt. As she gets a taste of small-town
life, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas.
Our Two Cents:
We didn't hear anything about this movie and weren't sure what to expect. Frankly the title made us a little concerned it was going to be really sappy. But within the first minute, we knew this was going to be a keeper. Mayor Matt won us over from the get go and his daughter Sophie tops the list of child characters in all these movies. Full of sass and personality.
Plus it has a great side story with his sister. So, basically, we loved it. A little Notting Hill, a lot Christmas.
Layla is dreading the Christmastime wedding
of her cousin who’s marrying Layla’s ex-fiancé. Although Seth is the one
responsible for introducing the bride and groom, she begrudgingly
accepts his offer to be her date as she’s out of options. Things get more complicated when Seth's association and reference get her a dream career opportunity she couldn't achieve on her own. Helping her save face with the bridal couple and guests, Seth begins to brag about their relationship and really put on a show as a loving and devoted boyfriend. Layla really appreciates his efforts until Seth gets
carried away at the reception and announces they’re engaged. Because the fake engagement benefits both of them--for her it creates a dream career opportunity, and him, getting his house decorated to impress his boss, they decide to keep up the act. But as Christmas gets closer and the need for the fake relationship comes to an end, both start to wonder if it really is an act!
Our Two Cents:
This is our biggest complaint. If you are going to cast an actor with a perfectly lovely Australian accent that could have totally worked in the story, let him use it!
Now that we got that off our chest, we have to say we don't have any real complaints about this one. In fact there were a few things we especially loved, like the fact that her brother saw through their lies right away. Why doesn't anyone ever figure it out in these movies?
This is the story of two unlucky people who both have negative views of Christmas. Elise
Donner (Jaime King) is the creator, founder, and co-owner of a travel
agency known as World Bright Travel Agency. He co-owner is none other
than her ex-husband, Dan (Lochlyn Munro), who switched up the Christmas
presents one year and accidentally gave her a gift meant for his car
show model mistress, Drew (Ashley Ross). Then there is Nick Derr (Luke
Macfarlane), a divorce lawyer who is up for partner at his law firm and needs a longtime
girlfriend by the end of the week in order to prove that he is a serious
family man like all the other partners before him.
The two meet at a
food court over their mutual hate for those treacherous Christmas
carolers and create a mistletoe promise guaranteed to make him partner
at his firm and give her an opportunity to get rid of the burden of her
ex and his girlfriend. The promise is intended to be solely business but
the spirit of the holidays and the amount of time spent pretending to
be in love might just be enough to actually feel something for each
Our Two Cents:
So this movie was delightful enough, has everything you expect from holiday movies. As long as you realize it's one of these TV movies, (and of course, this goes for all these movies because there is always something in all of these movies that warrants a groan or a "come on" remark as you watch them), it might just end up a favorite.
Ever since her father's retirement, Carrie has been successfully running her family business. When her sister teases a surprise announcement at the upcoming Thanksgiving family dinner, it is no surprise that she and her boyfriend are getting married. However, her mother has another quite unexpected announcement. Her grandmother, who was quite the traditionalist, added a clause to her will that the family business can only be left to a man, and that whichever sister provides a son in law first will have the business left to her husband. After years of inquiry, the clause is proven to be ironclad. With her sister's plan to have a Christmas wedding, if she wants to keep her spot as the head the family business, she'll need to get
married by Christmas. Will she have a white Christmas AND a white
Our Two Cents:
We gotta say, we were pleasantly surprised by this one. All the things you are thinking, they cover. Wait, what? Is this the 50's? How can anyone think that's okay??? Yes, they adequately express the absurdity of the premise and in a satisfying way. Well, why don't her sister and fiancé just give her the business??? Not so easy to give up power when it's handed to you. So in just 4 weeks, during the busiest time of the year, she finds her true love and gets married??? I think they wrap it all up quite nicely and quite plausibly (for a holiday film of course--let's not kid ourselves!) actually.
Usually UP movies are the Donder the Dopey Reindeer of the holiday movie crop, but this one proved they are capable of better.
So if you couldn't tell, we loved it.
Note: This movie is also known as The Engagement Clause. A better title perhaps. Why some movies have two titles is beyond me.