|Table of Reviews|
Christmas on Wheels – Review
Christmas on Wheels – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Ashley looks for an 1875 antique angel bell at an auction and spies another man looking at it too. She tells him she sees a small dent in the bell to shift his interest to another lot. At the auction, he beats her with a bid of $500. She congratulates him, but her happiness is short-lived. He is an estate lawyer with zero interest in the bell beyond monetary appreciation, and she wanted the bell for the history behind it. Licking her wounds, Ashley gets a call from her Aunt Charlotte. Uncle Tony broke his foot after tripping over a violin case. Ashley decides to head back to Robinsville to help her aunt and spend Christmas with her family. Later, they hear a knock at the door. Amazed, Ashley sees the auction guy standing in front of her, and Tony tells her to let the man inside the house. The man is named Duncan, Tony’s estate lawyer. Tony asked Duncan to appraise things around the house, and Ashley sardonically interjects with potential items to sell. In her outburst, she mentions her mother’s old red vintage Cadillac. Every Christmas, her mother would deliver gifts to needy kids in that car. Ashley notices Tony looks uncomfortable. He admits he sold the car to a collector after Ashley said she didn’t want it, and Tony can do whatever he wanted with it. She never thought he would sell the car so fast. She stands in Tony’s empty garage and reminisces the past while Duncan leaves. The next day, Ashley goes into town and sees the new Mayor modernized the decorations. Ashley dislikes them all. Duncan sees her on the street, and he echoes her sentiments about the decorations. She wants the traditional feelings of Christmas and decides to get them back by finding her mom’s old car to give it a proper send-off. Seeing her passion, Duncan decides to help. This search for the convertible is the first step to bring Robinsville to its former Christmas glory.
Don’t let the promos fool you. This film isn’t a 2-hour scavenger hunt for a convertible because Ashley and Duncan find the car before the first hour. This movie is about the town rallying behind Ashley and the car’s toy drive. When she finds the car, it inspires Ashley to fix it, to have a bake sale and auction, and to use the funds to start the car’s toy drive. The town helps her find parts and fund the toys. Let’s not forget the car has a little magic. For no reason, it plays music and flashes headlights just for Ashley and Duncan. While you are focused on their love story, don’t forget that Tony has a secret, and Ashley has a new business opportunity in Seattle.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
Well, it’s nice to see you again too – Duncan
Oh well then, you definitely have the right man – Ashley
Christmas on the Vine – Review
Christmas on the Vine – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Brooke takes her boss, Sarah, out to dinner and proposes a new business venture. Brooke wants to go back to her hometown and save the local winery, Lockwood Crest Family Vineyard. Sarah heard unfortunate things about the company, but Brooke brought several companies back from the brink of collapse with her exceptional marketing skills. Sarah believes Brooke can do the same for Lockwood. Brooke’s eyes glow when she gets to her hometown. After Brooke arrives at Lockwood, Brooke thinks it could use a touch more Christmas. Before she enters, Tyler Lockwood welcomes her and asks what she needs. Brooke explains she is there to see the owner, Evelyn Lockwood. Then Brooke tries to jog Tyler’s memory because they went to high school together. When he doesn’t remember, she believes it’s because she was two years behind him. Inside, Evelyn is ready to hear any idea Brooke has to keep the winery open. Brooke wants to increase their social media presence, update their website, and rebrand. Also, Brooke wants to use the Christmas Fair as a platform and test subject for the new changes. However, Carla, a competitor, stands in their way. With Carla in charge of the Christmas Fair, she plans to hold it at her winery, and she wants a more sophisticated theme. Carla wants to end the family-friendly atmosphere, and Brooke’s stunned. For 50 years, the Christmas Fair was a celebration for adults and children. But, Brooke will change for a spot in the Fair. After receiving a letter in the mail, Tyler’s attitude changes. Gone is the carefree man who loves snow tubing. Now, Brooke sees the rigid workaholic. Tyler’s letter is from a distributor who passed on Lockwood wine. He has a choice: sell the winery to Carla or give it to the bank. If the winery goes to the bank, Carla will buy it at a discount to assist her expansion. The Lockwoods will lose everything, including their family’s heritage. Tyler has no idea the Lockwood’s saving grace is in his name.
This movie does have Christmas whimsy, cute decorations, and standout children, but it’s nothing new. The plot is generic, and you never have a real concern for the Lockwood winery. You wait for the oncoming solution to play out with very little surprise when its unveiled. With so many holiday movies, this is another movie you will lose in the holiday shuffle. However, the idea of a wine bottle Christmas tree will hold a special place in your thoughts.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars
This place sure could use more Christmas – Brooke
Me or the room – Evelyn
Have you always been this sure of yourself – Tyler
Do we need to have a talk – Michael
The Christmas Bow – Review
The Christmas Bow – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Kate finished her audition for the Rocky Mountain Philharmonic, and she is on cloud nine. After playing the violin since she was a child, playing for the Philharmonic will bring her dreams to fruition. As she leaves the audition, she bumps into another auditioner and drops her sheet music in a doorway. Kate attempts to pick up the items, and the door closes on her hand. Kate has dislocated and broken her fingers. It will take six weeks to heal, and she has to back out of her dream job. While her doctor tells her she will fully recover with time, Kate worries she may never play the violin again. Kate goes to her hometown to recuperate and work at her grandparents’ music store. After the doctor removes Kate’s cast, he suggests Kate visits a local physical therapist to help retrain her hand to play again. Kate is happy to see her old friend, Patrick, is her physical therapist. He gave her the courage to play when they were younger, and Kate still uses his encouraging words to this day. He promises to get her to the Philharmonic again, but with time and dedication. Seeing her grandfather, George, teach Patrick’s cousin, Gavin, how to play, inspires Kate to revamp the Malone’s Music Shop Annual Christmas Party. Can she keep that inspiration when Patrick gets an offer to leave for his dream job with Hands and Hearts? Only love will tell.
This movie does rightfully state the benefits of physical therapy while shining a light on Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. But, the film doesn’t set itself apart from other movies in this holiday onslaught. Kate, a world-renowned violinist in real life, plays the violin in a way that will bring tears to your eyes. Hearing her play is a joy in itself and the best parts of this movie. You can put this movie on the back burner until you need two hours to kill.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
You know that the holidays and the violin go hand and hand – Kate
My own what? Christmas tree? – Patrick
What’s a wingman – Gavin
Christmas with the Darlings – Review
Christmas with the Darlings – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Jessica passed the bar, and she will be leaving her job as an executive assistant for Charles Darling and going to the legal sector of the Darlington company. The change is bittersweet for Charles and Jessica. To close out her job, Charles asks Jessica to do one last favor. His nieces and nephew are flying in from Australia after losing both of their parents. Since Charles will be in Europe on business when they arrive, he wants Jessica to take them to boarding school. Knowing the children will be alone at boarding school for the holiday, Jessica offers to watch them for a week until school starts. Charles tells his younger brother, Max, his plan but Max doesn’t like the idea. So Max leaves his vacation in Aspen to help Jessica with his nieces and nephew. Jessica is awestruck to see Max Darling standing at the Darling’s door. She believed him to be lackadaisical and child-like, not one willing to work nor accept responsibility. He believes the children should stay at their home and not go to boarding school, but Charles and Jessica brush him off. Abby, Emma, and J. Henry are happy to see Uncle Max and Jessica waiting for them. But they are careful to become attached, they know they won’t be staying for long. Max decides to make this holiday the best ever for the Darling children, they will make crafts, play in the snow, decorate, and bake. Jessica will see a new side of Max and heal her childhood wounds. And Max shows the world a different side of himself, so different it could lead him away from the kids and towards Taiwan.
Often we ignore the greatness in others because it doesn’t fit the personal narrative created for them. Jessica and Charles see Max as an immature, runabout. Instead, he donates his time and money to local charities without seeking acknowledgment or praise. For years, he wanted to step forward in the company but Charles stood in Max’s way with assistance from Jessica. They both have a change of heart when they learn who Max is and the things he has done. This is a sweet movie that doesn’t use children as a prop but a means to push the story along. So sit back, eat your Christmas Swirl Fudge, and enjoy this beautiful movie.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Well aren’t you charming – Jessica
Motion passed, my name is max – Max
Are you sure about this – Charles
That’s ok. We can handle it – Abby
Its ok, I’m use to helping – Emma
It would be impractical – J. Henry
A Very Charming Christmas Town – Review
A Very Charming Christmas Town – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
The small Danish-like town of Solvang got its first snowfall in 20 years. Solvang is known as the most Christmasy town in the United States. And it’s captured the attention of Reagan, co-blogger of Sight, Style, Song, and Sweet. Reagan would love to see what the famed Christmas town has to offer, but she will be with her family during the holiday festivities. With new advertisers to impress, Reagan asks her sister and co-blogger, Aubrey, to go to Solvang and write an epic piece about the small town. Aubrey travels to Solvang and sees they have windmills, dutch clothing, and Christmas-themed everything. She becomes an instant cynic before she’s knockdown by a cycle rickshaw driven by Sawyer. Aubrey yells at Sawyer that he should have his license taken away. Then, Aubrey requests Sawyer to take her to the B&B. Sawyer tells Aubrey that the cycle isn’t a cab and that she needs to stay out of the street. Aubrey points out that everyone is walking in the road, and in turn, he points out Aubrey is the only one not looking at her surroundings. Sawyer leaves her behind, and she heads to the B&B on foot. Laurel and Hayden run the B&B, and Laurel loves Aubrey’s blog. She looks forward to what Aubrey will say about their small town. To get a lay of the land, Aubrey asks for advice on things to do. Laurel suggests Aubrey go to the tourist center to get more information. Before preparing for the next day, Aubrey starts to write her blog piece about Solvang called Santa’s Tourist Trap. At the tourist center, the owner, Darren, is too busy to give Aubrey a tour. However, he has someone who can help show her around. It’s Darren’s son, Sawyer. Aubrey decides to go on the Solvang tour with Sawyer for the sake of her article. On the first day, they debate if Solvang is celebrating its history or a trap for tourists. Sawyer digs his heels in and tells Aubrey she is another hashtagger, who is too preoccupied with herself and selfies, to give Solvang a real chance. She promises to put down her phone and try to enjoy the festivities. With an open mind, Aubrey will learn about the luck of the stork, the tale of the Danish Nisse, and the delicious Danish Kringle (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). But when a mistake is published, will the people of Solvang believe she has changed?
A love story with a lot of danish Christmas tradition, but the love story isn’t enough to keep you tuned in. It’s the verbal jabs, funny townspeople, and a sassy sister that give this movie its glow. Also, you will admire and may even incorporate the traditions you learn about in this movie. While it won’t be a classic, it’s a good watch for a rainy day.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
You do everything else alone – Reagan
Yes you did, my life – Aubry
I wish I could help you out but seeing how I don’t have a license – Sawyer
A Ring for Christmas – Review
A Ring for Christmas – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Angie Moore loves the holidays and spending money, and that spending spree has not gone unnoticed. After a shopping trip, Angie returns home to find her mom waiting for her. Her mom announces that she will cut Angie off on Christmas Eve. Angie doesn’t have a clue on what to do to fix the situation. Then, Naresh, the family lawyer, calls and mistakes Angie for her sister, Sophia. He tells Angie she needs to sign her documents to receive her marriage trust. Confused, Angie asks more about the marriage trust. The trust will provide Sophia with money for a home, her children, or anything else she needs now that she’s married. And it’s a large sum of money. Angie comes up with an idea. She will find a guy to marry by Christmas Eve and collect her marriage trust. She doesn’t have to worry about being cut off. Her friend, Paulette, thinks it’s a terrific idea. After calling exes doesn’t work, they look at her list of high school classmates online to pick a potential husband. She sees Gabe’s picture, although they were good friends and geek buddies, she passes on him. Next, she sees Tyler. Tyler was the most popular guy in school and quarterback of the football team. But, she remembers he never noticed her. Paulette reminds Angie that Angie is a vibrant, New York socialite and not the geeky girl in high school anymore. Angie stands tall and heads back to her hometown to get the man of her dreams and marry him, but two things shock Angie when she arrives in town. One, Gabe isn’t the geeky guy she remembers. He owns a diner and became a very handsome man. Second, Tyler is still gorgeous, but the former jock has a big heart. He wants to start an afterschool sports program, but he needs funding. On a night out, Angie leaves her phone with Tyler. He accidentally picks it up when Paulette calls, and she let’s the marriage plan slip out. At first, Tyler runs. After considering the funding he needs for his program, he decides to do it. But as Angie’s deception grows, her true feelings shine through, and it’s for Gabe. Can she still go through with the marriage?
This movie does have funny moments, but it’s just not exciting. One lesson to learn from this movie is don’t judge a book by its cover. In the beginning, you will perceive Angie as a spoiled brat, but as the film progresses, you discover her wild spending was on charities and other needy organizations. Also, Tyler is a caring person who wants to do good things. He decided to get married for funding, not to be a parasite. On the one hand, it’s outside influences that drive them to stay together and continue the farce. On the other hand, outside influences teach them who they are.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
You need a push. You need a big push – Mrs. Moore
How would you like a lot of free money – Angie
Oh wait, smart girl? – Tyler
The Christmas Ring – Review
The Christmas Ring – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Kendra works for Quizzer, an online magazine the stays away from journalism and focuses on sensationalism. Kendra wants to do more human interest stories, but her boss, Linda, wants her to stick to what works. The Friday before Christmas has the highest online traffic, and Linda will use this fact to drive up ad revenue. She asks her writers to create click-worthy articles. Kendra sits at her desk, writes the “Which Elf Are You” quiz, and visits a local pawn shop. Over the years, Kendra checks antique and pawn shops for her mother’s wedding ring. Her father promised to give Kendra her mother’s wedding ring when Kendra turned 17. However, after her father died, Kendra couldn’t find the ring. At the shop, the owner doesn’t have the ring but shows Kendra one with the same cut and band. Kendra notices an inscription that reads “Forever My Christmas Love 1948” inside the ring’s band. She starts to wonder who the ring belonged to and how it ended in a shop in Boston. The dealer points out the jeweler’s insignia on the wedding ring, which Kendra can use to track the ring’s designer. Kendra believes finding the ring’s owner and returning it can be the human interest story she needs. She uses her vacation days and travels to Pine Grove, Massachusetts. Linda isn’t upset Kendra left because she is using her paid time off to work, but Linda will only publish the ring story if it’s scandalous. And Kendra must complete the article the Friday before Christmas. On her first day at Pine Grove, Kendra finds the address, but it’s not a jewelry store. It’s a bakery. She asks a man on the street for help, but he rudely brushes her off and goes about his day. Inside the bakery, the owner, Paul, explains it was a jewelry store when his grandfather owned the space. She shows Paul the ring, and he recognizes his grandfather’s work instantly. He grabs his grandfather’s books and traces the wedding ring back to William Jones and his fiancé, Pearl. Both are deceased, but their grandchildren live in the area. Their grandchildren are Michael and Scott Jones, and they run the general store. Kendra goes to Michael’s home and remembers he was the rude man she met earlier. She starts to explain the ring, but he states he’s never seen his grandmother with that ring. She continues her explanation and tells him she is a reporter. His demeanor changes, and he promptly tells her to leave. Confused with his rapid behavior change, Kendra calls her co-worker, Sarah, for help. Sarah remembers the name Michael Jones and looks him up. Michael Jones is in the middle of a scandal because he was engaged and in business with a development heiress, Sandra Evans. One day, he sold his shares in their company, left their business, and fell off the face of the map. Sandra granted several interviews, but no one has yet to interview Michael to get his side of the story. Sarah sends a picture of Michael to Kendra, and she confirms it’s him. Linda overhears Sarah’s side of the conversation, and she wants Kendra to interview Michael. Kendra wants to stick to the human interest story, but Linda only wants gossip. Michael catches up to Kendra and apologies to her. He promises to help with the ring if she leaves his name out of the story. Kendra agrees. Kendra hopes she can write a piece so compelling, Linda will focus on the wedding ring, not the rumors.
The mystery of the ring will pull you into this story, and you will watch to the very end. As Kendra looks through records, searches through microfilm, and conducts interviews, she learns how much William loved Pearl and vice versa. As Michael helps in her search, he finds a parallel in his relationship with Sandra and Kendra. With Sandra, the media painted him as a gold digger. With Kendra, he sees a deep sense of community and sacrifice. The town of Pine Grove is the couple’s love story with images, a Christmas Festival, engravings, and Peppermint Whoopie Pies. This love story wrapped in an intriguing mystery is worth your while, a second look, and your DVR.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
I hate to disappoint but this isn’t a jewelry store either – Michael
You are one stubborn writer – Linda
It is very romantic – Kendra
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater – Review
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Maggie is a second-grade teacher that volunteers on the local military base. She helps kids with deployed parents celebrate the holidays, donates to the local food bank, and works with numerous charities. Maggie’s friends and family tell her Maggie needs to do more for herself. She would like to, but this year will be more painful than most. Her daughter, Ellen, will spend the holidays with her father, Alex, and his new wife, Grace. For the first time, Maggie will be alone for the holidays. So, she will use her charity work as a distraction. As Maggie gets a Christmas tree, Maggie accidentally hits Lucas with the tree and knocks him down. She remembers meeting him earlier, in the park, with a little boy. She calls an ambulance, and they take him to the hospital. When Lucas’s brother, Chris, and Chris’s wife, Leah, come to visit, they explain the little boy Maggie saw wasn’t Lucas’s son. It was Lucas’s nephew, Gavin. Lucas doesn’t want to make trouble, so he offers to stay in a hotel while he recuperates. However, when Maggie hears this will curtail his skiing trip and hamper the last days of his sabbatical, she feels awful and offers a remedy. Maggie has a rental he can use until he leaves. The rental is a guest house behind her home, and she plans to turn it into an art studio. Until then, he can stay. He takes her offer but keeps his distance. Maggie doesn’t know, but Lucas is going through a midlife crisis. He made it to the top of his architecture firm, but he isn’t happy. Lucas is not sure what to do with his life, but his boss wants him back at work ASAP. Lucas’s prickly demeanor changes when he helps Maggie around the house. Lucas decides to help her with her charity work, too. While working together for the military children, Lucas finds his passion, and Maggie finds herself. And in turn, they find each other.
Based on Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater by Debbie Johnson, this movie gives you moments of compassion and love (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Like Maggie, a giving nature can leave a person ignoring their needs. Like Lucas, a driving work ethic can leave a person feeling unfulfilled. Lucas helps Maggie see that focusing on small moments of self-indulgence isn’t selfish, but it’s rewarding. She helps him find a way to do what he loves without falling into the traps of a workaholic. They listen to each other and provide fulfillment with guidance.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
He’s still going to tell on me, he always does – Lucas
Oh no, I did not just kill Christmas sweater dad – Maggie
Dying For a Daughter – Review
Dying For a Daughter – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes
After a car accident, the EMTs bring Samantha and her daughter, Cassie, to the hospital. Samantha has a sprained wrist, but Cassie suffered a broken collar bone and leg. As doctors and nurses vigorously work to help Cassie, one nurse freezes in place. Nurse Margaret Smith sees something familiar in the little girl’s eyes. She believes Cassie is the daughter she gave up for adoption shortly after birth. After surgery, Nurse Margaret creeps outside Cassie’s room and overhears Samantha talking to her assistant, Karen. Karen tells Samantha to hire an in-home nurse to help her take care of Cassie. With Samantha’s budding company, she decides the extra help is the best avenue for her and Cassie. She calls the agency, and they arrange a meeting for Samantha and Nurse Rebecca. Margaret walks into a closet, calls the agency, pretending to be Samantha, and cancels the appointment. The next day, Margaret shows up at Samantha’s door and pretends to be Rebecca. She is determined to get her daughter back, come hell, or high water.
Kudos to these actresses (or the stuntwomen) for a slobber knocker of a fight scene. Margaret and Samantha went toe-to-toe to keep Cassie. Margaret’s plan, however insane, was thoroughly planned out. She used technical and gaslighting methods to trick Samantha and her husband, Thomas, to get closer to their daughter. She blocked numbers, canceled appointments, and switched pills. Also, she picked apart the insecurities in their marriage. This action allowed her to drive a wedge between the couple and gain more access to Cassie. Yes, the plot is typical for this network, but the writing is exciting and fun to watch.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
It’s my fault – Sam
I know I made a mess of things but I always clean up my own messes – Nurse Smith
I think it was my constant begging that did it – Cassie
Then don’t – Karen
Categories: A Ring for Christmas, A Very Charming Christmas Town, Ashley Williams, Brandon Ray Olive, Brittany Underwood, Carlo Marks, Charles Hittinger, christmas, Christmas on the Vine, Christmas on Wheels, Christmas with the Darlings, Countdown to Christmas, David Alpay, dean geyer, Dying For a Daughter, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HMM, holiday, Its A Wonderful Lifetime, Jo Marie Payton, Jon Cor, Jon Prescott, Julianna Guill, Katrina Law, Kelley Jakle, lifetime, lifetime movie network, Liliana Tandon, lmn, Lorraine Bracco, Lucia Micarelli, Made for TV, Melanie Nelson, meredith baxter, Merry Movie Christmas, michael gross, Michael Rady, Michael Xavier, Miracles of Christmas, movie, Natalie Hall, Nazneen Contractor, Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater, Niall Matter, review, Scarlett Roselynn, steve bacic, The Christmas Bow, The Christmas Ring, Tiya Sircar, Tracey E. Bregman, UPtv