Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hallmark Christmas Movie 'Charming Christmas' starring Julie Benz and David Sutcliffe


Movie: Charming Christmas

Previously titled: The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus

Network: Hallmark Channel

Original Air Date: November 8, 2015

*Based on Carly Alexander’s holiday novel, renamed Charming Christmas. (Previously published as The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus.) You can read the story before you see the movie!



Julie Benz ... Meredith Rossman
David Sutcliffe ... Nick Smith
Ashley Leggat ... Jessie Derringer
Vanessa Matsui ... Olivia Todd
Bruce Gray ... Harold Rossman
Catherine McNally ... Cheryl Rossman



Summary via Book Description:

Falling in love during the holidays can be naughty and oh-so-nice…

As heir to the Rossman’s dynasty, the only Christmas spirit Meredith Rossman feels is the kind brought on by ringing cash registers. If she doesn’t get sales up by 50% this holiday, her jerk cousin Daniel will become CEO. Dressed as Mrs. Claus, Meredith can keep an eye on operations, and on Nick, the Christmas hire Santa who makes Meredith want to sit on his lap. Maybe retail and magic don’t mix, but something about Nick inspires Meredith to be a better person. Suddenly, she wants nothing more than to make wishes come true—especially one in particular…

Click here for details on Carly Alexander's book, Charming Christmas.

Movie Review:


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Photo Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Brooke Palmer


  1. Ohhhhhh......I was wondering when they were going to finally pair these two!! I loved Julie in "Uncorked" and David in "His and Her Christmas". This should be a good one; can't wait!!

    1. Yes! It's great to see them together! It's been a while since either one of them has been in a Hallmark Movie. I think David's last one was "The Wish List", which was in 2010. Oddly enough, Julie Benz's Hallmark movie "Uncorked" also premiered in 2010. So, it's due time to see these two again!

      Btw, I also liked David in "His and Her Christmas"... it let him show off his true witty charm!

  2. Sherry in CaliforniaTuesday, August 18, 2015

    Aha! So THIS is "The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus," but with a different title! I was wondering why no info was coming out about "Secret Life..."

    I didn't read the book upon which this movie will be based, but when I saw the reference to "Charming Christmas" during the Christmas in July week on Hallmark I figured that this could be a good one. I know that Julie Benz has done a couple of movies for Hallmark in the past ("Uncorked" being the one that is best known), as has David Sutcliffe (I love "The Wish List"), and he was also the one who ends up with Diane Lane at the end of "Under the Tuscan Sun." So, David has some definite charm and charisma, and I look forward to seeing if he and Julie have any chemistry together. I am hoping that this is one of the winners in the new group of movies (you know how every year there are Christmas movies that absolutely stand out, and Christmas movies that are quickly forgotten), and not a clunker. Lol.

    1. Yep, this is the movie "The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus", which has been retitled: "Charming Christmas"! I have removed that former title from all my movie lists.

      Now, this means we only know 9 movies, officially, of the 16 new Christmas movies coming this year: Tis The Season for Love, Northpole 2: Open for Christmas, Ice Sculpture Christmas, Crown for Christmas, On Time for Christmas, Charming Christmas, When Calls the Heart - Christmas Movie, the Mariah Carey Christmas Movie Project, and Just in Time for Christmas (Hallmark Hall of Fame). If the Alicia Witt & Meghan Ory movies are for Hallmark, after all, then we sort-of know 11. That means we still have 5 completely unknown Christmas movies coming!!!

      I hope, Sherry, this movie is one of the Christmas winners, too! The book cover/poster is certainly a cute, cheerful Christmassy image!

    2. Sherry in CaliforniaThursday, August 20, 2015

      Net -- My hunch is that the recent Lacey Chabert movie was supposed to be one of the 15/16 new movies this year, but it just happened to be ready in time for us to see it early. So, really, I am thinking that we have 14/15 never-before-seen movies to expect on the Hallmark Channel (including the Hall of Fame installment), and then maybe 4 or 5 new movies on the Movies & Mysteries Channel.

      Or, as I posted under your Meghan Ory/Ryan McPartlin blog, I suspect that Hallmark will do what it did last year -- which was to premiere a movie on the Hallmark Channel, and then quickly move it over to the Movies & Mysteries Channel. So, technically, one of the brand "new" movies might count as a new one for each channel (which is what happened last year with "The Christmas Shepherd," which was supposed to be a Movies & Mysteries new movie, but it debuted on Hallmark and THEN moved over to M&M). It's kind of sneaky to do that, but we're getting enough other brand new movies that I guess it doesn't matter too much.

      Let me break down the info on the movies I know of (and I realize that most of this is repeating what you just posted in your above reply, but it helps me if I can go down the list one by one to make sure I am not forgetting anything):

      "Northpole 2: Open for Christmas" (w/ Lori Loughlin, Dermot Mulroney and Bailee Madison) -- already filmed.

      "Family for Christmas" (w/ Lacey Chabert -- already aired during Christmas in July, but will presumably be new to some people who did not watch Christmas in July).

      "An Ice Sculpture Christmas" (w/ Rachel Boston and David Alpay) -- has this already been filmed?

      "'Tis the Season for Love" (w/ Sarah Lancaster and Brendan J, Penny) -- this has already been filmed.

      "On Time for Christmas" (formerly "A Christmas to Remember," w/ Candace Cameron Bure and Paul Greene) -- this has already been filmed.

      "Crown for Christmas" (w/ Danica McKellar) -- has this already been filmed?

      "Charming Christmas" (based on "The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus," w/ Julie Benz and David Sutcliffe) -- has this one been filmed?

      "Just in Time for Christmas" (Hallmark Hall of Fame movie w/ Eloise Mumford) -- this one may end up airing on both the Hallmark Channel AND Movies & Mysteries.

      "When Calls the Heart" -- is this definitely a Christmas movie, or is it just the first episode of Season 3, previewing in December? This would mean that Lori Loughlin will be in TWO Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel this year!

      "The Mariah Carey Christmas Project" -- This is a confirmed movie as well, and not just a special of some sort? Do we have any idea if Mariah is starring in it as well as directing?

      "Debbie Macomber's Dashing Through the Snow" (w/ Meghan Ory and Aleks Paunovic_ -- this is supposed to be a Movies & Mysteries movie, but I suspect it will either premiere or end up on the regular Hallmark Channel.

      "The Ultimate Legacy" -- isn't this scheduled for the Hallmark Channel during the holidays too?

      Movies definitely slated for the Movies & Mysteries Channel are:

      "Karen Kingsbury's The Bridge" -- has this already been filmed?

      "The Christmas Note" -- who is in this one?

      "The Magic Stocking" -- who is in this one?

      "Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery" (w/ Alison Sweeney and Cameron Mathison) -- I assume this was already filmed a long time ago.

      Mysteries yet to be solved:

      "The Honesty Trip" (w/ Alicia Witt and George Stults) being filmed right now, but for which channel?

      "Accidental Trip" (w/ Ryan McPartlin and Mayim Bialik) -- filming is complete; no idea which channel this is for.

      Anyway, we know a lot about a lot of the moves coming up, but there are still some questions and there will certainly be some surprises!

    3. It's quite a puzzle - isn't it, Sherry? I love all the anticipation, guessing, and trying our best to figure it all out!!! Thank you for adding to the fun!!!

      Wasn't sure if you knew... I also have all the movies listed, on my "2015 New Christmas Movies" page. with (mostly!) all their premiere dates. This might make it easier. I think I will add The Honesty Trip and Accidental Trip with question marks.

      I have also heard... the Hallmark Channel, as they did last year, will be sending out a press release to clarify all the details... in coming days or weeks! So, we may know more soon!

      I was looking again at last years movies and we were told there would be 12 new Christmas Movie premieres on the Hallmark Channel, and there was, not including the summer movie or the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, so there could be an additional movie, besides the HHOF movie in that 16 movie total!

      Plus, there are new movies coming from UP, ION, INSP, maybe ABCfamily, TV ONE, NBC and LIFETIME!!! Whew!!! I love it!!!

    4. Oh, one more thing... I contacted the filmmakers behind "The Ultimate Legacy" a few weeks ago - and they informed me their movie is not a Christmas movie. So... that too, is a Mystery! I've been wondering if it might possibly premiere the week after Christmas, or around New Years?

    5. To answer Sherry in California’s question about the “When Calls the Heart” Christmas movie, yes this will definitely be a Christmas movie. Daniel Lissing and Erin Krakow appeared on Home and Family and announced this information themselves. Let’s not forget that Lori Loughlin will not be the only “When Calls the Heart” cast member to star in two Christmas movies. Marcus Rosner (Charles Kensington) will star in “On Time for Christmas”, so he will probably appear in two Christmas movies as well.

      To also answer Sherry in California’s question about the “Mariah Carey Christmas project”, I saw a retweet from Hallmark Channel’s Twitter feed and it stated that Mariah Carey will star and direct a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. I just don’t know if that information was confirmed by Mariah Carey herself.

  3. Julie Benz on set as Mrs. Claus ... https://instagram.com/p/4P7XolE1O9/

  4. Does anyone know where it was filmed

  5. Does anyone know where it was filmed

  6. Sherry In CaliforniaWednesday, November 11, 2015

    I liked what I expected to like about this movie -- which was Julie Benz and David Sutcliffe together. I liked the chemistry between them. I liked her parents. Whenever Julie/"Meredith" and David/"Nick" were onscreen together it was great.

    What I could have done without, to be honest, was all of the other stuff. The stories about the other employees took up too much time and didn't really enhance the movie. I would have rather learned more about Nick's mysterious life outside of Rossman's; how he ended up there; if he was sent there by some higher power; if his original mission was to end up at Rossman's to sprinkle a bit of Christmas magic on everyone, etc.

    We could have found out most or all of that info in a simple scene with Nick talking to someone from "back home" or whatever. Instead, because none of those things were answered, the movie ended leaving people wondering, "Well... so IS he really Santa?"

    And why was there not more focus on the "charms," as they seemed to play a role in how events were unfolding?

    I am always ready to suspend a bit of disbelief in these movies and go along for the ride, and I am a pretty lenient viewer. I will forgive a lot of plot holes. To me, this movie felt like a scene or two had been left on the cutting room floor so that more time could be devoted to the other subplots.

    So, all in all I liked everything involving Nick and Meredith together, and even individually, but would have liked to see some of Nick's back story, and maybe an extra scene or two of Nick and Meredith falling for each other.

    Ideally, I would love to see Julie Benz and David Sutcliffe in another movie together because I think they are great as a couple, but it had been so long since either of them had done a Hallmark movie that a reteaming probably won't happen any time soon. :-(

    1. On Hallmark Channel, “Charming Christmas” was advertised as having a story similar to “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. Because of this, I really liked how each of the supporting characters, Jessie and Olivia, had their own unique personalities and storylines as I felt it added depth and intrigue to the movie overall.

      After I watched “Charming Christmas”, I got the impression that Nick really was Santa. Throughout the movie, there were little clues (his parents were from “up north”, Nick’s a former business CEO, etc.) pointing the audience in the direction of thinking that Nick could be Santa Clause. At the end of the movie, when Nick said, “Ho,Ho,Ho” and asked Meredith if she wanted to travel the world with him, I think this was meant as confirmation of Nick’s chances of actually being Santa Clause.

      The “charms” that were featured toward the end of the movie were seen as a representation of each of the characters as well as an indication to the audience that the characters learned the valuable lessons that they were meant to learn. The teddy bear charm represented how important family was to Jessie, teaching her that the people in her life meant more than having the “perfect” Christmas. The dance shoes charm represented Olivia’s passion for dance, teaching her that she could offer her talents to the town that she had gotten acquainted with. The Christmas present charm represented Meredith’s journey from the beginning of the movie to that specific moment, teaching her to pay attention to and appreciate everything around her.

  7. Sherry, I agree with every single thing you said. Line for line I was asking the same questions while watching this movie. A little disappointed but all in all I love Julie and David and I too would love to see them in another movie together. Chemistry?? That, they did have!!


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