|Table of Reviews|
When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas – Review
When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
The town is preparing for the Christmas Festival with the wishing tree, the choir, and everyone selling their goods at the local market. Elizabeth works with Nathan’s niece Ally in the choir. Ally is happy to have friends and be able to say in one place long enough to set down roots, literally and figuratively. Elizabeth is happy to help but she is worried Jack hasn’t spoken his first word. She is trying to be patient but he will be one soon. While everyone, including Lee, Nathan, and Bill, is trying to find the right gift, Nathan has an important decision to make. He got an inspector promotion but it’s in Union City. He will make more money and provide a better life for Ally. The downside, they will have to move again. He knows this will break her heart. He has to make a decision soon that will have an effect on others, not just his family.
Based on the Canadian West Collection by Janette Oke, this installment of the popular TV series feels more like a 2-hour episode than a movie (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Hearties will love the build-up for the love triangle to come. Non-hearties will become disinterested in the plot. If you are a non-hearties, this not the episode to start in the series. Last Christmas’s special, Jack’s birth, gives a better introduction to the characters and the plots. Non-hearties should start with that episode and continue the season before starting with this one. Anyone else will love this episode.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
We absolutely will go overboard – Rosemary
Jack will say his first word when he is good and ready – Elizabeth
We wouldn’t say that. That wouldn’t be you at all – Lee
A salesman is only as good as his product – Henry
Because nothing is wrong – Nathan
Baby in a Manger – Review
Baby in a Manger – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes
During a church nativity play, the lights go out. When they come back on, the baby Jesus doll has been replaced with a real baby girl. Alison, a social worker, calls out to the audience for the parents but no one comes forward. She starts to take the baby when Detective Brock steps on stage. He believes the baby falls under his jurisdiction because it was abandoned. They start to argue when Alison calls Brock’s boss, Chief Patterson. The chief says they are both right. She needs to find the baby a safe home and he needs to find the parents. After the baby is checked out, Alison and Brock are told there are no open spots in any local foster home. Before Alison’s boss, David starts looking outside the city, Alison offers to take the baby. With Brock’s help, they become attached to the baby girl but form a different opinion of the parents. Alison is compassionate because he believes the parents were afraid and need guidance. Abandoned as a child, Brock holds anger towards his parents. He thinks anyone who would abandon their child on Christmas deserves to be in jail. This topic, albeit an important one, is keeping them from their truest connections: the baby girl and each other.
Based on Child in the Manger by Dana Corbit, this is one of the most impactful movies this holiday season (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It has a love story but it’s in the background. The focus is on the baby and her parents. Each main character lays out their feelings so eloquently, you understand their side. Your heart bleeds for this poor child. You will want to record this movie so you can fast forward through the commercials and get back to the story. And don’t worry, the future of the child, Alison, and Brock are all laid out in the end. UPtv saved the best for last.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
Who leaves a baby in a manger – David
All this because you say so and you haven’t shown me your badge – Alison
An unwanted, abandoned child is a police matter and she needs to relinquish the child – Brock
Fantastic, everyone gets a participation trophy – Chief Patterson
A Family Christmas Gift – Review
A Family Christmas Gift – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes
After being passed over for a promotion, Amber decides to head home to Colorado to stay at her Aunt Dora’s inn. Dora is a legendary R&B singer who gave up life on the road to run the inn. She asked Amber for years to visit but she was too busy with work. Dora asks Alan to pick up Amber and bring her to the inn. Amber mistakes Alan for a regular car service and acts dismissive towards him. When she learns he is a friend of her aunt and the music teacher, she apologizes. After a few days, she offers to help with the school fundraiser. Amber is surprised how little showmanship Alan is putting into the project. He doesn’t decorate, doesn’t advertise, and doesn’t create a web presence. Alan has only wanted to focus on the kids since the music program has decent funding. Then Alan gets bad news; the school board had decided to cut funding for the music program. With Amber’s help, he will kick the fundraiser into high gear. And with Dora brushing off her microphone, anything can happen.
Patti LaBelle is the saving grace of this movie (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It’s a sweet story that has been done too much this holiday season. This movie becomes background noise until Patti starts to sing. With that being said, you do get great ideas for running a fundraiser for your local school. Otherwise, record and fast forward to Patti.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
Pressure makes diamonds – Amber
Oh you haven’t offended me, ma’am – Alan
Oh, that’s right. You said ‘pretty bossy’ – Maggie
Ok. I’ll do anything for the kids – Dora
A Date for Christmas Eve – Review
A Date for Christmas Eve – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
With a sick feeling, Chelsea presents her app design to her boss. Chelsea’s design is extremely similar to Blythe’s design. Her boss tells them both to come into her office. She believes someone copied the other but can’t prove it. Since Blythe has been with the company longer, she puts Blythe in charge of the app and tells Chelsea to report to her. The first step is starting an ad campaign. Mrs. Kringle shows up for the photoshoot a day early. Chelsea is surprised because she doesn’t remember hiring anyone. However, Mrs. Kingle gets the job by giving sage advice to Chelsea. Chelsea starts to see weird things happen around her after Mrs. Kringle touches her phone. Chelsea gets on the app and rates her ex-boyfriend as naughty. Then, she writes a message for him to be a better boyfriend. She hits send and sparks fly from her phone. The next day, her ex-boyfriend is kind, loving, and attentive. As you already know, with great power comes great responsibility. Chelsea is changing everyone she knows but who will benefit?
This movie does a great job of changing your perspective on the protagonist. At first, you think Chelsea is a doormat for her co-workers, best friend, and boyfriend. You want her to stand up for herself and speak her mind. However, she can’t do it face to face. She has to do it through an app. Leading to dire consequences. Instead of being just a pushover, you see she has been taking advantage of others too. She is guilty of the crimes people have committed against her. She learns to not only stand up for herself but to be a better person. Seeing this type of complex character is moving in a holiday film.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Always working hard to earn my spot on the nice list – Chelsea
I can’t cheat this many calories alone babe. Not even on my cheat day – Rod
We? – Keegan
You know they say great minds think alike – Blythe
Altered self-perception is a real thing – Fisher
Sounds to me like you dodge a falling icicle – Mrs. Kringle
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Review
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Years ago, the town of Riverton couldn’t agree on political matters. So they divided the town into two parts: East and West Riverton. Liam is the mayor of West Riverton and his assistant is Kendall. Sarah is the mayor of East Riverton and her assistant is Yale. Liam and Sarah have been competing since grade school. As dueling mayors, they continue their feud. The only place in town considered neutral is Maureen’s coffee shop. Maureen considers herself to be Switzerland to these two towns and these two mayors. The competition is higher than ever since the Spirit Competition is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The winner will get a cash prize for their Rec Center, a candle named after their town, and bragging rights. The candle company is looking for a new distribution center. While winning the competition won’t be the final determining factor for the distribution location, it can’t hurt to win. Sarah and Liam will try every trick in the book for their town to be on top, too bad Maureen, Kendall, and Yale have something up their sleeves too.
This movie is a fun competition movie, as their attempts to be sneaky fall flat every time. Other than that, the rest of the movie is the typical Hallmark format. The overall winner is a nice change of pace but you can watch the last 30 minutes for that. This movie is lost in the sea of holiday movies.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
I’m not competitive. I’m enthusiastic – Liam
It’s not spying, its motherly concern – Sarah
Did you just see the bus we got thrown under coming at us – Kendall
Even the Swiss wouldn’t put up with you two – Maureen
Which town will I be helping – Justin
Christmas Wedding Runaway – Review
Christmas Wedding Runaway – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Maggie is minutes away from walking down the aisle and panicking in her future mother-in-law’s wedding dress. She is done with pretending and decides she can’t marry Douglas. Her sister, Olivia is stunned. She thinks Douglas is the sweetest man in the world. But Olivia relents and helps Maggie. Maggie takes Olivia’s car and heads to their Nana. Before going to her Nana’s home, Maggie stops at the general store for some food. She sees Colt, her ex-boyfriend, and hides. They broke up years ago because her parents wanted more for her and he wouldn’t budge about moving to the city. She tries to leave after Colt is gone but he is waiting outside for her. He recognized Olivia’s car. She tries to lie her way out of it but he clearly sees she is wearing her wedding dress. She runs away from him and heads to her Nana’s. Nana Beverly isn’t surprised because Olivia called to let her know Maggie was coming. Olivia promises to keep Maggie’s location a secret. But their parents and Douglas are on her trail. Olivia will need to do her part to misdirect their search. While Maggie is worried about Douglas and her parents, she has no idea Nana has plans of her own and they involve Colt.
Score one for Nana. Nana has the best advice, insight, and one-liners. You will tune in during her scenes. This movie, unlike a lot of Christmas movies, deals with complicated emotions surrounding self-doubt. Also, it deals with a ‘controlling’ family dynamic. Good thing Nana is there to smooth it all out. If you hang on until the end, you will get a double wedding.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Do I hate my future daughter – Maggie
I can’t imagine you imagining Maggie at all – Douglas
It’s perfect. It’s everything. It’s a fairytale – Olivia
Thank goodness for botox – Catherine
Growing up is one of the worst tricks that ever got played on humanity – Nana
Christmas Crush – Review
Christmas Crush – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Addie has a huge crush on her neighbor Sam. Her best friend Draya and her neighbor Ms. Motley can see it. After a long day at work and fumbling with Sam again, Ms. Motley invites her in for tea. Ms. Motley sees a falling star and tells Addie to make a wish. She wishes for her neighbor to love her back. The next morning, Addie runs into Pete. Pete is a high school classmate and her new neighbor. At this moment, he is 100% in love with her. He shows up at her job with a tree and is ready to declare his love to anyone that hears it. Addie is mortified. She realized her wish worked but on the wrong neighbor. She tries to reverse the wish by playing music backward and making a new wish but it doesn’t work. When Pete admits he broke off his engagement with Gina to marry her, it leaves Addie and Sam in disbelief. Sam walks away and Addie makes a new plan. She has to get Pete to fall in love with Gina again and get back in Sam’s good graces. And she has to do this while planning a company party with the hopes of getting a promotion. Sounds easy enough, right? Good thing Sam is willing to help.
It’s the uncomfortable moments that make this movie a delight. You laugh as Pete declares his love for Addie to anyone in her office while holding a Christmas tree for her. You laugh when Pete becomes a third wheel for Addie and Sam’s first date, causing her to break a child’s heart later in the movie. Don’t be fooled, you know how the movie will end but the journey is worth the predictable ending. And just ignore the cheesy confetti effects at the end.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
You can’t go through life afraid of telling people how you feel – Ms. Motley
Woof, woof. Talk to me – Draya
No one questions balloons. People love balloons – Pete
We call ourselves Gete – Gina
Christmas On My Mind – Review
Christmas On My Mind – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Lucy runs out of a dress shop with her wedding dress, slips, falls and bumps her head. She gets up and keeps running to Zac’s pub. She gives Zac a hug and starts talking about their wedding. She remembers tradition and tries to hide the dress. Zac and his brother Bill are both confused by her presence. Zac tells her she broke off their engagement 2 years ago. They haven’t spoken to each other since. He takes her to the hospital and she is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. The doctor believes her memory will come back with time. Zac drives her home and she can’t believe she lives there. This small-town girl lives in a fully furnished mansion. She meets her best friend, Anna, and her current fiance Brad. Soon Zac feels out of place and leaves. Anna tries to catch Lucy up. Lucy doesn’t cook, decorate, or wear sweaters anymore. In 2 years, she became a 100% businesswoman. Now, no matter how hard she tries, Lucy feels out of step. So she goes back to her home town to put the pieces together. Zac is holding the biggest piece to this puzzle.
Based on The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter, you will be sucked into the mystery of Lucy’s past (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). In the beginning, you see her running from the dress shop and you want to know why. Is she late? What is she late for? Is she just a busy person? When she bumps her head, everything seems ok. It’s not until Zac tells her they broke off their engagement that you know she is out of step. For her to make such a 180-degree change, you know something drastic happened. You just don’t know what it was. Breaking down the mystery is part of the lore of this movie. Sit back, get comfortable, and discover Lucy.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
You were a lot more fun when you use to wear that ugly Christmas sweater to work – Bill
Family discount doesn’t mean free – Zac
That’s what Santa said – Lucy
At least even in heartbreak, you have good taste – Anna
Is My Daughter Really Dead? – Review
Is My Daughter Really Dead? – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Olivia is done with her husband, Layne’s cheating and throws him out. Her daughter Hannah believes she is being unfair to her father. On the way to his cabin, Layne is killed in a car crash. Two weeks later, Olivia and Hannah are still hurting but Hannah blames her mother for her father’s death. Olivia tries to get Hannah to go to a therapist and make friends with their new neighbors Mary and Sydney, mother and daughter respectively. One day, Mary sees Olivia is stressed out and offers to bring Olivia and Hannah camping with her and Sydney. Olivia says she will think about it. Hannah wants to go and begs her mom to let her go with Sydney. Sydney is the only friend Hannah has and she lost her dad too. They have been able to bond in their shared pain. Olivia says ok but Hannah must keep in touch. Hannah agrees to text but never does. When Mary and Sydney get back, Hannah isn’t with them. Mary says Hannah never came. Olivia is in disbelief because she saw Hannah get in Mary’s car. Olivia calls Detective Bruce and asks him to report her daughter missing. Bruce drives Olivia to Dr. Lisa. Dr. Lisa tells Olivia her daughter died with Layne in the car. Dr. Lisa tells her she is having a psychotic break and needs time to process what is happening to her. Olivia starts to believe it when she gets 2 urns in the mail. But a painting, hidden news articles, and caterer reveal all.
This is a decent mystery that discusses a psychological manipulation called Gaslighting. The story does make you question Olivia’s sanity. But as more clues are dropped and you witness devious behavior, you know something is wrong. Thirty minutes before the end, all will be exposed and Hannah has a knife to her throat. This is a guilty pleasure movie for mystery seekers.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
You made dad leave, he didn’t want to go – Hannah
You’re married. I thought you were single and bitter like me – Mary
You have to be lying – Olivia
Let me handle this – Layne
Double Holiday – Review
Double Holiday – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Rebecca and Chris are slated to work together on the holiday party at their boss’s home. Vanessa, the old VP, was poached by their competitor before she could finish setting up the party. When Rebecca and Chris arrive there boss’s home, they realize nothing was done. Rebecca knows that poaching takes months; so Vanessa planned nothing because she knew she was going to leave. Now they have to plan a party at their boss’s home for current and potential clients in one week. Chris is not very festive and Rebecca is Jewish, so they have to work together to plan the party and while falling for each other.
With another Hanukkah/Christmas movie, you get the same message and the same cliches as the other movies. This movie glosses over the holiday with the same information as the other two movies. It’s slow, repetitive, and the plot is overdone. This movie can be skipped. However, it does mention Toys for Tots, American Humane Society, and Alzheimer’s research charities.
I give it 2 out of 5 stars
Is that what you look like when you smile? It’s weird – Chris
You’re my big sister, so you are not allowed to be mad at me – Sarah
Cross one thing off, three more pop up – Rebecca
What have you done – Jane
12 Pups of Christmas – Review
12 Pups of Christmas – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Erin is a K9 therapist with needy clientele, not the pets but their owners. They beg her to stay but she has taken a big job in Silicon Valley. After she gets married, she and her boyfriend Travis will move there and start their new lives together. On the way to the courthouse, Travis gets cold feet and cancels the wedding. He tells Erin he is in love with her best friend Taylor. Taylor tries to spin the bad news and acts like she’s doing Erin a favor. Erin won’t hear it. She moves to Silicon Valley alone. She was hired to work for a company creating a collar with GPS. The moment Erin walks through the door, she has a ton of ideas. She starts to tell Carly, then she comments the owner, Martin, is cute. She doesn’t know Carly is Martin’s younger sister and Carly is the one who hired her. Martin has no idea who Erin is or what she does. Also, he doesn’t like dogs. But he has one job for her. A photographer left 12 puppies after a photo shoot. She has to get rid of them by Christmas or they will go to a kill shelter. If handling 12 puppies, a new job, and a move isn’t hard enough, Taylor knocks on Erin’s door. She broke up with Travis and wants Erin to accept her apology. Can Erin handle all this Christmas chaos?
Before the review, you should know the title of this movie is misleading. There are very few moments with the puppies and they are not an integral part of the storyline. Just a prop for Erin to punish Taylor and a way to help Martin connect to his clientele. However, this story has a lot of great verbal jabs and some real jabs too. This is the holiday movie that will take you completely by surprise.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
I just feel like every time I open my mouth, I stick my foot in it – Travis
Isn’t karma such a bitch – Erin
I saved you from years of pain and suffering – Taylor
You really don’t have a choice. I’m being nice by asking – Martin
So I have to do whatever he says, right? – Carly
Categories: 12 Pups of Christmas, A Date for Christmas Eve, A Family Christmas Gift, Andrea Brooks, Andrew Walker, Aren Buchholz, Ashley Greene, Baby in a Manger, Candice Mausner, Carly Pope, Caylin Turner, Charlotte Sullivan, Chris Dougherty, Chris McNally, Chris Violette, christmas, Christmas Crush, Christmas On My Mind, Christmas Wedding Runaway, Cindy Sampson, Dion Johnstone, Donny Boaz, Double Holiday, Eric Mabius, Erin Krakow, Eva Bourne, Evan Williams, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Hanukkah, Harmon Walsh, HMM, holiday, Holly Robinson Peete, ion, Is My Daughter Really Dead, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Jack Wagner, Jackée Harry, Jen Nikolaisen, Joseph Cannata, Katherine Bailess, Kavan Smith, Kayla Wallace, Kevin McGarry, Kristoffer Polaha, lifetime, lifetime movie network, lmn, Made for TV, Martin Cummins, Matthew Pohlkamp, Michael Morrone, Mike Erwin, Monica Knox, movie, Pascale Hutton, Patti LaBelle, Paul Greene, Philip Boyd, review, Robin Dunne, Ryan Madison, Samantha Colburn, Stephanie Charles, Stevie Lynn Jones, Tricia Helfer, UPtv, Vanessa Lengies, When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas, Zoe McLellan