#TheChristmasLottery, #BeausOfHolly, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

The Christmas Lottery – Review

The Christmas Lottery – BET Her – 2 hours and 30 minutes

Nicole is an elite hedge fund manager in New York and plans to spend Christmas in Bali with a tiny bikini and her bonus.  Instead of getting a bonus, she gets a pink slip.  Tammy practices yoga with her boyfriend, Spyder, and tries to eat clean.  She’s an aspiring singer in Atlanta, but Spyder’s secret is out of the bag.  He didn’t pay the back rent because he used the money to pay their $2,500 studio fees.  Now, they have an eviction notice.  In Houston, Deidre helps her parents, Gerald and Diane, run the café and helps Gerald care for Diane because she has dementia.  And lately, she’s had more bad days than good.  Deidre married her wife, Belinda, without the approval of Belinda’s parents or her sister’s presence.  Gerald asks Deidre to start a conference call with her younger sisters, Nicole and Tammy.  Gerald tells the family he won the lottery, worth $10 million, and he wants to collect the prize as a family.  Nicole is first to arrive, and she comes home to an angry Deidre.  For years, Nicole and Tammy skipped holidays with family, ignored the cafe, and left her to take care of their parents and the business alone.  Nicole ignores Deidre’s feelings and doesn’t tell anyone she lost her job.  Next, Tammy arrives with Spyder and all their worldly possessions.  Deidre takes one look at the luggage and knows they lost their apartment.  Deidre believes, without the promise of money, neither sister would be in Houston.  After having some fun together, Gerald walks to his safe to get the ticket, but it’s gone.  Only he and Diane know the combination to the safe.  As Gerald ponders on what happened, Diane hums quietly to herself and reveals she took the ticket and put it in a safe place.  But she doesn’t remember where.  The family has three days to find the lottery ticket, or they will forfeit the prize.

If you watch enough HMM movies, you know the location of the ticket the instant it appears on the screen.  But that’s not the focal point of the film.  It’s the relationship between the three sisters that drives the plot forward.  Each time they take two steps forward, something happens to put them back at each other’s throats.  Luckily, they have Belinda.  She is the sister-whisper in times of need and crisis.  But don’t worry.  With all the craziness, you get two love stories, a reunion, and an arrival.  This movie is worth a watch.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Little girl don’t make me take my belt off – Gerald

Really Santa? – Nicole

They have no clue how hard things have gotten for us here – Deidre

You know my black don’t crack.  It gets fine like wine – Diane

I’m not flighty, I’m an artist – Tammy

It’s never too late for family – Belinda

Naw, we ain’t think about that – Spyder

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Beaus of Holly – Review

Beaus of Holly – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Holly’s life is going to her extremely-detailed plan accordingly.  Her greeting and stationery card company is doing well, and she reached the 2-year mark with her boyfriend, Phil.  The next step in her plan is to get engaged.  Then, over the next three years, Holly plans for them to get married, have a child, and franchise her company.  To keep the plan in motion, Holly put together a magical day of Christmas themed activities to celebrate their proposal.  He isn’t proposing to her, however Holly will ask Phil to marry her.  She takes the train and meets Phil at Winterland.  Holly pulls out her camera, hits record, and starts her speech.  At first, Phil worries she is breaking up with him, but he figures out what Holly is doing and stops her.  Over the past few months, Phil took his ex-girlfriend and client, Tiffany, to dinner.  He feels Holly is too predictable and wants something different.  He tells Holly he wants a break, and it’s for her benefit.  Also, Phil decided to spend the holidays with Tiffany.  Devastated, Holly cries and tells Phil to leave.  Then a man approaches her.  It’s her coachman, Jake, and he is ready to provide Holly with her romantic Christmas ride.  Holly planned a list of fun Christmas-themed activities after Phil said yes.  But since he said no, she wants to leave it all behind and gives the tickets to Jake.  Every event is for two, so Jake invites her to come as his plus one.  Throughout hot chocolate tastings, visits to Santa’s workshop, and a snowball fight, Jake teaches Holly to let go of the schedule and enjoy today.  However, the past isn’t too far off schedule.

The moment the audience meets Jake, you know exactly where the story should go.  If you are an avid holiday movie watcher, you know the second Holly uses the word ‘perfect’ to describe her upcoming proposal, it will all go downhill.  Jake tells Holly to break away from the schedule and do something spontaneous.  But when she does, everything falls off the track or does it?  She misses her train, but that allows her to spend more time with Jake.  They decorate, eat, and laugh together.  Her day with Jake has more meaning than two years with Phil.  While the plot is predictable, the journey is fun to watch.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s gonna be prefect – Holly

Is love supposed to feel like this – Phil

Life shouldn’t be about the what if, it should be about the what nows – Jake

Since when are you a Christmas groupie – Tiffany

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Inn Love by Christmas – Review

Inn Love by Christmas – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

With her assistant, Greg, pushing her out the door, Amanda makes her flight back home to Hollybush.  After she lands, she tries to pick up her rental car, but all the cars are gone.  As she pleads with the concierge, Lucas recognizes her because they went to high school together.  He offers to give her a ride because they are going to the same town.  The concierge tells her to take it, so she does.  During the small road trip, Amanda admits she didn’t come to Hollybush for vacation purposes only.  She convinced her company to buy the Chesterwood Hotel and turn it into a boutique version of their chain hotels.  If she lands the deal, she will get a hefty pay increase and move to the corporate offices.  Lucas drives Amanda to Chesterwood, and before they can knock on the door, Tammy opens it.  Tammy starts to gush about Lucas buying the hotel.  A few weeks ago, Lucas came to the hotel and considered writing a check.  Tammy knows Lucas will purchase the hotel at the best time for himself.  Amanda stands in front of Lucas, completely dumbfounded by what she’s heard.  The nice man who gave her a ride is her biggest competition.  Lucas remembers Amanda’s competitive streak and prepares himself for a battle to the end.

The competition-becoming-love plot isn’t the first of this season.  It’s not even the first on this channel for the season.  Because of that, the film becomes background noise.  You can predict the major points in the story will little to no context.  While the chemistry between the characters was spot-on, it wasn’t enough to make the plot intriguing.  This late in the Christmas movie season, a film must stand out or be forgotten.  You will watch this one once and forget it.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

What do you call a fake noodle – Amanda

I mean, as long as there is no foul play – Lucas

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A Christmas for Mary – Review

A Christmas for Mary – OWN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Lena works as a personal assistant for Vivian, editor-in-chief for Vibrant Magazine.  When she hears Vivian’s challenge of finding a writer to come up with an uplifting and compelling holiday story, Lena throws her hat in the ring.  Vivian reads Lena’s writing sample and decides to give her a chance.  If Vivian likes the topic, Lena will get the featured article and promotion to a staff writer.  At her mother’s home, Lena looks in the basement and finds a painting done by her grandfather, Clarence.  In the artwork, a beautiful woman hangs an ornament on a Christmas tree.  On the painting, Clarence wrote ‘A Christmas For Mary.’  Mary was not Lena’s grandmother’s name.  She finds Clarence’s notebook, full of investigative notes, and finds a photo and entries about Mary.  It’s hard for Lena and her mother to believe that Clarence loved another woman, but Lena wants to learn more about her family while writing the article.  Lena calls Vivian and pitches her idea, and Vivian loves it.  It’s a mix of romance, love, mystery, and Christmas, and that mixture will make a perfect article, but only if Lena uncovers the truth.  So, Lena travels to a place Clarence mentioned in his notes, Pineville, and attempts to look through the town’s archive for more information.  But that tree of knowledge is unfruitful, so she gets a lead that Mary’s family runs Mary’s Café and she can find Mary’s family there.  At the register, Lena meets Michael, Mary’s grandson, and he is intrigued by her story.  It’s hard for him to believe that Mary loved another man besides his granddad, so he offers to get any information he can.  In his quest, he finds letters Clarence wrote to Mary.  These letters will unlock the past of Mary and Clarence and the future of Lena and Michael.  But are Lena and Michael doomed to make their grandparents’ mistakes.

A slow build to a complicated but fulfilling ending, this movie provides two mysteries for Lena to solve.  First, she needs to understand what brought Clarence to Pineville.   Next, she needs to discover why he didn’t stay with Mary.  While they found happiness with other people, their families feel their connection today.  When you see Stephanie, Michael’s girlfriend, you know she won’t be a problem to Lena and Michael’s future.  They are the only ones who stand in their way.  This movie does require your full attention to keep up with the clues, but one viewing is enough.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Drop the question mark, Lena – Vivian

Yes, it’s calling me – Lena

Why would you do that – Michael

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The Santa Squad – Review

The Santa Squad – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Due to budget cuts, Allie’s school removed the art program, and she lost her teaching job.  She goes to the Community center to see if they had any open positions, and the bus is driving away.  Tony, the community center director, sent the seniors on a cruise to close the center for the holidays.  But Tony didn’t realize two of the seniors, Connie and Bill, stayed behind.  Connie stayed for Bill because he gets seasick, and Bill remained for Connie because she has no family, and he didn’t want her to be alone.  Bill, a form naval commander, lied about getting seasick for Connie.  Allie offers to volunteer to keep an eye on Bill and Connie while Tony spends time with his family.  Tony accepts the help and gives her a flyer for the Santa Squad.  The Santa Squad shops, decorates, and plans Christmas activities for families in a last-minute bind.  She finds the employer, and after passing a pop Christmas quiz, he gives Allie the job for the Church family.  Gordon Church is a widowed, high-powered CEO with two daughters, Iris and Rose.  The youngest, Iris, plays the flute and loves to draw. She wishes the home could be more festive for the holidays.  The eldest, Rose, is an old soul that persistently worries about grades and has a large amount of animal knowledge.  Kimmy is Gordon’s girlfriend, and she hired the Santa Squad to handle the clean, minimalist, and expensive decorating around Gordon’s home.  When Allie arrives, she meets Gordon’s assistant, Daniel, and he gives her two boxes of decorations for the whole house.  Daniel ordered the gifts for the girls in advance, and they will come wrapped, so Allie will have nothing else to do.  Then Allie meets Iris, and Iris tells Allie how she wishes they could be more hands-on for the holidays because they have never decorated.  Allie goes home and creates a Master List of Christmas fun activities for the girls to put them in the Christmas spirit.  Allie’s master lists include creating ornaments, baking cookies, and updating the decorations with whimsy.  Unfortunately, the master list will cause a break-up, a lost job, and a fire.  Will Allie be able to give Rose and Iris the Christmas of their dreams?

This movie is typical for the season, but it has a lot of emotional moments.  Like, the girls admiring another family’s holiday tradition or a scary hospital visit.  With everything going on, one moment will stick out and make your skin crawl.  The moment Kimmy suggests to Gordon that he should send Iris and Rose to boarding school so she can move in, you will be instantly furious and want her gone from his life.  Good thing Gordon has Iris and Rose to point him in the right direction.  They make themselves useful during tree shopping and a trip to Allie’s home because they can see Allie has the qualities they need and Kimmy lacks.  This movie is an easy yet predictable watch for the whole family.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You’re getting that Lucille Ball look in your eyes. I don’t like it – Tony

This isn’t a church. This is bigger than a cathedral – Allie

Birds don’t jingle – Rose

We’ve never decorated before – Iris

I’ve been leaving up to somebody else to do things I should be doing myself – Gordon

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A Little Christmas Charm – Review

A Little Christmas Charm – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

While working in her consignment shop, aspiring jewelry maker Holly finds a charm bracelet in a donated coat pocket.  She takes one charm off and posts it on social media.  If someone claims to have lost it, they must identify the missing one.  Then, Holly takes it to her dad, a jeweler, and learns the bracelet has one charm worth up to $3,000, and some of them are custom pieces.  Greg overhears her talking about the bracelet and notices an emblem on her velvet drawstring bag.  He offers to help her find the owner, but she turns him down.  Later, Holly reaches a dead end, but help walks through her door.  Greg’s writing a holiday heroes piece for a magazine, but his subject fell through.  He wants to interview Holly and help her find the bracelet’s owner for the magazine’s article.  Holly decides to work with Greg, but it must be 100% professional.  They run all around New York using the charms as clues, but when Greg’s past makes him lose faith in their pursuit, will Holly forgive him?

Based on A Little Christmas Charm by Melissa Hill, Holly and Greg don’t realize they are using someone else’s love story to create theirs (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). They find activities and places in the city that they have never ventured and experienced.  While Holly works with Greg to uncover one mystery, she reveals why he lost faith in his investigative skills.  His mistake causes him to doubt his abilities, a doubt Holly shares in her life.  Holly doubts her ability to make jewelry although, her friends love her skills and request her pieces, she continues to work in the consignment shop instead of going into business for herself.  Holly and Greg need each other to grow.  And finding the bracelet’s owner and the meaning behind each charm will help in their quest for love and themselves.  And this film will compel you to watch from beginning to end.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’m not a big fan of labels, but yeah, you can call it that – Greg

You know, you asks a lot of questions – Holly

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Marry Me This Christmas – Review

Marry Me This Christmas – Bounce – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After pretending to be a homeless man outside of a church, Pastor Daniel introduces the congregation to himself and teaches a lesson in kindness.  Their current pastor, John, is ready to retire, and hired his mentee, Daniel, to take over the reins.  Most welcome him into the fold, but Deacon Timothy has his concerns.  Of the willing congregation, one member stands out, Angela.  When he was pretending to be a homeless man, she gave him some animal crackers, and they were friends in high school.  Daniel always convinced Angela to do loving and caring acts for others, even during the holidays.  Since then, Angela left a job in the big city and started working with a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits, but she needs Daniel’s counsel.  Her father, Pops, has cancer.  And it’s metastasized.  She worries Pops is giving up, so she asks Daniel to come to their home for lunch and encourage Pops to fight.  At lunch, Pops knows why Daniel is there, but he doesn’t want encouragement.  Instead, he wants help planning his homegoing services.  Daniel agrees, but only if Pops keeps getting treatment and taking care of himself.  Angela and Daniel spend time together, but Angela admits she wants more.  Daniel would like the same thing, but he feels he has to put his job ahead of any relationship and turns her down.  A year later, Angela is back in town, and she visits Daniel at church.  Angela asks Daniel to marry her, and awestruck, he says yes.  Then Angela states she and her fiancé, Monty, will be so happy David is willing to do it.  Daniel’s face falls flat, and he realizes Angela wants him to preside over her wedding to someone else.  Daniel can’t let the woman he loves marry another man, so he will do anything he can to cause a wedge between Angela and Monty.

This movie starts very slow for the first hour and a half, but give it a chance.  The final wedding scene will have you laughing for days.  David, at the risk of his everlasting soul, uses the ‘Silver Lining’ Wedding Package, to separate the couple.  But the cracks in their engagement show like the Grand Canyon.  Throughout Angela and Monty’s relationship, they were on-again, off-again.  Also, Monty is marrying Angela because he feels it’s the right time, and Angela is marrying Monty because she wants Pops to walk her down the aisle.  Also, they differ on how they should run their household after they have children.  This wedding, if it happens, won’t last long.  But Monty refuses to go down without a fight, and a fight it will be.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Praising God is all well and good, but not in a church – Timothy

Eyes off my cookies – Daniel

Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave – Pops

Daniel consider yourself blessed – Angela

Can someone please take this little monster way from me – Monty

It ain’t over til the fat lady sings. Tell my wife I said that and I’ll break 3 of the commandments on you – John

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Christmas Ever After – Review

Christmas Ever After – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Izzi stays up all night and finishes the next book in her romance novel series, but her publisher, Mila, doesn’t like the lead male, Desmond.  Mila feels the character is too perfect and could use some more flaws.  After some coaxing, Mila convinces Izzi to work on her Christmas break to fix the main character while staying at the Antlers Lodge.  When Izzi drives to the café, she almost hits a man with her car.  She takes a good look at him and sees he looks just like Desmond, the main character on the cover of her books.  Quickly, Izzi apologizes and leaves the scene.  At the lodge, now chalet, Izzi notices all the subtle changes to the decor, floors, and doorknobs, and she doesn’t like it one bit.  She asks the owner, Bob, why he’s changing everything, and he has one answer: he’s retired.  His son, Matt, took over, and he’s fixing everything from top to bottom.  Izzi turns to look at Matt, and it’s the café guy.  Once again, she pretends to have a phone call and leaves the room.  As she spends more time at the chalet, Izzi helps Matt with the Christmas decorations.  Matt hopes her perspective will help him win the Light Competition.  With a live Desmond close-by, Izzi gets new inspiration for her character, but will her storybook romance end in love or heartbreak in her book and in her real life?

The awkwardness between Izzi and Matt will make you giggle and sigh.  She repeatedly compares him to Desmond and questions his changes to the chalet.  He trips over his words and says things, too soon.  Seeing them go through real social discomfort is refreshing and honest.  However, it’s Izzi’s connection to Matt’s daughter, Cassie, that will make you pay attention.  She inspires Cassie to write, not for fame, but herself.  Matt sees he can love again, and Izzi learns to accept change.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

You’re gonna make me work through Christmas. That is so Ebenezer of you – Izzi

Who’s Desmond – Matt

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Christmas She Wrote – Review

Christmas She Wrote – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Kayleigh and Stephen bid farewell to their beloved boss at the company Christmas party.  The next day, they come to work and see people packing up their belongings.  Then, the new boss, Tripp, requests Kayleigh’s presence in his office.  Since her column doesn’t generate profits, he has decided to end her column and let her go from the paper.  Kayleigh tries to convince him that he’s making a mistake, but Tripp won’t listen.  Then, she requests to write a goodbye column to her readers, and Tripp agrees.  Hurting from her termination, Kayleigh forgoes her Aspen trip with Stephen to spend time with her family in Pine Berry.  Since her fiancé, Dan left her before their Christmas Eve wedding for Haiti Relief, and Kayleigh avoided returning home ever since.  With the help of her sister, Amy, Kayleigh hopes to avoid Dan and clear her head to determine her next step in life.  Back in New York, Tripp gets a call from Grantham.  Readers are furious that Kayleigh’s column came to an end, so they started terminating their subscriptions.  Grantham understands Kayleigh’s weekly column did not generate ads, but it gains subscribers for the paper.  Grantham tells Tripp to get Kayleigh back, or he will lose his job.  When Kayleigh blocks Tripp’s calls, his only recourse is to go to Pine Berry and convince her to come back.  Will it work?

This movie is the typical Hallmark plot, but with more heart.  Kayleigh wants Tripp to understand the impact he has on people when he fires them.  They don’t just lose their jobs, but they lose away to fed, cloth, and protect their families.  She considers taking her position back, but when Tripp tells her it’s at the expense of others, she gives Tripp a hard pass.  With the Pine Berry mountain air, Tripp and Kayleigh discover what they want professionally and personally.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Pink slips. The only colors we should see around here is read and green – Stephen

I’m out. Mr. Corporate Christmas let me go – Kayleigh

Trying to right a wrong – Tripp

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Christmas Dilemma – Review

Christmas Dilemma – TV One – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Jay wants to spend the holidays with his family, but he usually spends it with his wife’s, Monica’s, family.  After she attempts to use her feminine wiles to persuade Jay, they decide to stay home instead.  They consider having the families over, but the two haven’t got along since the wedding.  The next morning, Monica answers the door and sees her parents standing on the other side.  Since Monica and Jay didn’t come to them, they decided to come to her.  At first, Jay laughs, that is until his parents arrive too.  If that isn’t enough, Monica’s cousin is coming with his new lady friend, and Jay’s grandma is coming with her nurse, who is also Jay’s ex-girlfriend.  Before Jay and Monica can take a stand they have 3 Christmas Trees, 2 turkeys, and one crazy family, all under the same roof.  Can their marriage handle all the family’s strain and honesty?

This movie is a good laugh for anyone trying to blend a family together during this holiday season.  With Jay’s earthy parents and Monica’s elitist parents, it won’t take much to fan the flames.  With everything going on, Jay and Monica rely on their friends, Trevor and his wife, Lesley, to have their back.  Everyone is wise until they want to be right, then the quietest person in the room sets everyone straight and you will live for it.  This isn’t a movie for the whole family, older teens and adults will love it.  

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Young man because you just got married.  I’m 8 years in – Trevor

Cheap means inferior quality. I’m frugal – Jay

They’re not guest. They’re terrorist – Monica

I tip my hat to you, for your bravery and your stupidity, all that the same time – Howard

That was like running into a burning building with a bucket of gasoline – William

Statistically speaking, college girls are more promiscuous – Grammy

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Christmas on the Range – Review

Christmas on the Range – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Kendall is one inspection away from having The Last Chance Ranch certified organic, but first, she must help birth a cow.  She realizes the calf is breech and calls the vet.  Since the vet can’t make it in time, Kendall tries to help the cow and hears a visitor asking a question.  She shoos him away until he says he’s a vet.  Clint McCree helps with the labor and gives Kendall his business card and her father’s rodeo gloves.  She never knew Clint worked with her dad, but she lets him keep the gloves and takes his business card.  Then, she thanks him, tells him about her farm, and sees Clint off.  When her friends Marcus and Memphis question Kendall about the handsome man, they stop dead in their tracks when they hear his name.  He is a McCree, as in Brick McCree’s son.  For years, Brick has done everything in his power to stop Kendall from succeeding.  They warn Kendall that Clint could be a spy and she should watch her back.  At McCree’s Second Chance Ranch, Brick instructs his farmhand and enforcer, Hank, to keep an eye on Kendall.  Then, Brick sees his ex-wife, Lillian, and their son, Clint.  They came because Brick told them he was dying from cancer, and they want to be by his side.  But when Clint discovers what Brick has been doing to Kendall, Clint is furious with his father’s actions.  He decides to do anything it takes to help Kendall defeat Brick, if only she could trust him.  With vitamins, a box, and $1, this Romeo and Juliet story will come to a violent end (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  

Christmas on the Range airing at Christmas time is just a formality, and it would be an excellent movie any time of the year.  It has drama, deceit, blackmail, fighting, love, and secrets that will make you want to watch it twice and keep it on your DVR.  This movie is three months of a soap opera rolled into 2 hours, and you will love every second of it.  So without giving away too much, grab a drink that doesn’t stain and get comfortable.  You are in for shock and enjoyment.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

I’m a vet – Clint

Well, no one said life wasn’t messy – Kendall

Trust me, I don’t think of you as competition – Brick

Clean your own stinking glasses – Lillian

We have an 8 – Memphis

I gotta 9 – Marcus

Spare the rod, spoil the child – Hank

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Christmas Together – Review

Christmas Together – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Ava’s boyfriend, Dean, will be in Las Vegas for an Executive Retreat for the holidays.  Dean reassures her he will get a promotion, but she is still disappointed.  While she paints, Ava dreads going on another family Christmas cruise.  She wants to go to someplace Christmasy for the holidays and finds Tinsel on the internet.  In Tinsel, Mia wants two things: a puppy and a date for her dad, Mason.  Mason, a doctor, hasn’t seriously dated since his wife died and has no plans to be in a relationship anytime soon.  His friend, Ben, and neighbor, Deb, worry about him.  Deb and Ben have tried to set Mason up in the past, but nothing pans out.  Back at Mason’s home, he finally got the guest house cleaned out.  He will allow Mia to use it until he rents it out.  Mia has a better idea.  She puts the guest house on an Airbnb site, and Ava finds it (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  They discuss and agree on a price, and Ava is on her way.  When Ava arrives, Mason is speechless and confused.  He explains his devious daughter’s deeds but allows Ava to stay.  Now, Deb, Ben, and Mia must work together to make sparks for Mason and Ava, but three things stand in their way: Ava, Mason, and Dean.  At least, they have the stars.

With a sweet and wiser-than-her-years little girl, this movie retains your attention.  You wonder what tricks can Mia pull off next to make Mason fall in love with Ava and vice versa.  While Mason loves her enthusiasm, he does caution her about lying.  You can see she is a darling girl who wants her dad to be happy.  So you will look past her misgivings too.  And Deb is just as devious.  She even gets her husband involved to do her dirty work.  With an obvious ending, it’s Mia and Deb that keep you watching.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I would be ok with it as long as I got a dog – Mia

Misleading people is the same as a lie – Mason

Pretty sure isn’t very sure. We need some more info – Deb

Keep working on the friendship then. Because in the end, that’s what last – Ben

How did you get here so fast – Ava

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Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas – Review

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

Sarah, a lawyer, closes her mom’s cases and prepares to sell her mother’s home.  Losing her mother a few months ago is hard on Sarah, but working with her mother’s clients makes Sarah feel connected.  Her boss, Walter, calls to give her any time off she needs and tell her the company is sending a gift for her.  She thanks Walter and receives a package.  Inside, there is a complimentary stay at Snowfall Inn, and Sarah can’t wait to go.  When she arrives, Sarah calls Walter and thanks him for the gift.  Then Sarah checks in and meets the other guest.  Karen, recently divorced, stayed at the hotel 30 years ago with a man she thought would be her husband, but that didn’t work out.  Jasper, a musician, lost his passion for music when his wife died.  Owen and his daughter, Cassie, have trouble connecting after Owen and Cassie’s mom got a divorce.  And Ben, the owner who fixes, landscapes, and plows everything for the Inn.  He does everything he can to keep the Inn running, but his sister, Bess, knows reservations are down.  Bess tells Ben to asks for more help, but he refuses.  Later, Walter calls Sarah and leaves a message.  In the voice mail, Walter tells her he didn’t get the reservation for her.  So, she walks to the reception desk and asks Ben who booked it.  The ‘Reservation By’ line is blank, and the buyer used a prepaid credit card.  So, Ben has no idea who bought it.  As Sarah gets acquainted with the other guests, she sees they all got the same invitation.  She wants to discover who brought them all together and why.  It will take an album, a photograph, and a postmark to uncover the buyer.

Based on Time for Me to Come Home by Dorothy Shackleford and Travis Thrasher, this movie is a sweet mystery wrapped around two love stories (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  First, between Karen and her long lost love.  The second is between Ben and Sarah, who work together to solve the mystery.  The movie does a great job of redirecting your focus, but the buyer is front and center every step of the way.  When they find the buyer, they will learn the connection.  You will be tuned in from beginning to end.  

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

So, should I tell the kitchen the guest will be 20 minutes early tonight – Ben

Then, let her teach you – Jasper

Who invites 3 strangers to an inn on Christmas – Sarah

I’m not sure I really need to know – Karen

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Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing – Review

Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

With Michelle and Thomas’s upcoming nuptials, the town of Evergreen is abuzz with Christmas joy.  As Michelle’s family arrives in town, she has to set up the Christmas Museum, handle her mayoral duties, and patiently wait for Thomas to return from a business trip.  She mentions it’s a little too much for her to handle everything, and, as always, Hannah offers to step in.  Michelle worries because Hannah has so many duties around town, but Hannah took the job as an excuse to get rid of her other volunteer work.  When she tells her boyfriend, Elliot, about the changes, he has to tell her something.  He wants to expand his shop to another location, in Boston, far from Evergreen.  Hannah worries but keeps it from Elliot.  She and her brother, Thomas, lived in Evergreen their entire lives.  She has no idea why Elliot would want to leave.  Elliot wants to see life beyond Evergreen, but Hannah believes he wants life beyond her.  So, Hannah tells Elliot she wants to take a break from the relationship to figure out if they want the same things.  While Hannah struggles in her relationship, Ed comes back to town.  Ed once owned a hat factory in Evergreen, but it closed after bad sales.  When the factory closed, most of the townspeople lost their jobs.  His twin sisters sold the factory to the town to create the Christmas Museum.  Now, Ed wants to stop the museum and honor the true history of the town. It’s up to Hannah to make him change his mind.

The fourth in the Christmas in Evergreen series brings new and old characters.  If you haven’t seen the first three movies, don’t worry.  Hannah gives a quick recap of each movie and their main characters.  However, this is Hannah’s story.  Years ago, she shook the snowglobe and wished for love, and she got Elliot.  Now, she could lose him and her museum.  While she loves Elliot, she can’t imagine leaving Evergreen, and she’s not sure their relationship can survive the distance.  Her constant volunteer duties have put a strain on their current relationship.  Hallmarkies will sit on the edge of their seat to see if Hannah’s dream for her personal and work lives will come to fruition.  And let’s not forget one other fearful moment, Thomas may not make it in time for the wedding.  It’s pretty obvious there will be a Christmas in Evergreen 5.  

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Just spends all her time here helping me – Elliot

1000% yes I am – Hannah

It’s no Evergreen, but it is Paris – Zoe

Remember to ask for help if you need it – Carol

The whole town is over the top.  It’s like being trapped in a snow globe – Sonya

Well, you assumed wrong – Jeb

Is that what your little tiff with dad is all about – Michelle

Little secret, I have faith in you – Allie

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Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve – Review

Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Rob and Corinne had a storybook romance in college.  She was a romantic, and he was a realist. They had a love they believe would last forever.  Until one night at the school’s Christmas tree.  Corinne saw Rob got an acceptance letter from a 2-year program in Italy, but he plans on turning it down to stay with her.  She refuses to let him ruin his future because of her.  She remembers the tale of a shoemaker who won over his love by making her ornaments every year.  Corinne walks over to the Christmas tree and grabs a postcard.  She writes a contract stating that they will return to the tree in 2 years on Christmas Eve.  Twenty years later, Corinne is the premiere party planner in her company, and her boss, Victor, added her to the shortlist of planners for Sam and Nancy’s wedding.  Sam is a tech billionaire who wants to give Nancy the dream wedding she never had with a vow renewal.  Their Christmas wedding will be in all the papers and the talk of the town, so the party planner has to do an excellent job.  Corinne doesn’t want to work on Christmas, so she asks Victor to sweeten the pot.  She will do the vow renewal only if he makes her a partner.  He agrees.  When she interviews for Nancy and Sam, they remember she did a party for their friend and loved her work.  So they hire Corinne on the spot and book her a plane ticket to Connecticut.  She attended school in Connecticut but hasn’t gone back since the break-up.  At the Whitetail Meadow, Sam and Nancy introduce Corinne to the Event Photographer, and it’s Rob.  Both try to maintain their composure as Sam and Nancy talk about wedding details.  When the couple steps away, Corinne pulls Rob to the side and pledges to spend as little time with him as she can.  They will only focus on Sam, Nancy, and the ceremony.  What will it take for Corinne and Rob to face the past and expose their hurt, disappointments, and love? Good thing they have uncle Bernie looking out for them.

Uncle Bernie saved the movie.  With his crazy shoes, Santa looks, and magical love story, you will love Bernie too.  Otherwise, this movie follows the Hallmark format.  While watching, you will have more concern for Nancy’s dress than Rob and Corinne’s future.  However, you will want to uncover why Rob never showed up to the tree as Corinne did all those years ago.  DVR this movie so you can rewind when you miss the necessary parts.  

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Corrine this isn’t a game. We could lose each other forever – Rob

I’m gonna miss you – Corrine

The only partner I want and have is David. And most days I want to throw him in that indoor pool – Victor

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Secrets in the Snow – Review

Secrets in the Snow – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

After three months of dating, Christina will finally meet Ted’s parents.  She is nervous, but Ted convinces her that his parents will love her.  On the way there, Ted stops by a frozen lake. Ted reveals his brother, Paul, drowned in the lake years ago.  He hasn’t been back since then, and Ted requests she doesn’t bring it up to the family.  At Ted’s childhood home, Ted’s mother greets them with open arms, and his father comes up from the basement to say hi.  Next, Christina meets Ted’s sister, Nicole, and Nicole’s boyfriend, Jason.  Nicole keeps her distance and leaves her disdain for Christina in the open.  Later that night, Christina sees a shadowy figure outside and checks on what it could be.  When she screams, Ted and his family race downstairs to help.  They are pleasantly surprised to see Angie, Paul’s fiancé.  Ted’s parents still consider Angie to be part of the family, but Ted and Nicole differ.  They know Angie cheated on Paul before he died, and they believe Paul committed suicide because he couldn’t cope with the affair.  Angie believes Nicole has something to hide.  Before Paul died, he told Nicole he wanted to sell the family mill.  Nicole was furious.  So much so that Angie believes Nicole was the cause of his death.  With everyone under one roof and stuck because of a heavy snowstorm, Christina’s curiosity gets the best of her, and she must figure out what happened to Paul.

This movie does a decent job providing several motives and suspects.  As Christina gets closer to the killer, she starts to sleep more.  But she never puts 2 and 2 together.  Even when Christina is face-to-face with the killer, Christina questions if this person could do it because she is so connected with Ted’s family, and it’s hard for her to believe any of them could have hurt Paul.  In the end, it’s Ted’s words that help Christina find Paul’s killer and save herself.  

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Somehow your selling me on me.  So yeah, it’s working – Christina

You can’t save everyone, Christina – Ted

She killed my brother – Nicole

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Categories: A Christmas for Mary, A Little Christmas Charm, A Martinez, aaron ashmore, Adam Huss, Ali Stroker, Andrew Francis, Anna Marie Dobbins, Antonio Cayonne, Asai'h Epperson, Ashley Greene, Ashley Williams, Aubrey Reynolds, Barbara Niven, Beaus of Holly, BET, BET Her TV, BJ Britt, Bounce TV, Brad James, Brave Williams, Brendan Penny, Brittany Hall, Brooks Darnell, Candiace Dillard Bassett, Carl Anthony Payne II, Christmas Dilemma, Christmas Ever After, Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing, Christmas on the Range, Christmas She Wrote, Christmas Together, Christopher B. Duncan, Colin Lawrence, Countdown to Christmas, Danica McKellar, Daniel di Tomasso, Dylan Neal, Erin Cahill, Gregory Alan Williams, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, HMM, Holidaze and Chill, Holly Robinson Peete, Inn Love by Christmas, ion, Its A Wonderful Lifetime, Jackée Harry, Jason Weaver, Jayne Eastwood, Jennifer Freeman, jesse hutch, Johnny Pacar, Jonna Walsh, Kay-Megan Washington, Kyla Pratt, lacey chabert, Let's Meet Again on Christmas Eve, lifetime, lifetime movie network, Lindsay Wagner, Liz Fenning, lmn, Lorenzo “Renny” Cromwell, Made for TV, Malinda Williams, Marc Herrmann, Marry Me This Christmas, Merry Movie Christmas, Michael Copon, Miracles of Christmas, Morgan Dixon, movie, Nicholas Gonzalez, Nikki Leigh, OWN, OWN For The Holidays, Phylicia Morgan, Rebecca Dalton, Reginald VelJohnson, review, Rukiya Bernard, Secrets in the Snow, Shelton Jolivette, Slay Bells, Stephen Huszar, Terayle Hill, The Christmas Lottery, The Santa Squad, Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas, Travis Caldwell, TV One, UPtv, Victoria Rowell, Vivica A. Fox, Your Home for the Holidays

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