#ChristmasGetaway, #RockyMountainChristmas, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Christmas Getaway – Review

Christmas Getaway – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Getaway

Scott was set on a hotel Christmas but his daughter Katy wants the traditional one she remembers when her mother was alive.  He rents a cabin and Katy writes a Christmas bucket list with every traditional thing she wants to do before Christmas.  Emory has traveled all her life and never settled down.  Her job as a travel writer has worked wonders for her career but not her relationship.  She ended her recent relationship and is ready to hit the road again.  Her editor asks Emory to write about a traditional Christmas and even booked a cabin.  Emory calls her dad and is surprised to learn she has spent Christmas there as a child.  When Scott arrives at the cabin, he is met with a Krav Maga welcome from Emory.  They learn that the cabin was double booked and they will have to share.  Emory tries to leave but her car, the roads, and the weather won’t let her.   Sharing this traditional Christmas will bring the magic for the two.

While this provides a predictable Hallmark love story, it gives the viewer so many laughs.  Seeing them scratch items off  Katy’s list will bring back holiday memories for you as well.  While there is a second woman vying for Scott’s heart, she never poses much of a threat to the main couple.  She is just a way to make Scott and Emory’s relationship grow closer faster.   Sit back and enjoy this Hallmark tale but don’t cancel plans.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You’re not – Scott

I’ve been to Pine Grove? – Emory

It’s our new tradition – Katy

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Rocky Mountain Christmas – Review

Rocky Mountain Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Rocky Mountain Christmas

Sarah just felt the burn of dating and being dumped by a celebrity in the public eye.  She just wants to keep moving to forget her pain.  Her new promotion will help that happen.  But her boss tells her to take some time off and start after the new year.   She decides to go to her Uncle’s ranch and relax.   She knows it will be her last time to visit before he gives it up.  Graham is an actor who is trying to prepare for a huge role.  His problem is that he doesn’t have small town ranching experience.  He wants to go to a ranch and rough it out before he goes on his audition.  He is quickly drawn to Sarah but she gives him the brush off.  Will she let her guard down and see that Graham is different from her last celebrity boyfriend?

Based on the novel Unbridled Love by Jennifer Shirley, this movie has everything but just doesn’t hold the viewers’ attention.  There isn’t much compelling in this story.  Saying that Hallmark Movies are predictable is, well, predictable.  There needs to be more to the story the heartbroken girl meets a guy and falls in love at a place in danger of being closed or sold.  This falls into the trap and doesn’t pull itself out.   This one can be skipped during this holiday season.

I give it 1 out of 5 stars

Somebody who doesn’t like my movies, apparently – Graham

Excuse me, are you about to give my horse a cookie – Sarah

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Romance at Reindeer Lodge – Review

Romance at Reindeer Lodge – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Romance at Reindeer Lodge

With 2 weeks off with pay, workaholic Molly has no idea what to do with her time.  She hears a radio contest for a trip to Jamaica, calls in, and wins.  So elated to leave Chicago for sun and rum punch, she tells everyone she sees.  After telling Jared, he tries to warn her but she is to busy to receive his message.   Once they are on the plane, Jared tells her that they are headed to Jamaica but not the island.   They are going to Jamaica, Vermont.  Molly believes its a mistake when she heads to the Reindeer Lodge but the owner Penny tells her its right.  She decides to make the most of it until she contacts the airport and goes home.  Of course, Jared is staying in the same place but for another reason.  While Molly is a Scrooge, she softens into the Christmas spirit at the Reindeer Lodge.  But when she learns the owners’ secrets along with Jared’s, her heart is crushed.

There are 3 major secrets in this movie.  While 2 are foreseen and intertwined, the other comes out of left field and leaves you confused and saddened for the Reindeer Lodge.  As the connection between Molly and Jared is a slow and complicated build but such is life.  And that makes the movie watchable.   Also the secondary couple, Kayla and Greg, show the ups and downs of a newlywed marriage.  It’s not just sunshine and reindeer.   Couples have issues but the strong ones work them out.  This is a great movie about love, tradition, and hope.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Yeah, I’m engaged to Manchester software. We are spending the holidays together, here in the office – Molly

I tried to but you seemed a little busy – Jared

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Christmas Connection – Review

Christmas Connection – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Connection

Sydney is overseeing an unaccompanied minor named Leah before she goes on her winter break.  When Leah’s father Jonathan is late picking her up from the airport, Sydney chooses to miss her flight to Bali to say with Leah.  Soon Leah’s father is there but later due to a mix-up at the airport, Sydney is on Johnathan’s doorstep.  Jonathan is a Christmas loving columnist that is desperate for his next story.   While talking to Sydney, he gets an idea.  Sydney is a hometown girl who has heard that her parents met on Christmas but never knew the whole story.  Jonathan vows to learn the story, not just for this article but to put Sydney back into the Christmas spirit.  Finding this love story may bring them one of their own.

This is a good love story wrapped around a great mystery.   The thought of finding someone’s past through the memory of others is wonderful.  While the love story between the two main characters is considered the main plot, it takes a back seat to the overall mystery.  That’s fine because it’s all woven together in a nice package.  This is one to watch and remember.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Oh, we don’t do Christmas halfway in this family – Jonathan

Oh, what did I just agree to – Sydney

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A Christmas Cruise – Review

A Christmas Cruise – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Christmas Cruise

Pam is a staff writer for the New York Minute.  She dreams of writing her own book but has put it and her love life on hold.  Her friend Becky thinks Pam should take a break from work and live her life.  Becky has booked a one week cruise to Christmas Island.  The island is open one month a year and revolves around Christmas.   Pam is quick to decline the offer.  But when her boss Arlo says her articles aren’t ‘sexy’ enough and she needs something new and fresh, she mentions the cruise.   Arlo tells her to go on the cruise, take notes, and write an article.  If she does well, she will get the managing editor position.   Pam is ecstatic. Unbeknownst to Becky, Pam goes on the cruise to work.  But before the boat docks, Pam will go on a cruise of self-discovery and love.

This movie is as sweet as it is funny.  The ship’s resident hypochondriac is a load of laughs as he talks about his feet, hips, and other ailments at just the right (yet wrong) moments.  The love story between Pam and Jake happens easily and organically.   Since both characters are working through issues in an adult manner it’s easy to see the two as a couple.  If you want to bring in the holidays with a love story, this is the one.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t have time for Christmas just yet – Pam

Don’t do it – Jake

Oh, maybe we’re looking in the wrong direction – Becky

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Christmas Next Door – Review

Christmas Next Door – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Next Door

Eric is an author and confirmed bachelor.  He writes books telling men how to make the most out of being single.  His neighbors notice he has no decorations in or outside of his home.  Especially April, his across the street neighbor.  April plays and teaches violin.  She loves Christmas and her home is living proof.  April’s sister wishes April had two things: a violin audition and a date.  Eric’s mother wishes he would grow up and get over his past.  So his mother feigns an illness and asks him to pick up his niece and nephew, Chelsea and Liam.  She has no idea when his sister will be back from overseas to get them, but she is “too sick” to take care of the two.  And with kids as sneaky as their grandma, Eric’s take on holiday traditions will change.  And April is the first to take notice.

This is surprisingly funny and very charming romantic comedy.  While Eric’s disdain for Christmas is not revealed until the end, it’s obvious that this has been a major stopgap in his life.  But April, Liam, and Chelsea show him there is more to the holiday then gift cards.  Also, in a Christmas with the Kranks style, there is a running gag with Eric’s lawn ornaments (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).   The “whodunit” is worthy of HMM.  You will laugh out loud at this Christmas movie.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

There can never be too many decorations – April

Maybe its time for me to admit that I’m growing up – Eric

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#SnowedInnChristmas, #StalkedByMyEx, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Snowed-Inn Christmas – Review

Snowed-Inn Christmas – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Snowed-Inn Christmas

Kevin is a fly by the seat, laid back, extreme stunts writer.  He writes about the crazy adventures people can do on vacation.  Jenna is an organized, by the book, relaxed writer.  She likes to write about the thing people can do to relax during a vacation stay.  As magazine sales are going down, their magazine has decided to generate more internet traffic to the site.  To get a better idea of what the readers want, their boss decides to send them to a vacation site together.  Whoever gets the most clicks can keep their job, the other needs to hope for a Christmas miracle.  Nonetheless, when their flight has to make an emergency landing, the two are stuck in a small home with the keepers.  They start to get pulled closer with a little Christmas magic.  But will the job prevail?

Sigh, as funny as this movie can be, it still doesn’t hold your interest.  You just don’t get invested enough in the characters to care how it ended.  This is due to the fact that you know exactly how it will end.  This movie belongs on the predictable Hallmark channel, not the Lifetime network.

I give it 1 out of 5 stars

Does Kelly Kapowski count – Kevin

You haven’t packed yet – Jenna

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Stalked by My Ex – Review

Stalked by My Ex – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Stalked by My Ex

Olivia has been secretly writing to her father Sam in prison.  She sends him drawings of the two together and wonders what would have been like if he didn’t leave her life 10 years ago.  Sam reveals that he will be released soon due to overcrowding and good behavior.  When her mother hears this, she is on high alert and decides to leave LA and go back to her small town roots.  After leaving, Sam goes to find them and is furious he can’t.  So he will do everything to find them and get Olivia back.  And with the help of jealousy and the internet, they will be face to face soon.

This movie just doesn’t grab your attention.  It just felt like part of the plot was empty and this came off as another domestic violence story.  Accept this was everything after the arrest.  It was just missing a spark that kept the viewers’ interest.  This movie can be skipped.

I give it 1 out of 5 stars

It’s really not that exciting – Alexis

I’m not leaving without a piece of chocolate cake – Bryan

Did you tell her we spoke – Sam

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Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle – Review

Karen Kingsbury’s Maggie’s Christmas Miracle – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Karen Kingsbury's Maggie's Christmas Miracle

20 years ago, Maggie played in the snow with her friend.  She had no idea of what awaited her at home.  Her father left the family on Christmas Eve and never came back.  Now she is a mother of one, divorced, and a divorce lawyer.  3 years ago her husband left her 1 week before Christmas.  She sees the holiday is nothing but heartbreak and pain.  But in a small corner of his room, Maggie’s son Jordan is writing a letter to God.  He asks a few questions about nature.  Although, he asked God if all moms are sad and if he could give his mom love.  Out of the mouths of babes and into God’s ear, Jordan will get his wish.

Based on the novel Maggie’s Miracle by Karen Kingsbury, this movie will make you misty-eyed (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  As Jordan keeps writing letters hoping to make his mom happy, you reflect on your own family.  The element that sets this movie apart is you know exactly why Maggie doesn’t like the holiday.  There is no big reveal 5 minutes before the end, you know from the beginning.  And there is an interesting love triangle.  So you have the added mystery of determining if Maggie will make the safe choice or the honest choice.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You think only bad things happen to babies – Maggie

Christmas every day of the year, that’s my kind of world – Casey

That was so cool. It was like I was being swallowed by trees. Can I do it again – Jordan

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A Royal Christmas Ball – Review

A Royal Christmas Ball – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Royal Christmas Ball

This is a story about how a prince found his princess, again.  Alison and Charles met at a college party and fell in love.  Then, a woman came to Alison’s dorm and told her Charles was a prince and a commoner would never be allowed to be a princess.  She instructed Alison to write Charles a break-up letter.  Feeling lied to and betrayed, Alison wrote the letter and never wanted to see him again.  Charles tried several times to contact her but after hearing nothing from Alison, he went through with his arranged marriage.  Now, seventeen years later, Charles is a widower and still in love with Alison.  While in America to take care of political duties, he decides to look her up and find her.  But Alison isn’t all he finds.

This is a sweet story but the subplot of the two best friends deserves its own movie.  While it was a good twist on a Cinderella story, it was uninspired and fell flat.  It feels more like a filler movie for the holiday line up.  It’s predictable and with extremely little real-world conflict.  This movie is nothing more than background noise.  Come for the plot, and be entertained by the subplot.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

How am I? What are you doing here? – Alison

Well, technically, I’m the King now – Charles

I just want to make a good impression – Lily

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Sharing Christmas – Review

Sharing Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Sharing Christmas

With her parents retiring, Stephanie is set on keeping their traditions and run the Christmas Shop just the way they did.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Then she gets a letter in the mail from her landlord.  The lease is being terminated.  The owner has sold the building to a developer and all the month to month leases will end to make room for high-end condos.   Maggie has no idea what to do to save her parents’ shop.  Mike is a real estate agent who was given the biggest job of his career.   If he does well, he will get his long-awaited promotion.  To celebrate, his family goes out to eat and he stops at the Christmas Shop.  Stephanie purges her feelings to Mike and he tells her to fight.  The next day, Mike’s boss Helen takes him to his new real estate job.  He is shocked to learn his company is kicking out Stephanie.   With his feelings for her growing, Mike will do anything to help her but it could cost him his job.

Oh, can the Christmas Shop be real?  It sounds and smells wonderful.  And the handmade ornaments are a dream come true.  This story is unique because when Mike learns the truth, he tries anything he can to fix it.  He never hides the truth from Stephanie, he lends her a hand and tries to persuade Helen to change her mind.   As he works in the store, Mike grasps how important this shop is to the community.  DVR and watch with cocoa or hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

And give up being Uncle Mike, not a chance – Mike

Guys do me a favor and don’t tell my parents – Stephanie

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You Can’t Fight Christmas – Review

You Can’t Fight Christmas – TVOne – 2 hours and 0 minutes

You Can't Fight Christmas

Lesley Major of Major Design is designing the yearly Christmas themed entrance to the Chesterton hotel again. And she promises to make it bigger and better. The Christmas time is one of the biggest draws and money makers for the hotel.  But when Millicent and Edmund go over the books, they determine that Christmas revenue does not make up for the hotel’s losses.  They want to remove Christmas, rebrand the hotel, and bring in new investors.  When Lesley gets wind of the news she is disgusted.  She liked Edmund and thought he wanted to continue the family hotel business.  She will lose her biggest client and a man she is grown fond of to another woman.  Will she fight to get him and her job back?  It’s time for Lesley to complete the circle of life and delegate to get the holidays back.

This is a funny movie that will give you deja vu if you saw Miss Me This Christmas.  Two scenes are repeated but great for character development.  This movie gives you a plethora of characters with an uptight Millicent, a ride-or-die Belinda, and a tough Kevin.  This is a good one to record and keep on your DVR for later.  Also, you will want friends like Kevin and Belinda.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I’m telling you, Lesley. It’s a union rule – Jasper

Can we keep the ugly on our sweaters, it’s Christmas – Lesley

Not delete, just edit – Millicent

And they say its the most wonderful time of the year – Edmund

I’ll leave you a fifty on the nightstand – Belinda

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The Christmas Cottage – Review

The Christmas Cottage – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Christmas Cottage

Ava has always believed her family’s cottage was magical.  For generations, her family has gotten married on Christmas Eve and spend their wedding night at the Christmas Cottage.  Every couple that followed the tradition had a marriage that lasts.   So, of course, Ava wanted her wedding to follow suit.  She decides to have her best friend Lacey as her maid of honor.  Lacey loves order and contemporary artistic choices.  She wants to make sure everything is perfect.  But Ava’s brother Ean wants to follow the family’s traditions of color and disorganization.  The two butt heads when decorating the cottage, not only because of style choice but due to a bitter break up.  Lacey and Ean dated, but when she took an internship, he felt like she was putting her career ahead of the relationship.   However, when he took a job overseas without informing her, she felt he wasn’t serious about putting down roots with her.  After a big snowfall, the two are trapped in the cottage.  Ava hopes the cottage magic rubbed off, but Lacey’s boyfriend Roger will put a kink in the plan.

Based on the novel The Christmas Cottage by Samantha Chase, this is a sweet love story about focusing on what’s really important (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  However, these theme is not unique to Christmas or Hallmark films.  This movie just doesn’t stand out in the saturated Christmas line up.  It does have its funny moments as Lacey and Ean trade shots at each other but everything else is predictable.  Watch if you have time, but don’t open up the wine.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Have I ever let you down – Lacey

You sure you don’t want to YouTube it – Ean

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Runaway Christmas Bride – Review

Runaway Christmas Bride – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Runaway Christmas Bride

Kate instantly has regrets on her wedding day and has to greet her family and friends after saying ‘I Do’.  That is until she learns the truth from her groom Alex.  On his wedding day, he got his inheritance of $2,000,000.  He wasn’t allowed to get it until he got married and could not tell the bride until after the wedding.  Now he is free of his father and can live his life the way he wants.  Kate asks him one question: Did you marry me for love or for money.  He hesitates to answer and she runs.  She runs to their honeymoon suite without any money or credit cards.  She gets help from some frat guys to get into the hotel room and gets comfortable.  Soon, she has the attention of the hotel medic and the manager.  And much to the chagrin of Becca (manager), she starts to date Jason (medic) but never tells him she is married.  Soon Alex, his parents, and her parents are all at the hotel.   But when she agrees to keep the marriage going for the money, will she lose Jason.

This is a “what else can go wrong” type of movie.  It’s funny and has a lot of cringe-worthy moments.  It stands out from the typical holiday movie with a good family gripe fest.  However, the green screens are horrifically distracting.  It’s not evident why these choices were made but it took away from the strong script and great characters.   When this movie sets itself apart during the holiday season, bad green screen choices and toupees just take away from it.  If you don’t mind the distractions, watch it.  Otherwise, leave it on the back burner.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alex, did you marry me for love or this money – Kate

I don’t. Not that one – Jason

I’m here plus two sets of parents. I’m so sorry. Where are you? – Jess

Call room service and order a bottle of Christmas cheer. I need a drink – Rick

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Christmas Encore – Review

Christmas Encore – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Encore

Charlotte is a struggling actress and part-time waitress.  She has continued her father’s dream of making it big.  In the past, she had an opportunity to make it big but her audition partner/friend Julian ab-libbed some lines and left her looking like a fool.  He got the part on a major TV show and she is still trying to find any work available.  When her college roommate comes to town, she offers Charlotte a job as an event coordinator for her company.  Charlotte feels like getting a 9 to 5 is giving up but she needs the money.  She decides to take the job but auditions for a play one last time.  The theater is putting together a play for “A Christmas Carol” but they want a twist for it.  Realizing she is too old or too young for all the parts, Charlotte decides to be Scrooge.  But when she walks in, she is informed the director is Julian.  She leaves the stage.  He begs her to come back and after careful consideration she does, auditions, and gets the part.  She believes this is her big break until the owner of the theater decides to get rid of it.  Charlotte and Julian decided to fight for what they believe in, the arts and each other.

The love story is a snooze fest because you know it’s going to happen.  In Hallmark, the more people argue, the more likely they will end up together.  You watch because you want to see Charlotte’s character develop and blossom into an actress.  She will be making her and her father’s dream come true.  It’s easy to relate to Charlotte because we have all felt like giving up when we were so close to a dream.  You cheer for her to act in her career-making scene.  Also, you hope Julian can keep the theater open for future actors and actresses to come.  So DVR and watch when you need to kill 2 hours but don’t cancel plans.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I believe happiness is a journey, not a destination – Charlotte

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Fatal Vision – Review

Fatal Vision – ID – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Fatal Vision

Joe McGinniss has hit a rough patch in his writing career.  He can’t finish his books and no one wants to publish his articles.  So when he gets a call from Jeffery MacDonald, also know as the Green Beret Killer, Joe quickly goes to see him.  Jeffery discloses he wants Joe to follow him during his trial and write a book about who he is and what really happened to his family.  Jeffery will give Joe 100% access to his life, home, and courtroom proceedings.  Jeffery hopes this will enlighten others to his plight, absolve him, and find the true killers.  As Joe delves into Jeffery’s life, he starts to see the monster within.  After interview Jeffery’s in-laws, looking at the evidence, and living with Jeffery, Joe will write a book that will have an effect on the case, even today.

Leading up to the novel Fatal Vision: A True Crime Classic by Joe McGinniss, the viewer must keep in mind that this is only told from Joe’s point of view.   It is hard to believe a man would kill his pregnant wife and 2 young children over an argument.  While they give a very convincing tale of events, you are still left to wonder if it really happened that way.  After you hear the crime scene was out of order, the evidence was mishandled, the samples were taken from the victims after the funeral, and the photos were blurry, it’s hard to nail down what is up and what is down.  The fact that remains true is 3 people and 1 unborn child are gone.  One fact that was left out is the other trials that resulted in favor for Jeffery.  For a truly balanced movie, that needs to be seen too.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

It’s not a story. It’s what happened. It’s the truth – Jeffery

No one wants to believe a father could do that – Joe

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#AChristmasStoryLive – Review

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A Christmas Story Live! – FOX – 3 hours and 0 minutes

A Christmas Story Live

Ralphie looks back on his most memorable Christmas.  As he schemed, begged, and haggled to get the best gift ever: A Red Rider BB Gun.  Whenever he asks for the gift, he is met with the same excuse, ‘You’ll shoot your eye out’.  His mother, neighbor, and even Santa don’t seem to budge on their stance.  But the gift is not the only thing that makes this Christmas memorable.  Ralphie stood up for himself, was introduced to Chinese turkey, and developed a stronger relationship with his mother.  A Christmas Story proves the holiday is more about gifts, it’s about a feeling and family.

THIS IS A MUSICAL.  THIS IS A MUSICAL.  If you are looking for the theater version of A Christmas Story movie, then watch the movie (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  If you don’t like the musicals, then watch the movie.  This is the Broadway musical coming to live TV.  Of course, since it was live TV, some camera angles were off, some lighting was too dim, and one shot was blurry.  However, the music and dance numbers were flawless and highly entertaining.  Now one iconic scene you know was not present (i.e. Ovaltine).  And a scene with Swartz’s mom, the boys with the leg lamp, and a Christmas Eve Night number were added to give the viewer something different.  While this was a little long, it still keeps the core principals of the original movie.  And to see costume changes happen before your eyes are spectacular.  Congrats to all the kids who did a marvelous job on their routines.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Good luck dear. I believe in you, even if you’re not a winner – Mrs. Parker

Tinker toys? Nobody asks for tinker toys, you just get them – Older Ralphie

Oh fudge – Ralphie

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#ChristmasinMississippi, #YouKilledMyMother, and more – TV Reviews

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Christmas in Mississippi – Review

Christmas in Mississippi – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Christmas in Mississippi

Photographer Holly is finally off the road and back home in Mississippi for Christmas.  She enjoys all the fanfare around the holidays so she joins the Winter Fair decorating committee.  She is surprised to learn that her ex Mike is the supervisor.  He gives her an assignment of setting up a bake stand and she tries to ignore him.  Everyone in town, including her mother, tries to tell her that Mike isn’t the same man who broke her heart.  Since watching his nephew for his brother overseas, Mike has grown up a lot.  When Holly starts to let her guard down, a phone call could derail all her plans for a future with Mike.

Ok, so this movie feels like there wasn’t enough room on the Hallmark Channel for it.  The actors are trying their best but the story is slow and uninspired.  It’s the typical holiday movie with the typical ending but with a splash of ‘hurricane’ and a photo.  So watch if you have time, but you aren’t missing much.  However, in the last 15 minutes, they throw in a soldier’s homecoming, a Santa, and a light show to make it interesting.  So watch if you have the time, but it isn’t essential.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

You gotta be kidding me – Holly

Did I forget to mention that – Caroline

He told me that anything worth doing is worth doing right – Jack

You are the best. I’m just the luckiest girl in the world – Betty

Let’s call a truce. Peace on earth, goodwill towards exes – Mike

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You Killed My Mother – Review

You Killed My Mother – Lifetime – 2 hours and 1 minute

You Killed My Mother

Joanna sat in a waiting room to hear if her mother would live or die.  Nurse Lynn tells her that an emergency liver transplant has been rejected by Dr. Miriam’s board due to her mother chronic alcoholism.  She panics, holds a knife to Lynn’s throat, and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t save her mom.  Two years later, Joanna is almost done serving her time in a mental institution and her Aunt Molly is glad to be there for her.  Joanna promises to be on her best behavior but Molly has no clue who Joanna really is.  With knowledge from her dad, help from her boyfriend, and quiet patience, Joanna will seek revenge on Miriam, Lynn, and anyone else in her way.  Her way into their lives is an online romance with Bobby, Miriam’s son.

Root for Joanna.  That is the best way to enjoy this film.   The people around her are so naive and absent-minded.  She is cunning, conniving, and lethal.  A perfect combination for a Lifetime movie.  Her ability to make traps are uniques and somewhat fun.  But it’s those brilliant traps that are her undoing.  What makes this movie different is that it peels back Joanna’s psychopathy slowly by showing her past with each of her parents during moments in her revenge.  Joanna is smarter than most Lifetime killers but falls into the same trap.  That is disappointing.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Terrific. Next silly question – Joanna

Let’s just say my job sucks sometimes – Miriam

Hostility will get you nowhere – Lynn

You sure are daddy’s little girl, aren’t you – Jimmy

My father doesn’t want anything from me. He’s dead – Bobby

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Disney’s Stuck at Christmas: The Movie – Review

Disney’s Stuck at Christmas: The Movie – Disney Channel – 0 hours and 56 minutes

Disney's Stuck at Christmas: The Movie

While Rachel is in France with friends, the Diaz kids are cooking.  They realize that Rachel’s job was keeping track of the timer and they don’t know how long to steam the food.  So Harley calls the one person who knows: her Abuela.  None one wants to call because she will ask if they are coming to visit for the holidays.  And each year they have an excuse not to fly to Florida.  However, when her Abuela doesn’t ask, Harley feels she has given up on them.  So Harley convinces her parents to get last minute tickets to Florida by foregoing the kids big Christmas gift: A Pool Table.  The Diaz kids are angry with Harley until she tells them Abuela has given up on them ever visiting.  Now the Diaz family are headed to Florida.  By plane, car, and bus.

If this sounds like a simple story, then you obviously don’t watch this show.   Each step of the way, a hurdle is presented to the family and they overcome it together.  While Rachel’s brand of sass is missed, Daphne feels in the gap.  And for the first time, we get to see mom ready to fight for her cubs (and show where Daphne gets her spirit).  While dad proves that a penny head up isn’t always good luck, Harley will use her knowledge of being a middle kid to help another.  The family provides lots of laughs while delivering a heart-warming message about family.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Here comes the ask. Are you as scrunchy as I am right now – Harley

You mean lie – Tom

That is a ho-ho-horrible idea – Lewie

If anyone wants to be my new BFTF, there’s an opening – Ethan

You gave back our big gift, so maybe lose the judgy – Daphne

We found the sleeper seats – Beast

Oh, he’s got 2 seconds before I’m all up in that – Suzy

And Daphne is your perfect gift – Georgie

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The Spruces & The Pines – Review

The Spruces & The Pines – ION – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Spruces & The Pines

Julie Pines is back home for Christmas.  She is not surprised to see the family rivalry between them and the Spruces have carried on.  Both families own Christmas tree lots and hate stepping one foot on each other’s property.  So when Martha asks Julie and Josh Pines to make a bakery delivery to Dave Spruce, they try hard to resist but say yes.  During the delivery, Julie spots a man trying to tie a tree to a roof.  Being an expert tree tie-er, she is quick to help him and learn his name is Rick.  They have an immediate connection.  The next day, Rick accidentally, on purpose runs into Julie again at a coffee shop.  It’s then that he reveals that his Uncle is Dave Spruce and he is Rick Spruce.  Julie runs like she is on fire and calls off any future run-ins.  But it’s only a matter of time or prank before they see each other again.

Now did you really think you could get through the holiday season without a Romeo and Juliet movie?  There must always be at least one.  Now it will take some time to reveal the family’s past rivalry, it won’t take much for this movie to tug at your heartstrings.  When Julie and Mr. Pines talk about getting rid of her mother’s things or missing her star, you start to get misty eyed.  Don’t worry.  You won’t be crying for long when the pranks start.  These two families will stop at nothing to get the best of each other.  So come for the forbidden love story and say for the pranks.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Dad is that a naked Christmas tree – Julie

What if I wanted to – Rick

You got to know the difference between a pine and a spruce Rick. It’s our family name – Dave

You want something for your notebook. Write this down. Stay away from the Pines – Holly

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Magical Christmas Ornaments – Review

Magical Christmas Ornaments – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Magical Christmas Ornaments

Marie works for a publisher in the non-fiction sector of a publishing company.  She has been extremely successful but wants to move into fiction editing.  She decides to practice her speech but is overheard by her neighbor Nate.  In a quick conversation, she complains about Nate’s Christmas music not knowing it was him.  He jokes with her about the classic but she reveals she has lost her Christmas spirit.   But her mom and dad have found a way to fix that.  Each day they are sending her ornaments to remember the good times.  But these ornaments seem to predict her real life.  She is not sure why, but she believes it’s Christmas magic.  But when she is asked to work with her ex Carl, she hopes that magic will make him disappear and bring Nate closer.

This movie makes you wonder if there really was magic in Marie’s ornaments.  They did a great job of predicting the future.  But that wasn’t their only magic.  One by one they brought back Marie’s Christmas spirit by reminding her of all her best Christmas memories.  Now, there is never any drama between Nate and Carl.  Remember this is Hallmark, not Lifetime.   The drama is between Carl and Marie, especially when he reveals how much of a snake he truly is by taking credit for her work.   While this plot is original, the last 30 minutes are predictable so that can be skipped.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Magic only exist in fairy tales not in real life – Marie

Could you have been any more vague – Andy

If you have any more special request, you can put them on my door – Nate

Probably off a cliff. Am I right – Clark

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My Christmas Prince – Review

My Christmas Prince – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

My Christmas Prince

Samantha has gotten the job offer of her dreams and can’t wait to tell her boyfriend and diplomat, Alex.  Though she loves Alex, she is still uncomfortable with his bodyguard being around but never speaking.  Alex is surprised to hear that her job will be a 3-year commitment with no summer breaks.  He was hoping to travel with her for the summer and take her to his home country.  She is shocked by his revelation because whenever she has given him an invite to go to Wyoming, he has always said no.  So she goes to Wyoming to clear her head and enjoy a hometown Christmas, but Alex decides to take her offer.  Within 5 minutes of being in town, Alex is spotted as a Prince.  Samantha had no clue, although it does explain his bodyguard.  Alex and Samantha’s picture is taken and online the next day.  Soon the Queen hears her son not only has a girlfriend but she is an American commoner from Wyoming.  She sends 2 people to straighten out the Prince and remind him of his obligation to his country.  But he only wants to be obligated to Samantha.

YES, QUEEN!!! To find someone who can be polite and rude at the same time is magical.  Normally when a Lifetime mom is this controlling, someone ends up dead.  But since this is a Christmas movie, everyone lives.  This queen goes so far flying in her “daughter in law” choice to Wyoming.  However, when Samantha’s mother, feels the Prince might not be right for Samantha, the look on Felicia’s face is a pure shock.  It is amazing.  This movie is one that will make you put down the wine and grab some tea.  It’s just too good.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve fallen in love with some very special parts of it – Alex

Prince Alexander, it’s you. It’s really you – Heidi

What an interesting hobby – Mrs. Logan

you’re serious. Are you serious right now – Samantha

He’s a prince, not an ax murder – Jim

But he’s a prince – Felicia

Jim and Samantha Logan with Alex – Patrick

Then what am I doing in this line?  Bye bye – Leann

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Dating Game Killer – Review

Dating Game Killer – ID – 2 hours and 1 minutes

Dating Game Killer

Tammy played on the beach with her best friend Becky when a man came up and asked to take their photo.  They posed for a few pictures before Becky’s mother Joanne stepped in and stopped him.  He quickly backed off but continued to watch from afar.  Later, Tammy’s mom Carol gets a phone call from Tammy’s dance school.  They informed her that Tammy never showed up for her first day of practice.  Carol alerts the police that her daughter was missing and Joanne & Becky give his description to a sketch artist.  That sketch looks like a Dating Game contestant who has been wanted to rape and attempted murder.   The ripple of Rodney’s wrath is still being felt today, one photo at a time.

If you aren’t disgusted with the justice system yet, you will be after watching this movie.  So many times Rodney was behind bars but he kept getting out due to technicalities, misunderstandings of child molesters, and clerical mistakes.  After he rapes and strangles a little girl, he is allowed to be a counselor at an all-girls camp because they didn’t do a background check.  Even to this day, his count of victims is an estimation.  We may never know.  Watch this movie with your children and teach them the warning signs.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

He knows how to work the system and now he’s on TV – Jim

Women, always trying to control my life – Rodney

Get that pervert behind bars. Who knows what else he has done – Joanne

He’s a monster – Carol

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Christmas at Holly Lodge – Review

Christmas at Holly Lodge – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas at Holly Lodge

Sophie and Callie are awaiting their Christmas regulars to the Holly Lodge.  Callie believes that the Lodge performs one miracle a year.  Sophie only has one miracle in mind: Keeping the lodge.  She hasn’t told her friends that she is 6 months behind in payments and may not make it to January.  She is doing everything she can to save it, even if it means selling it.  It hurts to consider selling it because the land has been in her family for 4 generations and her parents built the lodge.  Evan has been given a job.  To investigate a lodge for his company’s latest acquisition.  They want to buy it and turn it into an exclusive high-end luxury resort.  His boss asked him to visit the lodge for a day to see how everything is run and collect information.  When Evan gets to the lodge, he makes eye contact with Sophie and falls for her.   She feels the attraction too.  But when Sophie learns the truth she will shut him out, try to force him out, and keep him close.

This is a funny movie with some Home Alone elements.  It performs several holiday miracles as promised while giving each character a backstory when they arrive at the hotel.   You have a recent widow, an army wife, newlyweds, and children.  Since they come to the Lodge every year, they have their own traditions.  You may want to incorporate them into your own family this holiday season.  Sheryl Lee Ralph is true to form as a tough-talking and wise woman, but one gift will show her soft side.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I’ll say it. I love that man – Evan

Can’t let you have Christmas without me – Nadine

Come on down. What am I, a game show host – Sophie

I feel like excited about this – Art

Well let’s not jump to conclusions – Callie

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Miss Me This Christmas – Review

Miss Me This Christmas – TVOne – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Miss Me This Christmas

After a night of working/partying, Franklin comes home the next morning.  His wife Gina, along with her family, checked his Instagram feed and notice he has several pictures with his ex-girlfriend.  Since Franklin is unwilling to give an explanation, Gina decides to get back at him by making him jealous and showing up to his job with her ex-boyfriend.  After a huge fight, Gina asks for a divorce.  During the proceedings, Franklin and Gina realize their divorce will be finalized on their anniversary, Christmas Day.  To deal with her pain, Gina stays in the penthouse of the hotel she was married in, parties, and drinks.  The suite is owned by her best friend Trish.  Trish tells Gina to just live it up and have fun.  But when she meets Ulysses, her life will spin out of control and onto a ring.

Sigh.  If these two stop playing games and had a grown-up conversation, there would be no needed for a movie.  If you get past the childishness, it’s a fun movie to get lost in.  Trish is the best friend you need and you don’t need at the same time.  She offers the comic relief for the serious and romantic moments in the film.  While this is an ok film, it just seems like a jump off point or a backstory for TVOne’s next holiday movie about the hotel, it’s owners, and its’ staff.  So watch this movie as a prequel with little depth.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Make sure you scrub extra hard to get the skank off – Gina

It doesn’t have to be your thing, just his – Trish

I didn’t – Chris

We got married on Christmas – Franklin

‘Thursday’ already go it’s shot this week – Holly

You still fighting, you still love him – Ulysses

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Christmas in Angel Falls – Review

Christmas in Angel Falls – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas in Angel Falls

Michael is an angel that delivers assignments to other angels and reminds them of the rules.  They must offer guidance but not interfere.  While he is fond of all the angles he helps, the one who needs him the most his Gabby Messenger (get the pun!).  Gabby has a hard time not interfering, so he gives her a special assignment.  He sends Gabby to Angel Falls but she isn’t helping just 1 person, she is helping the entire town.  Since the factory closed down, a lot of people had to take jobs farther away.  Leaving little time for Christmas, so the town just lost it’s Christmas Spirit.  People stop buying trees, cancel the pageant, and hire decorators for the store.  This breaks Gabby’s heart, so she is ready for the challenge to save the town.  But can she help without interfering?

Good story with a great cast.  Each townsperson has their own story of loss or sadness around the holidays.  So the loss of Christmas spirit isn’t just about a factory it’s about the relationships within the town itself.  As Gabby helps, she starts to fall in love with the towns renaissance man and jack of all trades name Jack (yep, that’s his name).  Since it’s Hallmark, they had to add a love story between an angel and a human, but don’t worry it won’t end that way.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Hey, everything will be alright. Don’t give up hope – Gabby

You shouldn’t get involved in things you don’t understand – Michael

It was a very small tree – Jack

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Christmas In Evergreen – Review

Christmas In Evergreen – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas In Evergreen

Allie is ready to leave the town of Evergreen and move to DC to be closer to her boyfriend Spencer.  She has a job and home all lined up she just needs to sign the contracts.  She says goodbye to her furry patients and heads to the airport.  But first, she stops by her parent restaurant and shakes the magic snow globe.  The legend of this town is if you shake the snow globe and wish from the bottom of your heart, your wish will come true.  She then heads to the airport, well she tries to head there.  Things just keep slowing her down.  On the other side of the road, Ryan, along with his daughter Zoe, are driving to the airport to fly to FL and catch a cruise.  On their way, Zoe gets hungry and they detour to Evergreen.  They hear Allie having car problems and offer to help.  Her car starts and she directs them to her parents’ restaurant.  Inside, Zoe shakes the show globe and makes a wish.  It’s these wish that will lead Zoe and Allie exactly where they want to be, even if it’s where they were.

This story is a sweet love story between Allie and Ryan, but it is also a story of Zoe’s remorse.  While Ryan is trying to keep Zoe for being sad and missing her mom, Zoe is trying to remember her and honor her Christmas spirit.  Seeing Zoe’s love for Evergreen is wonderful.  While the townspeople, the Mayor and Festival organizer, are a bit over the top, they are there for comedic relief.  So, walk away and refill your glass during these scenes.  Focus on Zoe.  Oh, and there is a bonus love triangle in there too.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I even hear they have an airport now – Allie

Happy moving to DC day – Spencer

Former resident – Ezra

Give me a break – Michelle

Wow, this is what Christmas should look like – Zoe

The festival is going to be great and its all because of you – Ryan

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#FourChristmasesAndAWedding, #AWeddingToDieFor, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Four Christmases and a Wedding – Review

Four Christmases and a Wedding – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Four Christmases and a Wedding

Chloe works for a party planning company and every year she, Stephanie, and Ted work together to create the Fairmont Christmas Fair.  Chloe just swore off dating, when a slip on the ice puts her face to face for Mr. Right aka Evan.  When she sees Evan with a woman and child, she assumes he is taken.  Later, she learns that was his sister and niece.  The two find a dog, watch a movie, and dance.  But everything is put to a halt when Even learns he has gotten a job that will send him to Norway for months.  He decides to take the job and leave.  The next year he comes back.  For Chloe, the flame burns hot and bright.  Evan feels the same spark but he has a new girlfriend, Rachelle.  It will take 4 Christmases to pull this love together.

This movie follows the path of love, but it doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes 4 years for this couple to get it right.  They have several missed opportunities because of work, relationships, and an engagement.  This couple, who obviously love each other, just can’t seem to get it right.  While this movie is honest and an interesting concept, it just doesn’t grab your attention.  You do need to pay attention to each jump in time but you know how it will end, even for the subplot couples.   Keep this one in the background while doing other things but don’t cancel plans to watch.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Come on Randy! Time to go. Chop, chop! Let’s go – Stephanie

The man of my dreams, who’s apparently taken – Chloe

These are my walking shoes, I’ll be fine – Rachelle

Well, that was quite a duet – Evan

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A Wedding To Die For – Review

A Wedding To Die For – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Wedding To Die For

While saying ‘I Do’, Helena watched her dying groom say is final words, ‘cupcake’.  She laid on top of his body and cried in front of their family and friends at the altar.  Now, she is engaged to Charlie and anxiously awaiting the arrival of her future sister-in-law Becca.  Helena is doing everything she can to impress her future family since she has none of her own.  She hopes this will be a new start for her life.  When her future mother-in-law Nancy suggests they hire a baker, Helena is shocked.  Helena, a baker in her own right, believes she can handle it.  But when the baker recognizes Helena from a past convention, it could derail her plans of creating the perfect family by exposing her darkest secret.   Helena must do anything to keep her new family and get married to the man she loves.  And she will do anything including poisoning, injuring, and killing.

This is a typical “when will they figure it out” Lifetime movie.  It tries for a twist at the end but nothing comes of it.  Now Brittany Underwood does a great job of having that ‘tick’.  When she changes from sweet to psychotic, it’s unmatched.  Her smile to the light in her eyes change.  It’s evident Underwood loves to play crazy.  Since this film falls under the typical Lifetime umbrella, it doesn’t require your full attention.  It can be background noise.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I see you at the guillotine. Sorry, I mean alter – Glen

Cupcake – George

You’re right George, your little cupcake is right here. I hope it wasn’t too sweet for you – Helena

Why do you always look so disappointed to see me – Becca

Nothing is ever perfect – Charlie

Sometimes you have to keep an open mind and a closed mouth – Nancy

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Angry Angel – Review

Angry Angel – Freeform – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Angry Angel

Megan died leaving her husband Patrick behind.  In death, she learned that she was not good enough to go to heaven, yet.  With a change in appearance and name (now Alison), she must do acts of good to earn her way into heaven.  She was very close, but miracles have slowed down and she has been waiting 9 years to go.  She is ready to leave earth and performs one final miracle to put her over the top.  Alison believes she can go straight to heaven but due to the holidays, she has to way for 2 more days but be on her best behavior until then.  If she does anything displeasing, she could be stuck on earth longer.  As she is contemplating watching the Real Housewives for 2 days, she sees Patrick with his new girlfriend Jill.  Now, Jason Biggs (an angel who was a 98-year-old man) warns her that contacting anyone from her past can get her access to heaven taken away.  But Alison can’t help herself.  She must win Patrick back and still make it to heaven.

Angry Angel lives up to its name.   And getting to heaven maybe Alison’s goal, but is not the goal of the movie.  The goal is to speak on true kindness and helping each other.  Now be prepared, it does go places other Christmas movies won’t (i.e. speaking on prejudice, Gandhi, and faith).  But that makes it refreshing and a great change.  Now, understanding that they don’t focus heavily on these issues, they bring them up in just.  It’s a quick laugh in a tough moment.   Also, this movie connects with its audience with the “Heaven App”.  It keeps track of Alison’s points and alerts her to nearby miracles.  This is a great movie with just as much heart as it has laughs.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

You lit the spark, might as well keep the fire burning – Alison

Most celebrities are really angels in disguise – Jason

Did he just check his pockets to see if I robbed him – Leonard

You think it wouldn’t be that hard to get to Nebraska – James

He taught me that life is for living – Jill

We’re from Nebraska. This stuff doesn’t happen, not even in Omaha – Patrick

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Snowmance – Review

Snowmance – ION – 2 hours and 2 minutes


After having her snowman destroyed by her crush Dean, Sarah sat and cried.  Nick sat beside her and told her she was wonderful and Dean was a jerk.  He helped her rebuild the snowman and gave the snowman all the qualities she wanted in her dream man.  Nick and Sarah decided to keep the tradition every year on December 12th.  They meet, make a snowman, and Sarah gives it the qualities she desires.  Eighteen years later, Sarah is still left with a melting man and no prospects.  After making a snowman with Nick, it disappears and Cole shows up on her doorstep.  Cole has everything she wants but with a few quirks.  Cole is weirded out by cooked carrots, sweats like crazy around the fire, and loves snow.  Nick thinks Cole is an online stalker but Sarah is falling head over heels for him.  As Sarah and Cole’s relationship grows so does Nick’s frustration over their romance.  He has been in love with Sarah ever since they build their first snowman.  He wants to tell her how he feels but can’t do it.  But he better hurry, Cole has a trip of a lifetime planned for Sarah; she may never come back.

At the last 5 minutes be ready to scream “Finally”.  This movie packs a lot of laughs with Nick’s drawings and the pettiest snowball fight ever between two grown men.  The hint of Christmas magic is implied although it is never revealed to be fact or fiction.  You are left wondering if Cole is truly real or the snowman come to life.   This movie would be a “regular Christmas love story” if it wasn’t for the comic reliefs.  Isabelle and Cole are hilarious with the quickest wit and sideline commentary.  Come for the love story, stay for the comedy.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Did you make me into your snow boyfriend – Dean

Nick, who cares about the snowman – Sarah

I love the effort little guy – Cole

I guess her dream man’s human after all – Nick

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A Joyous Christmas – Review

A Joyous Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Joyous Christmas

Rachel Kennedy is back in her hometown to promote her book “Me First” with an Inspiration Celebration Seminar.  Her manager Stuart has booked top notch, yet local, producer Jack.  Jack wants to incorporate Christmas, togetherness, and charity into Rachel’s seminar but Rachel doesn’t feel that Christmas is her thing.   While shopping for her brother David, Rachel is saved by Joy.  When Rachel offers to pay, Joy told her to help others.  This sentiment struck a chord with Rachel.  She follows Joy to the community center and gets involved.  Soon Rachel learns that the community center has lost its funding and will close without help.  Rachel offers her seminar as a platform to raise money.  But when Stuart notices the change in Rachel, he feels it will hurt her brand.  So he uncovers Joy’s past that will change everyone’s future.

A Joyous Christmas is a typical holiday movie with a good plot.  While the subplot is obvious, it’s nice to see it unfold.  However, once you know this is a Scrooge type of movie, your mind starts to drift.  This movie will remind you what Christmas is truly about but with 12 new movies this season, it’s storyline is lost in the weeds.   The only standout in this movie is Jack.  He isn’t a hometown guy for whom Rachel falls in love.  He is from Boston and had is own company.  He moved to town for a change.  Rachel is the hometown girl who comes back to promote her book.  This is the only true difference in this Hallmark movie.  So record, watch the 1st 30 minutes, and the last 20 minutes.  The rest of the movie is background noise

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

My you were busy yesterday – Stuart

If you can’t give time, give gifts – Rachel

You can help someone else who needs help – Joy

Work never complains about my commitment issues – Jack

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Switched for Christmas – Review

Switched for Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Switched for Christmas

Kate and Chris are twins with ice cream, Colorado, and their looks in common.  Kate is a single Vice President with a healthy lifestyle and organized life.  Chris is a single mom of 2 (Gabe & Piper) who teaches art and has a 100%, all-in Christmas spirit.  Their dad Ed tricks and guilts the two into having a Christmas Sister Brunch and catch up.  During the brunch, both sisters reveal they have to unexpectantly plan Christmas parties.  Kate has to plan a big bash for her company.  The original planner fell through and since she is the most organized, her boss put her in charge.  This party is Kate’s top priority and her boss put all her projects to the side until after the holidays.  Chris has to plan a Christmas extravaganza for Littleton.  Even though they have a new financial backer, with big money, the school principal wants to keep everything the same.  Kate thinks Chris has it easy because she gets to wear sweats and throw a prepackaged party.  Chris thinks Kate has it easy because she has no kids and the freedom to throw any party she wants.  The two decide to switch.  Chris get to throw the party of her dreams with no interruptions from her children.  And Kate gets to throw a laid-back party while in comfy clothes.  Sounds easy, right?  Well if it was, then they wouldn’t make a movie.

This is a fun switcheroo movie but it doesn’t show the immediate family as imbeciles.  The children and father know the sisters have switched however they play along.  Their love ones believe that the switch is good for them.  And it makes them appreciate each other.  They learn that while their sister has something wonderful, they are still missing out on something great.  While they try not to affect each other’s personal lives, they affect their own.  This is a good movie with great camera work and a strong message: Appreciate what you have but leave room to grow and love.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

I shouldn’t have to – Kate

Wow, that’s a really big foot – Chris

Hazards of being an architect who likes to do things the old fashion way – Greg

We would have known. You’re twins, not clones – Gabe

There is no way we would miss this – Piper

I’m your father. It’s literally my job to tell you two apart – Ed

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A Very Merry Toy Store – Review

A Very Merry Toy Store – Lifetime – 2 hours and 4 minutes

A Very Merry Toy Store

Connie and Will are toy store owners who’ve continued their fathers’ feud.  After a bad business partnership, Connie and Will’s fathers parted ways and Connie’s father opened a rival toy store.   Now Connie runs Forrester Toys and Will owns DiNova Toys.  Forrester Toys has not turned a profit and if they don’t, will not make it to Christmas Eve.  DiNova store is doing well but his personal life is not.  He is trying to buy back a home he lost in the divorce but he is coming up short.  He needs $80,000 to beat out the other buyers.  With both in desperate need of money, they are looking forward to the sales boom from the holidays.  That’s when they learn that Roy Toys, one of the biggest toy stores on the East Coast, is opening a location right outside of town.  Connie and Will know this will be the end of their businesses.  So they decide to create an alliance to take Roy down.

While the romance between Connie and Will is predictable, the battle between the toy stores is not.  Just when you think Connie and Will have a leg up, Roy is up to the challenge.  You wonder how low Roy will sink to corner the toy market in that small town.  Will the duo stoop to Roy’s level to keep her store and get his house?  This movie can be DVR to fast forward past the love story and get back to the cutthroat business.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Don’t make me laugh while I’m drinking Joe. Pianos are expensive – Pam

Oh yeah, how is skid row these days – Connie

So I mix my metaphors a little. Sue me – Will

Let me say this for the record, I hate this story – Joe

What are you talking about, I told you I had no horse in this race – Roy

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The Christmas Train – Review

The Christmas Train – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Christmas Train

Hope begins when you stand in the dark and look out at the light

Director and screenwriter, Max Powers, believes in his script doctor Elenor.  He believes she should be writing scripts, not just fixing them.  So, he booked a train ride from DC to LA.  It will take 4 days and they will get to LA by Christmas.  He hopes she finds inspirations in the stories she hears on the train and writes a great screenplay.  Tom has strayed from being a war correspondent to writing puff pieces in magazines.  He hopes his time on the train will allow him to write a story about Christmas.  As everyone settles in, it’s not long before Tom and Elenor cross paths.  But this isn’t the first time they met.  Elenor tells Max that she and Tom dated for 6 years.  However, she wanted to start a family and leave on-the-scene reporting behind them.  He decided to stay on the road and broke her heart.  Now they are trapped on a train for 4 days, together.  When they get to California they would have witnessed a wedding, found a thief, worked with a psychic, and read a script.

Based on the novel, The Christmas Train by David Baldacci, this is a Hallmark love story but with a twist (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  And this twist is what makes this movie worth watching.  So hang in for the last 10 minutes for a big reveal.  While you know what happens in the end, it’s how it happens that is the true focus of the story.  You must dedicate your full attention for 2 hours or you will miss out on a lot.  Danny Glover and Joan Cusack are in top form for this movie.  It’s obvious that they read and respected the original book.  This is one of the best of the season.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

No, it’s not. This is bad luck, that’s all – Elenor

Too many stops you might say – Tom

He put me on one when I was 16 and said don’t come back until you make something of yourself – Max

No secrets on a train, especially a Christmas train – Agnus

Don’t be so sure you don’t need it either – Roxanne

I’m tired of being casual. I want the whole package – Leah

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#WrappedUpInChristmas, #HeyArnoldTheJungleMovie, and more – TV Reviews

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Table of Reviews

Wrapped Up In Christmas – Review

Wrapped Up In Christmas – Lifetime – 2 hours and 2 minutes

Wrapped Up In Christmas

Heather has been given the green light for a promotion at the Shops at Towne Center Mall. The only problem, she has to fire the stores that haven’t generated enough profit. The first store on the list is Patty’s Toys. Heather hates becoming a Scrooge but she really wants this promotion. Her niece Molly and her family see Heather is stressed but they are more concerned with her personal life. Her parent’s and sister want her to start dating more and put herself out there. This gives Molly an idea for a Christmas wish.

Ryan quit his job at the law firm to pursue his passion for painting. However, his aunt hurt her arm and he decided to help her keep her business going. While eating his lunch, his friend Andy asked him to take his Santa job. While working as Santa, Ryan gets a girl with a special wish, Molly.  She asks Santa to give her aunt Heather a boyfriend along with some of her likes and dislikes. Ryan remembers Heather from bumping into her twice, smitten he decides to fill those requirements and become the man of her dreams. He is determined to ask her out, right after he helps is aunt Patty at her Toy Store. Even with love in the air, could Ryan’s secret Santa knowledge and Heather’s store closure secret kill this developing romance?

This is a sweet film.  Just not new.  This is a Hallmark movie on Lifetime.  Two people are urged to date more, like each other form a distance, they are somehow connected, and a cute kid puts them together.  Soon they both have a secret or job that has the potential to pull them apart.  Sounds familiar?  DVR this movie for the actors and your love of their past TV shows.  But the magic of this romance storyline loses its appeal after 10 holiday movies in a row with the same plot.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Women just to don’t shop at malls, they run them – Arlene

Now they just order everything online. Lucky if they come wrapped at all – Patty

A little cheesy maybe – Brian

Maybe I’ll ask Santa – Heather

You. You can’t let them down – Andy

We are gonna pick up the perfect outfit – Diana

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Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie – Review

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie – Nickelodeon – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie

Arnold dreams of his parent ever since they were lost on a mission in San Lorenzo shortly after his birth.  He hopes the will see Miles and Stella one day but has few clues.  That hope becomes reality on the last day of school.  Helpers for Humanity are throwing contest for the local schools.  They have to film themselves doing good in their own neighborhood and the winning class will get a trip to San Lorenzo.  When the bell rings, everyone leaves except for Arnold and Gerald.   They decide to enter the contest.  Arnold hopes to win so he can finally find his parents and bring them back home.

This movie is great for older and newer fans alike.  It features 19 of the original voice actors with 11 replacements.  It answers a lot of questions like what’s Arnold’s last name, what do his parents’ look like, and does Arnold have feelings for Helga.  But with these questions answered, you also get a Raiders of Lost Ark story with all the suspense and adventure.  It packs in a few giggles and a lot of heart.  Even though it is not, it would make a great finale for PS. 118.  See this with your children or without them today.  And record for later.  You will need to watch it twice to catch all the little nuances.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You’re still wearing the hat we gave you – Miles

Did you wash your hands – Arnold

I’m glad you get to see them. Even if it’s in your dreams – Grandpa

We demand a living wage – Grandma

A pig eating bacon. It’s very creepy – Mr. Hyunh

To a Mexican restaurant – Harold

You’re a bold kid Arnold – Gerald

And I have to go wash my sock – Helga

How did you guess – Eduardo

Sorry kid, you are too loco even for us villains – La Sombra

Hey, Arnold – Stella

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Framed by My Fiance – Review

Framed by My Fiance – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Framed by My Fiance

Nurse Jenny feels like the luckiest woman in the world when her boyfriend Daniel proposes to her.  They drive home after dinner and she can’t stop looking at her ring when she drops it on the car’s floor.  They both start to look for it and Daniel takes his eyes off the road.   Then they crash into another car.  Jenny is unconscious while Daniel calls the police.  When Daniel checks on the other driver, he sees Michael he is hurt really badly.  He panics and puts Jenny in the driver seat, her prints on the wheel, and adjust the seat and mirrors.  Later, Jenny wakes up in the hospital.  Daniel asks her to say she was driving the car and killed Michael.  She will get a slap on the wrist and he can become a judge.  Jenny refuses to lie but when all the evidence points to her, she breaks up with Daniel and takes a plea deal.  After the plea, she loses her job, home, and possibly her nursing license.  And to make matters worse, she learns her friend Rosa’s landlord wants Jenny out.  After investigating, Jenny learns that Michael’s wife Mae is behind her job and home loss.  When she confronts Mae, she tells her that Daniel is the one who killed her husband.  The two come together to bring Daniel down.

Only in the Lifetime world do two enemies become the best of friends.  Daniel comes off as a sweet and attentive boyfriend for 10 minutes.  After that, he is a lying, heartless, murdering, conniving, bastard.  All due to superb acting.  With only a small tick to give him away, Mae and Jenny must think two steps ahead to get an advantage on Daniel.  With everything going right in this movie, it does fall into cliche like telling your revenge plan to a killer and going into a dark place alone.  But this is still fun to watch and provides a good source of entertainment.   DVR and watch later.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

You’re lying. You’re up to something – Jenny

Jenny, what’s important right now is that you remember that this was an accident – Daniel

The woman who killed my husband. I want her to pay for this – Mae

Take the deal – Rose

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Finding Santa – Review

Finding Santa – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Finding Santa

Grace runs a year-round Christmas store and organizes the Green River Christmas Day Parade.  This year is the town’s 50th parade and the town Santa (Tom) slipped & broke his arm in 2 places.  Tom runs a Santa school and tries to find a student to take his position.  But they are all booked.  He only has one other person in mind to play Santa, his son Ben.  Grace tries to call Ben but he gives her a fast and hard ‘NO’.  So she decides to go to Boston to convince Ben to be Santa and bring him back.  After some finagling, Grace gets Ben to drive her back to Green River.  Grace is determined to bring the Christmas joy back into Ben.  But it doesn’t take long for Ben to learn that Grace is missing dreams of her own.

This is a cute movie with a decent message.  You must strive for your dreams but you don’t have to lose your sense of community to do it.  While Ben is being called home with the decorations and a Santa suit, Grace is learning that she has been living her parents’ dream.  The shop was her parents and the parade was started by her grandparents.  Grace has to realize she is running everything to make the town happy; although she draws and paints in the back of the store for herself.  Painting is her true passion.   It’s great to see the characters grow.  While it’s an average, yet well-acted, story, it’s predictable.  So watch if you have the time.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Remember our motto, “Find the jolly”. Ho, Ho, Ho – Tom

Selfies with Santa, this I got to see – Lesley

That’s really more of a crow – Ben

Should I find someone else – Grace

You still got it kiddo – George

You didn’t RSVP to my ugly sweater party tonight – Caroline

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The Mistletoe Inn – Review

The Mistletoe Inn – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Mistletoe Inn

Kim was recently dumped by her boyfriend Garth because he feels they are on two different paths.  He has an established blog and she won’t let people read anything she has written.  So she decided to become serious and signs up for a week-long workshop at the Mistletoe Inn.  She has a chance to have her work read by an established publisher, literary agent, and her favorite writer H.T. Hawkins.  Kim’s first night she meets 3 people who will act as her sounding board whether it’s negative or positive.  The first person she meets is Sam.  Sam is friendly warm and is on the hunt H.T.  Next, she meets Zeke.  Zeke has published a book, but he is experiencing writer’s block and needs help.  The last person she meets is her ex, Garth.  They are both surprised to see each other.  He never told her he was going to the workshop when they were dating.  And she thought she would never see him again.  The next day, Sam is put on another team, but Garth is on her team and Zeke is her writing partner.  Kim hopes she can win the competition, getting the attention of her favorite author, and become a real writer.

Adapted from the novel The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans, this movie gives a lot of great tips to potential writers (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  In order to be a real writer, someone needs to read your work.   It’s not enough to put pen to paper, you must be critiqued and learn to take constructive criticism.  This love story tries to add in mystery, but it’s obvious who the reclusive author is in this movie.  This movie is great for writers but background noise for everyone else.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

I just need to be with a serious writer right now. Goodbye – Garth

Honestly, quit complaining and take a chance – Kim

I just meeting you but I have a hard time picturing you calm – Zeke

I have a theory that he’s already here – sam

Darling if he can’t hang with the real writers then he should go home – Luanne

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With Love, Christmas – Review

With Love, Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

With Love, Christmas

Melanie is the office pushover who loves Christmas.  Donovan is the rising star who sees Christmas as just another day.  But when Donovan gets a second chance to wow a potential ad client, their boss ask Donovan to work with Melanie.  The client doesn’t believe Donovan’s commercial pitch was ‘warm’ or felt like ‘Christmas’ so Melanie’s Christmas spirit will do the trick.  While Donovan prefers to work alone, Melanie sees this as an opportunity to know him.  Not just because she is smitten by him but she drew his name in the office Secret Santa.  So she must work with him, get information about him, and not reveal herself as his Secret Santa.  And if that wasn’t enough, their boss lets them know that they are in the running for the same promotion.

This is a sweet story about love and the Christmas spirit.  While Donovan is portrayed as Scrooge through most of the movie, he slowly reveals why he disregards Christmas when he opens up to his Secret Santa via anonymous emails.  You gain some understanding of how he feels and you want him to find a connection to his family and the holiday.  While Melanie’s secret Santa gift was nice, it’s Donovan’s gift that is truly amazing.  While this movie is nice, it’s not the best this season.  It doesn’t completely follow the Hallmark format, but it comes close.  So DVR this movie and watch it later.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

I don’t peddle Christmas, I celebrate it – Melanie

You are only decorating now. That is so unlike you – Jude

The only thing magic about Christmas is the sales numbers – Donovan

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A Gift to Remember – Review

A Gift to Remember – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Gift to Remember

Darcy is a book-loving, crafting, optimist.  However, she is worried her job at a bookstore may change or come to an end when her boss announces he is leaving.  While he hints at her being the next manager, she doesn’t think she can do it.  So she goes home to think about it and oversleeps.  She rushes to work and runs into a familiar stranger with a dog.  After knocking him down with her bike, he hits his head and is rushed to the hospital.  She collects his mail, keys, and dog and follows him to the hospital.  The nurse refuses to give Darcy the man’s information so she can return the dog.  Not just because of HIPPA laws but because the man has amnesia.  Darcy is determined to help the handsome stranger and he is happy to be helped.  With her friends and landlady, she will crack the mystery of the man with the dog.

An amazing movie by Hallmark.  This movie has all the twist and turns of an HMM movie but without a dead body.  It has the drama of a Lifetime movie without the cheating and violence.  The love story is genuine and strong.  And be ready to cheer for the secondary love story.  This movie does not fall into the Hallmark Holiday movie trap of having the same plot in a different season.  It is a pure mystery/love story that you attempt to solve and be shocked by.  This is the movie you have wanted all season long.  Watch it and save it on your DVR so you can play it all year round.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

What kind of name is ‘Books! Books! Books!’ anyway – Darcy

And if I don’t do it, you’re gonna starve – Luigi

Bite the head off, it will make you feel better – Ms. Hinley

There’s a doggie in the window. And that doggie has a person – Katherine

I remember my dog, Jane Austen, Rudolf, and now you – Aiden

You have no money, no license, and until last night, you didn’t remember your name. I don’t feel comfortable letting you drive a car – William

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A Bramble House Christmas – Review

A Bramble House Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Bramble House Christmas

When Fin Knightly gets his estranged father Mr. Conrad’s last will and testament, he is furious.  His father left all of his money, $100,000, and an all-expense paid vacation to his nurse Willa Fairchild.  Fin and his sister Molly believe Willa conned Mr. Connrad into changing his will and leaving them with nothing.  While reading the will, Fin learns that Willa’s trip is to the Bramble House Bed and Breakfast.  He vows to travel there, confront her, and serve her with an injunction to contest the will.  Once at the Bramble House, Fin instantly meets Willa and is shocked to find out she has a son named Scout.  But what he learns from Willa will have him and Molly in tears.

Adapted from the book A Bramble House Christmas by C. J. Carmichael, this is a movie of curiosity, understanding, love, and forgiveness (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  As Fin peels back the onion of Willa’s life, you wonder more about her past too.  You start to ask questions about Scout’s father, her money issues, and her knowledge of Mr. Conrad’s past.  Seeing Fin learn about his estranged father and himself is gut wrenching but vital to see.  When he and Molly learn the truth, they learn to forgive.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I can’t rest until I look her in the eye and find out the truth – Fin

Absolutely not, you’re my guest – Mabel

As long as Mable doesn’t see – Willa

Look at me, I’m flying – Scout

I don’t know what’s going on there. But it sounds like she turned you around like she did dad – Molly

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Christmas Homecoming – Review

Christmas Homecoming – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas Homecoming

After planning a surprise for Victoria and Heather, sister and niece respectively, Amanda gets some tough news.  She is a curator at a museum that has lost most of its city funding.  If they can’t make up for the $30,000 deficit, the doors will be closing.  Amanda gets an idea to have a fundraiser and her new tenant Sgt. Jim Mullens offers to help.  Amanda knows Jim is bright, handy, and strong, but what can he teach her about fundraising.  He is an Army soldier, good with his hands, and loves Christmas.   As they spend time decorating, she starts to fall for him and even kiss.  Her problem, she lost her husband 2 years ago in the war right before Christmas.  She is having a hard time letting go and letting a new love in her heart.   And just when she starts to wonder if she can love Jim, he is deciding if he should go for another tour of duty.

Have some tissues nearby.  This movie discusses the ultimate sacrifice of a soldier and their family.  As one woman cries because she is getting her husband’s medal before they have found his body, you feel her pain.  As a mother copes with the loss of her son, you feel her pain.  As Amanda looks at the flag on the mantle and her husband Rick’s clothes in the closet, you feel her pain.  And three men are all someone Jim knew.  It’s a lot of sadness, during a time when two people are trying to find love.  It’s a great story that honors these heroes and their families.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Amanda, if we were in any real trouble, I would tell you – Tom

Your uniform is enough reference – Amanda

I think you’re a stubborn one too – Jim

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Coming Home for Christmas – Review

Coming Home for Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Coming Home for Christmas

After losing her job and “almost” fiance, Liz is ready for the bright lights of Christmas to bring some cheer in her life.  And celebrating a with her family while continuing their traditions keeps her spirits up.  At the same time preparing for the family celebrations, she trying to find a job that fulfills her.  But her sister Meg helps by offering her a short-term position as a house manager for the Marley’s.  Once on the property, Liz is taken back by the sheer grandeur of it all.  The 20,000 square foot estate is on acres of land with a pond, forest, and full-time staff.  Liz meets Peppa (lady of the house), Jerrod (butler), and Anna (chef).  Then she sits with Robert, Peppa’s grandson, who explains she will live at the home, manage the staff, and plan the Christmas Eve Gala.  Also, he lets her know that the job won’t last long because he is selling the house against Peppa’s wishes.   As Liz spends more time with the family her Christmas spirit rubs off on them and she becomes a part of the Marleys.  But when the Robert and Kip (Robert’s brother) starts to fall for her, which one will she chose?

Seeing this family come together is the great gift and the true plotline.  They don’t come together because Liz is there, she just happens to witness it.  They start to come together when their sister Sloane admits she is having issues with her marriage and money.  They vow to be there for her and urge her to call her husband and work things out.  This act of love causes Liz to see the Marley’s as a real family, not just an estate.   Also the “Shade of Peppa”, will not be matched.  She provides great laughs with a stiff upper lip and biting words.  This is a lovely story of family, tradition, and it’s a great addition to the Hallmark collection.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I never doubted for a second. The Marleys trust you. Somethings wrong with them – Liz

I was seventeen and its Time you stop throwing that in my face – Meg

I’m so glad you approved – Peppa

We tend to met her needs and she leaves us alone – Anna

And your still here after 3 weeks, that’s refreshing – Sloane

Well, let’s put it this way, if she didn’t you would already be gone

Well your quite good at it – Robert

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#NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation – Review – #ThrowbackThursday

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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Budget of $25 million – 1 hour and 37 minutes

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
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Clark Griswold wants nothing more than to give his family a perfect Christmas with the perfect gift.  However, his Christmas’s plans fall under Murphy’s law.  First, they almost die getting the Christmas tree.  Second, his wife Ellen’s parents decide to visit and stay the night.  Clark and Ellen’s parents do not get along.  Then, Clark’s cousin Eddie brings his family, their dog, and their RV without any warning or invite.  As thing around Clark are crowded and falling apart.  He is worried about his bonus check.  He decided to get his family a pool for Christmas and put a $7,500 deposit on it.  But if he doesn’t get his bonus, the deposit check will bounce.  The Griswold family hopes Clark can keep it together and not go overboard but with all the mishaps, he may just crack under the pressure.

This is a true holiday classic that pays homage to It’s a Wonderful Life (banister and movie playing in the background) and A Christmas Story (“swearing” scene) (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  It follows all the fun of National Lampoons franchise past films.   There are relatable laughs because everyone has had, been a part of, or seen a Christmas plan that went wrong.  However, it’s in that wrongness that you find the true meaning of the holiday and bring your family closer together.  This all-star cast who understand that comedy isn’t just about the jokes, it’s about the timing.  During this holiday season, be sure to set your DVR to this classic Christmas film.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

You got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswald – Todd

This is what Christmas is all about – Clark

Think you might be overdoing it dad – Rusty

Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to go to the hotel – Audrey

I don’t know what to say but it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery – Ellen

If they know your dad, they won’t think anything of it – Art

Talk about pissing your money away – Frances

I love it here. You don’t have to put on a coat to go to the bathroom and your house is always in the same place – Ruby Sue

Oh dear, did I break wind – Bethany

It’s lime – Eddie

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