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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights...”
~ James 1:17

Monday, September 18, 2023

πŸŽ„ GREAT AMERICAN FAMILY'S 2023 CHRISTMAS MOVIES with Candace Cameron Bure, Jen Lilley, Trevor Donovan, Jill Wagner, Danica McKellar, Chad Michael Murray and Many More! πŸŽ„ *SEE HERE:



Press Release via Great American Family:

COME HOME TO 
GREAT AMERICAN FAMILY 
FOR CHRISTMAS

THIRD ANNUAL 
‘GREAT AMERICAN CHRISTMAS’ 
BEGINS OCTOBER 20
WITH 20 HIGH-QUALITY, 
ORIGINAL HOLIDAY FILMS 
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

As Gift to Viewers, Full Slate of Movie Premiere Dates Coming Soon

NEW YORK, NY – September 18, 2023 –Great American Family today announced the company’s highly-rated and highly-anticipated annual holiday program event, Great American Christmas, returns Friday, October 20, with the first premiere of the season, Saturday, October 21. The full slate of World Premiere dates will be announced soon so that holiday movie fans can mark premiere dates in the Great American Christmas Movie Checklist App. The 2023 edition of Great American Christmas features 20 high-quality original holiday movies and around the clock, 24/7 holiday films from the network’s library on Great American Family, the nation’s fastest-growing cable television network for the past 10 consecutive months.

Talent audiences know and love star in stories destined to become holiday classics will provide viewers an unparalleled entertainment experience that promises to make the season bright. Great American Christmas originals feature beloved stars such as Candace Cameron Bure, Danica McKellar, Chad Michael Murray, Trevor Donovan, and Jill Wagner, to name a few.



Great American Christmas Original World Premiere Movies 2023 Include:


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Destined 2: Christmas Once More

Premiere Date: October 14, 2023

starring Shae Robbins and Casey Elliott

In this sequel, Theo (Elliott) continues to miss connecting with his girlfriend, Kim (Robbins) as he attempts to propose at Christmas.


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‘Twas the Text Before Christmas

Premiere Date: October 21, 2023

starring Merritt Patterson and Trevor Donovan

An unexpected text message sent to the wrong number (Patterson) sets into motion a Christmas tradition with a new family (Donovan) over three separate years.



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Bringing Christmas Home

Premiere Date: October 28, 2023

starring Jill Wagner and Paul Greene

A professor of military history (Wagner) teams with an antique store owner (Greene) to track down the original owner of a historic WWII uniform and the love letters left in its pockets.



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Journey to Christmas

Previous title: A Model Christmas

Premiere Date: October 29, 2023

starring Ash Tsai and Joey Heyworth

While on a charity press tour, a model (Tsai) ends up stranded by the weather at the family home of the driver (Heyworth) she hired to assist her for the week.



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A Dash of Christmas

Premiere Date: November 4, 2023

starring Broadway’s Laura Osnes and Christopher Russell

A marketing exec (Osnes) must learn a recipe to get her dream job and ends up entered in a holiday bakeoff with a dream baker (Russell).


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Our Christmas Wedding

Premiere Date: November 5, 2023

starring Holly Deveaux and Drew Seeley

In the sequel, roles reverse as Nicole’s boss plans newly engaged Nicole (Deveaux) and Michael’s (Seeley) wedding in two weeks at Christmas.



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Christmas Keepsake

Previous title: A Time Capsule Christmas

Premiere Date: November 11, 2023

starring Jillian Murray and Daniel Lissing

A father (Lissing) bonds with his daughter and stumbles upon an unexpected romance (Murray) while tracking down the original owner of a Christmas time capsule.



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A Christmas Blessing

Previous Title: Blessings of Christmas

Premiere Date: November 12, 2023

Starring Lori Loughlin, James Tupper, and Jesse Hutch

A TV chef (Loughlin) is divinely inspired to take over her late aunt’s charity with help from a new friend (Hutch) and handsome business associate next door (Tupper).



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Santa, Maybe

Premiere Date: November 18, 2023

starring Aubrey Reynolds and Sam Whitten

Can theater director Lila (Reynolds) rise to the challenge of putting on the perfect Christmas ballet, while also discovering her office Secret Santa in the process?



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A Paris Christmas Waltz

Premiere Date: November 19, 2023

starring Jen Lilley and Matthew Morrison

A novice dancer (Lilley) pairs with a professional (Morrison) to enter a renowned dance competition…in Paris! The next story in The Christmas Waltz universe, the highest-rated Christmas rom com of 2020, from Michael Damian and Janeen Damian.



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My Christmas Hero

Premiere Date: November 24, 2023

starring Candace Cameron Bure and Gabriel Hogan

An army reserve doctor (Bure) tracks down her family’s military history with the help of a new romance (Hogan).



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A Royal Date for Christmas

Previous title: A Royal Christmas Romance

Premiere Date: November 25, 2023

starring Danica McKellar and Damon Runyan

When a European Duke (Runyon) arrives in the US, he realizes that his bags have been lost in transit. He has no choice but to be styled, and ultimately inspired, by Bella (McKellar) the owner of a local boutique.



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A Christmas for the Ages

Premiere Date: November 26, 2023

starring Natasha Bure, Anna Ferguson, Kate Craven, and Cheryl Ladd

Prompted by their youngest granddaughter (Bure), four generations celebrate family and what Christmas was like in the 40s, 60s, 90s, and present day.



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Christmas in Maple Hills

Premiere Date: November 27, 2023

starring Marcus Rosner and Emily Alatalo

Valerie Warrick is shocked to learn the land passed down from her grandparents isn’t in her family’s name. To save her family’s legacy and their dairy farm, she teams up with handsome veteran Walker Jennings to dig into her family’s past. Can they solve the mystery of who really owns the land in time for Christmas?



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Christmas on Windmill Way

Premiere Date: December 2, 2023

starring Christa Taylor Brown and Chad Michael Murray

To save her family’s legacy windmill, a woman (Taylor Brown) must remind her ex-boyfriend (Michael Murray) of the best of their hometown.


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The Jinglebell Jubilee

Previous title: The Christmas Regift

Premiere Date: December 3, 2023

starring Erin Agostino and Marshall Williams

A city manager (Williams) recruits the help of a childhood friend (Agostino) in setting right his town’s Christmas Charity event, while she sets to work setting him up with her close friend.



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Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Previous title: A Christmas Commission

Premiere Date: December 9, 2023

starring Sarah Fisher and Simon Arblaster

Two rival realtors (Fisher and Arblaster) are forced to work together to sell one special house before Christmas.


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Peppermint & Postcards

Premiere Date: December 10, 2023

starring Ella Cannon and Christopher Russell

When a Christmas letter concerning her love life goes viral, one mom discovers that romance might be right at her door.



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Designing Christmas with You

Previous title: Mistletoe Moments

Premiere Date: December 16, 2023

starring Susie Abromeit and Liam McIntyre

With her career on the line, a decorator (Abromeit) must work with an unexpected partner (McIntyre) to showcase a house for an upcoming Christmas gala.



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12 Games of Christmas

Premiere Date: December 17, 2023

Starring: Johnny Ramey and Felisha Cooper.

In 12 Games of Christmas, a group of old friends and neighbors are transported into a Christmas-themed board game during a Christmas party.



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A Royal Christmas Holiday

Premiere Date: December 23, 2023

starring Brittany Underwood and Jonathan Stoddard

In search of her big break, a reporter (Underwood) arranges a Christmas interview with a European Prince (Stoddard) visiting the states. Will the reporter’s big story become her love story?


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Stay tuned for announcements on Christmas movie premieres coming to the company’s streaming service, Great American Pure Flix.


ABOUT GREAT AMERICAN FAMILY

Great American Family is America’s premiere destination for quality family-friendly programming, including original holiday movies, rom-coms and fan-favorite series that celebrate faith, family and country. Great American Family is home to year-round seasonal celebrations including Great American Christmas, the network’s signature franchise featuring holiday themed movies and specials. Founded in 2021, Great American Family is part of the Great American Media portfolio of brands. Follow Great American Family on Twitter: @GAfamilyTV Facebook: @GAfamilytv Instagram: @gactv

MEDIA CONTACT:
Pam Slay
Network Program Publicity
818.415.3784
pamslay@gacmedia.com


My Take:

2023 is sure to be another heartwarming and cozy Christmas movie season with Great American Family's faith and family movies. I'm so excited to see so many of our favorite TV movie stars return to the network for their 3rd annual Christmas movie event!

If Santa asked me to put my top 5 must-see Great American Family Christmas movies on a list, I would have to refuse, because it's too hard to choose - they ALL look so good!

I simply can't wait to see the new Christmas movies with Candace Cameron Bure, Jen Lilley, Trevor Donovan, Jill Wagner, Danica McKellar, Chad Michael Murray, Lori Loughlin, Daniel Lissing and many more!

Also, some key things to notice... There are two sequel films - Our Christmas Wedding is a sequel to My Boss' Wedding and Destined 2: Christmas Once More is a sequel to Destined at Christmas.

A Christmas for the Ages is from Candy Rock Entertainment, in which Candace Cameron Bure is one of the producers. Candace's daughter Natasha Bure will star in this all-new holiday film that spans various eras at Christmastime! Also starring in the movie is Cheryl Ladd, of Charlie's Angels fame.

I hope you find many delightful Christmas movies you are looking forward to seeing during this Christmas Season! Please share your thoughts in comments below...

Joyous Christmas Blessings to You All!

God bless us, everyone! Net


81 comments:

  1. Deck the halls! Wonderful thing to wake up to!!

    Everything here looks amazing! Not sure which I'm looking forward to more! (though, it might be a tie between Paris Christmas Waltz, My Christmas Hero and A Royal Christmas Romance! Think they might premiere during Thanksgiving weekend?)

    Hope everyone here enjoys these amazing looking movies! -Maria

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  2. Well, it turns out that Santa did ask me for my top 5 picks, but I told him I couldn't do less than 7. He said fine, so here are my top picks:
    A Christmas for the Ages
    A Dash of Christmas
    A Paris Christmas Waltz
    A Time Capsule Christmas
    Bringing Christmas Home
    My Christmas Hero
    'Twas the Text Before Christmas

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    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed 'Twas the Text Before Christmas! It is family friendly, sweet, and I enjoyed the leads, and Nana, (actress Jane Eastwood), & the little dog, Lily. I've watched it several times on my DVRd recording. I actually wrote a review at the GAC website. Let them know what you thought of the movies.

      Delete
  3. You are so right I want to see every one. I am hoping since Gabriel Hogan is in my Christmas Hero that his mom Susan has a cameo in the movie. I have always loved movies with mom Susan and dad Michael. And was so sad when I heard about Michael’s accident.

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    1. Bebe, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the Hogan family! In fact, The Christmas Secret is one of my all-time favorite movies!

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    2. Awww, Bebe, I didn't know about the accident. That's so, so sad. That would be super sweet if Susan has a part.

      I, too, love The Christmas Secret, Mark 25...so full of heart! I sure wish Hallmark would give us more like that one.

      ~Alicia

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  4. OMG!!! I am loving the synopsis of these movies. I am especially looking forward to the movie with Natasha Bure-it is different to have a movie not be a rom-com :) I really hope GAF keeps the movies around that 20 mark...Hallmark tends to have TOO many movies and it is hard to keep track of-plus out of the 40 they tend to bring out maybe 10-15 of them are keepers. Anyways...lol Thanks Net for the update!

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  5. Well, certainly plenty of surprises here.

    On the information given 4 I will definitely NOT be watching are:

    A Christmas Blessing
    A Time Capsule Christmas
    Destined 2: Christmas Once More
    Peppermint And Postcards

    A Christmas For The Ages doesn't sound too interesting but will watch it at some stage.

    I hope there's no surprises turn up in the others.

    Interesting to see that Christopher Russell is starring in 2 movies plus it's a long time since we saw Gabriel Hogan.

    Not one of the 4 Nicely Entertainment movies I thought might be in the list is there.

    A few movies there which were my list to see have turned up:

    A Model Christmas (the trailer looks great)
    A Royal Christmas Holiday
    Santa Maybe

    One completely new to me which looks good - The Christmas Regift with Erin Agostino and Marshall Williams.

    I have counted 20 movies there plus July's offering -wasn't there originally going to be a total of 18?

    Should be a lot of good viewing there.

    Florence


    A Model Christmas
    A

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  6. So happy to see this news and I've been waiting for Great American Family to give us more information on the remaining movies. I kept looking online to see what completed movies were out there and made a list last week of possibles, so now I have to compare and see if I got any of them right. I do know that just off the top of my head, A Christmas for the Ages, The Christmas Regift and Peppermint & Postcards (previously titled It's a Christmas Thing) were on that list. Exciting news for sure and glad they had everything completed before the strikes happened. The majority of these sound like they'll be good with a few I'm a little unsure about. I will be watching them ALL though! Year 3 for Great American Christmas is looking up, up, up! ~ Debbie

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  7. The Christmas movies from GAF look wonderful. I'm looking forward to sipping a hot cuppa tea and watching them!

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  8. Oh my goodness!! These movies look amazing! Best part, when you start to watch these you can relax and not worry about what will pop up on the screen next! Thanks for the update Net!!

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  9. some of these look exceptionally good.

    d

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  10. This is a fantastic list! Excited that Gabriel
    Hogan is CCB’s costar! And very excited for Daniel Lissing and Jillian Murray! The only actors I can think of that seem to be missing this year are Cameron Mathison and Cindy Busby.
    Jennifer R

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  11. I noticed, Jennifer R, that Jessica Lowndes is also missing this year, but I'm happy to see many of my other favorite stars returning.

    I've been reading this list over and over, and I'm loving many of these movies already!!!! Someone else mentioned that 20 is a good number and I would have to agree. Give or take one or two, most of these look fantastic!!!!

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  12. Yay! I think this list sounds great! I am most looking forward to that game movie...talk about unique! LOL. I really like the Natasha Bure storyline and Iook forward to Danicas movie.
    Misty

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  13. Thanks, Net, for the update of such good news. It looks like Santa and Great American Family has been busy this year. The holiday season will be filled with some terrific movies from GAF. I am very excited about the following movies (not in any order of WOW!).
    1. My Christmas Hero
    2. A Time Capsule Christmas
    3. Bringing Christmas Home
    4. ‘Twas the Text Before Christmas
    5. A Paris Christmas Waltz
    6. A Dash of Christmas
    7. A Royal Christmas
    The story lines are varied that will appeal to many viewers during the holiday. Thanks to GAF for setting the bar so high.
    And as you all mention - Let us not forget the reason for season. God Bless.
    -Gabe’s Mom

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  14. I think the lineup for Great American Christmas year 3 looks great! Many of our favorite actors are back and I am definitely excited to watch the movies with our favorite stars. I am also looking forward to seeing some new faces on GAF. I was hoping that Cameron Mathison, Cindy Busby, Marc Blucas, Rukiya Bernard, Nick Bateman, Tim Ross, and Jessica Lowndes might surprise us and show up on the list. I am also hoping that GAF was able to purchase rights to more of my old favorites such as Moonlight and Mistletoe, The Three Gifts, The Spirit of Christmas, Christmas for a Dollar, Farewell Mr. Kringle, The Sons of Mistletoe, A Christmas Wish, etc to throw into the lineup during the 24/7 programming. It will also be interesting to see if any new Christmas movies that haven’t been announced will air on GAPF and if any GAPF Christmas movies will air on GAF. I appreciate what Bill Abbott and the team are working to build at GAF!

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  15. Wow! I think this is some of the best pairings I've seen on GAF!! Really looking forward to these, more so than normal.

    I just know Jen Lilley's will be a treat! Same with Trevor's!

    I especially love the military movies, and here we have two! With two great pairings! Can't wait to see Candace with Gabriel. My mom will be excited about that one. She's always been a Norman fan, and the more I see him, the more I am as well!

    Not always a fan of the Royal movies, but do love them when the cast is good like Danica!!

    Thanks Net for this terrific info!!!

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  16. Do you think Norman won't be in the Hannah Swenson since the actor is now on GAF??? I would be sad to not see him on the show.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This article has me so excited for the holidays! Thank you Net for putting this together with all the photos. I can’t wait to watch all of my faves from Hallmark who came to GAC and also the sequel to Destined at Christmas (excited to see that proposal) and the one with Natasha Bure. Really, they all sound like great storylines even the ones where I am not familiar with the actors, I’ll give them a try. 😊
    ~Paula

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jim your comment made me laugh out loud! I can’t control myself either; September came and our house is all decked out in fall pumpkins and Nov 1st the Christmas tree will be up. The best time of the year is quickly approaching! 😊
    ~Paula

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  19. Excited for all these movies...my only disappointment was I was hoping they would have Marc Blucas back...but the line-up certainly looks great.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hope that if GAF decides to slowly increase their yearly quota of Christmas movies year after year that they won't let it get too out of hand (looking at you, Hallmark). Lots of movies can be great, but too many and well, that makes for less time to watch them at once and increases the chances of there being more then 1 dud. -Maria

    ReplyDelete
  21. “Transported into a Christmas themed board game” ? That’s certainly a new one (lol!) Sounds a little strange, but… points at least for originality?

    A Christmas for the Ages sounds fun; I love movies featuring different eras from the past. Looking forward to that for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  22. A Dash of Christmas for Chris Russell,
    A Paris Christmas Waltz (Jen), A Time Capsule Christmas, Peppermint & Postcards. Not sure about Santa, Maybe and Twas the Text Before Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Joel Smallbone's directorial debut from Kingdom Story Company now has a release date of April 26, 2024.

    Lionsgate has picked up Kingdom Story Company’s Unsung Hero, the directorial debut of Joel Smallbone, one half of the Christian music duo For King + Country.
    The drama centers on the Smallbone family, which also includes For King + Country member Luke Smallbone and singer-songwriter Rebecca St. James, as they come to America from their native Australia after the collapse of their father’s successful music company.

    The movie also follows the family’s mother, Helen Smallbone (Daisy Betts) as she uses her faith to hold the family of nine together by turning struggles into an adventure for her children. The title for the film comes from a For King + Country song of the same name that was dedicated to the parents of Joel and Luke Smallbone.

    Joel Smallbone stars as his father, David Smallbone, with other cast including Kirrilee Berger, Jonathan Jackson, Lucas Black, Candace Cameron Bure, Terry O’Quinn and Hillary Scott

    The acquisition follows Lionsgate scoring a box office win with Jesus Revolution, which debuted in February and grossed more than $52 million domestically. Meanwhile, the faith-based Angel Studios has scored a breakout hit this summer with the thriller Sound of Freedom.

    Lionsgate has set an April 26, 2024 wide release for the film from Kingdom Story Company.
    Smallbone directs Unsung Hero with Richard Ramsey based on a script they co-wrote. The producer credits are being shared by Justin Tolley, Josh Walsh, Luke Smallbone, with Kingdom Story Company and Candy Rock behind the drama.
    The Smallbone brothers also teamed for the feature documentary Return to Sydney: The For King & Country Journey that was to chronicle the Australian brothers and their sister Rebecca St. James returning home after winning Grammys & Billboard Music Awards.

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    1. Yes, I was so excited when they made the movie premiere announcement (I believe it was at the beginning of August) that the film, Unsung Hero, would premiere next year!

      I'm so glad the life story of the Smallbone family is being told, and it's great that Candace Cameron Bure will have a role in the movie, as well, since she's been great friends with Joel and Luke for many years now.

      Blessings! Net

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  24. Christopher Russell has 3 Christmas movies this year 2023

    A Dash for Christmas - GAFAM
    Peppermints & Postcards - GAFAM
    The Secret Gift of Christmas - Hallmark

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  25. Christmas Destined 2: Christmas Once More
    October 21, 2023

    While I was watching Murder, She Wrote

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for catching that Christmas movie news and sharing with us! I'm looking forward to seeing how they continue this story.

      Have a Blessed Saturday! Net

      Delete
    2. I watched the original and wasn't that impressed, so I passed on the second installment. I'll bet there will be Destined 3: the Wedding. Just a guess.

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  26. I have to say that GAF wins this year on best Christmas movie offerings. I was so exhausted after going through all the movies for HM & HMM. I got all the Christmas feels reading through the GAF movies plots for this year’s list..not so much after reading HM’s. Many of their plots seem boring or tirelessly redone. I’ll watch but it won’t be my first choice behind GAF. My next favorite will be UPtv. Net, if you get any info on UPtv’s offerings please let us know. Thank you for all you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UPtv has released their Christmas movie offerings for 2023!

      You can see details on their new Christmas movies here:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/09/uptvs-most-uplifting-christmas-ever-2023-holiday-movies.html

      Also, so good to hear how much you enjoyed Great American Family's Christmas movie news above. I agree, their holiday lineup looks exceptional this year. :)

      Blessings to you, Net

      Delete
  27. I am so pulling for GAC. So much respect for Mr. Abbott and that network to be successful. To me, if GAC could have 3-4 blockbusters this Christmas season that would create a ground swell of conversation among TV consumers, this would be a turning point the industry. I personally enjoy an element of controversy and competition projecting the main plot. Movies like ALOT LIKE CHRISTMAS, A GIFTWRAPPED CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS WALTZ create some suspense and provoke an element of drama that is sometimes lacking in a lot of recent Christmas movies. Really looking forward to the upcoming season with optimism and JOY.

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    1. Upostle A - I love the three Christmas movies you mentioned - from the three main Christmas movie networks.

      I have a strong feeling there will be several blockbusters from Great American Family this Christmas, that will be just as good as those! I'm also pulling for GAF and hoping along with you. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with us! :)

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  28. After hearing from Danica that Swing into Romance got a waiver so she could promote the movie, I decided to check the list of waivers SAG has granted to see if any of GAF's other movies were also waivered, and here's the ones I saw:

    Bringing Christmas Home
    Paris Christmas Waltz
    Royally Styled For Christmas
    An Angel's Fare Christmas (that was 1 of the WT's on here, right?)

    -Maria

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    1. Maria, That's great those specific movies were granted waivers.

      And yes, "An Angel's Fare Christmas" was the original title for Lori Loughlin's movie, now called "A Christmas Blessing." Since Lori doesn't do social media, I'm rather surprised they chose that one.

      I believe "Royally Styled For Christmas" might be the original title for Danica's Christmas movie, "A Royal Christmas Romance."

      All of these similar Christmas movie titles and working titles are hard to keep straight, aren't they?

      It's been nice to see Danica promoting Swing into Romance for this Saturday night. I sure hope the strike can end soon so everyone can promote their Christmas movies.

      Blessings, Net

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  29. I'm really sleeping in this year.

    Only just realising that they never actually gave any particular dates for airing! - Florence

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  30. GAF had another great month in the ratings from their latest ratings report for September! -Maria

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    1. Maria, Yes! That was such great news! Congrats again to Great American Family!!! :)

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  31. From the Press Release:

    Stay tuned for announcements on Christmas movie premieres coming to the company’s streaming service, Great American Pure Flix.

    Net

    Has there been anything more on this or have I missed something?

    I wonder does this mean actual new Christmas movies?

    Florence

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    1. Florence, I'm keeping a look out for this information. Great American Pure Flix adds new programming to their streaming platform weekly, so I'm definitely curious to discover what they'll be adding around Thanksgiving and December.

      Most likely, the majority of the new Christmas movie premieres they are referring to are the Christmas movies that are airing on Great American Family. Some of these Christmas movies will premiere on Great American Pure Flix, and some will not. Perhaps, that is what they meant by "announcements on Christmas movie premieres coming to the company’s streaming service..."

      There might be other Christmas movies on the streaming platform, as well. They've been known to acquire Reel One movies, and there are some holiday options still there.

      I hope we hear something soon! :) ~Net

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  32. ‘Twas the Text Before Christmas. I quite enjoyed this sweet movie. Loved the warm family atmosphere. Loved Nana, what a great character (but there’s no way I can believe she’s Trevor’s mother, more like his grandmother). Also, cannot believe Merritt responded so openly to an unknown text and revealed almost every detail of her life (who does that?!?). But, on the other hand, it was kind of refreshing to feel the innocence of a bygone era where you could trust most strangers and didn’t have to worry about things like creepy AI-generated video chats and texts. And, unlike other reviews I’ve read, I actually appreciated the two-year time frame for the leads to fall in love, I get tired of the one-week happily ever after’s. As to that HEA – the ending felt a bit anticlimactic and I didn’t like that they followed the Hallmark trend of having the female make the first move. This movie could have benefitted from a bit more attention to details but, overall, it was a charming, feel-good movie that I would watch again. Family friendly. (p.s. – is the dog in this movie the same one from Jingle Bell Princess?) ~~Jane

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  33. Destined 2: Christmas Once More. Another good one! This was so sweet and enjoyable and a breath of fresh air compared to the Hallmark movies I’ve seen so far this season. I liked that we got to see nice people trying to juggle families and everyday life and we still got some Christmas warm fuzzies without all the contrived, standard Christmas-movie fare; it all felt very natural. All of the actors felt “real” and I truly believed in the love between the leads as well as between all the family members. Casey and Ashley had perfect dad-daughter chemistry but I guess it helps that they play the same roles in real life. Speaking of real life, I always wonder if it’s weird for Casey and Shae to kiss in the movies when in real life she’s the wife of one of his buddies in the singing trio “Gentri”. And speaking of singing, why, oh why do they not write in a scene where the family sings Christmas carols or something so we can hear him sing?!? The constantly-delayed proposal scene began to drag a bit and I was starting to feel shades of frustration akin to last year’s movie but, thankfully, they finally wrapped it up. All told, this was a really nice little movie and a keeper for now. Definitely family friendly and I think kids would probably enjoy this one more than some of the other movies that are more focused on sighs and doe-eyed lingering looks at lips and mistletoe. ~~Jane

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  34. Twas The Text Brfore Christmas: Several reviewers have commented on the strangeness of accepting an invite from a random text to the wrong person. Search "Accidental Thanksgiving Invitation". This really happened and it's a relationship going on its 8th year of annual gathering. I appreciate this movie using that real story to come up with this plot. Well done!

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    1. Thanks for sharing about the true story! I also loved the movie.

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  35. I’ve never left a review on this blog before, but I just wanted to say how much I loved and was impressed by Bringing Christmas Home. The tone was sweet and down-to-earth, with such an intriguing storyline. And the characters… they were amazing. Caroline is incredibly strong, yet also kind and compassionate. And Russell is equally compelling - his patience and gentleness are rare and beautiful. Though I have no military background, I myself live with post-traumatic stress, so while I can’t speak for others who do, I don’t say this lightly: if you want to know how to be close to someone with post-traumatic stress, whether romantically or platonically, I consider this man an excellent role model. All in all, this was a lovely movie… it was funny, romantic, fascinating, and though it did touch on some heavy subjects, I didn’t find it heavy overall. I’m not a parent so I can’t speak to age appropriateness, but speaking generally: highly recommend.

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    1. RC, Thank you for sharing your first movie review with us! You chose an excellent movie to begin with. It was sooo nice to hear your thoughts and enjoyment of this movie.

      I have shared your review for Bringing Christmas Home, (along with others here) on the main movie review post:
      https://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com/2023/10/2023-christmas-movie-reviews-from-its.html

      Thank you, again!
      Blessings, Net

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  36. Journey to Christmas. The word that came to mind for me throughout this whole movie was “nice”. It was sometimes, perhaps, a bit too slow or mellow, but it also felt more real and refreshing that way. There was a warmth to the characters, a kindness, a genuineness. The family felt sincere and affectionate and welcoming. It all just felt natural and “nice”. And I thought the leads did a good job showing their gradually growing attraction. The movie loses steam at times (especially at the end) but, overall, I liked it. Good for a one-time watch and maybe a re-watch next year. The movie had some nice, warm Christmas atmosphere but it was more like a background setting for the movie instead of its own separate character as it is in some cookie-cutter Christmas movies. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  37. Twas the Text Before Christmas....family-friendly... no surprise ;)

    Aww! I loved this one so much!! One of the cutest ones I've seen in awhile. And such friendly characters. I fell in love with the older man Carter and that funny and sweet Nana. Of course Merritt and Trevor were great. I love it when friends fall in love. This is one that I want to watch every year. So when it's on Amazon, I'm buying! I really hope we get a sequel. The characters were strong enough for it.

    It was so nice to relax with on my couch and fuzzy blanket while watching this! I've been really busy these past 3 weeks. Haven't had a lot of time for movies. My mom and I are making a Christmas Cottage house to put on our dining table. We are making it from scratch. Even decorated the inside with a brick fireplace , Christmas tree with presents. When it's complete, I'll change it to my email profile picture so you can see it! Right now it's a picture of the Hope Valley When Calls the Heart church. You can see it on this(Net's) page in the top right corner. I'll let you know when. Hope it won't be to hard to see.

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  38. Bringing Christmas Home. Completely agree with everyone else - loved this movie!! The ending was a bit anticlimactic with the never-ending hugging all around but, other than that, this was a great Christmas movie with a mystery with a twist and more than one romance. Well done. Definite keeper. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  39. Our Christmas Wedding. Ugh. What was that? Awkward script and/or directing. Stilted, unnatural, hard-to-watch, over-emphatic acting by almost everyone, with the lead actress being, perhaps, the worst of all and I found myself cringing for her when she was reciting her lines (every line is delivered kind of off-kilter with triple exclamation points !!! and odd facial expressions). The exception would be the lead male actor and the girl who plays Maggie, the bff; they were both more natural actors and I’m wondering how those two got roped into this. I’m sure most people here will just loove this movie because, of course, it was clean and it had a few sweet things but, for me, I’m still shaking my head and wishing I’d picked another option. I never saw the original movie but if it was anything like this one (and I’m assuming it had to be since all the same crew), why did anyone think a sequel would be a good idea?!? Family friendly and this one would probably be sweet for the pre-teen girls in the family who have fairytale wedding dreams in their heads. ~~Jane

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  40. A dash of Christmas was great, and I don’t remember anyone lying or taking Gods name in vain, this is rare even among the movies we all like. Very refreshing.

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  41. A Dash of Christmas. Sweet movie with all the warm Christmas “feels” but something was just missing, for me. Perhaps it was the plot; or maybe it just felt a tiny bit flat? Perhaps it had one too many more than I can stomach of the silly, unbelievable moments? Like him helping her knead the dough - seriously directors, enough already. And her with ALL the MANY doe-eyed (uncomfortable!) lingering looks from the get-go (!!#*!!) – once again, I blame the directors. And the overkill of candles when he’s cooking her dinner were flashbacks to the plethora of Autumn LEAVES – yikes, GAF!! And the “debilitating” wrist sprain that seemed to come and go at will. And the weird baking competition where the other teams seemed to be working together yet he basically refused to help her??? And the laptop thing was inappropriate for him to do. And the whole “conflict” and him being “noble” was just silly. Other than all that, I thought it was cute. Hah! 😊 For the most part, I agree with Mark25 about this movie. I love Laura Osnes but this wasn’t her best go round; and of course, I wish they would have let her sing, especially since there was a perfect opportunity for caroling in the movie (but maybe she gets tired of being known solely for her voice or maybe there’s some sort of contract issue??). I disagree with Mark25 in that I actually thought this was one of Christopher Russell’s better performances; usually he comes off as a stiff “Ken doll” but I thought this sort of mellow, low-key role fit him better than others and he didn’t feel quite as plastic as usual. The best part of the movie for me, other than the warm and cozy “feels” and appreciating Laura’s adorableness, was the part of the sister and the niece which were played well by Amy Groening and Zoe Fish. On the whole, the movie was warm and fuzzy and fluffy and okay for a one-time watch, but it just wasn’t substantial enough for me to make it a keeper. Definitely family friendly. ~~Jane

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  42. Christmas Keepsake. A sweet, pleasant, gentle movie with a lot of nice, warm, genuine Christmas feeling and a tiny mystery, as well. I was afraid the time capsule was going to be hokey but it was actually kind of cute to watch them do all the things on the list. Loved the town’s focus on the Nativity scene and wish it would’ve been elaborated on a bit more. Thought the obsession with a backyard Christmas Fair was sweet but a bit odd. I really enjoyed the relationship and love between Daniel’s character and his daughter, and the fact that they were both trying to move forward while dealing with loss. On the other hand, Jillian’s character was not moving forward and was a tad bit annoying to me; I know everyone grieves differently, but I felt like the 20-plus (!!!) years of grieving her father’s death and being fearful and miserable and continuing to shut herself off from relationships was a tad excessive and felt a bit like a melodramatic teenager, especially since her mother seemed to be so well-adjusted to the loss of her spouse and was always there to support her daughter all those years (btw, the actress that played the mom was great and really helped carry the movie along!). And I didn’t understand, why was it so imperative that Jillian give the speech this particular year - what about all the other years since her father’s death? The romance between Daniel and Jillian was sweet but also a bit bland, and she seemed to snap out of her years-long entrenchment in grieving rather quickly in order to have that romance (but I guess Daniel was the right man to help her move forward πŸ˜‰). The baking angle of the story was nice. This movie was visually appealing, and heartfelt, and it flowed along rather gently, and I liked it a good bit and would definitely watch it again next year, but it’s probably not going to make my top ten list. (As I think back on the movie, I think perhaps the thing that kept this from being a total keeper for me might be Jillian’s character. She’s beautiful and sweet but her character just felt kind of bland or something? I felt like Daniel’s character maybe needed a woman with just a smidge more strength or passion or fire. And, honestly, even his character was a tiny bit too mellow. Maybe I needed to feel more spark or excitement or eagerness between the couple? I didn’t want conflict between the couple, but maybe more chemistry. I don’t know?? The whole thing was very pleasant but it didn’t grab me and excite me and make me want to immediately buy the dvd. And I’m still not sure what exactly it was that kept this from being an automatic keeper for me??) Family friendly (of course), and I think this would be a good one to watch with the whole fam. ~~Jane

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    1. Jane, I just have to say thank you, thank you - for your latest drop of movie reviews! I appreciate how you are always so insightful and detailed.

      You and I shared a similar opinion on Christmas Keepsake. The way you described Jillian's character is spot on! I, too, wanted to see more depth in her character, but it felt as if her grief overwhelmed her in nearly every scene. And I felt the same about the Christmas fair... it was sweet, but odd. I was rather surprised Daniel's character was not shown working or searching for employment. I'm not sure how he was able to afford putting together a whole fair after just buying a house.

      Anyway, thank you once again for sharing with us! When I read your reviews, Jane, I always feel like I'm having a conversation with a good friend.

      God's Blessings and Merry Christmas!!! Net

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  43. A Royal Date for Christmas. Others will love this movie. I tried. I really did. But I could only make it halfway. And I had such high hopes for this one since there was no European royal crown prince of Somewhere-dovia or Someplace-gravia, but, instead, just a humble, aristocratic Duke. 😊 And there was no general store, or drive-in, or town Christmas Festival that absolutely must be saved, so I thought I was safe on that front. But nope, Danica’s character decided to try and save a Duke. Go figure, who would’ve thought that was gonna happen? Not me, I totally missed that angle of the story.
    Damon as the Duke was fairly good. Danica is beautiful and sweet and I like her mathematical brain but when it comes to her movies, I find them to be hit or miss. I like it better when she isn’t trying so hard to be cute & perky. When you hear her talk in interviews and such, she’s quite natural and refreshingly mature, but then somehow, she picks sappy movies where she has to try too hard with the role and the dialogue to be upbeat and bubbly and too youthful. I don’t know what it is, but in some of her movies I can “feel” her trying to act the part instead of me just feeling the character she’s playing, it’s like she’s not comfortable or relaxed in the role, and that makes me think those roles are just not natural fits for her. (My favorite Danica movies: Crown for Christmas, Matchmaker Mysteries, Love and Sunshine, Coming Home for Christmas.)
    In this particular “Duke” movie, the underlying storyline of Bella and her boutique needing to supply clothing for the Duke is believable and okay but then the writers added the weird idea that she also needed to accompany him to his various charity events throughout the week as a paid date/groupie/who-knows-what?? That is just bizarre and makes no sense that he would bring along (and pay) a strange woman to stand around while he gives speeches and such, and it only adds fodder for the tabloids, which is what he supposedly wants to avoid. And then they have her doing and suggesting silly, clumsy things throughout the movie (“how about a selfie?!”, “let’s build a snowman!”, ugh). I think I blame the writing and directing for this mess. They had a story that could have been okay if they’d gone for a bit more decorum and restraint but, instead, they took it too far down the paths of unbelievability and awkwardness. And the dialogue and direction for Danica’s character just make her seem kind of silly and immature and ill at ease, at times. I really, really, wish she would choose movies with writers and directors that would capitalize on her beauty and charm and natural sweetness along with her maturity and intelligence; instead, they keep trying to make her into a grown-up-sized Winnie from The Wonder Years. She’s almost 50 years old, I feel like she needs roles with maturity that are less about perkiness & fairytales and more about substance and depth of character. I would love to see her shine in a really good role. For me, this movie was not that role. But I imagine others will love it, especially if they’re “royal” movie fans. What I saw of this movie was family friendly. ~~Jane

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    1. So, I caught the very end of this movie on my recording of "A Christmas for the Ages" and I just have to say, Danica and the Duke had some rather vigorous lip-locking going on in their happily-every-after kiss!! That was some serious up-close filming of some major lip suction!! I think I almost started blushing. Wow!! ~~Jane

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    2. Jim, I just rewatched the last 5 minutes, and I must say, I am just as baffled as you are. I even paused on the picture, and it's obvious, Danica is not in the newspaper photo they are looking at. Since she was wearing a red dress she should be easy to spot. Perhaps, there are other pictures in the article? Otherwise, you are absolutely right; it doesn't make any sense.

      When I zoomed in to look at the photo better, I noticed the article was very detailed describing the ball and his parent's love of Christmas. Such detail was given to the article, so it's really surprising the photo wasn't right.

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  44. Santa, Maybe. {Possible spoilers ahead.} I quite enjoyed this one. I almost deleted it without watching because I thought it would be low-budget and boring. And it was a bit low-budget as pertaining to the sets, and a bit slow going in the beginning, but I liked the story and thought the lead actors were good, so I’m glad I didn’t hit the delete button. What I didn’t like was Lila’s character through most of the movie, and I think I’m probably the odd man out on that view. I appreciated that Glenn’s character had grown up and changed in the 10-20 years since high school and he was repentant and seeking forgiveness for the behavior of his younger self. But Lila was still just wallowing in her teenage pain and refused to move forward and mature and show grace and forgiveness. I understand she had endured hurtful pranks and humiliations at Glenn’s instigation back in high school. But, as an adult, theoretically, Lila should have enough life experience and maturity at this point to be able to realize what teenagers are like and know that people are capable of changing as they mature -- and just get over herself, already; especially after he repeatedly tells her and shows her that he’s sorry. But, pridefully, she just keeps holding onto it… on and on and on (for nearly six weeks in this movie)… to the point that she really annoyed me! The control freak in me wanted to smack the control freak in her! 😊 So, other than “Miss Prickly”, I really liked this movie. And, truly, for the most part, I liked her, too, and was so thankful when she started to let it all go – finally – at the very, very end! I appreciated how we got to see Glenn slowly start to fall for her and secretly do thoughtful things for her. The relationships they both had with their families were quite nice, especially him with his dad, who had had a stroke, and her with her brother. I loved the storyline about the scarf. Another warm, sweet touch to the movie was watching her whole family choose a needy family to buy and wrap Christmas gifts for and then go as a family to deliver them. It was also fun to watch the theatre employees sneak around and leave their Secret Santa gifts each week for six weeks (that’s a twist that I wasn’t used to). The actress that played Lila’s friend/co-worker with the British accent was fantastic and felt natural and she actually had some good written dialogue to work with. There was nothing horribly cringeworthy in this movie other than a few stiff secondary actors and some low-budget sets. Honestly, I felt like the dialogue for the main characters and the writing for the whole thing was fairly good and mostly felt natural, although I would’ve liked to tweak the ending just a bit. It was very sweet but the happily-ever-after kiss seemed a bit rushed considering that just 24 hours earlier, she was still harboring unforgiveness. So, locking lips felt like too much of an abrupt turnaround on her part. Oh, well, it was still sweet and I’m glad they got their happily ever after! It was a cute movie, not a keeper, but I rather liked it. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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    1. I absolutely respect your opinion but as a someone who wasn't very much welcomed by my new classmates during my elementary school years and was bullied for 4 years i definitely does not appreciate your victim blaming. Bullying is serious issue and leads many people to self harm and even suicide. Bullies have to work on their anti social behaviour and solve their own personal issues but they definitely does not deserve forgiveness. I truly believe that victims do not owe anyone anything.

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  45. The Jingle Bell Jubilee. Meh. Kinda cute. I suppose it was okay for a one-time watch but I really didn’t enjoy it all that much. In fact, I deleted it with about three minutes left in the movie. It just all felt a bit predictable and shallow and implausible, lacking attention to detail. It was sweet, but there was no depth of character or depth of story; nothing truly unique or especially heartwarming to really pull me in. I think maybe it was the uninspired writing that bothered me more than the acting or directing, but I’m not sure? It kind of felt like it was written by an adolescent who still hasn’t experienced real life. And the ending was so syrupy sappy and ridiculous that I just couldn’t take it anymore and I hit the delete button before the HEA kiss; at that point it truly felt like a story written in some tweenagers romantic fantasy. And how many times can we say the terms “ReGiftmas” and “Jingle Bell Jubilee” in one movie?? A LOT! In hindsight, I wish I had started counting at the beginning. 🀣 The four main actors were okay, I guess, but I had a hard time believing the lead guy was the father of a teenage son, and the character of Hope was a bit too perfect and sugar-sweet. Weirdly enough, I think I ended up liking the awkward hockey-player character best of all (glad he got a romance, too). And I’m still not sure what I think about the whole idea of regifting unwanted or unneeded presents to donate to needy families (I can’t figure out if it’s tacky or genius). Overall, something just felt ever so slightly “off” and it was lacking that special sparkle I want in my movies. It wasn’t bad, and, in fact, it was cute at times but it just didn’t thrill me. It was family friendly and I think a younger audience will like it better than I did, especially those young tween girls, and any romantics out there. ~~Jane

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  46. A Christmas for the Ages. Loved it! Loved the nostalgia, definitely took me back!! Loved the inclusion of faith and prayer and Bible verses, it wasn’t evangelistic or preachy, but it was portrayed as a natural part of everyday life – well done. I’ve read reviews where people thought the whole thing was all too perfect and the family didn’t feel realistic. I disagree. It all felt very natural, to me, including all of the actors. Loved the seniors!! Applause for when Natasha’s character lists good things about her boyfriend and on that list is “He loves God”. This movie pulled me in emotionally. It was well-written, acted and directed. A nice movie about family and a sweet, young romance that was not all about locking lips. Refreshing, unique, warm, cozy, heartfelt, nostalgic, sweet, faith-filled and fun. A definite keeper, for me, and hope to buy the dvd. Family friendly (well, duh! 😊). ~~Jane

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  47. Christmas on the Coast (2017) was okay. -Maria

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  48. Peppermint and Postcards. Cute title but what did it have to do with the movie?? I almost hit the delete button because the beginning of this movie was a bit of a mess. And the blended family all staying under one roof for the Christmas season was just bizarre and distasteful! I’m fine with so-called “blended” families all getting along and hanging out, especially for the sake of the children but, seriously, why couldn’t the ex-husband and his new fiancΓ© stay at a hotel while they were in town? However, I decided to stick with the movie because I felt some spark of chemistry between the two leads (Christopher Russell and Ella Cannon). Ella was great in her role (and the only person in her “blended” family that wasn’t over-acting) and, for the most part, Christopher did okay in his role. The whole thing felt a tad bit low-budget and I didn’t like the storyline, but I did like the chemistry and the romance that slowly dawned on both of the lead characters. It was a fluffy, shallow movie and I don’t see a whole lot of staying power in their romance, but it was okay for a one-time watch. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  49. According to Candace's IG, she just wrapped filming on a new movie (she'll have a dog in this 1 too). Looking forward to future details! -Maria

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  50. GAF’s “A Royal Date for Christmas” just fell flat for me, and I was once again disappointed in Danica McKellar’s performance after struggling through her two previous films, “Christmas at the Drive-In” and “Swing Into Romance”. The flirting with her royal date (Damon Runyan) is over-the-top and there’s just no chemistry between them. For me, this was one of GAF’s weaker offerings this season.

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  51. Meet Me Under the Mistletoe. This one just gave me indigestion. I made it halfway through and I’m wondering why I even stuck with it for that long. So much of it was unrealistic, at times bizarre, lackluster, low-budget sappiness; nothing made much sense. Usually, I feel one or two components are to blame in a second-rate movie, but in this one it felt like maybe a combination of everything – lame writing, production, directing & acting. The whole storyline and the characters were all kind of disjointed and unpleasant, especially in the beginning. I think the lead actress is in her thirties but her appearance and her voice and her mannerisms are more that of a 15–20-year-old. There’s no way I was buying her character as a mature, professional realtor who was also taking care of a niece (her 16-year-old niece looked and acted more mature than she did). Her character was a combination of rude, silly, condescending, immature and bossy; and quite often she just looked uncomfortable. The lead actor did a slightly better job but his character was arrogant and annoying in the beginning, although he improved a bit. The best part of the first half of this movie was his pencil drawings and when he put a Santa beard on his head and made me laugh – and since that’s all I liked in the first 60 minutes, I decided it was time to hit delete and move on; it probably got better in the second half but the first half had already done me in. And oh, by the way, whatever decoration fairy burped up ALL THOSE LEAVES 🍁 in the GAF Autumn movies… she was back in full force burping up a glut of Christmas decorations in this film. Ugh, when will they learn that, quite often, less really is more? Family friendly in the first half. I think people who are not as picky and grumpy as me just might like this movie for some light fluff (so long as they can get past the lead characters being rude to each other in the beginning). I also think that I might like to see those lead actors in other roles and scripts that fit them better; and definitely would like to see the actress that played the niece in another movie because she was great. ~~Jane

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    1. Hi Jane, I just watched this movie and I doubt you will see this because it is a very old post you made but I have to tell you something. About halfway through watching "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe" I started to giggle to myself because I was thinking, oh my, Jane is going to rip this movie to shreds lol and then after I finished watching it, I read your review and started to laugh because I was spot on...haha. Some of your reviews entertain me more than the movies.

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    2. Jim, Yay! I can't believe I actually saw your comment! I've been fairly unplugged lately but decided to drop in here tonight and see what was happening with everyone. And, you've got me laughing!! It's scary (and funny!) that you knew exactly what I would say about this movie, and it's probably not good that I have a reputation for shredding movies that I don't particularly like?!?! Oops!! 🀣 🀣 Ah, well, I call 'em as I see 'em. Perhaps I should probably try to be nicer...???...maybe....maybe not? We'll see what happens next Christmas...πŸ˜‡ In the meantime, I'm happy to give you a laugh!
      ~~Jane
      (p.s. - If you could hear the reviews inside my head for some of the non-Christmas movies, you would really be giggling. I tend to not post most of those reviews and keep them to myself because my Christmas spirit is definitely missing and "ripping" them would often be an understatement.)

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    3. Don't you change a thing, Jane! lol. I LOVE your reviews. They are so honest and entertaining. Like I said in an earlier comment, you are my personal Siskel and Ebert! Sometimes I agree with you (the majority of the time) and sometimes I don't (not very often) but that is irrelevant. The reviews are pure gold!

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  52. Great American Christmas 2023 Review part 1:

    My rankings:

    #1, Paris Christmas Waltz, My Christmas Hero, A Christmas for the Ages
    #4, A Royal Date for Christmas
    #5, A Christmas Blessing
    #6, 12 Games of Christmas
    #7, Our Christmas Wedding
    #8, Christmas in Maple Hills
    #9, Bringing Christmas Home
    #10, Peppermint and Postcards
    #11, A Royal Christmas Holiday
    #12, Designing Christmas with You
    #13, Twas the Text before Christmas
    #14, Meet Me under the Mistletoe
    #15, The Jingle Bell Jubilee
    #16, Christmas keepsake
    #17, A Dash of Christmas
    #18, Destined 2: Christmas Once More
    #19, Christmas on Windmill Way
    #20, Journey to Christmas
    #21: Santa Maybe

    -Maria

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  53. Great American Christmas 2023 Review Part 2:

    My personal thoughts on the lineup:

    This was a very wonderful lineup! I felt it very cruel to only pick 1 Number 1, so I decided to go with 3 this year because they were so good!

    I've said this before, and it bears repeating: Having a network to go to where cozy movies can freely exist is a true blessing.

    Yeah, it doesn't have the ratings that Hallmark gets each Christmas, or very flashy trailers, but that's okay. Looking ordinary can be a good thing.

    Despite what the Leftist lurkers of this site think, movies on this network are made with nothing but love. They just need to wake up and realize that.

    I loved seeing all the growth this year, and I look forward to seeing what comes in 2024! -Maria

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  54. 12 games of Christmas, magically transported into a game, no thanks, looks and sounds evil, I am by no means the only one that thinks this.They try to make it sound and look good but it is not.

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  55. We watched A Royal Christmas Holiday tonight, and were pretty disappointed. Yes, it's family-friendly, but that might be the only thing going for it. There is barely a mention of Christmas. There is a diva (Carol) with her own TV show who plays a strange role in the movie, although less of one than we are led to expect. The whole Santa bit was kind of ridiculous. Katie's dad, upon meeting the prince, asks him if he would do a favor and Prince Jonathon asks for some advice, but we don't get to hear either one and they are never mentioned again. I don't detect any chemistry between H and h; in fact, the prince came across as smarmy and perhaps a bit shallow and insincere. If a strange guy were that anxious to spend time alone with me immediately after meeting me, warning bells would be going off! Also hard to believe he is traveling around NYC without any kind of body guard/security. There's no real explanation for the TV producer's (and Carol's) turnaround at the end. This movie just struck me as shoddily written and put together. There was one and only one thing I absolutely loved, and that was the shout-out for Beef-on-Weck! Must have been a Buffalonian in the show!

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  56. Designing Christmas with You. Double meh. I think others (who are less critical than I am!) will really like this predictable and sappy movie. I, however, found it to be an unoriginal storyline that was poorly executed. “Unoriginal” is okay (maybe?) because, after all, most holiday movies are cut from the same cloth; but if you’re going to have an unoriginal storyline, at least have some redeeming qualities, like witty banter, or fun subplots, or entertaining characters, or humor, or romantic chemistry, or, at the very least, some pretty sets to look at. For me, this movie didn’t have any of that. Nothing sparkled or stood out. Everything was mediocre, all the way down to the sets and the fake snow. Even Susie’s “fantastic” interior-designer Christmas designs just looked kind of bland, low-budget and childish (and if your main character is going to be a top interior designer, why not consult for just a wee minute with a real interior designer while writing the script?!?!). Susie’s acting of her character was sort of okay-ish, but everybody else was stiff and awkward, most especially the lead actor. Things felt silly and fake and this was another movie where there was no regard to reality concerning time frames or ages. I can’t stand when details are not attended to, and it would be such an easy thing to fix with one or two line changes in the script. This was a production where no one particular element was completely horrible but they all just felt sort of awkward, hokey and poorly implemented, including the acting, the directing, the sets and definitely the writing. This movie did not win any points for GAF, in my book; it felt like quickly-churned-out, uninspired pablum. The only redeeming thing about the movie was that the family prayed before a meal, which I appreciated. But that alone doesn’t make it a movie worth watching. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  57. A Royal Christmas Holiday. Another double meh. Most royal movies are like nails on a chalkboard for me but I toughed it out and made it all the way to the end (although I needed extra Christmas cookies to help me slog through this one!). It lacked the sophistication one would sorely hope for in a movie about royals, but I suppose it wasn’t completely horrible. There were a few cute parts, but it was not a very Christmassy movie and could be set any time of year. And even though they were brief segments in the movie, I really liked the father character and the veteran angle to the story. I think for a low-budget, cookie-cutter, B-list “royal” movie this one had the potential for being a one-time, mildly entertaining watch but was mostly ruined by poor writing and Jonathan Stoddard. He was the weak link, for me. He felt very fake and almost kind of creepy in a way. Someone else said “smarmy” and that might be apt. I’m not sure what it was? He had weird looks and facial expressions, probably from trying so hard to concentrate on faking that horrible accent, but he ended up looking like he was maybe leering or planning some evil intent behind his eyes. It also crossed my mind that maybe he had his dentist wire his jaw slightly shut to help him look and sound more like a stiff “royal”. Haha!! I don’t know? It was just very odd. Not for one minute did I buy him as a royal prince. And he keeps popping out royal movies right and left. Whoever told him he makes a wonderful royal prince needs to be whomped upside their head!! And btw, have you seen how many movies he churns out?! Seems to be a new one every other week! Slow down, dude! Quality over quantity! And the writer/director/producer seems to be a one-man band trying to help him churn out all those cheesy movies; and seems to have found his niche writing & directing & producing bad “royal” movies, although his favorite genre is horror movies or softcore porn. Ick. I think I will try to avoid most of this writer’s movies in the future. Okay. Okay. Okay. To be fair… this one wasn’t ALL that bad and I think people who like sappy royal movies will actually like this production. That is, so long as you don’t mind instalove in your movies because this was another one where I need to go see my chiropractor for whiplash since they confessed their deep and lasting love in about a three-day time frame. Yikes. And I didn't feel any chemistry to warrant that instant love. The lead actress was fairly good and there were some cute moments, so don’t skip this one just because I’m a grumpy royal-movie hater. Lol. Family friendly. (Actually, if you’re in the mood for a quick royal-movie fix but want to skip all the mediocre parts of this movie, just watch the 90-second trailer. It hits all the high moments and skips all the drivel. You get a sweet little royal-movie fixπŸ˜€) ~~Jane

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  58. Christmas on Windmill Way. Another “save the… fill in the blank” movie. The only way those work with me anymore is if there is witty dialogue, good acting, humor or chemistry or a beautiful setting. This one didn’t meet most of those criteria, but instead was a run-of-the-mill story with not much vitality or sparkle. The fact that I didn’t delete at the halfway point is a testament to how much I adore Chad Michael Murray. He tried his best to carry this thing, but his natural charm and charisma were not enough to make this movie a keeper. There’s a genuineness to his acting, he adds little gestures and expressions to make his characters more believable and appealing (kind of similar to what makes me like Tyler Hynes as an actor). Some of the supporting cast were rather good, I especially liked Herb. But unfortunately, the lead actress was too stiff and inexperienced. She’s very beautiful but she felt sort of flat and slow and kind of muted; there was no believable enthusiasm and no emotional connection or warmth, for me. No real romantic chemistry, either. And whoever coached her to melodramatically whisper and quiver all her lines, needs a good purse whomping. Nevertheless, I think with more experience under her belt she’ll be a good fit for these kinds of movies. Even considering her inexperience, I actually felt like the writing was the worst part of the movie, the poor girl didn’t have a good script to work with and the writing felt, perhaps, even more green than she did. So, for me, this movie was mildly pleasant but it lacked the vibrancy and sparkle I’m looking for, it kind of felt like one big, tired, eye-roll moment that is only saved (slightly) by Chad M.M. However, I think others will enjoy it, and rightly so, for its sweetness, gentleness and familiar, comfortable plot. And, of course, because it was family friendly (thank you, GAF!). {p.s – I didn’t know much about Christa Taylor Brown so I searched for info – something I swore I’d stop doing! Hah! Anyway, I found her singing a few songs on youtube – nice voice. Also found a website “wildandtaylor” where I discovered she’s a realtor, designer and home organizer. Interesting.} ~~Jane

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  59. 12 Games of Christmas. It’s a nope, for me. My family and I LOVE board games so I thought this would be a fun movie, but I couldn’t make it all the way through. I think I’d rather play Candyland with a 4-year-old over and over and over again rather than finish this one. Slow-moving and nonsensical script, blah dialogue, meh directing and mediocre acting. In general, I’m not a fan of fantasy or magical stories, but this storyline seemed to have potential and the premise would lead one to believe that it might be creative and effervescent and exciting. It was not. It was duller than week-old street snow. The games were not even games -– things like make hot chocolate as a group (Seriously? Six adults standing around in their winter coats making one mug of hot chocolate to be tasted and judged by the Mayor of the Game?! Who wrote this drivel??), sing a Christmas carol as a group, make a wreath together, make individual gingerbread houses, work together to decorate two Christmas cookies, do crafts together, and on, and on, and on. And the Mayor of the Game with all his little lessons preached to the group as if they were children kind of made it feel like an adult version of Sesame Street or something. The sets were quite pretty, and perhaps mixed in with the sappiness there were some good messages, but my suggestion is to go play a real board game with your friends and family and skip this clunker. What I saw was family friendly, although I thought I possibly heard some pseudo-spiritual mumbo jumbo in the chapel scene but by that point I wasn’t really paying attention and I was too disinterested to rewind and listen again. ~~Jane

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  60. A Paris Christmas Waltz. Bravo!!! Standing ovation! I was enchanted, charmed and captivated by this phenomenal movie. I felt emotionally connected. It reminded me of my favorite, glamorous, Golden Hollywood song & dance productions with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and, of course, the nod to the iconic street scene from Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain”. The dance scenes in this were superb, even the practice sessions. The chemistry between Jen’s and Matthew’s characters was palpable. And Jen’s joy and zest for life and new experiences was magnetic. Her faith came through in small but evident touches throughout the movie. Also, three special mentions for the excellent actors who played Giselle, Henry and Cece, Jen’s best friend back home. I loved everything about this one, but if perchance I had not loved the story or the dancing, it would be worth watching just for the wonderful visual treat. Not only was the city of Paris beautiful but all of the indoor sets were so warm and cozy and elegantly decorated. There was no GAF fairy burping up too many Autumn leaves or Christmas tinsel in this one – instead, everything was refined and tasteful and exquisite. A feast for the eyes! And the wardrobes were equally stunning. Jen’s outfits were gorgeous; and give me a man who’s manly enough to carry off plaid pants and a sweater – yes, please! This movie was mesmerizing and had that extra special sparkle that so many are lacking; it was a delightful and exquisite production. A definite keeper and I will buy the dvd as soon as it’s released. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  61. A Christmas Blessing. Excellent! Loved it! Keeper. Hope they make a dvd. ~~Jane

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