#EntertainingChristmas, #ChristmasPenPals, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Entertaining Christmas – Review

Entertaining Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Entertaining Christmas

Candace Livingstone has big shoes to fill when her mother Liz steps down from her lifestyle brand.  When the board of directors sees her pitiful gingerbread house, they wonder if Candace is the right choice.  To wow them, Candace answers Harper’s viral plea.  Harper’s father Steve is on duty and coming home soon.  He loves Liz’s ginger snaps.  Harper wants Liz to come and make them for her father’s return.  Since Liz has a prior engagement, Candace and her assistant believe this is the best way to introduce her to the board of directors.  However, Candace’s plan is derailed when Steve’s flight is delayed until Christmas Eve.  Harper’s family convinces Candace to say until Steve comes home.  John, Steve’s younger brother/reporter, wants to do more important stories.  After a slew of no’s, John’s boss says yes to an article on Candace.  During an interview, it’s not long before John figures out Candace’s secret.  She can’t cook, knit, sew, or quilt.  While her mother was busy becoming a domestic goddess, Candace crunched the numbers behind the scenes.  If the truth comes out, the Livingstone brand will be ruined.

This movie is touching.  Two people live in the shadows and need each other to find their way out.  Candace is constantly in her mother shadow.  John feels like he is in his brother’s shadow since high school.  Candace convinces John to appreciated what he has and John teaches her to become the best at who she is to the world.  The storyline is slightly different from the others and the life lessons shine through.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I built this for you Candace – Liz

I’m allowed now – John

That picture was very misleading – Candace

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Christmas Pen Pals – Review

Christmas Pen Pals – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minute(s)

Christmas Pen Pals

Hannah’s dating app is losing customers.  Even though her algorithm picks the perfect people to pair up, it eliminates that initial spark.  This feeling is shared by her boyfriend who dumps her via email.  Hannah decided to hunker down at home and start working on the app to appeal to new users.  But she needs a date for a work function.  In an attempt to call Chad, her digital assistant calls her dad.  She slips that she will be working from home instead of the office.  So he expects her to come for the holidays.  Trapped in a corner, she accepts.  She is confused when her dad reports that he cut off the internet to save money.  Now, Hannah can’t shop, work, play, track steps, or rely on her digital assistant Marvin.  She is stumped on how to research changes to her app.  On a trip to the post office, she discovers Christmas Cupid.  People sign up to mail letters with a pseudonym to hide their identity.  The Christmas Cupid will match up the pairs.  There will also be several events where the potential pairs can meet up.  Hannah agrees to sign up only if her dad signs up too.  Hannah will find love and a great idea to spark romance for her new users.

In this world of digital everything, the thought of a letter is romantic.  Also, people have stated that its easier to be themselves in a letter than digital correspondence.  It’s not hard for viewers to see the perfect couples.  However, like life, it’s frustrating to see the couples miss the cues of love.  This is not the best movie this season, it is still good.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You know, I can actually hear your eyes rolling – Hannah

Hey, didn’t you want a coffee – Sam

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Stalked by My Patient – Review

Stalked by My Patient – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Stalked by My Patient

Dr. Hillary is happy to see Greg awake but she has to deliver horrible news.  His fiance died due to smoke inhalation of carbon monoxide.  He almost died too.  She tells him to focus on his recovery and she will be there if needed.  A few weeks later, Greg is physically ready to go home but he doesn’t want to leave Dr. Hillary.   Dr. Hillary is concerned and suggests he goes to a therapist named Dr. Laurie.  Hillary and Laurie are best friends, so Greg can’t wait to meet her.  After one therapy session, Laurie knows Greg has a dangerous infatuation with Hillary.  But when Laurie tries to warn her, she is hit by a car.  Now Hillary and her fiance’s lives are falling apart.  Greg will do and has done anything for Hillary.

Pros: Greg’s schemes aren’t super complicated.  While he is technical, he gets by on mostly chance and persuasion.  He is able to talk to anyone for a short period of time before red flags go up.  Cons: This storyline isn’t new.  It’s just another movie to add to the “Stalked By” marathon.  Put this one on the back burner.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars

Are you an angel – Greg

You’re beautiful. That is a building – Johnny

Well it’s a good thing I do not practice medicine in China – Hillary

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Christmas Around the Corner – Review

Christmas Around the Corner – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Around the Corner

After a horrific IPO launch, Claire wants to get as far away from her job as possible.  She remembers the stories her mother told her about a small town and its Christmas festival. She looks up all the hotels in the area and finds one that stands out.  A room above a bookstore will allow you to manage it while you stay.  Claire can’t wait to start.  On her travels to the hotel, she learns that the town’s and hotel’s website have not been updated.   They have not had the festival in years because of a crushing flood.  The flood ruined business and the town’s spirit.  Claire is determined to get bring the town back to its original glory, starting with the bookstore.  With all her good intentions, Andrew, the bookstore’s owner is ready to sell and walk away.  He wants to start his own legacy.  Also, the town’s committee chair wants the bookstore to start a new development.  So keeping tourist out of the town by removing Christmas festivities is the best option for him.  As Claire start to get the town on her side, it’s not long before a handshake deal derails her plan.  When Claire learns this deal was in spirit and not paper, she has a nagging suspicion that the deal is bad.

A good storyline but it takes to long to build.  You can watch the first and last 30 minutes of this movie and be able to understand everything you missed.  This is another holiday movie that will be lost in the huge holiday shuffle.  It adds a gay couple to remove the small town stigma but it just lacks something to keep you engaged.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

The clients are coming. The clients are coming – Claire

Well, until the next disaster – Andrew

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No Sleep Til Christmas – Review

No Sleep Til Christmas – Freeform – 2 hours and 0 minutes

No Sleep Til Christmas

With a busy schedule, over attentive future mother-in-law, and a wedding, Lizzy is exhausted.  And her insomnia is making matters worse.  She has been to sleep clinics, tried pills, and tried breathing machines and nothing works.  Her future mother-in-law hopes to see some wedding plans in the morning.  So Lizzy drives around town, with sunglasses on, to trigger sleep.  She accidentally runs into Billy.  She blames him for wearing headphones and he blames her for the glasses.  After a brief disagreement, Lizzy offers to drive Billy to the hospital.  They fall asleep in the hospital parking lot.  They wake up well rested and on gurneys at 1 in the afternoon.  They both go their separate ways.  However, Billy is alarmed.  With all this sleep, he is more alert than ever.  Like Lizzy, he was having a hard time sleeping at night.  After a successful day and another rough night. Lizzy finds Billy.  She tells him that he is what she needs to sleep.  With a contract, the two become sleeping partners but they must keep it from Lizzy’s fiance.

This movie is easily funny and will provide a lot of great “what if” conversations.  While labeled as a Christmas movie, it’s like Die Hard (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It’s a Christmas movie, in the sense that it happens during Christmas.  However, that’s what makes this movie so good.  It doesn’t fall into the typical holiday movie traps.  It’s quick-witted, unique, and just a smidge of anger-inducing moments.  It’s everything you want in a “Christmas movie”.  Enjoy this before it’s gone until next Christmas.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

All my wonderful ideas, yea – Lizzy

I am going to do something great with those crates – Billy

Yeah, she’s great. Right? – Josh

It must really hurt to run in those shoes – Chrissy

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Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas – Review

Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas

Heath is a country star with writer’s block.  The world is waiting on his next big Christmas single but he hasn’t been able to write.  His mother has consistently asked him to come home.  Nevertheless, he keeps making excuses. His boss believes a trip home will help is writer’s block.  His sister guilts him, so he gets on the next plane.  Kira has flown to her bank’s headquarters to ask for another loan.  The business isn’t doing great but she has something to sweeten the deal: a new product.  She has created all natural candy bars.  However, the bank manager doesn’t want the presentation.  He will give Kira the loan but she must lay off workers.  Devastated by the news, Kira wants to tell her father face to face.  So, she flies home.  With her father passing out Christmas bonuses early, the company is in dire straights.  They both land in the same airport for a layover.  Heath makes a bad impression by spilling a drink on Kira.  During an attempt to let go of the past, their flight is grounded.  The two will depend on each other and the kindness of friends to get home.

Based on the novel Time for Me to Come Home by Dorothy Shackleford, this movie is a comedic diamond in the rough (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  By having the couple together at their best and worse, they make relationship mistakes you see every day.  And it’s not just Heath, Kira makes plenty of mistakes on her own.  When family, friends, and strangers help, their backstories will warm your heart.  It’s not that often that secondary characters get strong backstories.  See this one today.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Now, I feel really guilty – Heath

It’s kinda hard to feel faith when all you feel is emptiness – Kira

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A Snow White Christmas – Review

A Snow White Christmas – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Snow White Christmas

On her Christmas birthday, Blanca will inherit her father’s money and her cookie company.   But Blanca isn’t focused on those life changes.  She wants to make cookies and get closer to her stepmother Victoria.  Victoria hopes to lure Blanca away with a trip to Fuji.  If Blanca is gone during her birthday, she can’t sign the inheritance paperwork, leaving all the money and the bakery to Victoria.  Victoria’s plan is running smoothly until her architect Lucas Prince asks Blanca out.  He is falling in love fast and wants Blanca to stay so they can continue their romance.  Victoria knows she must put an end to this.  So she hires a hypnotist to make Blanca forget her past and leaves her in the middle of nowhere.  Victoria must keep Lucas from finding Blanca because true love’s kiss will break the spell.  So, Victoria sends Hunter to keep an eye on Blanca’s process or lack thereof.

A twist on Snow White, this version is just too trusting (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The leads childlike behavior comes off as more of a cartoon than a person.  It will cause a consistent eye-roll as she ignores Victoria’s evil ways and falls into every trap without question.  It does offer a twist with the “Prince” and the “Hunter” being two different people but there were no seven dwarfs.  So if you want to see a live-action, dwarf-less movie, this is the one for you.  Otherwise, it can be skipped.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

It’s just an ornament. I’ll have the memories forever. Please don’t feel bad – Blanca

Opportunities are like sunsets.  If you wait too long, you’ll miss them – Victoria

Did I tell you the tickets to Fiji are non-refundable – Zane

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Welcome to Christmas – Review

Welcome to Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Welcome to Christmas

Madison’s company wants to start a new development project.   Madison wants to start construction in Mountain Park.  It is an established town that wants the improvements.  However, Madison’s competition Harrison believes another town should get the development deal.  Accepting his challenge, Madison decides to go to the small town and see it for herself.  She must be honest about which town is the best.  When the town hers that she is coming in to scope them out, they are doing everything to be presentable.  They restart their traditions and even fake some for her enjoyment.  The small town can’t wait for the new job opportunities this will bring.  As Madison is enamored with the small town, she starts to want to save it from itself.  However, it’s not until she sees how much the town can be hurt that she wants to change their minds and their hearts.

Based on the novel The Trouble with Christmas by Debbie Mason, this movie does as a twist to the “big business coming to take over a small town” plot (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  These characters want the big company because it brings the promise of jobs.  This happens more and more each day.  But the devastating toll this can have on businesses and the environment are never discussed.  This movie bridges the gap without making the townspeople look naive.  They are just as misinformed as Madison.  So watch and learn.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Nothing surprises me anymore – Gage

My boss wants to make sure we’ve done the due diligence – Madison

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A Christmas in Tennessee – Review

A Christmas in Tennessee – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

A Christmas in Tennessee

Allison is hurt and shocked to see her daughter’s Olivia Christmas wish.  Olivia wished her mother had more money so she could stop worrying.  Allison thought she was keeping her money problems quiet but she knows she has failed.  Even though Olivia’s wish is honest, Allison asked her to write a different wish before the class’s wishes are published in the school newspaper.  But Olivia’s original wish blew away with a strong wind.  Allison studied to be a French pastry chef until she became pregnant.  She moved home to Tenessee and worked in the family bakery.  She became overwhelmed when her father did and she had to take over his duties.   Now everything is falling behind and she could lose the bakery.    Matthew wants a promotion to an empty position in his office.  His boss tells him to go to a small town in Tenessee and buy the main square.  The boss doesn’t care how it gets done, the deal has to be complete so they can start construction in February.  After looking in the town records, Matthew discovers the square can be sold if one of the original founder’s descendants signs it over.  The descendants are Clive (a failing shop owner) and Allison.  While Allison finds Matthew charming, she refuses to sell.  On the other hand, Clive is ready to retire and wants to give up the shop.  Allison offers to pay buy doesn’t know how to get the money.  Olivia’s wish will be answered.  And with two notable buyers, Olivia’s wishes will become viral.  Is it enough to save the town square when a devious person has something up their sleeve?

This movie lets the love story take the back seat so the drama can begin.  When Matthew, sees his error in changing the small town, his assistant Rebecca will do anything to close the deal.  Also, Olivia’s wishes will bring a tear to your eye but her spirit is contagious.  Watch this one twice.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

What a pair we are. You don’t date. I don’t sing – Martha

You think I’m good looking – Matthew

This is so embarrassing – Allison

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Rent-an-Elf – Review

Rent-an-Elf – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Rent-an-Elf

After a company party last year, Liam and his son Nathan comes home to find a note from JoJo (Nathan’s wife and Liam’s mom).  It reads

I am going on a journey to explore myself, love you, miss you, use crystal to heal hurt.  Sorry.

Nathan is heartbroken his mother has left him on Christmas Eve.  Today, Liam is dedicated to helping his son forget the past and move on.  He remembers how amazing his company party was and decided to hire the same company, Rent-An-Elf.  Ava remembers Liam because she felt a spark between them the first time they met.  After meeting Nathan, she determines to give him a 12 Days of Christmas Celebration.  Each day will be geared toward activities that he will love.  With each event, Liam sees Ava’s true loving nature and starts to fall for her.  Just when you believe the two will join together in love, JoJo comes back for her family.

This is the holiday movie that will truly make your blood boil.  It proves just because a person can have kids, doesn’t mean they should be a parent.  Your heart will instantly hurt for Nathan.  All he wants is a family and he deserves it.  But his mother continues to pop in and out of his life.  You will have the urge to shake JoJo.  With all that frustration, your fondness for Ava will grow exponentially.  You will look forward to the happy ending.  And for extra fun, you have a sassy grandma and 2 love triangles.  Watch this one with something to punch nearby.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I could kiss you. I won’t but I could. Hey, I just might – Brooks

I get it. You need someone new. Something new – Ava

I don’t have an inner child dear. Just a moral compass and a pacemaker – Nanna

To be a family again – Nathan

So, are you this amazing the rest of the year – Liam

It’s my energy – JoJo

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Memories of Christmas – Review

Memories of Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Memories of Christmas

Noel works non-stop at a job she loves.  But her boss Angela sees she is burning the candle at both ends.  Worried about Noel burning out, Angela tells Noel to take a vacation.  Days ago, Angela notices an invitation for a Christmas Gala in Noel’s hometown.  Angela tells her to go, enjoy herself, and zero work is allowed.  Angela even warns Noel’s co-worker not to bother her.  Noel heads to Michigan but with one goal in mind: sell her mother’s home.  Noel’s mother was the original “Christmas Crazy”.  She started the gala and a scholarship.  The town has kept the tradition alive after she passed away.  Her first morning in town, Noel is awakened by Dave’s handyman work.  She asked him to fix the roof later and not to put up the Christmas lights.  David is shocked at her lack of Christmas spirit but he complies.  Noel doesn’t feel the spirit until the Gala is threatened with closure.  The biggest property in town, the hunting lodge, is up for sale and it is the only space big enough for the Gala.  With her mother’s flagship sinking, Noel and David work together to save the lodge and the gala.

This movie is drawn out and the plotline is overdone.  With so many holiday movies this season, this one will get lost because it doesn’t have a true standout.  Mike’s character tries to add comic relief but isn’t used enough to captivate the audiences funny bone.  Save this one after you watch all the others.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

She was the original Christmas crazy – Noel

So, you’re good at untangling – Mike

I guess we’re both stuck here now – Dave

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Stone Cold Christmas – Review

Stone Cold Christmas – Bounce TV – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Stone Cold Christmas

Kira looks up to her boss Mia Stone a.k.a Stone Cold. She quickly rose and took over the financial company and rules it with an iron fist. She doesn’t allow personal pictures, donation collections, carolers, or well wishes in her office. Kira is happy to be called into her bosses office during a meeting with loan holders. They are worried they will lose their house but Kira offers putting up the house as collateral for another loan. Mia likes the idea but offers a horrible loan. Mia knows that in a few months they will default on the loan and have to give up their house. When Kira questions the hardship of the loan, Mia quickly silences her with a promotion, on paper not money. Kira takes the offer and leaves the office. To Kira surprise, her brother Ken shows up at her office to invite her to dinner. When he gives her a baby picture, Kira puts in inside her desk and explains the company policy. Ken can’t believe it until he sees Mia. Unknown to Kira, Ken and Mia dated in the past and had a horrible break up with unredeemable consequences. This broken heart left Mia heartless for years. But this Christmas Eve night, Mia will be shown the error of her ways and the result if she continues on this path. It will unearth a secret that will affect Mia to her core.

While this movie is dubbed as a twist on A Christmas Carol, it holds little in common to the original (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The only commonality is a ghost showing the person the error of their ways.  Mia’s past isn’t visited by a ghost.  It is discussed over dinner with Ken.  She never has a meaningful conversation with the ghost, it just appears and scares her.  With all the changes, it still has a strong storyline and a decent twist.  Although, Lifetime fans may see the twist coming sooner than most. This is a fun one to watch with teens, not young children.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

You have killer instincts. They just need to be polished – Mia

It’s affirmative action for feet – Ashley

I’m going to get promoted and fired in the same day – Kira

No, no, no my brother, you need the whole thing. Merry Christmas – Ken

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Categories: A Christmas in Tennessee, Alexandra Breckenridge, Andra Fuller, Andrew Walker, Bounce TV, Bree Williamson, Brendan Fehr, Brittany Bristow, Carolyn Hennesy, Christina Milian, Christmas Pen Pals, Colt Prattes, debbi morgan, Eddie Matos, Entertaining Christmas, Eric Mabius, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HMM, ion, Jamie Spilchuk, Jennifer Finnigan, Jodie Sweetin, Josh Henderson, Kim Shaw, Laura Wright, Liam McNeill, lifetime, lifetime movie network, lmn, Luke Jones, Made for TV, Mark Taylor, Megan Park, Memories of Christmas, michael gross, Michelle Randolph, movie, Niall Matter, Nicholle Tom, No Sleep Til Christmas, Odette Annable, Patricia Richardson, Rachel Boston, Rent-an-Elf, review, Rich Barnes, Sarah Drew, Scott Cavalheiro, sean patrick thomas, Stalked by My Patient, Stone Cold Christmas, Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas, tv review, Welcome to Christmas, Yohance Biagas-Bey, Zakai Biagas-Bey

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