|Table of Reviews|
The Snowball Effect – Review
The Snowball Effect – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Tara works at a local station as a meteorologist. She is the most accurate but only number two in the ratings. Sam, at another station, is number one. She doesn’t know why he gets higher ratings when he is less accurate than her. Tara’s assistant, Mia, found a viral video of a national meteorologist flipping out and quitting on air. Tara thinks it’s her time to shine and calls for an interview. Don answers and says she is the first to call for the position. He tells her he is familiar with her work and will call back when he has time for an interview. Tara hangs up and sees Sam behind her, making a phone call to Don. From what Tara can hear, Don likes Sam too.
At 2:40 am, Don calls Tara. Don wants to see her that evening for an interview. Tara says yes but knows there is a snowstorm coming to the town. She believes Don is testing her abilities. So she goes to work early to figure out the logistics. And to Tara’s surprise, Mia is there. It’s too late to book a flight or a train, so Tara must drive. She calculates the best route to arrive on time and stay on the outskirts of the storm.
Tara leaves, but the GPS keeps rerouting her because of road closures. She drives toward a police-enforced detour and begs to go forward. However, the governor declared a state of emergency. So the officer won’t let her through, but he informs her an inn is within miles. She drives to the Mistletoe Inn, and Sam is behind her. Olivia, the innkeeper, says they are closed for the off-season. They don’t understand why a place called Mistletoe Inn would be closed during Christmas, but they plead for a room. Olivia says she has one bedroom with a couch available. Tara offers the couch to Sam, and he offers to find another hotel. Olivia says the road closures will make that difficult. So, he decides to share the room.
Sam and Tara call Don to update him. In a static-filled call, Don tells them to record a short news segment and send it to him, and he will decide based on their segment sample. Sam wanders into the basement and finds a trove of Christmas decorations. Olivia’s husband would make them every year for the Christmas festival. After the Christmas festival flopped a few years ago, the mayor decided not to have it. And they never had it again. Tara wants to cover the Christmas Festival for her segment. Sam wants to bring Christmas back to the town and report on the party. Who will win?
In any other movie, Tara would be the out-of-touch, evil boss, and Mia would be the main character. Tara calls Mia all night long and on the holidays to work. Also, Tara has no idea how much work Mia does to keep Tara on air. Tara’s jealousy is center stage. She believes opportunities fall into Sam’s lap without him trying. However, he has a relaxed approach that invites others to give him information and assistance. She is the only one competing. While Tara and Sam have chemistry and the townspeople are charming, this movie blends in with all the others this season, like Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars
I feel like it’s a test. Pass it, and the job is mine – Tara
Oh, I see it now – Sam
Christmas Party Crashers – Review
Christmas Party Crashers – BET/BET Her – 2 hours and 30 minutes
Tara wants to pitch her dating app to tech genius Elliot Everest face-to-face. If she books an appointment, she will have to present to his development team. Tara crashed her fair share of parties. Tonight, she plans to crash Elliot’s holiday staff party. She hacks the guest list and has several color bands in her purse. Tara’s aunt Rhonda applauds her tenacity but tells Tara to be careful.
Tara walks to the party confidently and runs into Tre with coffee. It spills on his suit and her. Tara apologizes to Tre, but he’s not worried. The tux is his design and can withstand spills. Tara can tell Tre is also a party crasher and decides to help him get into the party through the kitchen. Tre wants to show his designs to Elliot’s daughter, London. London is a social media influencer who can make his brand global overnight. They enter the party, but security stops them. Tara sees London arguing over FaceTime with her boyfriend, Canyon, and overhears Canyon breaking up with London. Tara calls London and pretends they’ve vacationed together. London ignores Tara but makes a B-line for Tre because she can use him to make Canyon jealous. Tre and Tara pretend they are cousins to get into the party.
Tre and London talk while Tara sips hot cocoa. Elliot alerts her to the whipped cream on her face. Tara tries to pitch her app, but it won’t open. Elliot walks away, telling Tara to make an appointment. Then Tara sees a decoration spark and fall. She pushes Elliot out of the way and saves him. Elliot is grateful, but his wife, Sapphire, sees Tara’s a crasher and wants to kick Tara and Tre out. Elliot wants Tara to stay, and London pleads for Tre.
Sapphire gets a call from her Christmas Brunch planner. He can’t plan her party, and no designers can work with this short notice over the holidays. Sapphire pulls Tara aside to talk, and Tara says her last name is Aries. Sapphire asks if Tara is related to party planning expert Calvin Aries, and Tara lies. Tara says she is Calvin’s niece. So, Sapphire hires Tara as her party planner, and London hires Tre to make her dress after feeling his suit. They will provide $25,000 for the party and allow Tre and Tara to live on the property and use their resources. Tara planned a party for Rhonda with no budget, so she believes she has this under control. Tara has to plan a party, keep up a lie, and find time to cleverly present her app with Elliott while falling in love with Tre as he falls for London. Sure, she has it under control.
This movie amps up the crazy quickly. Tara uses high-tech and quick wit to sneak into homes. But her gift of gab doesn’t translate into her pitches. Tre operates as her sounding board and advisor and believes in her and her app from the moment they meet. While she is the professional crasher, he has self-confidence. And the writers helped viewers see the love the Everest family has for each other. They put the fun in dysfunctional. Tara’s lies are the antagonist in this movie. And it’s fun to watch how many people know and how many figure it out.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
You might say it’s destiny – Tre
I don’t believe in problems. Only opportunities – Tara
Call me Sapphire. Mrs. Everest is my mother-in-law – Sapphire
Forgive my niece. She has never seen a gentleman in the wild before – Rhonda
I really can’t stand playing you – Elliot
Little girl – Mrs. Everest
You don’t really like me. Do you? – London
I’m just glad you call me anything – Diane
A Miracle Before Christmas – Review
A Miracle Before Christmas – BET/BET Her – 3 hours and 0 minutes
Mercedes is a married mother of two and works as a marriage counselor. Her husband, Matthew, reminds Mercedes that their daughter, Ashley, has a recital at 1 pm. Mercedes promises to make it but doesn’t come because she meets with her financial advisor instead. Mercedes comes home in time for dinner with their friends, Faith and Caleb, but only talks about herself, her clients, and her business. Caleb interjects and tells Matthew to announce his good news. He will head the biggest project in the company’s history. Mercedes is proud of Matthew but states he should be a partner.
Later, Matthew decides to leave Mercedes because she puts work in front of everyone and everything. He packs up his clothes and takes their two kids to his mom’s house. Mercedes goes to a bar to drink her troubles away and talks to a man, David, sitting next to her. She tells David that Matthew needs to see how lucky he is and men would kill to have a woman like her. She wishes he could see what her life would be like without her. David grants her wish. Matthew will get a life without her, but Mercedes will get one without him. Can she handle the truth?
Mercedes values success and the appearance of success more than anything else, and family comes second. Mercedes has wealth, a mansion, and a successful practice in her new life, but she doesn’t have Matthew, her children, or her friends. As she gains her footing, she discovers her wins and losses in her life. The writers did a great job of recapping Mercedes’s life before her husband. She used an old video camera, news clippings, and photos to review her childhood and rise to the top. Mercedes uncovers an unlikely friend in a burlesque dancer named Candy. Candy shows Mercedes true and unwavering friendship and kindness. This film warns viewers to be careful what they wish for, because they might get it.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
No, I got all 12 calls. But I was hoping you would get the message – Mercedes
I wish you could just see yourself sometimes – Matthew
Would he – David
A Holiday Chance – Review
A Holiday Chance – BET/BET Her – 3 hours and 0 minutes
Noël is the youngest daughter of Garvin and Sheryl. When Noël was younger, Garvin and Sheryl put their life savings into a production company. Now, Garvin is an entertainment mogul with Noël by his side, destined to take over one day. Noël older sister, Naomi, focuses on being the life of the party. She married Marcus, and they have one child, Ryan. Naomi and Noël fight like cats and dogs. And Noël thinks Sheryl always takes Naomi’s side and sees Naomi as an irresponsible dreamer.
On Christmas, Noël hears Garvin yelling on the phone and checks on him. Garvin tells Noël not to worry and happy birthday. Before dinner, producer Keith Austin drops by to take care of business with Garvin, but Noël wonders why they didn’t include her. The family dances after dinner and talks about the New Year’s Eve party. Then, Garvin collapses and dies of a heart attack. Sheryl, Noël, and Naomi meet with Garvin’s lawyer, Miles, after the funeral. To Noël and Naomi’s surprise, Garvin left the production company to both of them equally. But this information isn’t Miles’s only shock. Miles says they are broke, and the company will have to shut its doors if they don’t make changes. Without drastic changes, the Chance family can only maintain their lifestyle for a year.
Eleven months later, Noël feels the pressure, and her current movies flopped. She is working on a streaming deal with Samantha with little help from Naomi. Naomi wants to help but feels belittled by Noël and Marcus. Their marriage has fallen on hard times, and they don’t support each other ventures. When Ryan looks up to Noël, Naomi wants to prove her worth, but in her way. Noël and Naomi want to save the company but constantly bicker. Miles meets Sheryl and warns her that she will have to sell her home if the company doesn’t prosper. Noël must succeed but will it be at the expense of her family?
This family goes through it! Their dad dies, they’re broke, and they could lose their company. Bad news comes in threes for them. However, some of the blame is on the family eleven months later. They should have sold their home to save on expenses after Garvin died. But it’s about keeping up appearances. Although the family does argue with low blows, the writer made sure you understand everyone’s perspective. The family doesn’t have a bad guy. There is an antagonist, but they are outside the family circle. This movie is better on BET+ because the commercials break up the storyline too much and for too long (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
What have I told you about rushing your approach – Garvin
How are you always this calm – Noel
Dad did you really just pop a bottle without your favorite daughter – Naomi
Oh, s**t – Sheryl
Fuhgeddabout Christmas – Review
Fuhgeddabout Christmas – Channel – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Justine Valentine has the number one song in the country, the number one trending topic, and dominates all forms of social media with her latest single ‘Never Cared About Christmas.’ Sway asks Justine about her family during the holiday and their feelings about the song. Justine tells Sway her family’s fine with it, but they call to voice their displeasure. Justine wants to make it up to them and show them how much the holidays mean to her. So she decided to have Christmas dinner, Feast of the 7 Fishes, at her home with a reality TV camera crew. Justine invites her family, friends, and boyfriend, Conceited. Justine’s cousin, Izzy, comes to the house and pushes Justine to start preparing soon. She has three days to shop, decorate, and cook. But no matter how prepared she is, this family brings loud and fun drama with a holiday lesson.
This movie is a bit hard to describe. It mixes an SNL skit with My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Italian style) and a splash of Wild-N-Out (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It has plenty of guest stars from film, TV, and reality TV but skips the fall-in-love romance angle. If you don’t take the movie seriously, like Dumb and Dumber, the movie is a good laugh. Otherwise, this film will annoy you.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars
My presence is the present – Justine
I don’t have 79 hours to get your life together – Izzy
No, my flight missed me – Conceited
Is Joe Budden over there bothering you – Vinny
Do yourself a favor, don’t have kids – Tony
Wrapped Up in Love – Review
Wrapped Up in Love – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Ashley is the queen of Christmas to her family, friends, and co-workers at the Imperium. Her boss, Mr. Collins, ask Ashley to come to his office. Mr. Collins admits he has a son, Ben, from his first marriage. Ben has an MBA and worked with major corporations in the past. Ben and Mr. Collins don’t have the best relationship, so Mr. Collins hired Ben to come to Imperium and make updates to the company. Ashley agrees to show Ben the ropes and get him acquainted with the store and the staff. She remembers running into Ben earlier in the week after a 7-year-old knocked down gifts under the store’s tree. The first item on Ashley’s list is the company holiday card. Ben thinks a paper card is quaint, but an E-card can attract more buyers and go viral. Ashley asks Mr. Collins to break the tie, and he sides with Ben. As they work together, Ashley and Ben fall in love. But will that end when she hears Ben will take her promotion?
The chemistry and good deeds between the two are excellent. However, the pace of the movie is sluggish. As the last Lifetime movie for the holiday season, this average tale did not live up to the hype, and the title makes zero sense. This film is perfect background noise for opening presents and nothing more.
I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars
I know. I just want it to be perfect – Ashley
My smile left 5 minutes ago, Ash – Cliff
She’s feisty. I like that – Ben
Hanukkah on Rye – Review
Hanukkah on Rye – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Molly’s family runs Gilbert’s deli in New York. They have a traditional Jewish menu and depend on Hanukkah to break even or make a profit at the end of the year. Molly’s grandmother, Ruth, looks forward to leaving Molly Gilbert’s but doesn’t tell Molly the rent will increase. Until then, they look forward to celebrating the holiday with the neighborhood and selling their famous latkes. On the first night of Hanukkah, Ruth comes to Molly with a gift. Ruth asked for a matchmaker, Mrs. Mizansky, to find a man for Molly, and she did. However, Mrs. Mizansky has rules. They can only communicate by letter, no internet searches, and no real names. Molly worries because she doesn’t know what to say. Ruth tells Molly that the man writes first and hands Molly a box with pen and paper.
Jake’s family runs Zimmer’s deli in L.A. and wants to expand to New York. While they offer traditional Jewish food, they have some L.A. favorites on the menu. Jake will go to New York to close the deal on the commercial property, but he dreams of managing it. Jake settles into his New York apartment to video call his mother, Lizzie. His grandmother, Ester, shoos Lizzie away to speak to Jake alone. Ester sent Jake’s information to Mrs. Mizansky, and Mrs. Mizansky found Jake a match. Jake doesn’t believe it will work, but Mrs. Mizansky has a 100% success rate. Ester lays down Mrs. Mizansky’s rules, and Jake starts writing.
Jake attempts to get into his mailbox but can’t. He asks for some help, and Molly shows him a trick. She offers to exchange numbers, and Jake mistakes this for flirting. She corrects his assumption and leaves for work while Jake departs for the relator. Jake meets at the space for the future Zimmer’s location and looks around the neighborhood. He sees Gilbert’s deli and its holiday decorations. Jake bumps into Molly outside and calls her deli dated. He strives to apologize, but it’s too late, and Molly leaves agitated. Jake goes home and writes his first letter. But he has no idea he’s writing to Molly, and neither does she.
This movie is full of Bubbies, corn beef, and overbearing parents, and you will laugh from beginning to end. The families are heavy-handed, but you can feel the love behind their actions. They want to give Jake and Molly a nudge in the right direction. However, the families don’t know they are writing to each other also. When they see Molly and Jake get along, the families consider telling Molly and Jake to stop writing and date each other. And the final connection between the two families will warm your heart. Watch this film with your egg cream ready.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
Why? So he can fly into a window and die – Lizzie
Our menu is the America melting pot with a side of pickles – Ester
I’m actually a really nice guy – Jake
I’m not hitting on you – Molly
What if I told you it didn’t have to be so hard – Ruth
An Eclectic Christmas – Review
An Eclectic Christmas – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Kim prepares for her annual voyage to spend Christmas with her aunt Frieda. Kim works as a fitness instructor in L.A., although Frieda wishes Kim would move back to Forestbrook and run the antique store. Kim ties up loose ends with her clients when the phone rings and displays Frieda’s name. However, Kim sees a man’s face when she starts the video call.
Leonard is Frieda’s attorney, and she sadly passed away. He needs Kim to return to Forestbrook to close out Frieda’s affairs. Kim knows Frieda didn’t want a funeral or wake because they were too sad. When Kim arrives, Leonard explains that Frieda left Kim her house, money, and store. Kim’s life is in L.A., so she wants to sell it all before going home. Leonard informs Kim that Frieda made a provision that only one person could sell her property, Scott. Kim doesn’t want to say Scott’s name because he broke her heart before she went to L.A.
Scott assures Kim he can make the sale quickly because he has a buyer ready today. However, Leonard has one more stipulation. Frieda wanted Kim to solve the riddles that she left around town. Each puzzle will lead her to an item, and Kim has to determine who will receive that item. She can’t sell any of the property until she completes the tasks. Scott offers to help so he can sell the property as soon as possible. Kim takes a deep break and reads the first puzzle. It is the first step to Kim learning about Frieda, Forestbrook, and herself while falling in love.
Another P.S. I Love You Christmas movie for the season that doesn’t depend on a backing track or laughs to keep the story going (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). This film makes use of quiet self-reflection and gazing to fill the story. The first few times are understandable, but later, it gets boring and drags the storyline down. The overall message of love, giving, and rectifying is charming, but it takes too long to get there.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
You can’t resist anything – Kim
Well, that’s what makes life fun – Frieda
I’m the realtor – Scott
I hope you know what your doing – Leonard
Five More Minutes: Moments Like These – Review
Five More Minutes: Moments Like These – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes
It’s been four years since Kaitlyn lost her husband, Brian, after a car accident. She moved to L.A. for her photography career and rented her house in Colorado. Her boss wants to give Kaitlyn a permanent position in the London office. However, Kaitlyn doesn’t want to uproot her son, Adam. Kaitlyn picks Adam up from school, and his teacher pulls Kaitlyn aside. Adam isn’t participating in group projects and doesn’t play at recess. The teacher believes this reclusiveness is related to Brian’s death. She wants to sit with Kaitlyn and discuss ways to help Adam after the holidays. Kaitlyn’s sister-in-law, Maddy, calls because a company is interested in buying Kaitlyn and Brian’s old home. Kaitlyn can’t imagine selling something she built with Brian, but Maddy convinces Kaitlyn to come to Colorado to hear what the company will offer. Kaitlyn looks at Brian’s photo and contemplates selling the home, moving to London, and helping Adam. She believes Brian would know what to do, so she prays for five more minutes with him. Kaitlyn will get her wish.
This second installment covers heavy topics with the right balance of holiday magic. The plot discusses IVF, postpartum depression, and gloom with a gentle hand in two hours. However, the writer never forgot to inspire hope. You get that hope with a community food drive and a fulfilled wish. Viewers will get a holiday love story, but that’s second to Adam and Kaitlyn finding their way. This script highlights that kids can know and say what they want. And it’s okay to listen. This movie will make you cry, so keep your Kleenex handy.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
I promise I will – Kaitlyn
If we are assigning labels, I prefer Funcle – Matthew
You know you don’t have to feel guilty. You’re an amazing mom – Maddy
You guys are silly – Skye
Wait, how do you know my name – Adam
You can do this. You’ve been doing this – Brian
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Review
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Madison was a child TV star, but she took a break from acting to direct. Her directorial debut is The Trial Before Christmas. The play is a trial about who wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston Jr. The audience will deliberate and determine a verdict during intermission. The play is on Christmas eve, so Madison and her co-author, Hailey, need to get the cast up to speed. Actor Conor will defend Moore, while actor Lena argues for Livingston. Conor and Madison acted together, so now she trusts his work. However, Lena is a different story. The producer, Jefferson, is dating Lena and would only back the play if Madison made Lena the lead. Lena’s only acting credits are hand-model work.
During rehearsals, Madison sees blaring issues with the script and the actors. A stranger walks up and discusses the case while Madison and Conor debate the script and trial. The stranger says Livingston stole the poem he wrote for his children. and Madison thinks he’s a cosplayer. Madison admires the cosplayer’s tenacity and authenticity. Later, she and Hailey make the necessary provisions. The next rehearsal is interrupted by a man calling himself Livingston. Madison assumes he is another cosplayer. He adlibs the lines and throws Lena off. However, Madison and Conor can see Lena isn’t confident on stage. While Madison works on the script, Conor second-guesses his career choice. He started in law school and got into acting to pay his tuition. This mock trial helps him find his passion for law. Madison thinks her play will go well with a new script, confident actors, and help from cosplayers. However, it takes one opportunity and a critic to strike fear in Madison and her abilities.
The script incorporating Livingston and Moore is genius. Both men make a valid argument in their case. And Livingston’s final speech makes Conor and Madison re-evaluate their lives. Also, Madison, Hailey, and Conor worry about Lena’s performance. But they don’t tear her down; they build her up. They find a method to help her focus on having fun, not her lines. This film teaches viewers a forgotten fact about Christmas and sparks the imagination. Yes, there is a love story, but that isn’t the focal point. After the dust settles, who would you choose: Livingston or Moore?
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
But it’s not about the money – Madison
And now I can’t unsee it – Conor
I admire your affinity for understatement – Hailey
It’s not like their going to come back and dispute it – Jefferson
Rest assured, Miss. I am the genuine article – Livingston
You can not allow this mockery to go unchallenged – Moore
The Holiday Dating Guide – Review
The Holiday Dating Guide – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes
Abigale is a dating coach and aspiring writer. She wrote The Holiday Dating Guide and presented it to Jack at C. McNeille publishing. Jack made an appointment for Abigale to come to his office. Abigale gets some encouragement from her best friend, James, and meets with Jack. Jack’s assistant loved Abigale’s 12-step guide to love, but Jack didn’t understand it. Before he can write off the book, Abigale comes up with a plan. If she can prove her methods work by finding love, then he will publish the book. Jack’s not sure how to qualify the data. Abigale says she will bring the man to McNeille’s Christmas Party on December 24th, and he can judge for himself. Jack thinks finding love in 12 days is a lofty goal but agrees to her plan.
James and Abigale go to a local pub to start finding a guy. Abigale spot one at the bar but ends up making a business contact. She grabs her drinks and heads back to James but runs into Michael, spilling beer on his shirt. She tries to clean him up but offers to buy him a drink. The two flirt as James and Michael’s friend, Brad, wait in the wings. Abigale and James play pool and find common interests. She thinks he is the man she needs to get her book published.
Later, James and Abigale recap the night’s events when Michael texts asking for a second date tomorrow. Two dates back-to-back go against her rules. So she can’t go if she wants to prove her book works. She creates an amendment. She will make the second date fun and update her manuscript to say two romantic dates can’t be back-to-back. As she spends more time with Michael, she starts falling in love. But will Michael feel the same when he discovers it’s for a book?
This movie is a callback to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and it’s just as funny (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). James’s one-liners never disappoint, and his t-shirt is legendary. With the fun, it has an ax-throwing grandma, a bacon-loving dog, and gorgeous vintage cars. The plot hides the best reveal in a letter from Jack’s wife to Jack. It ties the movie neatly in a bow and offers something different. It was a great idea to make this movie one of the last of this season.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
I really want a donut – James
You haven’t read it – Abigale
For the record, I thought your little victory dance was adorable – Michael
Categories: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Holiday Chance, A Miracle Before Christmas, Amin Joseph, An Eclectic Christmas, Anjali Khurana, Ashley Williams, BET, BET Her, BET Her TV, BET Holiday Kickback, BET+, Brent Bailey, Brittany Bristow, Christmas Party Crashers, Cocoa Brown, Countdown to Christmas, Deja Dee, Diesel Madkins, Five More Minutes: Moments Like These, Fuhgeddabout Christmas, hallmark, Hannah Galway, Hanukkah on Rye, HMM, Its A Wonderful Lifetime, Jaime M. Callica, Jeremy Jordan, Jeremy Walmsley, Justina Valentine, Keith David, Landon Moss, LeToya Luckett, lifetime, Lisa Loeb, Lucas Bryant, Made for TV, Maria Menounos, Merry Movie Christmas, Miracles of Christmas, movie, Nafessa Williams, Naughty or Nice, Olivier Renaud, review, Richard Lawson, Romeo Miller, Sharon Leal, Skye Townsend, Teresa Giudice, The Holiday Dating Guide, The Snowball Effect, Tobias Truvillion, Torrey DeVitto, tv review, UPtv, Vanessa Bell Calloway, vh1, Wrapped Up in Love, Yael Grobglas, Zane Holtz