#ChristmasInLouisiana, #OneFineChristmas, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Christmas in Louisiana – Review

Christmas in Louisiana – Lifetime – 2 hours and 3 minutes

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In 2004, Luke and Sarah sat anxiously while the mayor spoke.  Sarah couldn’t wait to hear if she and Luke will be pinned Mr. & Miss Christmas 2004.  Her mother and father were Mr. & Miss Christmas 1989.  Her grandmother and grandfather were the 1st Mr. & Miss Christmas in 1969.  Since her mother and grandmother married Mr. Christmas, Sarah expects the same if they win.  Even though she and Luke are still in high school.  Just as Luke tries to convince her he may not win, they do.  As they stand on the stage waiting for their pin, Luke breaks up with Sarah.  Fifteen years later, Sarah is a lawyer in Boston and looking forward to going home.  Since Luke spends Christmases in Texas, she knows she won’t see him.  This is the 50th anniversary of the Mr. & Miss Christmas Ceremony and there will be lots of things for Sarah to do.  After she lands in Louisana, she heads to find her grandmother, Doris.  Instead, the first person she finds is Luke.  Luke bought the general store and is turning it into a veterinary clinic.  He promises to stay out of her way and avoid the ceremony.  But Doris has plans of her own.  She will meddle until Sarah gives Luke a second chance at love.  But is the past too much for Sarah to handle in the present?

While the story focuses on Luke and Sarah, it’s the romance between Sarah’s mom, Charlotte, and Mark, the photographer, that will make you want to fall in love.  Also, the love between Doris and Timothy will make you see the beauty of staying in love.  You will see the first in 2004 break-up coming, but Sarah’s reaction at the Winter dance will leave you stunned.  It’s hard to trust your heart in the hands of someone who broke it.  While this movie will stick with you, it’s too soon to label it a favorite of the season.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

A lot of things have changed – Luke

If I didn’t meddle, nothing would get done around here – Doris

This is just so ugly – Charlotte

I said I may need your help – Sarah

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One Fine Christmas – Review

One Fine Christmas – OWN – 2 hours and 0 minutes (2 parts – 1 hour each)

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On Christmas Street, several of the residents are learning you can never go home again.  Hailey returns home from college to a less than festive home.  Her mom has no food, no decorations, and her grandmother isn’t their.  Her grandmother moved to a senior citizen’s home to gain independence.  When Hailey’s mom, Susan, got divorced, she threw herself into her work and forgot about everything else.  Jessie returns home from the army.  His parents, Bob and Diana, are happy to see him but they are unnerved by his surprise.  He got married and brought his new wife.  Diana makes her feelings known but at the expense of Jessie’s new wife.  Workaholic Al spends more time at the job than with his wife Matty.  After the owner passed the business down to his son, Al has noticed everyone over 40 has been let go.  But Al still has established customers and brings in repeat business.  When Nick gives Al a check, he assumes its a bonus.  Instead, it’s a severance package.  Al is furious and puts his anger on full display.  He goes home with no identity.  While Matty sees it as a time to grow, he only sees it as an embarrassment.   Hailey, Diana, and Al have to find the true meaning of home by accepting and stepping into the change in their lives.

After watching his movie, you will have a taste for Japanese Christmas Cake and Christmas cookies.  But you wouldn’t expect to get teary-eyed in the last 2 minutes.  Christmas Street pulls together to help one loving resident get through a tragedy.  Unlike most stories, they quickly tell you Christmas Street doesn’t live up to the name.  While the street loves the holiday, they don’t go crazy (like in other holiday movies).  People are friendly but there are no festivals, week-long celebrations, or Santa’s on every roof.  It’s a normal holiday.  Also, this movie is told in a soap opera style.  Each neighbor has their storyline that comes together in the end.  Romantic love isn’t the focus of this movie, it’s togetherness.  That is a true standout this season.  Now be warned: this movie is broken into two distinct hours.  If you record the 10 pm episode, be sure to set your DVR to record the 11 pm episode, too.  Or you will miss the 2nd half.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Trying to get things done on Christmas is like pulling teeth. Nobody works – Susan

All she keeps is coffee and wine. And we’re all out of coffee – Hailey

Ok, I’ll do something – Bob

Wife? – Diana

I don’t want a rest – Al

Yeah, I can see now that was a huge mistake – Jessie

I would love to come to your Christmas feast if I’m not imposing – Roger

She’ll be right as rain in just a few minutes. Yep, right as rain – Mrs. Daniels

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Christmas A La Mode – Review

Christmas A La Mode – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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It has been another rough year on Emily’s family dairy farm.  She hasn’t been able to pay her farmhand Gloria in the past 2 weeks.  Every year, Emily has been able to pull it together but this year has been the worst.  She goes to the bank and asks Trey to extend the equity for one month while she tries to get back on her feet.  He agrees but advises her to sell the farm.  She prays for her dad to send her a sign a miracle is coming.  Then, he sees a shooting star.  Tending to the cows the next day, a strange man starts asking Emily questions.  His name is Charlie, then her sister Dorothy approaches.  Dorothy, co-owner of the farm and Charlie’s co-worker, received several of the late payment notices.  She wants to sell the farm to a dairy conglomerate.  It will still operate as a farm but it won’t be family-owned.   Quickly Emily shoots her down.  Emily offers to buy her out.  Unfortunately, that will cost $400,000 by Christmas Eve to buy Dorothy out or Emily will have to sell.  During family dinner, Charlie accidentally tells Emily and Dororthy’s mom he will be in town until the sell of the farm goes through.  Their mother is sick to her stomach at the idea of selling the farm.  The next day, Charlie feels horrible about letting the secret slip.  He helps Emily come up with a win/win scenario.  Emily will create a crowdfunding account talking about the family farm while hosting a contest.  Every day, they will pick an ice cream flavor, suggested by the customer, to serve the customers.  The creator of the best ice cream, picked my customers, will win a year’s supply of free ice cream.  Charlie even comes up with a flavor: Christmas a la Mode.  It’s vanilla ice cream with Mile-High apple pie mixed in.  While the contest is popular, the crowdfunding site isn’t making enough money.  So Dorothy decides to change strategies.  Instead of selling to a dairy conglomerate, she decides to sell to a land developer.  She tells Charlie to keep it a secret.  Now, Charlie has to choose between business and love.

This movie puts the love story in the background while focusing the viewer on the family farm.  You really start to root for Emily and the farm with each dirty trick Dorothy tries to pull.  With so many farmers suffering today, the thought of people coming to the aid of the heartland is beautiful.  Also, it does sprinkle (or jimmies) in some business advice.  Like, the farm’s land is often worth more than the farm, buyouts, and takeovers.  However, once you learn about Charlie’s family history, you know exactly what’s going to happen.  Even as the clock winds down on the farm, you know what will save it.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s a farm. Not a 9 to 5 operation – Gloria

I guess I’ll just trust you. And I’ll hang in there. We’ll wait for a Christmas miracle – Emily

Emily, he may have left you an impossible task – Trey

I guess I deserve that – Charlie

Who says there’s any goodness in my heart – Dorothy

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A Daughter’s Plan to Kill – Review

A Daughter’s Plan to Kill – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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After years apart, Samantha is coming to live with her stepfather Frank.  Frank is married to Katie and they have two kids: Tommy and Lauren.  Katie, a therapist, wants to make sure the transition is smooth for everyone but something just feels off about Samantha.  Katie assumes Samantha’s uneasy transition is caused by her mother’s death.  Samantha’s mother was killed in a house fire and Samantha lost everything.  As Tommy and Lauren’s lives fall apart, Katie fears Samantha’s intentions are darker.  Katie’s fears are confirmed when her patient, who feared Samantha, goes missing.  Then, Samantha attacks Tommy and Lauren sets up to be raped.  Katie has to convince Frank to put his issues aside and see Samantha for what she really is: a dangerous and sick girl.  Can Katie do it from the trunk of a car?

Seriously Frank!!! Come on!!! Yes, you feel guilty about not being their for Samantha, but your guilt has become stupidity.  The moment Samantha kicked Katie’s Mercedes, Frank should have know something was wrong.  Snide comments are expected from teenagers, but Samantha is a college student.  You would expect her to act and be better.  This movie does turn up the crazy, it doesn’t require your full attention to watch.  Put it on the back burner until you need to kill two hours.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Cats, cats do not love me. And small birds. And the guy who works at the liquor store – Frank

Its all about your perfect family image. I just don’t fit in – Samantha

Her jealousy stems from insecurity – Katie

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A Christmas Miracle – Review

A Christmas Miracle – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Emma left Savannah to move to Chicago last year.  The single mom followed a job opportunity to become a writer.  Currently, she is the assistant for Valerie but a junior staff position is opening up.  If Emma can come up with an idea for the Christmas edition (their biggest seller), she will be a shoo-in.  Emma knows she may not be able to write her idea, but she is happy for the chance of a new job opportunity.  As she passes out small Christmas trees to the office, Emma meets Marcus.  She is surprised by his ‘Bah Humbug‘ spirit (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  He warns her that working for Valerie will change her too.  She ignores him and tries to come up with ideas for her article.  With a stroke of genius, she ambitiously presents ‘A Christmas Miracle’ story to Valerie.  While Emma is happy with the idea, Valerie is not.  She tells Emma to keep trying.  Now Emma’s spirit is deflated and Marcus feels bad.  He takes her out to get her holiday spirit back.  As Emma walks into the office, she overhears Valerie presenting her idea as her own.  Shocked and dismayed, she doesn’t know what to do.  Marcus tells Emma to write the article herself and he will take the pictures.  Now, Emma has to find a miracle, write the article, and complete it before Valerie does.

Emma is a better woman than most.  The moment Emma hears Valerie passing off the project as her work, you want Emma to break down the door screaming.  But she doesn’t.  When Emma discovers Valerie’s huge error, you want Emma to let her fall flat on her face.  But Emma doesn’t.  Emma remains poised and dignified through it all.  Continuing to keep mum about Valerie’s deception and willing to help Valerie.  You worry Emma is being a doormat, not a businesswoman.  But don’t fret, this is a holiday movie.   So everyone has to come out better in the end.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I guess its a way to keep my small town spirit in the big city – Emma

You know what they say. If you want something done, ask a busy person – Marcus

It’s because I borrow from the greats – Santa Dean

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A Sweet Christmas Romance – Review

A Sweet Christmas Romance – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Food stylists (yes, that is a real job), Holly is happy to be home in the nick time for Mrs. Rose’s Bakery’s 12 Days of Christmas Treats.  She visits the bakery for day one and Mrs. Rose tells Holly she has big news.  But that news is curtailed for Mrs. Rose’s video call.  At home, Holly’s parents let her in on Mrs. Rose’s secret.  Mrs. Rose is closing the bakery because she found love on an Alaskan Cruise.  She wants to move to Alaska to be with the man of her dreams.  Holly is happy Mrs. Rose found love but she is visibly upset about losing the bakery.  She worked in that bakery for years.  While she never learned to bake, she learned how to prep food.  The next day, she visits the bakery for the next day of treats.  Mrs. Rose has a surprise. Leaving the shop was only the 1st part of her secret.  The second part is she is giving away the bakery in a contest.  She will pick 6 of her 12-day treats.  The person who can replicate her treats will win the bakery.  However, the final choice will be left to her son Carson.  Carson believes the contest is a ridiculous idea.  No one can bake as good as his mom, so he brings in developers to look at the building.  Until then, Mrs. Rose continues the contest.  Brad will give Holly a run for her money.  He is a trained pastry chef.  His downfall, he lacks Mrs. Rose’s classic presentation.  The two compete for the grand prize and finds something more.

Have cookies nearby while watching this movie.  All the talk of gingerbread, shortbread, and sticky toffee pudding will have you running for the fridge.  This movie does make a switch from the norm.  The competition never gets nasty.  The competitors help each other every step of the way.  With Holly have presentation skills but no baking and Alex having baking skills but no presentation; you would assume the two would team up.  But they don’t.  They sacrifice instead.  While this won’t be a favorite of the season, it is memorable for the unusual plot twists.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I mess things up all the time.  So I get it – Loretta

That might be impossible – Holly

It’s a business decision – Carson

If you have to ask … – Mrs. Rose

My ginger people are simple folk – Brad

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The Mistletoe Secret – Review

The Mistletoe Secret – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Midway, Utah is losing customers and every business if feeling it.  Aria, always the planner, has a solution.  She invites her friends to come to her Mistletoe Diner and watch Sterling Masters’s Travel show.  After the intro, she fast forwards to the end.  Serling will secretly visit 3 cities and write about them in his blog.  He will pick his favorite to be on his TV show as the Christmas Destination of the year.  Aria knows being on the show will change the town’s fortune.  In Sterling’s office, Alex is surprised Sterling picked Midway as a Christmas option.  He knows Sterling has ulterior motives.  And Alex is right.  His college buddy has promotional work in the area and wants Alex close by.  So he is sending Alex ahead to look at the town and write.  For years, Alex writes the blog entries under Sterling’s name.  Alex, an aspiring novelist, is contractually obligated to be quiet about the deception.  So he heads to Midway; his first stop: The Mistletoe Diner.  It was the only store with its lights on so he incorrectly believed it was open.  Aria was getting the store ready for the silent auction.  After making a fool of themselves, she gushes about Sterling visiting their small town.  While she likes his show, she loves his articles more.  They really give her a sense of travel.  As a member of the Christmas council, she offers to show Alex around.  They get closer and the moment Alex is willing to risk it all to tell her the truth, Sterling comes into town.  And he like Aria too.  Who will she choose: the man she sees or the words she loves.

Based on The Mistletoe Secret by Richard Paul Evans, this movie does give you a Cyrano vibe but quickly changes pace (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Alex is so lovable, you will start to feel immense dislike for Sterling.  Each time Sterling strings Alex along, deceives Aria, or lies to the town, you will find yourself getting angry.  Don’t worry.  It’s a Christmas movie, they won’t allow Sterling to be the bad guy for so long.  Making this bad guy likable is the ultimate switch in this movie.  While Aria and Alex’s storyline is predictable, Sterling’s is not.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

You know you don’t have to do everything on your own – Craig

That’ s just for effect. It’s the ending I want to see – Aria

We make a great team. Always have – Sterling

Midway it is. I’ll be the ghost of Christmas present and no one will even know I’m there – Alex

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Rock N’ Roll Christmas – Review

Rock N’ Roll Christmas – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Ashlyn sits in a dressing room with her daughter Riley and gets warmed up for her performance.  She hears the stage manager say “Ms. Roses, five minutes” and comes out of her dressing room.  The stage manager says he wasn’t talking to her.  Bewildered, she goes back into her dressing room.  In the dressing room next door, Bonnie Rose comes out ready to sing.  Bonnie is Ashlyn’s estranged mother.  The two women have not seen or spoken to each other in 15 years.  Now they stand at opposites ends of the stage.  Brent, Bonnie’s manager, introduces, for the first time in 15 years, The Roses.  Both women calm their raging anger and perform.  They leave the stage furious.  Backstage, Brent tells them they need to perform together again, the fans would love it.  And Riley has the proof.  She recorded the surprise reunion and the video went viral.  Brent tells the women they can make a lot of money with a reunion album.  The next day, they agree to do one holiday EP with 2 classic songs and 1 original.  Just in time for a Christmas Eve release.  They both agree for the same reasons: they are broke and their solo projects have flopped.  However, Riley wants this as an opportunity to get to know her grandmother.  Can Ashlyn and Bonnie get along for the sake of Riley and money?

This movie hints to the reason for The Roses breakup for the first hour.  When the truth unravels, you aren’t surprised.  While Bonnie was right, she didn’t go about it the correct way.  This movie is a testament to the old saying, “Children need to make their own mistakes”.  Bonnie is a helicopter mom that micromanages Ashlyn’s life and her career.  While she was right about the things she said, Ashlyn resented Bonnie for never allowing her to be independent.  While you are choosing sides, the movie brings you back to earth for the real victim: Riley.  Riley runs when she hears them arguing because she wants to spend Christmas with both of them.  Seeing the generational pain being passed on is a sad and familiar tradition for some.  You want Ashley and Bonnie to get along so Riley can heal.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Ewww, have you seen everyone out there? No thank you – Ashlyn

That’s the laugh that tells me exactly where to go – Bonnie

Ok ladies, to our corners – Brent

I do what I can but I make no promises – Riley

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Amish Abduction – Review

Amish Abduction – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Annie and Jacob’s marriage has hit a rough patch.  Concerned, Annie follows Jacob into the woods.  She sees him and Samuel buying alcohol from Mr. Wilson.  Normally, this isn’t a big problem.  But Annie, Jacob, and Samuel are Amish.  They don’t drink alcohol. Annie stays quiet and heads home.  Her faithful parents tell her to stay by her husband’s side and keep working at her marriage.  A few days later, the police come to the small Amish community asking about Mr. Wilson.  He has been missing for several days.  Annie worries Jacob was involved but says nothing.  Then one day, Jacob comes home with a smartphone.  Annie believes the one phone in town is just fine.  Jacob tells Annie he wants to leave the Amish life for the Engish life and tells her to come.  But she refuses.  The next day, Jacob and their son Kaleb are gone.  Jacob left a note with Samuel.  In this note, Jacob states that he is applying for full custody because the Amish life is abusive.  And if she were a good wife, she would have left with him.  Annie will leave the world she knows to get her son back.  To help. her parents give her money and a detective’s business card.  And Thomas, Jacob’s brother, comes with her for support.

This is one of the best crazy-court-case movies LMN has produced in a while.  In addition, it adds a fish out of water story.  When Thomas and Annie leave their community to get her son back, they are taken aback by skateboards, microwaves, and clock radios.  While the Amish life isn’t something you may understand, the movie makes sure you know that Annie and the Amish life are not abusive.  The lifestyle is just misunderstood and Jacob is the abuser.  Abuse crosses all socio-economic backgrounds.  The Amish are not immune.  The movie carefully depicts Annie as amused by English life but not condemning.  She never questions her decision to stay.  However, going through her ordeal makes her a stronger woman in and for her community.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

For god sakes woman enough. You’re worse than your father – Jacob

What your father’s saying is devil’s talk – Annie

Because I felt like – Mr. Wilson

Mr. Baker, it’s still better than nothing – Samuel

We wait for god’s choice – John

Yes, if you like gluttony – Thomas

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Picture a Perfect Christmas – Review

Picture a Perfect Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

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Finally, Sophie has some time off in between her photography gigs.  Too bad her boyfriend, Brent doesn’t.  Over the holidays, he will be traveling with a band and taking candid photos of them.  Sophie calls her grandmother after looking at her sad Christmas tree.  During the call, Louise tells Sophie she broke her foot and needs help with the Christmas pageant.  Sophie is on the next flight and heads straight for Lousie’s house.   Louise tells Sophie all the work that needs to be done during the pageant, then sees the neighbor’s nephew forgot his hat.  Louise tells Sophie to return it … now. Sophie knocks on David’s door and he starts asking her rapid-fire questions.  Confused by his intrusion, she tells him Louise is her grandmother and she is there to return Troy’s hat.  David feels like an idiot and apologizes.  With Louise out of commission, Sophie fills her shoes and helps David take care of Troy.  Allowing her to create a traditional Christmas for herself and Troy.  However, she lets Louise know her plan to have her and David fall in love, won’t work.  She is in a relationship with Brent.  When she has to choose between Troy and the job of a lifetime, her true feelings will emerge.

Based on A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed, this movie has a lot of sweet, warm holiday feelings but is not a big stand out of the season (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It does set itself apart by being funny as well as sweet.  Everything else follows the typical format.  The cute kid is always a great mix and the reindeer understudy will make you swoon.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I say this as the consummate workaholic, take a break – Marissa

Hey, I take offense to that. We are two smart, capable, creative individuals who can surely find a way to take care of themselves – David

We’re doomed – Troy

I’m the ‘hey he listens when I talk’ kind of boyfriend – Brent

What were you expecting – Sophie

David doesn’t date much – Louise

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Categories: A Christmas Miracle, A Daughter's Plan to Kill, A Sweet Christmas Romance, Adelaide Kane, Alfonso Torres Caballero, Amish Abduction, Barry Bostwick, beverley mitchell, Brooks Darnell, Catherine Mary Stewart, christmas, Christmas A La Mode, Christmas in Louisiana, Claire Coffee, Countdown to Christmas, Dee Wallace, Eva La Dare, Gabrielle Rose, Greyston Holt, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HMM, holiday, Its A Wonderful Lifetime, Jana Kramer, Jon Cor, Jordan Lane Price, June Carryl, Katie Leclerc, Kellie Pickler, lifetime, lifetime movie network, lmn, Loretta Devine, Made for TV, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Marla Gibbs, Matt Dallas, Merritt Patterson, Miracles of Christmas, Moira Kelly, movie, One Fine Christmas, Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN, OWN For The Holidays, Patrick Duffy, Percy Daggs III, Picture a Perfect Christmas, review, Rick Fox, Rock N' Roll Christmas, Rodney Van Johnson, Ryan Cooper, Sara Canning, Sasha Fox, Steve Byers, Tamera Mowry-Housley, The Mistletoe Secret, Tom Kemp, tv review, Tyler Hynes, UPtv, Vanessa Williams

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