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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, October 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„2023 CHRISTMAS MOVIE REVIEWS๐ŸŽ„ from the *It's a Wonderful Movie* Family! ๐ŸŽ… SEE HERE:




Welcome, Friends,
to the 2023 
Christmas Movie Review Page!

Here we go again! This is our fourth year sharing Christmas movie reviews here together at It's a Wonderful Movie!

I am going to be updating THIS PAGE with Movie Reviews and Comments on almost every NEW MOVIE from *It's a Wonderful Movie* family members throughout Christmastime. Hopefully, this will give us all a sense of which NEW Christmas Movies ARE and which movies ARE NOT family-friendly or frankly, worth watching.

Be sure to bookmark this page by adding it to your favorites and return here for reviews added for more movies throughout the season. I'm hoping this will help us all enjoy many of the wonderful Christmas movies airing this Holiday Season and make our viewing experience this Christmas a whole lot easier.

As I've shared with you all in the past, my personal reviews come from a Christian viewpoint, and I appreciate those who visit here at *It's a Wonderful Movie* and share these same moral standards and traditional values with us. Thank you to those of you who have contributed a review, thus far, and if you haven't shared one, yet, but you would like to, please see the details at the end of this post. Whether you share a little or a lot - it is all appreciated!

Please know once you share a review here, you instantly become a valued member of this *It's a Wonderful Movie* family! May God bless you all!


I hope you enjoy all of the movie reviews below...


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

* 2023 CHRISTMAS *

MOVIE REVIEWS

๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„


*Christmas movies are listed in order by their premiere date below - underneath each individual network.


๐ŸŒŸGREAT AMERICAN FAMILY:


Destined 2: Christmas Once More - October 14, 2022

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2 Christmas Once More was so beautiful! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2 Christmas Once More was even better than I thought it would be. Nice start for Great American Family. Casey Elliott needs to be on the channel regularly. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2: Christmas Once More – I thoroughly enjoyed this first movie for Great American Family’s 2023 Christmas season. What a joy it was to see the original cast return for this sequel where all of Theo and Kim’s friends and family are excited to see them be engaged, if only Theo (Casey Elliott) can find the right time to pop the question to Kim (Shae Robins).

Theo’s daughter, Ashley (played by Casey’s real-life daughter, Eve), is such a delight in this movie; she is such a natural when it comes to acting. I just loved her in every scene she was in. Her participation in the gingerbread competition was a nice throwback to the first movie, and the 12 days of Christmas giveaway was quite fun. It was very sweet when the father reminded her one night to say her prayers and she knelt down beside her bed - and prayed for child-like dreams at Christmas, but most importantly, she ended the prayer by saying in Jesus' name. That was such a touching moment.

I also thought the scene where all of the family went to see the play of A Christmas Carol was very well-done. We even got to see short segments of the play. The only down-sides for me... Casey Elliott is such a fantastic singer in real-life as part of the musical group, GENTRI; I sure wish we could’ve heard him sing in this; it could’ve been so great during the proposal. The actual proposal scene was a bit anti-climactic after the two hour wait, but it was still a delightful, fun, entertaining, family-friendly movie, one I know I’ll enjoy watching over and over again! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2 was a great watch for our whole family Saturday night. Really enjoyable. And of course, family friendly. -Allie B

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2 Christmas Once More was the best movie of the night. I hope they make Destined 3 A Christmas Wedding. ~Bebe

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2: Christmas Once More is such a great movie! I've enjoyed every moment of it. So many sweet, tender, romantic and funny moments. Shae Robins and Casey Elliott's acting was off the charts. It will definetely be a Christmas classic along with the first part and hopefully the third movie on the way. We need to see their wedding! ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2 I just absolutely loved! Very much family friendly, and it is so nice to see a couple be together through the whole movie. I loved the different ways he "missed" proposing, and I loved how Theo kept his daughter involved with the "planning". I just adored this movie, and I really hope they make one more sequel so we can see The Wedding! This one I am definitely re watching frequently. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Destined 2: Christmas Once More -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? On the fence -

I have to admit, I was concerned about this movie. When I read the plot summary above where "Theo continues to miss connecting with Kim", I thought, oh no, here we go again with a bunch of unbelievable near misses just like the first movie. Fortunately, that description is not accurate. Theo doesn't "miss connecting", he just runs into problems in finding the right time to propose. And for me this made for a better story line...somewhat.

I still have a problem with it and here's why. Theo is trying to propose sometime - even weeks - before Christmas. I'm sorry, but I think just about any guy would want to propose on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, not on some random day in December (and especially since he knows how busy she is right before Christmas and that she is "on break" during the holidays). And when he confides in others about not knowing what to do, it's even more surprising that not one of them tells him, "Why don't you just propose on Christmas Eve, say, right after the festival when everybody else is gone?" And then the whole thing about losing the ring and finding it at the last minute - so contrived!

Still, those problems don't take away from it being a somewhat enjoyable movie! The chemistry between the leads, and between Theo and his daughter, is spot-on. (And the actress who plays Theo's daughter is fantastic!) So I guess if you don't think too hard about it (like I have a tendency to do), it is worth a watch. A keeper? Not sure. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I agree! I wasn't a big fan of the first one, but this one was great! Great chemistry with every one. I can't believe he still lost the ring!! I wasn't going to watch Destined 2, but I am glad I did! I hope the others are as good. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ I absolutely adored Destined for Christmas 2. This movie was just so sweet and I loved how they were a couple through the whole movie. I loved all of the family moments-especially that Theo kept Ashley involved with helping with the proposal. This is definitely family friendly and I will be watching this several more times! I really hope they do one more sequel and we will be able to see a wedding! I have gone to the GAF website to do a movie review and let them know we want another sequel...lol. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ I watched Destined 2, and I LOVED it. I love that they had all the family back, and I loved the Father/Daughter stuff in this movie, and also when Ashely and Kim had a girls night and they were so sweet together. I hope they do a Destined 3 next year, I am dying to see Kim as Ashley's mom now and all interacting.

So many great feels in the movie like the 12 days of Christmas gifts for Hunter/Clarissa and Tori, the family dinner Theo's mom planned for the extended family in Kim's parents. Such a great movie. I am keeping it. ~Sabrina

๐ŸŽ„ Loved, loved, loved the Destined 2. I liked this first one but this one was really great. Loved the touching scene of the little girl praying. Love your and others reviews to so, thanks. ~Clara

๐ŸŽ„ 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

๐ŸŽ„ I hate to say it but I didn't like Destined 2. I knew from the moment we saw the ring at the beginning of the movie there would be almost opportunity for the proposal all movie long and the the lost ring twist was not fun to watch. This is the 1st movie on GAC that I had to push myself to get through. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ Destined 2.....This one was about as annoying as the first one. I didn’t understand why they needed a second movie. The daughter was probably the best one. I didn’t care for all the hectic, busy schedules they kept stressing. Especially since they weren’t that way in the last movie yet both still had the same jobs and roles. Idk. This one just didn’t do anything for me. It was more frustrating than anything and who really wants that in a movie that’s supposed to be relaxing? We’re trying to unwind from our own hectic lives not take part in a fictional one. -Anonymous1


'Twas the Text Before Christmas - October 21, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ 'Twas the text before Christmas has a likeable cast but i don't like the plot and i am glad that basically every character except the main three pointed out that it was crazy to accept that invitation. Merritt's and Trevor's chemistry was the only reason why i watched it till the end. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Loved Twas the Text before Christmas. Trevor and Merritt are so perfect as costars. But Nana was my favorite being played by Jayne Eastwood who is also Mrs White in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and 3. Great American Family Christmas movies are so great. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I am not the biggest Trevor Donovan fan. I thought the movie was overall good. I liked it more than his Autumn movie. I think the weakest part was his family (other than Nana). Nana was sweet. I wish they didn't go with them dating other people. Loved the house he bought the house & dog he looked after. I wanted to add that the atmosphere of Christmastime was on point. It looked like they filmed this in winter! Romance was there too. Misty

๐ŸŽ„ I also watched Twas The Text Before Christmas...and I really liked this movie! I thought Merritt and Trevor were once again adorable together and they have just really good chemistry together. I loved the actress who played "Nana" and her and Merritt were adorable together as well-I loved their scenes together! This definitly family friendly. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ ‘Twas the Text Before Christmas... I am not a fan of Merritt Patterson but this movie had Jayne Eastwood, who I’ve always liked, so I gave it a watch. First of all, what person would connect with a stranger who called the wrong number? That was just weird. Only Jayne Eastwood could’ve pulled this one off and she did! She was so funny and kind. It was a pretty good movie. Family friendly. (Although I didn’t like how James asked if she had a significant other at the beginning. That rubbed me the wrong way. Why not just say boyfriend?) The movie seemed a bit spacey as they had to put three years into one movie length. It was sort like a recap of what happened instead of an actual movie. I still liked and enjoyed it. I thought the ending was pretty rough. They could’ve done so much more with it had the couple gotten together sooner. I also didn’t like how it was Addie who made the first move instead of James. All in all, a strange plot and story but still enjoyable because of the lighthearted Nana! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas - So far, I watched "Checking it Twice" and "Twas the Text Before Christmas". I enjoyed "Twas the Text Before Christmas much more than the other movie. My husband and I really liked Merritt and Trevor together in "Twas the Text Before Christmas". Their movie was sweet and uplifting. I liked all of the relationships. In today's world, I don't think I would have responded to a text from a stranger, nor would I have shared a photo of myself (even if I looked like Merritt) LOL! But, the storyline was great. It will be a movie that I will definitely watch again. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text before Christmas was so amazing!! Highly recommend. And it was so nice to see mini promo blurbs for a few of the upcoming movies a couple of weeks from now. :) –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas - Is family friendly about Addie & Nana develops a close friendship after an accidental text message to Addie instead her Granddaughter named Paige. Addie goes to visit Nana, where she meets Nana’s only Son; James. James & Addie start to view each other differently after years of spending holidays together. Nana’s Daughter named Molly & Son in Law named Will. James has a cute dog. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ ‘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

๐ŸŽ„ ‘Twas the Text Before Christmas is such an uplifting and enjoyable movie. I liked all the characters, especially Nana, she was so charming and kind-hearted. I love Merritt Patterson, she shines in every movie, and this one is not exception. Trevor Donovan was great too. I like them together. Their acting was so sincere and true. I like how I felt while watching this movie: forgetting about all the bad things going on around the world right now, and soaking in the atmosphere of kindness, love, friendship, hospitality and many other good things. This movie has really warmed my heart. And one more thing I was so impressed with, it's how James (Trevor Donovan) describes how he will know that he is in love: "I feel like when I finally find the woman whose happiness is more important than my own, that's when I know I'm in love". Definitely worth-watching, and many-many times. ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas was enjoyable the first time, but after watching it again, I loved this movie! Trevor and Merritt are so comfortable together. It felt like they had been friends forever.

Did anyone else notice the names used in this movie? Addie's brother was Andrew, her two boyfriends were Mark & Luc, and then there was James, her new beau. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Review: 'Twas the Text Before Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

I agree with others' comments. Yes, it was not the smartest move by Addie to accept an invitation from a total stranger, and even her friends mentioned this to her. But if anyone could convince her, it would be Nana, so wonderfully played by Jayne Eastwood. The chemistry between Merritt and Trevor was spot-on - you can tell these two enjoy each other's company. And the plot was unique but sensible - I enjoyed watching the relationship develop over the three Christmases. Not quite as good as Jingle Bell Princess in my opinion, but still very entertaining. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~Namegirl

๐ŸŽ„ The only movie I watched this weekend was Twas the Text Before Christmas. Merritt and Trevor were great together as usual in my opinion and having Jayne Eastwood as Nana was perfect. I enjoyed seeing Rob Stewart as well. The movie overall was good with a sweet storyline and I'm sure to watch it again. I didn't like the ending as much since they moved away but understood it was to be with her family. Wished they had both remained in the small town, started their own practices and lived in his house. The set decorations were still overdone but at least they didn't look so overwhelming.

The movie kind of reminded me of a time back in 1988 (I was 18) when my family invited four Soldiers from the local Army base to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with us. They were complete strangers to us, but we had the BEST time, and they truly were appreciative of us opening our home to them. I know that's not quite the same, but it just reminded me of the joy we had that day. ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ So far I’m very happy with the movies! My fav is the Merrit and Trevor movie but I’ve enjoyed all the movies so far!~Susan Ann

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas was a great movie. Would love to see a sequel to this one. :) Of course it is family friendly!! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ I really enjoyed Twas the Text Before Christmas! It had a unique plotline that kept me interested all the way through, the acting was good, and it definitely put me in the Christmas spirit. Also, did anyone else notice that they used some of the sets from When Hope Calls? The interior of the inn where she stays is the hotel and Nana's house is the orphanage from Brookfield! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ 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! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Thanks for sharing about the true story! I also loved the movie. ~Lizzie R

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas - This was OK, I think best of GAC that I have seen so far this year but would be average or below for Hallmark. I like both leads, which kept me through it. The plot was different enough and i have seen real stories like this about strangers joining holiday festivities of a wrong number. –MS

๐ŸŽ„ Twas the Text Before Christmas – I quite enjoyed this delightful Christmas movie from Great American Family! For me, Trevor Donovan and Merritt Patterson were great, but the star of the show was Nana, actress Jayne Eastwood! I just adored her! She made everyone feel at home and so welcome at Christmastime and her home was beautifully decorated with Christmas dรฉcor, so warm and inviting. I also loved how Nana quoted the scripture, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” (Hebrew 13:2) in reference to welcoming Addie (a new friend) into her home for Christmas. This is a heartwarming movie with touches of faith, including the scripture Nana quoted and the prayer at the table before their meal. Twas the Text Before Christmas is a definite keeper for me! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ TWAS THE TEXT BEFORE CHRISTMAS This was really cute. It was definitely an unusual story, but I kind of liked it. The romance was very slow burn, built throughout the years, but I think it was cute and sweet. Merritt Patterson and Trevor Donovan's movies were usually hit or miss for me, but here they had good chemistry and it was definitely a hit. ~CH Mom


Bringing Christmas Home - October 28, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home was awesome! A mystery, romance, tribute to our veterans! Great movie and acting!! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ I don't have enough words to describe how much I loved Bringing Christmas Home, it was like when I was watching A Christmas Present for the 1st time!! You should all see this movie! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home is a 10 for me! I loved everything about this movie. Paul Greene and Jill Wagner are two of my favorites. A keeper for sure! ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home is what I want from a Christmas romance movie..Be about Christmas, chemistry between the leads, a good story and likeable characters. The mystery was a bonus! Misty

๐ŸŽ„ absolutely loved Bringing Christmas Home with Jill Wagner and Paul Green. Loved the Military theme, and you could tell that Jill in particular loved this role. Such a great storyline and Jill and Paul were just amazing in this! It is family friendly and definitely bring the Kleenexes! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~RC

๐ŸŽ„ Glad to see that reality is included in Christmas movies. I feel that a lot of viewers have had to deal with life and health issues during the holidays. Thought it was handled very well. Thought “Bringing Christmas Home” definitely the best so far from all offerings. ~JoCo

๐ŸŽ„ We loved “Bringing Christmas Home” on GAC Family with Paul Greene and Jill Wagner. It is a heartwarming movie with a historical/military/veteran theme. There are multiple loves stories in this movie, and the underlining mystery of the identity of the World War 2 couple keeps the story engaging as the search for clues and answers progresses. All of the characters are likable, and there is a faith element about how the pieces of the story together. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie! - Laurie

๐ŸŽ„ Great American Family is hitting it out of the park with their Christmas movies this year. Both Bringing Christmas Home and Journey to Christmas were so good. Bringing. Christmas Home was the best movie of the night. ~Bebe

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home…I really loved this movie! I loved the story line, the military theme, the mystery, and the actors. Of course, you can never go wrong with Jill Wagner!! The sister was pretty funny also. I liked how it was realistic from the retired soldier’s viewpoint. How she was still dealing with stuff and probably always will. The movie was very well written and the mystery and code was fun! Probably the best one so far this year!! Family Friendly and definitely a keeper!!! -Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home: I'm all in my feels on this one and was emotional a few times throughout the movie. I'm a Veteran and I have a great uncle who was killed in WWII and buried in France so this one hit at my heartstrings.

It was a wonderful story on so many levels and really had that mystery feel to it. Jill and Paul are two of my favorite actors in these movies and I simply love the characters they portrayed. Jill made the perfect choice for a retired military officer. She truly understands the military life and lives it in reality. I really enjoyed Simon Arblaster and Jess Brown's characters as well. They all fit well together and gave solid performances. I enjoyed the banter the writers gave them.

The mention of foster care and adoption for Russell and Jules was endearing, and the storyline of Caroline's PTSD/mental health was an integral part of the story that definitely highlights what military members go through during/after war. This is a reality for a lot of Veterans on a daily basis and I appreciate this movie giving it some depth to those who may not understand. Also, Alton having his former commander's back and continuing his friendship with her was wonderful. Those are the strong bonds of the military!

Orin and Alice's love story was a simple reminder of how things were during WWII for a lot of men and women in service to their nations all those years ago. Photos and letters were all they had to keep them going to make it through such difficult times.

The plot of the movie was like a few others, but it was done well. Were there some mistakes as far as the military stuff was portrayed, yes but there usually is in these movies. The decorations were still a little out there but not terrible. Overall, it was an outstanding movie! ~Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ "Bringing Christmas Home" was spectacular! Seriously lovely and heartfelt movie. There were no missteps at all. Everyone involved brought their A-game. It was a fantastic movie. LOVED IT! I have always been drawn to anything with a military theme. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home is what I want from a Christmas romance movie..Be about Christmas, chemistry between the leads, a good story and likeable characters. The mystery was a bonus! ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ "Bringing Christmas Home" is a truly special movie! So much heart! So much depth! Jill Wagner was just phenomenal, she conveyed all the emotions of a person struggling after all the war horrors. Paul Green's acting was just great too. They were so good together. You really believe in their characters' growing affection and deep feelings to each other. I liked Simon Arblaster (Alton) and Jess Brown (Jules) too. The story itself was just so captivating and exciting. It is the third GAC's Christmas movie this year and I like that they don't put all these "candy canes, Christmas cookies, etc" stuff but instead focus on truly meaningful things.

I also appreciate that they showed real struggles of people coming from a battlefiled. Like Caroline (Jill Wagner) said: "You can come back here and you don't know what your purpose is. You don't even know how to be normal anymore". But I liked what Russel (Paul Green) said when talking about the crack in Santa Clause toy: "It's a crack that proves just how strong something can really be".

You know, I always liked to watch military movies, but this time it was just different for me. I was so emotional 'cause it has been almost two years since the war in my country started, so much pain and it really hurts. But I'm very happy I watched it. ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Bringing Christmas Home -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Oh yes! -

This is the first movie I've seen this season that is a big and definite yes for being a keeper! I loved this storyline, and Jill and Paul were simply perfect. You felt like they weren't just acting - they took their roles to heart! A wonderful movie that really put me in the Christmas spirit! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ 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

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Christmas Home- Jill Wagner and Paul Greene are truly spectacular together in Bringing Christmas Home. In most scenes, it didn’t even feel like acting; their ease of talking with each other felt natural and effortless. The mystery portion of the movie was intriguing, and I appreciated how they honored our military with such great respect. There was a great balance in the film of serious moments and a little comedy mixed in with romance, too, of course! Bringing Christmas Home is a high-quality, family-friendly film that I look forward to watching over and over again throughout the Christmas season. ~Net


Journey to Christmas - October 29, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas - Nice enough but didn't really draw me in and have me glued to the tv. I always like being introduced to new actors I haven't seen before, but it was the usual Christmas movie trope, and nothing really stood out about it overall. I did enjoy the family dynamics and that reminded me of my own family and how we interact with each other. The big plus for me in this one was that there was real snow when making snowmen. I'm not a fan of the fake snow/snowmen! It's the little things I guess for me. :-) ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ Journey To Christmas is family friendly. I enjoyed the 2 leads, I haven't seen them in a movie before but I felt like they had good chemistry together. I love when we see family's celebrate Christmas together and his family was really cute and sweet. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas was soooo nice! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I watched Journey To Christmas and really enjoyed it! The mean manager did such a great job! He intimidated me! LOL Looked like real snow in most of the scenes, but the driving part. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ I really enjoyed "Journey to Christmas". It was nice, family-friendly and the family was just adorable. :-) Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas is family friendly about while on a charity press tour, a model ends up stranded by the weather at the family home of the chauffeur, she hired to assist her for the week. –Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ 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

๐ŸŽ„ GAF’s “Journey to Christmas” is family-friendly and features newcomer Ash Tsai, who plays a supermodel (Cali Caldwell) being driven cross-country the week before Christmas. Though Cali’s a famous personality, she’s humble and excited to make as many stops along the way to visit charitable organizations. Romance blossoms with her chauffeur (played by Joey Heyworth) after snowstorms force them to make an emergency stop at his parent’s home. This sweet and family-oriented story is a keeper, and I certainly hope GAF plans on casting Ms. Tsai in more of their future films. She's a doll! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ I’m glad you mentioned that some actors/actresses are just not compatible together in certain movies this season. I even felt a certain disconnection in GAF’s Journey to Christmas.

The lead’s family appeared empty. I wanted to connect with the mother and father but just couldn’t. I kept hoping for more substance in the characters but they seemed flat and forced. At times the altruistic theme had sparks of sweetness but it just seemed off. And I really wanted it to work. Yet, I did see promise in the lead characters. ~Flossy

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas....The best part of this movie were the two main stars and it was nice to see Brad Johnson again. The actress’s goodwill heart was sweet and exactly what Christmas spirit is about. It wasn’t one of the great ones, but definitely a good movie. Worth a watch. Family friendly- Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas – This is such a sweet little movie. I liked how Cali, a famous model, was involved with giving back to others, and didn’t seem to be wrapped up in herself or her fame. It was nice to see that side of her character. Her driver, Jack, was about as real and authentic as they come. I especially enjoyed the time they spent together at his parent’s home when the weather turned bad and they couldn’t further their journey to L.A. Jack’s (adult) sister and brother (and his family) are also visiting, and I enjoyed seeing the relationship between the three siblings, teasing, at times, and giving advice. The romantic connection between Cali and Jack is more subtle, but I still enjoyed this lighthearted family-friendly movie. It’s definitely a journey worth taking and will leave you feeling good inside. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Journey to Christmas...Ash Tsai (Cali) is absolutely adorable! I sure hope GAF has her in their movies again. Her good heart and smile shined through in this movie. ~Jim


A Dash of Christmas - November 4, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ GAF’s “A Dash of Christmas” is family-friendly with an interesting storyline, and features wonderful chemistry between the two leads, Laura Osnes and Christopher Russell. I only wished the story afforded an opportunity for Laura Osnes to sing! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash of Christmas -- I watched this one live on GAC when it aired. I love both leads in this, but the story/this movie didn't keep my attention. I did keep it on but will need to catch again sometime as I was easily distracted. I think Christopher has 3! movies this season. The bakery/ cooking themes was also one I enjoy. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash of Christmas is heartwarming ๐Ÿ’— and delicious! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ We enjoyed A Dash of Christmas! My, that Christopher Russell is dashing! Great smile and Laura was sweet as ever! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Also, I watched 'A Dash of Christmas' and I really enjoyed that movie. It was lovely. I always forget how good of an actor Christopher is. He was really good in that movie. And, the young girl, who played Laura's niece has really grown up. She is adorable. Anyway, 'A Dash of Christmas" is a keeper. I loved the 'meet-cute' and how they recreated the scene again, at the end of the movie. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash for Christmas is family friendly about an executive named Megan must learn how to bake is to apply for her dream job at a foodie startup company. When Megan recruits a handsome local baker named Aaron who owns Hometown Bakery in Connecticut to help her how to bake, she inadvertently ends up in a Christmas bake off for Connecticut Christmas Charity at Competition Hall? Megan & her Niece named Erica fix flyers for Christmas Bake Off on the computer. Aaron owns a popular local baking vlog & holds classes teaching people how to bake on his Hometown Bakery Vlog about Baking Class foodies or Bake off competitions for his video vlogs. He has his own Hometown Bakery Cookbook & including for Megan. Aaron McBay mentions Christmas cake to Megan. Although Megan gets a job at foodie startup company & thanks to Aaron when Erica shows her Aunt Megan for Aaron’s new video vlog about cookbook about Christmas Fruitcake Torte. Megan & Aaron make Christmas Fruitcake Torte from Megan & Sarah’s Grandma for Christmas Bake Off Competition. Judge Sullivan choices Christmas Fruitcake to recreate a mystery Christmas dish & he choices a winner is Megan & Aaron of Hometown Bakery for Connecticut Annual Charity Bake-Off. Megan’s Sister named Sarah makes Christmas Stew. Megan mentions je ne sais quoi. Megan is waiting for Aaron comes out with boxes of pantries outside of Hometown Bakery ~ Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Dash of Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? No -

It pains me to say this, since I am such a Laura Osnes fan and have been one even before she started acting in movies, but this movie didn't do anything for me. Yes it was sweet, but it dragged, with a plot that seemed very far-fetched. In her other movies, Laura was fun to watch, and seemed to be really enjoying herself (especially in One Royal Holiday). Here, I felt she was just going through the motions. There was even a great opportunity at one point for her to sing, and she didn't. And I've never been a big fan of Christopher Russell - he comes across to me as conceited, with a constant smile that seems to say "Look how handsome I am". (Okay, maybe that's me, I'm a guy, what do I know?) So anyway, this was definitely a one-time only watch for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash of Christmas was good, but sort of lagged in the middle. But, the leading actor was not only charismatic but drop dead gorgeous too! I would watch it again, but not buy it. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash Of Christmas was a great movie. I like the movie had the actors talk about how they were interested in each other in the middle of the movie. Too many movie dance around that until the last 10 minutes of the movie. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ I saw "Dash of Christmas" and I really liked it! It is family friendly and I thought Laura and Christopher Russell were really sweet together. I really liked that Chris's character was so supportive of Laura's character. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ A Dash of Christmas – Well, that Christopher Russell certainly is dashing! I already loved him in the Great American Family Christmas movie, “A Lot Like Christmas,” and now this movie, too! This is such a delightful, joyful film to welcome the lovely, Laura Osnes into the Great American Family! What a wonderful talent she is! And even though we didn’t get the joy of hearing her sing (doggone it!), I still thoroughly enjoyed her sweet, effervescent spirit throughout the movie. While I adored watching Megan (Laura Osnes) gradually fall for Aaron (Christopher Russell), I also delighted in Megan’s close-knit relationship with her sister, Sarah (Amy Groening), and darling niece, Erica (Zoe Fish). It was a nice, thoughtful touch to the story, to include that Sarah’s husband and Zoe’s father was away serving in the military. I’m sure that touched the hearts of many families who are spending this holiday season away from their loved ones as they serve our country. Overall, A Dash of Christmas has the ideal recipe of charming banter, romantic chemistry, and Christmas baking! It is a very sweet holiday rom-com the whole family can enjoy. I’m so glad Laura Osnes has joined Great American Family! Welcome Home! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ 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! ๐Ÿ˜Š 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


Our Christmas Wedding - November 5, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Our Christmas Wedding -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? No -

This is a movie that is frustrating to watch. So here we have someone who has been planning her wedding her whole like, but then lets her friend/boss take over and do all of the planning and make all of the decisions for her. Which, of course, means that her fiancรฉ has no say in anything. C'mon, communicate, people! I mentioned in a review last year that for me to recommend a movie, I have to care about the people in it. I didn't care for any of the young people in this one, so this movie is a no-go for me. (Plus, the acting left something to be desired.) ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ 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

๐ŸŽ„ "Our Christmas Wedding" was just ok...didn't really care for it, I thought the acting was so-so. This was probably the weakest movie from GAF this season so far. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Wedding got me so frustrated that I dropped out with a half hour left. They acted like they didn't know what creating a wedding means communication. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Wedding- When I don't know how many words to say to describe how much I love a movie, that means I really, really, really loved it. And I don't have enough words to say how much I love this absolutely stunning movie!!

๐ŸŽ„ The trust, the communication, the tradition of not moving in with a man until you're married to him in an era where seemingly everyone just wants to move in with someone before they marry them, the love, all of it was so amazing to see!! Major kudos to GAF and Nicely for making this gem! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Wedding - Well, I like the actors in this movie, but the story just didn’t excite me. Both Nicole (Holly Deveaux) and Michael (Drew Seeley) are fairly stressed out throughout the movie trying to plan their dream wedding in just a few weeks (so they can hold the ceremony at a venue that will soon be torn down) and they attempt to keep up with their heavy work schedule. It was not exactly enjoyable to watch them go through all of this stress. The prequel movie, My Boss’ Wedding has some intense moments, too, but it doesn’t seem quite as extreme; although, Nicole is just as quirky and dramatic in both. Holly Deveaux and Drew Seeley also starred together in Christmas Movie Magic, which is a holiday mystery that aired on Lifetime a couple years ago. I quite enjoyed that movie with these two, so if you haven’t seen that film, I do recommend it. Overall, on a positive note, Our Christmas Wedding is family-friendly, and it has a nice, happy, beautiful ending. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Wedding - When this was first announces I commented as why on earth anyone would want to make a sequel to My Boss's Wedding. Judging from the reviews here it would seem most agree, even Net expresses reservations about this one. Poor acting and OTT - a ludicrous situation where someone who has been anticipating her wedding most of her life and then tries to do it in a couple of weeks AND leave everything to a co-worker. It all seemed very forced ad the acting was as if everyone was reting too hard. Difficult to sit through for an hour-and-a-half. Florence's rating 3.5


Christmas Keepsake - November 11, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake: This was a sweet and heartwarming story that showed the wonderful relationship of father and daughter within two families. I absolutely loved that Daniel Lissing got to play his authentic Australian self in this movie; that was great, and I could listen to him recite the phone book and be happy. Jillian was bubbly as usual, and Ellie Stewart was wonderful as Daniel's daughter. Although it was pretty obvious who the time capsule belonged to, the plot was thoughtfully done. Overall, a genuine and sweet family movie with a nice love story thrown in. I always enjoy seeing the traditions and events in communities that usually happen during the holidays. ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake is family friendly about following their relocate to new city on Ashbury Grove in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, A Father named Tom bonds his Daughter named Grace & stumbles upon an unexpected romance with a woman named Elizabeth who works at Luna’s Bakery & Cafe while down the original owner of Christmas time capsule when Grace find’s Christmas tin box buried in the show in the backyard. Tom & Grace meet Elizabeth’s Mom named Luna. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake is so sweet! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake is a.keper.for.me! The chemistry of the cast and all the Christmas feels. The mystery was easy to figure out, but was still cute. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Misty- I got the same vibes from the movie. In fact, the children and the older (but wiser) characters connected with the children and moved the story along. Giving it a thumbs up because it is family friendly. -Gabe’s Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake is such a great story, full of sweet and touching moments. I was so happy to see Daniel Lissing again. He is such a good actor. He and Jillian Murray were so genuine and sincere in their roles. And I like a girl playing a daughter. Father-daughter relationship was so mature and strong. I like the idea of a time capsule and how they brought the topic of family traditions. Living in the world like it is now, you realize that there's nothing more important than your family, friends, all the people you love. Spending time with them. celebrating Christmas together, having traditions you follow every year, that's what a real treasure. So grateful to GAF for showing the real values. I've enjoyed their Christmas movies so much so far. ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Christmas Keepsake -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

First, I must admit, I am a sucker for Christmas movies that have a sweet, well-behaved child at the center of it, especially since there don't seem to be as many of these kind of movies as there once was. Here we have a 12-year-old, played wonderfully by Ellie Stewart, who is not afraid to show love to her father (Lissing) and bonds with the local baker (Murry).

But I also enjoyed this movie for its (for lack of a better word) gentleness. There are no big dramatic scenes, no bad people, no rushing around - just an easy-going, nice (and nicely-paced) movie. And I could sense the chemistry between the two leads (and if you watch the behind-the-scenes clip, you can see that the two leads have real affection for each other). Also, I like how, for a change, one of the leads (Murray) was hesitant to get into a relationship not because of a past relationship, but because the loss of her father tore her apart and she did not want to feel that sense of loss again. (In fact, there is no indication that she was ever in a relationship in her past. How unique is that?!) One minor qualm, though - they reference that the father and daughter prayed when they went to the nativity scene - it would have been nice if they had showed them there praying together.

While I can seen where some might find this movie too slow-paced, maybe even boring, that was not the case for me. It's a keeper! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake I just absolutely loved! Jillian Murray and Daniel Lissing were adorable and loved their Chemistry. The storyline I really liked, and the actress who played his daughter was so cute, and loved how she played off of Daniel and Jillian. This is one I am definitely keeping! :) ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake - truly sorry to say this, but it was really boring. Not very well thought out plot because not just it was slow paced (it's not always a bad thing) but also not much happened here. I am sure that this movie will still get a lot of positive reviews thanks to Daniel. I liked him in this movie and also the actress that played his daughter but did not like the main actress. I know that a lots of Hallmark and GAF actors had a cosmetic procedures and i usually do not mind it but i think that here it made it less believable for me, a small town baker with a botox in her face. Also, do not understand why her mother somewhere in the first half of the movie mentioned "Destiny" i think that "God's plan" would be more "channel appropriate". ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I like the unfolding of the stories that GAF movies seem to have. Christmas Keepsake addressed how the fear of losing someone you love can keep you from forming relationships which was was very relatable to me. A Christmas Blessing surprised me with the role that Jesse Hutch played. I really liked the entire cast and would watch a sequel. – Maire

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Keepsake – This movie was a little slow for me and tinged with sadness. I thought the young girl found the Christmas time capsule way too easily in their backyard; it was barely hidden under a skiff of snow, and the box and all of its contents appeared to be in perfect condition. Nothing was wet, muddy, or messy in any way, and it had been “hidden” there for at least 15+ years. I do like Daniel Lissing and Jillian Murray, but this story just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t understand why Daniel would uproot his daughter and leave their family behind in Australia and move to America after his wife’s passing. Those are usually the times when families want to stay closer together. Christmas Keepsake is family-friendly, but not a keeper for me. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰). 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


A Christmas Blessing - November 12, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ I don't know how, but I got to watch A Christmas Blessing on YouTube this afternoon before it comes on tonight. It is a wonderful movie. Almost perfect, but too little of Jesse's character. It needs a sequel. It seemed too short and had great side characters. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing was a great movie and family friendly. All of the actors did a great job, but Jesse Hutch was outstanding! Great job to all the actors! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing (Blessings of Christmas): This was a fabulous movie that brought it all! First and foremost, Jesse Hutch as an angel, yes please! He was fantastic and I might add, handsome as ever! Lori and James were amazing together (again) and had such great chemistry. Kudos to them for absolutely nailing their characters (I also loved that she kissed him at the end). The supporting cast was the best you could ask for: Karen Holness, Jason Cermak, Laura Bertram, Tammy Gillis, Bronwen Smith, I mean...Nailed it! The location/scenery/what looked like real snow (actual wetness on the streets) was an added plus to make it authentic and the building shots were true to where a food bank/feeding station might be in a city. The movie was funny, heartfelt, and showed what can happen when a community pulls together to help those who need it. Showing love through volunteerism and giving was what this movie was about, and it came through in spades (the fact that Lori does this in real life is wonderful and made this an easy character for her to portray). Having Jesse write bible verses on the walls of the food bank was an added bonus and gave meaning to the movie, along with his prayer before dinner - wonderful! The music and decorations were great as well and the message of the movie gave us the true meaning of Christmas. This is a new favorite that I will watch over and over. ~Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing is so amazing!! 5 stars all around. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ The winner this weekend was Great American Family no one else was even close. Saturday night Christmas Keepsake was a family friendly and sweet movie. Having Daniel Lissing use his Australian accent was genius. A Christmas Blessing was the best movie on Sunday. With great a cast I love the casting of Jesse Hutch as Otto was the best casting. I would love to see a series with Jesse reprising his role of Otto. ~Bebe

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing is another one that I absolutely loved. I love that Lori Laughlin is back and she did just such an incredible job. Jesse Hutch's character was also fun and Jesse did an amazing job as well! Loved that Service was the central theme of this movie, and how important it really is especially around this time of year! This one is a keeper as well : ) ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing - the best movie of GAF so far (and i don't mean just this year). This definitely deserve a sequel or even a mini series. It kinda reminded me of tv show "Touched by an Angel". ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A CHRISTMAS BLESSING tells a delightful, winsome story about the meaning of Christmas. It has a strong Christian worldview that stresses prayer, salvation and the joy of giving, including making a reference to Acts. 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The exact lyrics of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” about the salvation Jesus brings are heard at least twice. Also, Otto uses Chapter Three of Ecclesiastes to help Adam tell his feelings to Mandy. A CHRISTMAS BLESSING is a heartwarming movie for the whole family. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing - very standard fare, all the Canadian background actors I am used to seeing in Holiday movies. This was very watchable, nice to see Lori again. It was predictable and formulaic but thats what I watch these movies for! A story encouraging giving at the holidays. It had a slightly different name on IMDB, not sure why. –MS

๐ŸŽ„ "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle"
A Christmas Blessing is such an inspirational and phenomenal movie! Enjoyed every moment of it. It was such a pleasure to see Lori Loughlin again, she's such a great actress. Jesse Hutch was just amazing in the role of Otto. James Tupper was also so great. They had such a chemistry with Lori Loughlin. It's a different Christmas movie, with true values. So much wisdom. I like they included the Bible Scriptures, the prayer. Thinking about people in need, giving them your time, your care, making a Christmas dinner for them - what a great way to celebrate Christmas. ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing – Wow! This movie is sooo beautiful! It truly brought tears to my eyes several times, as I was deeply moved and inspired by the Biblical message of giving to others and how even a small act of kindness blesses the giver more than receiving. The character of Otto (played by Jesse Hutch) was fascinating, insightful, and fun throughout the movie; as others have mentioned, I agree, it would be wonderful if they continued his role through a series of films, like the Mrs. Miracle movies. Lori Loughlin and James Tupper were fantastic paired together; once again, they have a tremendous, natural connection on screen. Altogether, it was such a special ensemble cast of volunteers and charitable donors coming together to feed those in need. My heart swelled with emotion as Otto gave the prayer before the meal. This heartwarming, inspirational movie is another high-quality film from Great American Family; I pray A Christmas Blessing uplifts your spirit, as it did mine. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ I like the unfolding of the stories that GAF movies seem to have. Christmas Keepsake addressed how the fear of losing someone you love can keep you from forming relationships which was was very relatable to me. A Christmas Blessing surprised me with the role that Jesse Hutch played. I really liked the entire cast and would watch a sequel. – Maire

๐ŸŽ„ Live everyone here, I loved “A Christmas Blessing” The storyline, the decor, the supporting staff were all amazing. Lori and James had great chemistry from their winter movie so it was nice to see them together again. Jesse was so perfect in his role as Otto, I could just sense he was an angel from the beginning but I was thrown off when James could see him, I thought maybe only Lori could see him. My favorite part was the faith intertwined within the movie, such beautiful messages. This would be amazing for GAF decided to make sequel, additional movies with Otto continuing to help people, kind of like “Christmas in Angel Falls” with Rachel Boston and then they made another one with Jen Lilly. We can hope! ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ I finally had a chance to watch the 'Christmas Blessing' and that movie is also one of my favorites from this season. Lori and James and Jesse all had really strong performances. There were funny scenes and moving scenes and it made me feel good inside. :-) ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing - I just caught up on GAF Christmas movies. A few things I really love about GAF movies is you know they are going to be family friendly. You don't have to worry 20 minutes into a movie they will sneak an controversial scene in. Another thing is the faith scenes thought out there movies. I love in a Christmas blessing that they prayed before the meal. CHRISTMAS has Christ in the name. Movies should not hid the fact that Christmas is a faith holiday. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ Jesse Hutch’s performance as Otto was superb. He presented a character of goodness and caring for people. I think he was better in that role than any so far. I wish his character would be part of a movie in future GAF Christmas movies. Merry Christmas to all. -Gabe’s Mom

๐ŸŽ„ I rewatched A Christmas Blessing yesterday and I think that has to be GAFs best Christmas movie this year. It gives me all the feels every time I watch. Great performances by Lori, James, and Jesse! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Blessing. Excellent! Loved it! Keeper. Hope they make a dvd. ~~Jane


Santa, Maybe - November 18, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Santa Maybe is a new favorite for me! I wish they got to meet each others family. Loved how it included Thanksgiving. Loved the chemistry of the cast and leads. Loved the Secret Santa theme. Only person that didn't work was the ballerina. But her part was so short, I could ignore it. Plus, they filmed in winter! Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Santa, maybe - not bad. It definitely isn't the best movie of GAF but it's cute, one time watch. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Santa, Maybe is an okay movie. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Santa Maybe was another great movie from Great American Family. The plot great bullying as a child, forgiving the bully to learning how trust once again. The cast was so good never have seen Audrey and Samuel in anything before. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Santa, Maybe -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper - No -

Another movie that is not bad, it just didn't grab my interest at all. Even the synopsis of this movie above makes the movie sound boring...the theater director has to put on a perfect Christmas ballet while discovering her Secret Santa. Not exactly an exciting plot! I enjoyed Aubrey Reynolds much more in last year's Love's Portrait. Here's hoping her next one is better. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Santa, Maybe – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this movie, but I found it be kind of interesting and entertaining.

I enjoyed the character development for Glenn, who we learn was an obnoxious teenager who bullied other kids with practical jokes back in high school, especially Lila, who is his present day current coworker at the local ballet performance theater. It was nice to see Glenn feel shame for his past mistakes and ask Lila for forgiveness. However, I also understood Lila’s hesitancy to trust Glenn again after all of the humiliation and grief he put her through in high school. I think that would be really hard to do. And while I think adults could surely be civil as coworkers, I’m not sure it’s realistic for romance to develop after someone is treated so harshly.

Another interesting point in the film was seeing Glenn’s interaction with his aging parents, including his father who has had a stroke and can’t speak. Those moments touched my heart, especially when the father and son crocheted scarves together, because that was helpful for the father's recovery. There are also some cute/comical scenes: when Glenn retrieves his mother’s mouth guard from the pipe beneath the sink, when they go ice skating, and the Secret Santa gift exchange.

Altogether, it’s not my favorite movie of the season; however, I was still entertained, it warmed my heart, and I laughed out loud here and there. Santa, Maybe is a family-friendly story with a good lesson on forgiveness. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ 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! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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


A Paris Christmas Waltz - November 19, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz – This all-new Christmas movie from Great American Family has that enchanting, charming feel of an old Hollywood golden era film. In fact, I kept seeing parallels between this movie and "Easter Parade," starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, including Judy being a somewhat novice dancer like Jen Lilley’s character, Emma, and the antagonist of the film being Fred Astaire’s ex-dance partner/ex-girlfriend, just like Matthew Morrison’s.

The chemistry between Emma (Jen Lilley) and Leo (Matthew Morrison) was absolutely electrifying; you could sense all of their emotions, the highs and lows.

And the dancing throughout “A Paris Christmas Waltz” was beyond spectacular! I think my favorite scene was when they danced on the sidewalk and sang, too! It was very much like a scene right out of "Singin’ in the Rain" or "My Fair Lady."

I was taken by every little detail: the Parisian holiday-inspired wardrobes, the amazing architecture, the incredible Christmas music, traditional and new, and the beautiful Christmas dรฉcor, including a lovely nativity outside of a church. I appreciated how Emma and Leo stopped on their walk to admire the display and the touches of faith throughout the movie, including Emma’s response, “Sometimes God’s plans for us are different than we expect.”

Every scene was like an artist’s masterpiece! Michael and Janeen Damian have created movie-magic once again!

"A Paris Christmas Waltz" completely swept me off my feet! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ GAF did it again! A Paris Christmas Waltz is amazing! That last dance blew me away. Wow! Jen and Matthew are perfect together. I did not expect to enjoy this movie so much. If that last dance was Jen, then this lady has some serious dancing skills. Loved the clothes she wore in this movie. A 10 for me! ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Wow, oh WOW!! ๐Ÿ˜ A Paris Christmas Waltz is definitely, by far, THE BEST GAF MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!! This is like how I felt after watching A Christmas Present last year, only better!!! I don't even have enough words to describe how incredible this movie is!!! ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐ŸŽ‰ –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz - sadly, not my cup of tea. I didn't the best friend of Jen's character. I do not like the movies where the best friend is so nosy. Also i expected it to be little more realistic but it's fairytale-like. I am sure it will get a lots of positive reviews and many viewers will like it. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Michael and Janeen did it again. The best movie of the weekend is A Paris Christmas Waltz. Jon and Matthew were perfect together and their dancing was the best. The story, the scenery and dancing I am so glad I dvr it. I will be watching this one again and again. ~Bebe

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz: Fabulous! This movie was a wonderful story about self-confidence, love, finding a hidden talent, giving of yourself for the better good, and paying tribute to a mentor. Jen and Matthew were amazing - their dancing was lovely and so emotional in the final dance performance (and wonderful music). All of the dancing was great! The scenery/location shots were absolutely stunning and who doesn't love a romance in Paris. The supporting cast was brilliant! Jade Ewen and Stephanie Siadatan (beautiful ladies) were perfect in their parts as was Paul Freeman. I imagine this story is true to real life in the dance world given how competitive it is. Kudos to Janeen and Michael Damien! ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ The Damiens created another great story. That meet cute was gold! The dance from the competition was spectacular (choreography by DWTS Pasha). The chemistry off the charts & the romantic end! I did think the dance in the streets was a tad off with the lip synking, but overall a must watch Misty

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz was just fabulous! One of the best this year! Jen Lilley and Matthew Morrison were sooo good together, their chemistry was just amazing. I liked the French charm of this movie, all the dancing scenes, all "getting to know each other" moments, I liked how Jen Lilley's character experienced all the new things with such a pure joy. I'm not so sure I watched any movies with Matthew Morrison, but I liked his acting so much. It is such a high quility movie, a movie to remember and watch again and again. This year GAF Christmas movies are just one of the bests! ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz...

Great movie. Family friendly. Jen Lilley was her same happy bubbly self. I thought the two of them were wonderful together. I was touched when she gave up her job for a friend who has a family to support, and I appreciated the mentions of God(and Jesus).

I did think the last dance was seductive. Especially for a hymn like O Holy Night. It's a song about our Savior. I eventually had to fast forward it until the dance was over. It just didn't feel right.

Still, over all. Really enjoyable movie. Wonderful chemistry cast, beautiful scenery and was fun seeing Debbie from Home And Family with an accent!! But it made me hungry for some apples and cheese! Minus the wine. ;) ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ I am still trying to get through the slew of Christmas movies, on my DVR, but it has been a lot of fun! I have only seen a handful of the latest slate of movies but of the ones I have watched so far, "A Paris Christmas Waltz" is the clear winner. WOW! Just WOW! I went to Paris, in high school, so it was cool getting to see some of the places I visited all those years ago. The movie had everything...

Undeniable chemistry
Amazing dancing and choreography
Heartfelt performances
Great storyline
Stunning architecture
Beautiful clothing
Throwback feel to yesteryear
Adorable meet-cute

I am a huge fan of older musical's and I was transported back to Gene Kelly dancing in the rain. And Gene Kelly in Paris. I had no idea Jen or Matthew could dance that well. I was NOT expecting their last dance to move me as much as it did. My husband and I were reduced to a puddle of tears. It was breathtaking, heartfelt and perfect in every way possible. I LOVED Matthew and Jen together. They were onscreen magic. I will buy that movie for sure because I want to watch it again and again. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Paris Christmas Waltz -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

Joan mentioned all of the many positives I found in this movie, so I won't bother to repeat them. But I will emphasize - the dancing in this movie is off the charts! Jen was unbelievable!! If that was truly her in all of those scenes in the final dance - wow!!

And yet...there were a couple of things that bothered me, that cause me to not love this movie as much as some others do. First, while I love Jen both on and off the screen, she has a tendency to talk too fast. A lot of times I missed what she was saying and had to rewatch scenes. I wish some director would help her with this. And second, in the scene where they sang and danced, the lip-synching was off or non-existent, and this hurt an otherwise beautiful dancing moment. Still, for all of the positives, it is definitely a keeper for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ A Paris Christmas Waltz - I’m a little hesitant to post this but never did I ever think I would see a sensual dance scene unfold to the song “Oh Holy Night”. And on GAC. They do understand that the song is about the birth of the Savior, right? It’s not about romance or human relationships. Call me a prude but the dancing throughout the movie was far too suggestive anyway and when combined with a song about the Lord Jesus Christ, I was dumbfounded. The Paris setting was lovely but unfortunately that’s the only positive thing I can say about it. I was definitely disappointed in this one. Rebecca

๐ŸŽ„ 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


My Christmas Hero - November 24, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Loved My Christmas Hero! Candace and Gabriel Hogan were perfect together. The military theme of the movie brought it all together nicely. Also loved they mentioned Jesus as the meaning of Christmas. -Jennifer R

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is another huge win for GAF and Candace!! I absolutely 100% recommend you all see this fantastic movie! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is the one Christmas movie that EVERYONE should watch. The scene with the young soldier who was suffering from PTSD was so heartbreaking and knowing that a lot of our soldiers suffer the same way it had me crying, The story was very well written. Candace, Gabriel, Robin, Andrew and Terri were all excellent. This is one I will be watching again and again. ~Bebe

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is beautiful in every way, plus great military tribute. family friendly. ~Allie B

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is great! Can't watch this movie and not shed some tears! What a great honor to our military! All of the cast did outstanding performances! Loved this one. A must see! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero – I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful, inspirational Christmas movie that honored not only our military, but their spouses and families, as well.

I also appreciated all of the little touches of faith throughout the film that highlighted the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus!

Candace Cameron Bure and Gabe Hogan had fantastic chemistry together, and it was fun to see Candace on screen again with her “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” costars Robin Dunne (Author Robin Daniels) and Andrew Airlie (Candace’s father, Charles Teagarden).

The cast overall was excellent, but I thought the absolute best performance in the movie was by Anthony Timpano, who portrayed Private Landon Southworth, the young soldier who is dealing with physical injuries and PTSD. His emotional reaction to telling his battle story brought tears to my eyes as I thought of all of the soldiers like him dealing with these issues. It was encouraging to see both Major Daniel Ross (Gabe Hogan) and Captain Mark Jennings (Robin Dunne) reach out to help him.

The ending was so beautiful (I want include any spoilers) it left me flooded with joyous tears. Much like It’s a Wonderful Life, it was incredible to see how one life impacts so many others.

My father was in the army, and I think this movie may have an even deeper meaning for those who have family who have served our country or are currently serving.

“My Christmas Hero” is a heartwarming, enriching, impactful story! Rank and order are most important in the military, and I would say this movie ranks very high on my 2023 Christmas movie list! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is family friendly. It’s heartwarming & tearjerker. It’s about U.S. Army reservist & orthopedic physician named Dr. LJ Nicole Ramsey is dedicated to serving military service members & their families at the Joint Military Base in Lacey, Washington. This Christmas, with the help of many dedicated heroes, Dr. Nicole Ramsey is on a mission to honor a special fallen soldier & bring much-needed healing to her own family. Nicole’s Grandfather was WWII Veteran & Purple Heart. She tracks down her family’s military history with the help with Major Daniel Ross that lead them to Joseph Murray’s place to talk to Joseph’s Dad about Nicole’s Grandfather was WII veteran with him. A military tribute of those personnel when it lit up “US Army”, “US Marine Corps”, “US Navy”, “US Air Force”, & “US Coast Guard 1790”. Joseph Murray’s Father introduced The Ramsey Family about Future Home of The CPL John T. Medlen Center. It’s Tribute of Military Veterans & Families. CPL John T. Medlan & Dorothy Medien are Nicole’s Grandparents & Nicole’s Mother’s parents. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero - I have a new favorite CCB movie! We are so blessed to have Bill Abbott and CCB creating a network that is bringing us high quality entertainment that is family friendly, faith based, and honors our country! I loved everything about this movie! It was fun and festive but also heartfelt. It also incorporated faith in such a positive light. The ages of the main characters do not quite line up with WWII, but I am choosing to ignore it because I just loved this movie! The entire cast was just phenomenal! It was nice to see these familiar faces. I hope we see more of this cast in movies on GAF in 2024. Gabe Hogan is a wonderful addition to GAF and I hope GAF can bring him back for more!! Now we need Candace’s production company to make more than two movies a year for GAF. Her company makes great movies!! ~blessedgigi23

๐ŸŽ„ I truly LOVED A Christmas Hero!!! It was inspirational, heartwarming, cute, and funny. The military movies are always my favorites, but this one was definitely a winner! So pleased the GA Family is all for Jesus is the reason we celebrate!! That's what won it for me! I especially loved how kind everyone were to each other and they enjoyed each other's company. Her parents were sweet, Daniel and Mark were likeable, funny and kind. And so were Marilyn and Nicole. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero was wonderful! At first it was hard for me to get Norman out of my head but Candace and Gabriel had great natural chemistry so their relationship was believable to me. I do appreciate how they touched on mental health as I don’t recall seeing much of that in recent years. I also saw it in Hearts in the Game on Hallmark when the baseball player had a panic attack on the field. The scene in My Christmas Hero where the soldier was having one was so heartbreaking, I teared up with him, you could just feel the weight on his shoulders. Not only from being a husband and a father trying to provide for his family but then you add the PTSD on top of it….praying soldiers and veterans around the world have access to resources to help them like the ones in this movie. And of course that there are more people to be the light in this world and spread the good news of Jesus to them, who is the ultimate healer. Definitely will watch this one again! ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero is such a wonderful and heartfelt movie! Candace Cameron Bure and Gabriel Hogan brought such a natural and genuine relationship to the screen. I enjoyed seeing them together. The supporting cast was great too. And of course the story itself - honoring the military - was so full of heart. I was so touched by the young soldier's PTSD moment, it brought tears to my eyes. They see terrible things in a war, and it's so hard for them to come back to normal life, they need all the support and love. And I like that this movie brings this topic to the screen. There were a lot of funny moments too. I escpecially enjoyed the friendship between Daniel and Mark. And the most important thing, I was so happy to hear references to Jesus and God, it is so rare on TV now. So thankful they brought the real reason for the season. Such a great movie. ~Oksanka~

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Hero: A wonderful movie that honors our military and highlights the need for supporting our men and women. I enjoyed Candace and Gabe's characters relationship and thought it was flirty and fun and also the comradery between Gabe and Robin's characters was great too - that's brotherhood/friendship! The entire cast was great! Finding out what happened to the father/grandfather was a wonderful testament to heroism and the honor to him was endearing. There aren't many WWII veterans left - we need to keep their stories alive! The only thing I didn't like in the movie were the mistakes about the military, maybe I'm old school but if you're going to do military, do it correctly. It's a movie I'll watch over and over! ~ Debbie


A Royal Date for Christmas - November 25, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Royal Date for Christmas had me smiling from ear to ear! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Royal Date for Christmas - I have absolutely loved the new Christmas movies on GAF this year. Danica is just as beautiful and sweet as ever in this movie. I enjoyed the storyline and it had me smiling and chuckling throughout the movie. Danica and Marcus are wonderful together and had great chemistry. He really rocked the English accent. The wardrobe team and set decorators did a great job too. Danica was just stunning in the last dance scene. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie from start to finish! We are so blessed to have Danica at GAF! She truly supports this network and always speaks so positively about it on social media! ~blessedgigi23

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Š 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

๐ŸŽ„ A Royal Date for Christmas: A decent enough movie, but it didn't keep me fully engaged throughout. Danica and Damon were good, but I'm just not a fan of royal movies. The fashion was nice, but the fake snowman made an appearance and I'm definitely not a fan of that. Supporting cast was good. Probably not a rewatch for me or at least not until next year anyway. ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ I also tryed Danica's movie, but couldn't get past 30 minutes. I didn't care for the pairing. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ A Royal Date for Christmas – This movie is delightful and family-friendly; however, since Danica starred in Crown for Christmas, any royal-themed movie she takes on after that will, of course, be compared, and while this movie was enjoyable in its own way, it just didn’t have that extra spark of Crown. There is a little surprise element to the story at the end with the photographer that brought a tear to my eye. For me, that was the best moment. I only wish we could have seen Danica’s work with the Senior Citizen group, instead of just hearing about it. That could’ve brought some heartwarming depth to the story. Also, I would’ve liked to have seen faith incorporated into the movie in some way. Altogether, it is still a nice, uplifting and lighthearted story and Christmas romance, one I’m sure to watch whenever Great American Family plays it. ~Net


A Christmas for the Ages- November 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages: I absolutely loved this movie! Truly enjoyed the storyline and it put me all in my feels for remembering my own past Christmases. I laughed, teared up, and thought the budding relationship between Natasha and Anthony's characters Savannah and Rudy was wonderfully done. I'm glad their characters had been dating for a while before meeting the parents/grandparents as I thought her reasoning for that was special. Anna Ferguson and Mel Tuck were great as Marie and Jim (so adorable), Cheryl Ladd and Dean Paul Gibson were wonderful as well as Joan and Paul, and Kate Craven and Giles Panton were so fun as Kristi and Steve (and all their relationships with each other were so loving). I thought Giles' portrayal of the protective father was hilarious and Anthony nailed the nervous suitor so well. Taking us back to the 40's, 60's and 90's was fabulous. I loved the decor/food that was portrayed as it brought back some great memories. The double-date scene was lovely! Seeing the Boom Box definitely took me back and hearing Tickle Me Elmo reminded me of when my daughter was a toddler. She had Tickle Me Elmo! So fun! The scenery/decor was really nice, and I thought the ending was terrific (especially the guys coming on stage). The singing, mentioning of God/faith/praying and the gifts we have been given were exceptional. Natasha did wonderful! I'll definitely be watching this one over and over! ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages….this movie was so enjoyable! Family friendly and fun!! It was exciting to see Cheryl Ladd! I loved the relationship between the generations and the throwbacks to decades past, including the costumes, decorations, and food! It was some funny, but I was really impressed with how often they talked of God, having a man who loved God, and knowing God will work it out the way it should be. It’s probably the movie that talks about God the most! Refreshing. Natasha is a really good actress. I like her better than her mother. The dates were very off though. Someone needed to calculate the math a little better between the third and fourth generations. Oh well. It’s definitely one I will be watching again! -Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages is absolutely amazing!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages I have absolutely loved the new Christmas movies on GAF this year. I have so many new favorites that it is hard to pick my most favorite ….A Paris Christmas Waltz, A Christmas Blessing, My Christmas Hero, A Royal Date for Christmas, Twas the Text Before Christmas, Bringing Home Christmas, Destined 2, A Dash of Christmas, Christmas Keepsake…..They have all been outstanding. However……I am shocking myself, but I think A Christmas for the Ages just might be my number one pick!!

I knew I was going to enjoy this movie, but I didn't expect to love it this much! It is a wonderful movie. Everything from the script, production, actors, set decorations, and wardrobe were so professional and heartfelt!! I loved that the storyline was different and focused on family relationships with a sprinkling of romance. It was just so fun to watch but also pulled at the heartstrings. It also incorporated faith in such a positive way that was natural and not forced. All four ladies were just fabulous throughout the entire movie but they really shined in the finale! GAF needs to sign them all up for more movies! Natasha Bure was just delightful in this movie! ~blessedgigi23

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages is family friendly about 4 generations of women celebrate Christmas & family in the style of 40s for Great Grandma Marie, 60s for Grandma Joan, 90s for Kristi, & today for Savannah’s clothing festive parties each family & friends prompted by their Granddaughter named Savannah. Savannah’s Great Grandmother (Nana) Marie, Grandmother (Granny) Joan, Mother Kristi, & Savannah sing together for Nutcracker Suite onstage with their guys! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I loved all 3 GAF Thanksgiving weekend movies. I loved a Christmas for the ages talked about God many times. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas for the Ages – It is beautiful to see these four generations of women – a Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and Granddaughter… all coming together and sharing their lives with each other. Natasha Bure, who portrays the Granddaughter, Savannah, is a natural on screen like her mother, Candace Cameron Bure.

In this story the family has a nice Christmas tradition of having Christmas gatherings/parties at each of their homes, but this year Savannah suggests they do theme parties from the era in which each family member was young, because she wants to see what life was like back then. All of the Christmas dรฉcor and costumes from each time period are truly spectacular and fun to see! Each era gave a warm, cozy feeling. Kudos to the wardrobe department and set designers for a job well done! I loved seeing the tinsel on the Christmas tree, old-fashioned ornaments, Christmas cards hanging in a garland, etc… And I enjoyed how the family sat together and discussed the different eras. I only wish they had spoken more of the history of the time and less on popular toys.

Overall, I enjoyed the faith elements in the movie, a moment of prayer with the women as they had their tea gathering and how Grandma Great would impart biblical wisdom to all of the ladies. It is an inspiring, upbeat film, and I enjoyed the singing and dancing at the end so much… I wanted more!

A Christmas for the Ages is a delightful, family-friendly film for all ages! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ 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! ๐Ÿ˜Š). ~~Jane


Christmas in Maple Hills: A Christmas Card Mystery- November 27, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ I watched Maple Hills Christmas on Hoopla last night. It’s family friendly. I liked the storyline and the characters. Spoiler alert: I thought the relationship was rushed. They only knew each for a month and he proposed. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Maple Hills is a wonderful patriotic mystery! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ GAF’s “Christmas in Maple Valley” is a family-friendly and touching story about Valerie (played by Emily Alatalo), a woman trying to grow her family’s dairy farm and prove the rightful ownership of the land. The story includes a number of flashbacks to WWII and the wartime relationship between her grandparents who were supposedly the original owners of the farm. With the help of a local doctor (played by Marcus Rosner), Valerie uncovers the secret behind the mysterious deed for her farm, and of course romance ensues. I’m quickly becoming a fan of Emily Alatalo too! One of my favorites of the season thus far. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ This is another movie that surprised me! Usually, I don't like watching Marcus Rosner in anything, but this is his best role to date. I loved his character in Christmas In Maple Hills which he played to perfection. He and Emily Alatalo had good chemistry. This is a sweet movie and I will watch this again. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Loved loved loved Christmas in Maple Falls! Such a great telling of a beautiful story. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Maple Hills – This is a fascinating story that weaves back and forth from present day to the World War II era. The historical scenes were done amazingly well, with fashion, cars, and furniture from that time period. The mystery element was also intriguing. The cast overall is excellent. I enjoyed seeing actor Andrew Jackson, who played the father, who also portrayed Van in the popular period TV series, Wind at My Back.

The leads, Valerie Warrick (Emily Alatalo) and Walker Jennings (Marcus Rosner), have great chemistry together. And Valerie’s friend/Walker’s receptionist, Holly Garland (Bukola Ayoka), was such a bubbly, delightful addition.

Throughout the movie, it was nice to see Walker (Marcus Rosner) attempt to reach out to his father, who is an introverted loner. And I was pleased with how the mystery from the past involving Valerie’s (Emily Alatalo) grandmother was solved. The film is also a wonderful tribute to those who have served our country. I hope Great American Family will include this film in their lineup again next year. Net


Christmas on Windmill Way- December 2, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ For some reason GAF “Christmas on Windmill Way” was available on Pure Flix. I watched it. Chad Michael Murray was terrific along with the supporting cast. I will be interested in everyone’s take. ~Gabe’s Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas on Windmill Way was charming, if not a bit boring. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas on Windmill Way – The actors in this movie are all wonderful, and I liked the idea of saving Windmill Way, and the bit of tension/chemistry that this brought between the leads, but I also felt the story was a little slow and needed more activity and a few different settings besides the Windmill. It was lovely, however, to see the When Hope Calls set repurposed for this Christmas movie, and I hope the set will be useful for more films in the future.

Altogether, Christmas on Windmill Way is a sweet, lighthearted, family-friendly story; plus, I truly adore Chad Michael Murray, and of course, he was handsome and charming, as always! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ GAF’s “Christmas on Windmill Way” is a family-friendly story featuring Christa Taylor Brown in her first leading role as Mia, operator of her grandmother’s historic windmill. Although the story is a familiar one where Mia has to save the windmill from demolition by a real estate developer (played by her HS crush, Chad Michael Murray), the chemistry is good and Ms. Brown is stunning. It’s low-key and predictable, but still entertaining. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ 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


The Jingle Bell Jubilee - December 3, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ The Jingle Bell Jubilee was wonderful. Clean, cozy and Christmasy, and sweet. ~Grace

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ๐Ÿคฃ 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

๐ŸŽ„ The Jingle Bell Jubilee was quite sweet. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ The Jingle Bell Jubilee – This is a heartwarming story about giving to others. Basically, if you have something you don’t need or want, you are asked to re-gift that item to someone else. It was sweet to hear Hope (Erin Agostino) share a special story about grandmother who came up with the Regift-mas concept.

Even though the Regift-mas idea is great, I personally dislike when any word is placed in front of “mas,” instead of Christ. Overall, the story was nice regarding giving, but the relationships in it seemed a little high-schoolish. Does so-and-so like me? Can you find out? And so on…

Plus, a widower, who says he’s not ready to be involved with anyone, is rushed into being with someone by the movie’s end.

Overall, The Jingle Bell Jubilee is lighthearted and family-friendly. I really enjoyed seeing Marshall Williams (loved him on “When Hope Calls”) again, who was the best part of the movie, and I hope we see him in more Great American Family movies in the future. ~Net


Meet Me Under the Mistletoe - December 9, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Meet me under the Mistletoe was quite adorable. ~Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Meet Me Under the Mistletoe: I quite enjoyed this movie and thought it was a sweet story. Sarah and Simon portrayed their characters (Eva and Jeff) perfectly and the rest of the cast was really good, and they all went well together well as far as cast chemistry goes. I thought the writers did a really good job of developing Eva and Jeff's relationship which ended with mutual respect, admiration, and love for each other. They made a great team! I loved seeing Paul Essiembre and Jan Skene in the cast and the young woman who portrayed Eva's (Sarah's character) niece was adorable with all her science talk. IMO, cute movie! ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ 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 ๐Ÿ 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

๐ŸŽ„ Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – This is a pleasant, entertaining story with two dueling realtors. I enjoyed watching Eva and Jeff gently spar over how to best to sell a house, whether it should be fast or wait for the best price. There was something extra nice about this movie that truly felt authentic; it seemed more like actual events that could possibly happen in real-life. Eva is sweet and likable, and it’s nice to see Jeff’s walls come down gradually as he warms up to her. It was also nice to see how close Eva is with her delightful niece, who is very serious about her studies and science. Altogether, it’s a lighthearted, family-friendly movie, an enjoyable watch. ~Net


Peppermint & Postcards - December 10, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Watched some of Peppermint and Postcards on pureflix. It seemed interesting enough, but I had a really hard time looking past the "blended family" dynamic. I totally realize that marriages sometimes end in divorce and is permitted in the Bible in certain circumstances, so I don't have any problem watching a movie where a passing comment is made about that. But this one just felt so very awkward! The mom and her daughter are always hanging out with her ex husband and his new fiance! Like the fiance spends time with her and gives her advice, and while they all seem to get along, it just felt very strange to me. It would have been better if the ex husband was in the role of brother, instead. Then it would feel more natural for them to be hanging out at her house, and it wouldn't change the plot. ~Kaitlyn

๐ŸŽ„ Totally agree with your review of Peppermint and Postcards. It was so weird that the fiance was giving advice to his ex wife. I could not make it to the end of the movie. I think sometimes these movies try so hard to be different it just doesn't work. This will be the 1st movie I can't put a check mark on the GAC checklist. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ Peppermint - Kaitlyn and Ken, I am totally in agreement with you on this movie. The relationships among the four adults and the child were really, really awkward. Also, Ella Cannon's character was not convincing to me - maybe it was the way the script was written, or her acting, but she just didn't seem sincere from what I saw. I turned it off after about a half-hour. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ GAF’s “Peppermint and Postcards” is a family-friendly story featuring Ella Cannon and Christopher Russell. Their chemistry is wonderful and I found it was interesting to see Russell’s character in a more vulnerable and sensitive role. Another hit for GAF this season – bravo! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Peppermint and Postcards was so hilarious and cute! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Peppermints and Postcards: I really wanted to like this one, but it just didn't hold my attention. Christopher seemed kind of awkward as a TV reporter, Ella was fine, but the acting of the supporting cast lacked in comparison to some others so far this Christmas movie season. While I'm glad to see blended families represented in a good way, it just seemed a tab bit unrealistic to me. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really good either. Just a middle of the road movie for me. ~ Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ 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 fiancรฉ 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

๐ŸŽ„ Peppermint & Postcards – As others have mentioned, I also didn’t care for the way the divorced husband and his new girlfriend visit and stay for the holidays with his ex-wife and young daughter. The cavalier way divorce is portrayed so casually was very disappointing. Divorce is very sad, but they portrayed it as being no big deal, we’re just one big happy family.

The lead woman, Cara, even seems to become close friends with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, Suzette, confiding in her after her dates with other men. It was sad to hear the way she described their marriage, saying they were (paraphrasing) simply young and naรฏve, as if that makes it okay. Marriage is a commitment that should be taken seriously at any age.

Overall, I just couldn’t get into this story after that. This is a movie that I’ll be skipping whenever it’s replayed on Great American Family. ~Net


Designing Christmas with You - December 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Designing Christmas with You was adorable. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ 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


12 Games of Christmas - December 17, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ 12 Games of Christmas is family friendly about a group of friends named Kelsey, Ethan, Dan, Liam, Nora, & Laurie are magically transported inside a Christmas-themed board game called “12 Games of Christmas”, during a holiday party. They must play through the game's levels to return home with snow globes when they heard the bell chimes & they shake snow globes to return home. They work together to survive and escape back to reality. They meet Mayor Thomas, Luke, Jenna, Gabriel, Phoebe, Monica, Amelia, & Grandma Connie are in 12 Games of Christmas ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ 12 Games of Christmas is fantastic! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ 12 Games of Christmas – This was a nice ensemble cast, and I felt sweet chemistry between the leads, but the fantasy story of playing in this game was rather odd to me. I was hoping there would be more to the beautiful church scene, but that scene ended all too soon when the lead girl’s aunt unexpectantly arrived near the end of their game playing. It was interesting to see Patrick Labyorteaux (who portrayed Andrew Garvey on “Little House on the Prairie”) as the Game’s Leader. Not a keeper for me, but I would like to see these actors again on Great American Family. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ 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. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ 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


A Royal Christmas Holiday - December 23, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Royal Christmas Holiday was very delightful! ~Maria

๐ŸŽ„ 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! ~Sharon

๐ŸŽ„ 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 fix๐Ÿ˜€) ~~Jane


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๐ŸŒŸHALLMARK CHANNEL:


Checkin' it Twice - October 20, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Checkin’ It Twice. Cute movie but, for me, it was kind of lackluster or missing something, and I’m not quite sure what that something was. It had all the many required parts for a typical Hallmark Christmas movie, and all the parts were, individually, great, but for some reason it didn’t feel like all those parts were put together all that smoothly (or something like that??). The cast was good although I got tired of Kim Matula’s long, lingering, awkward looks toward Kevin McGarry. I’d watch this movie again next year simply because Kevin’s such a cutie pie ๐Ÿ˜Š, plus I liked the warm family atmosphere; but this one’s not a keeper for me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Checkin’ It Twice” is a family-friendly rom-com about a NYC real estate agent (Kim Matula) and a minor-league hockey player (Kevin McGarry). The chemistry between the two leads is fantastic, and the ice hockey theme works in nicely with the Christmas-time story. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Checkin it twice is a nice, uncomplicated movie. Prior WCTH i had never understood the hype around Kevin but he really is a handsome and charming man. Definitely will watch more movies with him. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Checkin' It Twice -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? At most a one-time view -

This movie just kind of plodded along for me, with the cookie-cutter storyline of someone from a big city returning back home for Christmas...gee, what will happen? Not a bad movie, just nothing to really recommend it. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I watched Checkin It Twice....and I really liked it! It had plenty of Family Christmas activities and Kevin and Kim had really good chemistry together. I would say that this movie is Family Friendly! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Checking it Twice - So far, I watched "Checking it Twice" and "Twas the Text Before Christmas". I enjoyed "Twas the Text Before Christmas much more than the other movie. I thought Kevin and Kim had nice chemistry but overall the movie felt slow. It is a one-time watch for sure. Kim, though, is one of my favorite actresses. In fact, I am going to re-watch "Ghost of Christmas Always" again this week. Hands down, that movie is one of my favorites that has aired on Hallmark. The ending seriously reduced me to a blubbering mess but in a good way! :-) ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Checkin’ It Twice is family friendly about Real estate executive Ashley & minor league hockey pro Scott bump into each other at the Idaho Falls airport gift shop moments after they have broken up with their significant others. Unbeknownst to them, they accidentally pocket each other’s credit cards when making their purchases at the gift shop. Ashley is home to visit family after needing a break from her high-pressure real estate job in New York City, & Scott is newly arrived to play for the popular local Division III hockey team while keeping his dream alive of making it to the big leagues. They meet again when Ashley learns Scott will be staying in her family’s guest house. Sparks fly when they begin to spend time together & partake in Ashley’s family’s holiday traditions & the local town festivities. When Scott’s dream comes true & is called up to a Division II team, & Ashley has a shot at a high-profile real estate deal back in New York City, it seems they will part ways forever, but could their new dreams be with each other instead? ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I enjoyed "Checkin' it Twice". How can you go wrong when you have Christmas, sports, and pretty women all in one movie. ~Jim

๐ŸŽ„ The one with Kevin McGarry and Kim Matula was cute. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Watched my first movie Checkin It Twice and I have to say I just love Kim Matula. I really forward to seeing her in more. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Checkin it Twice – This is such a fun movie with Kevin McGarry and Kim Matula. I quite enjoyed the pairing of these two together; their banter was most fun to watch, and I adored Ashley’s (Kim Matula) family. They were so funny and welcoming to Luke (Kevin McGarry) all throughout the movie. The eggnog scene cracks me up every time I watch it. Overall, a fun family movie for all ages, and since there’s hockey in this, it’s one guys will likely enjoy, as well. ~Net


Where Are You, Christmas? - October 21, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Where are you Christmas is clean, and definitely just a 1 time watch for me. Too much of a mixed bag. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Where Are You, Christmas? -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Maybe, but definitely worth a one-time view -

This movie probably has the most way-out storyline of any Christmas movie this season! After Lyndsey's character wishes that there was no Christmas, everyone and everything turns to black-and-white, and only by rediscovering the joy of Christmas, usually by a memory of long-ago, does a person get back to color. I know...crazy! But because the plot is so original, I found myself really enjoying this movie, and will most likely watch it again.

That, and because of Lyndsey's performance. I don't think anybody can portray surprise or astonishment as well as she can - her reactions always put a smile on my face. She did it in Last Stop, Christmas, and she does it here as well. She is such a joy to watch!

So, is this a great film? No, not at all. If you look closely there are a lot of holes, and it seemed the people and setting were returning to color awfully quickly. But because it is so original, and because of Lyndsey's performance, I recommend giving it at least a one-time view...and maybe more. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Where Are You, Christmas? is family friendly! Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but there were definitely pluses and minuses for me. The pluses: * Unique spin on the over-used trope of the big city girl who works too hard and has disconnected with her family.
* The relationship with Addy and her father being mended.
* The humor! I laughed a lot. It was especially funny to hear Hallmark poke fun at themselves with jokes about Christmas movies. The minuses:
* The special effects! Ugh - they were so obviously on a green screen so much of the time. If they were tackling such a visual premise with the black and white vs. color, they should have upped the budget.
* The romance was a little flat. I didn't really feel any chemistry between the two leads. I was far more invested in Addy's relationship with her family.
So, a mixed bag, but my daughter and I enjoyed it. I was also relieved that it was family friendly. I wasn't going to have my daughter watch with me, but after the first ten minutes with no male fiance for the brother or "husband" for the mayor (who was a little flamboyant), I let her join me. Though you know how they sometimes sneak it in at the end! Here, it was family friendly throughout - thank goodness! ~melnewlife

๐ŸŽ„ Where are You, Christmas? – This is truly one of the most unique Christmas movies I’ve ever seen. If you were sitting next to me while watching, you would’ve heard me say – “This is… interesting, crazy, wild, nuts, cheesy, heartwarming, odd, intriguing, unusual, and fascinating!” As far as movies go, this is one that truly stands out as being different, very memorable.

I liked how remembering the joy of Christmas brought color and life back into their individual lives. Course, the actual true meaning of Christmas is never mentioned, which was unfortunate.

Lyndsy Fonseca performance as Addy was top-notch, as always! I love the way she’s always so expressive, with the way she speaks and the looks she gives. Since Next Stop, Christmas, she quickly became a favorite of mine, and Michael Rady is also a favorite! I have a theory, though, with him. I always say, the movie’s where he has facial hair are either not-so-great or so-so, and the movies when he is clean-shaven are his best, like A Joyous Christmas, Two Turtle Doves, The Christmas Bow, etc… Since he was both in this movie (he’s clean-shaven for a brief flashback scene), I’m going to say this movie falls in the in-between category.

Where are You, Christmas? is family-friendly, but you really have to be in the mood for a quirky holiday story that is rather Twilight Zone-ish.

I wish we could’ve seen more details in the transformations with the people around Addy, especially the doctor and his daughter. That story started out interesting, but wrapped up quickly without giving us more info on how the resolution in their relationship really happened.

Also, (Spoiler Alert) I thought when Addy and her father had a special, deep, meaningful talk, that would be the moment when they both got their color back, but it didn’t happen. The moment Addy does get her color, didn’t seem to have any real connection with Christmas or the past at all. That part of the story seemed weak to me, and the romantic chemistry between the leads was a bit lacking. (End of Spoiler)

Overall, Where are You, Christmas is eccentric, entertaining, extraordinary, and filled with emotion! Whether you watch it once or several times, it’s one of those movies you won’t easily forget, since the storyline is truly unique.

My heart swelled with emotion as soon as I heard the title’s theme song “Where are You, Christmas?” play near the end of the movie. I haven’t decided, yet, if it’s a DVR keeper, but it’s probably one I’ll watch again, sometime, when it airs on TV. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ I was able to watch Where Are You Christmas? as well and I liked this one! I liked that this wasn't a typical story line, and Lyndsey Fonsica is just so good in this! I really enjoy her as an actress. Her and Michael I thought had really good chemistry! And Yes this one is family friendly! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Where Are You, Christmas?” is family friendly but totally missed an opportunity to promote the “true spirit of Christmas” from a Christian perspective. The story presents a fantasy where the lead woman wishes Christmas didn’t exist, and through a creepy Santa app on her phone, her wish is granted. The use of selective-color editing (non-believers are depicted in black & white) wears thin however, especially as she attempts to revive the secular version of “Christmas spirit” among the residents in her small town. This film is a one-trick-pony for me – very disappointing. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ I tried Where Are You Christmas and just didn't like it at all. Didn't care if the color came back or not. Skipped most of it. Gave it credit for being about Christmas & special effects. Missing the romance & chemistry. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Where Are You Christmas. Meh. I almost deleted after 15 minutes (the opening scene alone is too weird for words) but I kept going just to find out if Michael Rady could redeem this movie. He couldn’t. The movie did improve (somewhat?) as it went on but, to me, it was still a waste of 90 minutes. I think the writers/director/producer were going for cute, quirky and creative, but they fell short, in my opinion, and ended up with more of a bizarre mish mash. Lines that were supposed to be funny or clever… usually weren’t. The acting by all the secondary characters (and occasionally the lead actress) was just way too over-the-top. (I really liked the lead actress in Next Stop, Christmas and North to Home, but in this one something felt forced and unnatural.) This movie had a few redeeming qualities and warm fuzzies but just not enough for me to ever want to watch again. (And zero romantic chemistry.) Nice to delete and make some room on the dvr. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Where Are You, Christmas?, is family friendly about Addison “Addy” Deans wishes for year without Christmas on Santa App & she wakes up in black-and-white world. She must with together with town mechanic named Hunter Blakeman to restore the holiday to all its glory where the holiday doesn’t exist. “No one remembers Christmas,” while running around a black-and-white world in search of someone who can recall the magical time of year. “You don’t understand what we’re going to lose if Christmas joy doesn’t happen!” If townspeople in black & white would help to remember that they turned back into color. Nick Dean’s charity called; “Operation Christmas Smile”, for veterans’ families when Nick Dean restores his color from black & white. Black & White world turned into color world. Addy’s color is back from black n white ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I've watched the Hallmark movies this week. Checkin it Twice, Where are You, Christmas? and Under the Christmas Sky were all family friendly. I like the colorization and B/W technique in Where are You, Christmas? and would rewatch it again. – Maire

๐ŸŽ„ For the most part, I enjoyed "Where are you Christmas" but I did not think Michael and Lyndsy had any chemistry. I did enjoy seeing Julie Warner again and I thought Lyndsy did a good job in her role. But, it was a one-time watch for me. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ I’m not sure how I feel about the way “Where Are You Christmas?” incorporated the “Pleasantville” technique. I found it a little visually distracting. But maybe that’s just me?

There’s definitely solid acting, though. I think Hallmark Christmas movies tend to sort their male lead characters into one of three categories: “goofy guy”, or “earnest guy” or “sarcastic guy.” Michael Rady does “earnest guy” really well. His character is a veteran (for those who like Christmas movies with military tie-ins) and I feel like he and the actor portraying the dad (Jim O’Heir) are the two standouts in this one. Very sincere performances.

The storyline has some sweet themes, mostly about community service, family, and staying connected with loved ones. It was family friendly but in a mainly broad-appeal “holiday” way (so mentions of Santa, cookies, trees, etc., but not really religious things). ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ While I enjoyed Where are You Christmas--it was a Christmas version of Pleasantville that had Reese Witherspoon in it. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Where are You Christmas... I really enjoyed this movie! I know and wish they would’ve done more with the true meaning of Christmas, but if you dig deeper you could see how they really did. In my mind, if someone does not have Christmas, does not have Jesus in their heart then their world is colorless and joyless. When people accept Him is when their world lights up.

I loved the actors in the movie, especially Lyndsay and Julie Warner. The mom was so funny and enjoyable. Her expressions made it for me. Our First Christmas is one of my favorites and is a yearly must watch for me! So having Julie Warner made me like the movie even more! It was also a bit of a mystery as it kept you guessing how Lyndsay was going to get back to color and find her Christmas spirit. It was funny, family friendly, and definitely a recommended watch! Plus it made me so happy when they started playing the song, “Where Are You Christmas?” !!! So many times these movies have a Christmas song title yet they don’t play it in the movie. Made the movie complete! -Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ WHERE ARE YOU CHRISTMAS - This was obviously a unique storyline, and usually it’s something I look for in a Christmas movie. However there were just many flaws and holes in the story for me personally, and I think this was just a one time watch for me. The romance was not good and, I think the chemistry was not quite there. Michael Rady appeared really really cold. I guess that’s probably his character, but I just couldn’t feel that the 2 lead characters were falling in love. Lyndsey Fonseca was wonderful though, and definitely carried this movie. I was really bothered by the lines in the movie that kept being repeated about the “true meaning of Christmas”. Obviously I can’t expect them to mention anything about Jesus birth, but that’s really the true meaning of Christmas. It was wrong of them to keep portraying and mentioning the true meaning of Christmas as the beautiful decoration, the Christmas events, pageants, etc.. I did not enjoy this too much unfortunately. ~CH Mom


Under the Christmas Sky - October 22, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Under the Christmas Sky. Nope. Made it halfway and deleted. Not my cup of tea. What I saw was family friendly but, overall, I’m just not buying what Hallmark is selling this year (including all their little thinly-veiled agendas). I’m not usually a huge Ryan Paevey fan but I thought he was okay in this one, but the rest of the actors felt “off”. There was a scene where they went curling (yes, like the Olympic winter sport) and I appreciated the uniqueness and fun of that. What I did not appreciate was their explanation that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of the sun. Of course I understand that the story revolved around them setting up an exhibit at the planetarium, but I was not thrilled with lines like: “A lot of Christmas traditions, like having dinner with our families and exchanging presents, started in ancient Roman culture by celebrating the birth of the sun.” Ad nauseam, we are told that the birth of the sun and Santa’s relationship to the sun are the reason and the spirit of Christmas (and other such blather!!). Delete! ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Under the Christmas Sky is family friendly about Kat Butler is an esteemed astrophysicist, who is scheduled for her first trip into space next year until an accident grounds her. She works at National Space Program. While on leave, coming to terms with the reality that her dream of being an astronaut is over, she volunteers at the local planetarium as NSP Expert at The Apollo Planetarium where her younger Brother named Andy Butler works as Christmas Ornament Decorating party & Celeste works at Sun Ray Cafe. The Apollo Planetariums very first Santa Tracker Christmas Eve Party employees & volunteers at Planetarium Theater to find Santa. Celeste gets Andy a book of Design for Neophytes.

Kat is paired up with by-the-book David Robinson to work on an exhibit called; “Dwarf Stars Exhibit opening right before Christmas. Will the stars align to bring these two together at the holidays? Kat meets David’s Daughter named Lila & she gets her Planetarium Project as Christmas gift. Kat meets Jenna’s friend named Roy Ketz who works at Space Center in Chicago to add team section for Porter Probe on cutting edge. Kat doesn’t take a job at Space Center in Chicago. She has a reason to stay & works at NSP & be with David. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ "Under the Christmas Sky" did not draw me in. After ten minutes I stopped watching and deleted the movie from my DVR. The lead actress was lovely and I normally like anything Ryan is in, but unfortunately this movie left me cold. -Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Under the Christmas Sky - I couldn't get through this one. It wasn't science-y enough to be interesting from that perspective, and it the parts I caught didn't seem particularly Christmas-y or romantic. – MS


Christmas By Design - October 27, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Design is clean and quite enjoyable. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Design was one that I was pleasantly surprised by. I thought it was going to the a “play in the background while I cook” but I couldn’t look away. Yes the storyline about returning home has been done…but everything was great, chemistry between the leads, the wardrobe, decor, cute diner, etc. Hallmark knows how to do what they do, can’t argue with that. It was a sweet story about them both helping each other to open their hearts again, and what he did with the dad’s truck at the end was so sweet. Also didn’t notice anything inappropriate so I believe it is family friendly. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Really enjoyed Christmas by Design. Family friendly, loved the characters and different type of story line. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Christmas By Design -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Recommended? No -

This was another movie this season where I had trouble getting into the storyline - too cookie-cutter. But my main problem was with some of the acting. While I thought Rebecca Dalton was great as Charlotte (and yes, gorgeous too!), I found Jonathan Keltz' acting to be, well, wooden - I didn't think he showed any charisma at all. And then those girls who were fawning over him - waaaay too over the top. So this one is a pass for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Design is family friendly about a fashion designer named Charlotte “Charlie” learns what’s most important in life when she joins a Christmas challenge to create a new holiday-theme collection. Charlie sews Pajamboree for Christmas Fashion Show. Charlie mentions Elfscapeda. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Design – I quite enjoyed this family friendly Christmas movie. Mind you, the lead girl, Charlotte (AKA Charlie, to her friends), was a little arrogant and stuck-up, at times, but she got better as the movie went along. Spencer is the local mechanic, whose shop Charlotte brings her car – when she literally runs it into his truck and damages hers. I loved that Spencer’s classic truck didn’t receive any damage, while her modern day car literally fell to pieces! One of the best scenes is when Charlotte shares a sweet childhood Christmas memory about her father. It made this big city girl feel more down-to-earth and vulnerable. Christmas by Design is a lighthearted, simple, feel-good film, although there is a bit of family conflict that isn’t exactly sugar-coated. Overall, it’s a nice story about love and forgiveness. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Net, I watched "Christmas by Design" yesterday, all the way through this time. And you were right! It was a sweet movie! ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Design. It had its sweet moments and was somewhat cute but, overall, it was pretty much the standard fare. The set was good and I appreciated that the decorations were not too overblown; I think I loved the beautiful old house in the movie better than the rest of the movie. The dialogue and development of romance between the leads was good. I liked Jonathan’s character much better than Rebecca’s. Her character is so self-centered and snobbish and bratty and hurtful throughout the majority of the movie that by the time she makes a turnaround I really didn’t care and kind of wished she’d just leave town and let her family members finally breathe a sigh of relief and let the nice guy find a sweet girl who truly appreciated him (but, please!, NOT one of those giggling and fawning girls that were totally over-the-top and ridiculous!). And the whole way the fashion show at the ending and department store contract was handled was absolutely unbelievable (that’s just not how the real world works). I understand the writers were going for warm fuzzies and redemption and tying everything up in a nice happily-ever-after Christmas bow, but it was totally unrealistic (and actually flowed right along with today’s “me” culture where, evidently, it’s okay to shirk your commitments and leave your boss hanging, so long as you feel it’s for a good reason – and you get hugely rewarded for doing so!!! Say what??? -- I guess nowadays in the work world, businesses reward those who are all about “self” instead of rewarding those who are dedicated to following through on their obligations -- argh!! -- Hallmark glossed it all over and made it seem like she was doing it for her family, but it just didn't sit right with me. Obviously. ๐Ÿคฃ). And this was, yet again, another one of those movies where the female makes the first move. Ugh, I want the good old days to come back. Not a keeper for me, but okay for a one-time watch and I think this is one that others will enjoy much more than I did. Family friendly. ~~Jane


Mystic Christmas - October 28, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ "Mystic Christmas" -- not family-friendly; about halfway through the movie, viewers are introduced to the idea of one of the interns being gay. Ten minutes later, it's confirmed and we see he and the baker go off to dance together. Bummer, as I was enjoying the quick-talking banter and slightly goofy tone of this one. Oh well. Still a Merry Christmas, friends! :-) ~Alicia

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Mystic Christmas -
Family-friendly? One guy develops a crush on another guy -
Recommended? No

I just couldn't get into this movie. I did not care for the plot, the people were talking fast and over each other, I did not sense any chemistry between the leads, and the whole movie just seemed disjointed. This was one of those rare movies where I couldn't wait for it to end. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Mystic Christmas. Not family friendly. At about the halfway point we find out one of the male characters (he's a secondary character but fairly important to the story) has a crush on another male character and a romantic relationship is talked about and encouraged by others and for the rest of the movie we see them holding hands or showing affection in their new romance (no kissing, unless I missed something). Also, the movie was very pro divorce. Other than that, … I liked all of the actors, especially Jessy Schram, who is adorable and so expressive. There was good, quick, witty dialogue and some humor (which I like). It was a somewhat unique storyline, which was a positive (and maybe sometimes a negative??). Unlike traditional Hallmark Christmas movies, this one didn’t really feel all that Christmas-y. I usually like movies, such as this one, which are set in locations with history and with more restrained decorations, and I appreciate uniqueness and a divergence from the standard Hallmark fare of tree lightings, gingerbread houses and snowball fights, but this one just felt like it could have been set at any time of year other than Christmas. I think Jessy and Chandler Massey could make a cute couple but, for some reason, I just wasn’t buying it in this movie (and I’m not sure why because they were fun to watch together). Overall, the story felt kind of blah, to me. It might be because I fast-forwarded through the second half of the movie, so, not sure if that second half would have “wow’d” me? Either way, it’s not a keeper because of the same-sex couple. Seriously Hallmark, you just can’t help yourself, can you?!? Delete. (p.s. - Caught the very last words of this movie at the beginning of the dvr’d Joyeux Noel and they were saying something about Nick and Eric’s engagement party. So, yup, they carried the homosexual thread all the way through from the halfway point to the end.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Mystic Christmas was a no-go for me….I don’t know I just noticed I kept getting up to do stuff in between and not caring if I missed something so I deleted it about 30 minutes in….maybe it wasn’t Christmas enough for me?? ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ As others have said, "Mystic Christmas" was not family-friendly. Extremely disappointed. :-( I stopped watching when I saw where things were headed and deleted the movie. The main leads had zero chemistry and I was bored anyway. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Mystic Christmas” is neither family friendly nor entertaining. The story has little to do with Christmas, and a subplot revolves around the budding romance between two homosexual men. This ranks as one of the worst Hallmark Christmas movies I’ve ever watched – pathetic. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Mystic Christmas was by far the best Hallmark so far (still early in the season). It does have a background character flirting/ budding romance with two men. If you don't want to see that, don't watch. The movie itself was one that highlighted a real local place instead of generic filmed in Canada, i like these. The movie had very little to do with Christmas but had good dialogue and chemistry between leads. I think Chandler is becoming one of my new favorites after this and the Train back in time one a few years ago. The characters have believable problems and actually talk ( some) to work them out rather than making wild assumptions after miscommunication ( the second time around). –MS

๐ŸŽ„ Mystic Christmas isn’t family friendly about Dr. Juniper Jones is a world traveling marine veterinarian who isn’t afraid of anything except getting stuck in one place. When a favor for her college roommate named Candice Adams works at Mystic Aquarium & Rehabilitation Center to bring her to the seafaring town of Mystic, Connecticut during the holidays, Juniper is happy to visit a new place & take a temporary position at the Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center & Mystic Aquarium. Here she works to help a harbor seal named Peppermint get released back into the wild. Candice has a Daughter named Louisa.

In between her work, Juniper explores Mystic & finds herself smitten with the town, its people, and much to her dismay, the owner of the pizza shop called; “Mango’s Wood-Fried Pizza Co.”, Sawyer, whom she had spent a romantic night with years prior. After an awkward reunion, Juniper & Sawyer agree to move forward & forget about their past but their spark is ignited once again. Ken owned “Anchor Mystic Cafe & Sweets”, he’s Theresa’s Father. Juniper catches up with Peter, Eric, & Theresa at Milne Ocean Science & Conservation Center. Juniper takes Peppermint the harbor seal ๐Ÿฆญ to Greenwich Veterinary Clinic with Theresa. There’s 2 seals at Mystic Aquarium.

There’s a ticking clock on their romance since Juniper is only in Mystic temporarily & Sawyer insists he’s too entrenched in his hometown to leave (even at the expense of some of his own dreams).

While Juniper has no plans to stay, the interns Juniper oversees & Sawyer himself entrench Juniper in the community, and she finds herself catching the holiday spirit. Juniper realizes that what she initially thought she wanted out of life may have changed. Peter works at Mystic Seaport Museum that has Press Station for flyers. Juniper gets call from her parents; her Mom is on the cruise ๐Ÿšข & her Dad goes hiking ๐Ÿฅพ with other people.

Juniper inspires Sawyer to go after the life he’s always dreamed of, while Sawyer (and the rest of Mystic) will show Juniper what it feels like to really belong to a community. Juniper & Sawyer want to stay in Mystic, Connecticut.Nick & Eric’s engagement party. Next December, Sawyer is back to his hometown in Mystic. Theresa is at Galapagos FaceTime with her Father, Ken. A young woman wants her Boss; Sawyer back at Pizza Shop. ~Anonymous


Joyeux Noel - October 29, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Joyeux Noel. I really liked this sweet movie and the actors. Bit of mystery. Bit of warm, French, Christmas atmosphere. Bit of romance. Keeper for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ I tried Joyful Noel and didn't finish it. No chemistry and the leading male character was so annoying to me. He's good looking, but that's it. Points for it being about Christmas and the French girl. The lead actress was good to.me. Didn't care about the mystery that was similar to Bringing Christmas Home, but didn't have the same impact. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ I was pleasantly surprised with Hallmark’s “Joyeux Noel”, which is family-friendly and beautifully filmed in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. The romance between the two leads (Jaicy Elliot and Brant Daugherty) blossoms as they attempt to solve the mystery behind a newly displayed painting and a music box for a Christmas cover story. A dash of French humor was skillfully provided by Ciara Prioux, who plays Sophie, the hotelier’s tween-age daughter and prankster. Time to brush up on your French, sit back, and enjoy. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Joyeux Noel - this did not keep my attention. I let it play on but wasn't paying much attention. I like both leads in other films, but no chemistry here. –MS

๐ŸŽ„ Joyeux Noel.....This movie is a one time watch for me. It was nice to have a different cast and location, but it was really dragging. The actors even talked slow. It was a sweet story, but just didn’t click. Family friendly, but that’s about all it had going for it. - Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ Joyeux Noel – This movie was rather slow and dull, in my opinion. I didn’t feel ANY romantic sparks between Jaicy Elliot and Brant Daugherty’s characters, Lea and Mark. To me, they just seemed like sparring co-workers who simply became friends along their journey. I found it really annoying how Lea would often correct Mark’s grammar. Sheesh! That was so obnoxious how she treated him like a child. And then there was the young girl, Sophie, the pre-teen daughter of the hotel manager, who was bright and cheerful, but I found it to be extremely odd that she would just wonder into Mark’s bedroom all alone to talk to him and give him advice. He was a stranger to her, but she acted if she had known him forever. What parents let a little girl do that? And don’t get me started on the scene where the children gather around Mark and start kicking him – just because he didn’t leave gifts out for the gnomes? What in the world was that? No one should have to be threatened to do something and then be treated so violently. That was awful. Do these children have no respect for their elders or visitors to the country? I was appalled at their behavior and that everyone thought it was acceptable and funny. I’ve liked both Jaicy Elliot and Brant Daugherty in previous movies, but not in this one together. ~Net


Flipping for Christmas - November 3, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas is clean, heartfelt, filled with great humor, and is overall fantastic! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Flipping for Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper - On the fence -

I have to admit that this movie held my interest, and the acting was excellent with good chemistry between the leads. But, at least a couple of scenes early on were too ridiculous for me to totally embrace this film. Early on, we have the two main characters disagreeing on what changes to make to this house. So instead of first sitting down and trying to find some common ground (and with time against them), they start painting the same wall the color they each want. Seriously? And then they get silly and chase each other through the house with paint. Yeah, that's a time saver and won't make a mess! So, with both likes and dislikes, I'm not sure whether it is a keeper or not for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ "Flipping for Christmas" is also family friendly-I really liked Ashley and Marc together they had decent chemistry and I liked the storyline! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas is family friendly (Review May Contain Spoilers!) about Christmas just around the corner, ambitious realtor/designer Abigail (Ashley Newbrough) has no time for holiday spirit. Having just landed a career-changing opportunity to represent DevelaCorp, the largest property development company in the city, a busy Abigail is torn when her sister calls for help during the holidays with the “simple flip” of a recently inherited home. Abigail, who buries herself in her work, reluctantly sets off to help the family but is thrown a curveball when she learns the inherited house has a co-beneficiary, Bo (Marcus Rosner), the town’s altruistic contractor.

Abigail needs to sell the home for her sister who needs the money to make room for her growing family, including their dad who has recently moved in. Bo, on the other hand, wants to use the house as a bed & breakfast. As Abigail & Bo negotiate the pros & cons of each option, her holiday spirits are lifted as their collaboration leads to a reinvigorated sense of community. However, when Abigail unwittingly draws DevelaCorp’s attention to some local prime real estate, they bid to purchase the vacant land with the intent to regentrify Bo’s beloved community.

Abigail is devastated after revealing the impending sale to Bo, knowing she’s dampened their budding relationship. As she sets out to quash the deal & rescue the local community spirit, she discovers what’s truly important in life – the love of family, friends, & that special someone, especially during the holidays. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas is clean, heartfelt, filled with great humor, and is overall fantastic! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas. Nope. And, nope. This movie was all over the place and none of it really made sense. Ashley and Marcus were pretty to look at, but I didn’t really like either character (and they were not given much of a script to work with); and the production was pretty to look at but, otherwise, not worth my time. It was as if a newbie writer/director team decided to cut and paste ideas from every other standard Christmas movie and patched them all together with no real cohesiveness. We have a deceased loved one -- well, of course!, you have to have one of those in your Christmas movie to create a touching situation. Then we have the leads who just met 24 hours ago and absolutely do not like each other… but all of a sudden, they’re having a playful, flirty paint fight where they chase each other with paint brushes, laughing and giggling around the house. (Eye roll!!) And then very shortly thereafter we have a silly snowball fight and a chase through the Christmas tree farm and then he has to put his arms around her and help her cut down the tree. (Oh, good grief! I’m waiting for the flour fight to start while they’re baking cookies!) And then, naturally, we have an evil big developer who is going to demolish the town so the movie also morphs into a “save the town” movie. Next comes the ridiculous, manufactured, HUGELY overblown conflict. (My eyeballs are in danger of getting stuck up in my head!) And then Marcus tells her some nonsense mumbo jumbo about the best part of cutting a Christmas tree down is that you get to take away the part above ground that you’ve been looking at for years, but the roots still remain with all the memories and DNA of the tree becoming a part of the earth and never really going away (very close paraphrase) – ick!! – what was that?!?! I’m sure others will think this movie was cute (and it had its sweet moments – such as the memory tree), but I’ve become such a Grumpy Gus that movies like this one just annoy me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping Christmas - standard fare. Hits all the basic clichรฉ's, good chemistry between leads. The enemy here is big bad business.. really over the top with glossing over the concerns of "gentrification" . There was good family bonds between sisters. --MS

๐ŸŽ„ We also watched "Flipping for Christmas" which was good. I liked the leads. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas – This is a fairly sweet and simple Christmas rom-com. I agree with Mark and Jane; it drove me crazy when they started flirting and chasing each other around in this beautiful old home with paint, potentially making a mess when they were supposed to be making improvements. I did like, however, how Marcus’ character had a woodworking shop and made (or repaired) things for the people in the community. That was a nice touch to the story. This movie isn’t a keeper for me, but perhaps, it’s something I would watch when it airs on TV again. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Flipping for Christmas - I can usually stomach both these actors but Marcus Rosner is a flat actor. He is so the same in most movies he is in. I had to turn this one off--too boring. ~Anonymous


Never Been Chris'd - November 4, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Never Been Chris'd - I had low expectations for this one based on the tagline and previews but was pleasantly surprised. My taste is definitely for the comedy movies over dramatic and this fits that category. Overall, good performance, Tyler is always a favorite. This doesn't follow the usual template which was nice. I liked the focus on the girls friendship and each's relationships with their mothers. I didn't like how they portrayed the 35 year old women acting like immature teens at situations. The "back to hometown and thrown in HS friends/situations" vibe led to some funny scenes. Overall I felt this was good, but may be because the preview looked so bad. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I tried to watch Never Been Chris’d and I seriously couldn’t stand it. These two grown women act like they are in high school. It’s awful. Usually Tyler Hynes has a good movie but not this year. I don’t know if it’s family friendly for sure, but saw someone on Facebook say it was. If you can stand to watch it. -Allie B

๐ŸŽ„ Never Been Chris’d is family friendly about 2 BFFs Naomi & Liz reconnect with High School crush named Chris Silver. A complex love triangle forms, forcing them to take stock of their lives & find the value of friendship. This movie is awful ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Never Been Chris’d” is family-friendly but the bantering dialogue and middle-school antics of the BFFs made this one hard to watch. I typically enjoy Tyler Hynes, but his cool/aloof demeanor was overdone in this film. One bright spot was Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes, who is the actress who plays Liz opposite Janel Parrish’s character. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Never Been Chris’d. That. Was. Horrible. Total train wreck. Waste of 90 minutes of my life. I’m sure someone thought it was funny and quirky but no, just NO!!! I love Tyler Hynes but even he was horrible in this one. This was not a Christmas movie. And the romance? Tyler had better chemistry with the friend the writers did not pair him with. And, honestly, there was more chemistry between the two girl friends (platonic chemistry). Technically it was “family friendly” (other than alcohol), but why would anyone want to watch this with their family??!? ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ So I watched Never Been Chris’d and the preview was misleading. I mean yes, both girls had a little crush on him in high school (along with everyone else) but there was no love triangle. When they all reconnected he never hit on/flirted/perused both women and they never fought over or competed for him. The movie was more about them both finding their voices with their mothers and working through their friendship issues. I never saw the Liz character in anything and I really liked her, she was funny without trying to be. There was one gay character (I think) and he mentioned he had a baby but I never heard him say he had a husband and nothing inappropriate was said or done. I really liked how they both made it right with their moms in the end. One time watch for me, but it was fine. I don’t understand what the big deal some people are making of it, it’s a group of high school friends meeting back up and reminiscing about old times nothing wild ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️ ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Agreed, Never Been Chris’d is the worst Christmas movie so far! I love Tyler, but this one wasn’t good ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ “Never Been Chris’d” on Hallmark Channel is a mixed bag. It is family-friendly, but the acting is over the top. The story features a lot of tangled relationships, and the characters are not overly likable. It is hard to believe that 35-year-old women would be so immature and do things like hide from Chris behind a store clothing rack. My high school daughter said that they actually behaved more like middle schoolers. It is not as bad as some reviewers have asserted, but it is definitely not something I would watch again. Laurie

๐ŸŽ„ Jane and Allie - I couldn't agree with you more on this movie! I almost turned it off after about 20 minutes, but kept watching, hoping it would improve. Nope. These two leading women totally turned me off. Like you said Allie, these supposedly professional women act like high-school teenagers. And like you said Jane, Tyler was not good - it's like he didn't know how to react to these immature women! And one more thing - I didn't like the attitude these women had with their mothers - very disrespectful! No need to give this even a one-time watch! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Never Been Chris’d is family friendly.

Home for the Holidays, BFFs Naomi & Liz reconnect with high school crush Chris Silver. A complex love triangle forms, forcing them to take stock of their lives & find the value of friendship

Naomi & Liz are high school BFFs whose friendship endured through college and now powers their startup app, BestPal (essentially Tinder but for making friends). From sitting far, far away from the cool table in high school to being two girlbosses on the rise, these two have made it — and now they have to spend the holidays back at home. Liz and Naomi aren’t home for two seconds before they run into Chris Silver (Three Wise Men and a Baby’s Tyler Hynes), the hottest guy in their graduating class who has grown up to be the hottest guy in town. The decades have piled up but Liz and Naomi’s crush on Chris is easily unearthed.

So, how awkward is it for two best friends to kinda sorta be flirting with, and possibly even dating, the same guy? There’s also the anxiety that comes from ex-nerds Naomi & Liz now sitting at the cool kids’ table. And to make matters feel even more like high school, these two 35-year-old women are suddenly having a lot of problems with their mothers. Like, “Geez, mom, why won’t you recognize the healthy boundaries I set with you? Ugh!” Will Liz and Naomi’s friendship handle all this stress, especially if Chris ends up Chrissing just one of them? Although I guess it would be worse if he Chris’d both of them

Well, Liz usually goes to Hawaii with Naomi & her mom for Christmas — but not this year. Liz’s mom has also started a new tradition of sending out Hanukkah cards, even though Liz is not home to be in the photo. And then there’s the high school’s Jingle Ball, a festive dance that Liz always wanted to go to. Will this be her year? I’m mentioning it, so yes it will be two longtime best friends home for the Christmas season. Naomi & Liz, close as ever, were into the same guy back in high school, Chris Silver. While on holiday, they decide to reach back out to him, hanging out together and rekindling both of their old teenage crushes — a strange love triangle that tests their friendship in ways that were not in the celebratory plans for Christmas vacation. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Never been Chris'd was AWFUL. Not a Janel Parrish fan by any stretch--she cannot act her way out of anything, and this movie proves it. Usually like Tyler Hynes but he would have been better just sitting and having a cup of coffee and it would have been more interesting. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Never Been Chris'd - (The flop of 2023)?
From the initial Christmas movie list this was the one I immediately picked out as likely to be the best and was going to hold this back for the family to watch on Christmas night.

However as the reviews came in it was obvious this had majorly bombed (a disastrous 5.4 on IMDb) so going by the reviews both here and on IMDb we are now keeping Bringing Christmas Home with Jill Wagner and Paul Greene with a second choice not yet decided.

You've got to wonder just what Hallmark was thinking of here, this was a mish mash, disjointed and not really much of a plot or direction even romance. As for the fish-eating vegan aspect of Chris (Taylor Hynes) and his need to hide it it was just ridiculous.
to be continued
There wasn't even ~ rubcale

๐ŸŽ„ NEVER BEEN CHRIS'D - Ughh.. i should've read all the reviews here before watching. I did not finish this. I watched it for 20 minutes before calling it quits. I thought it would get better. I don't know where the storyline was going. Everything was so annoying. Tyler Hynes should have never participated in this nonsense. Don't waste your time. ~CH Mom


The Santa Summit - November 5, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ The Santa Summit - My preferences are comedy movies and this one was in that category. It takes place mostly over a single day, the premise was a departure for Hallmark and leaned more toward a classic comedy style. Three girls spend the evening chasing down a chance encounter for one of the girls with near misses and other relationship building along the way. Very well done. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ "Santa Summit" was just a fun movie, I really liked the chemistry with everyone and it was a new and different storyline. This one is family friendly! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ "The Santa Summit" was seriously so much fun! I was beaming from ear to ear. I LOVED IT! :-) I also like it when actors and actresses make cameo's that you weren't expecting. Anyway, I hope Amy G. continues to get work. She was delightful as the nerdy and adorable teacher. Also, I have to give a shout-out to Stephanie who played Stella. Oh my she was sarcastic and witty and so very talented. It was so cool seeing her bust out of her shell. :-) Plus, the guy in the reindeer costume was brilliant! ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “The Santa Summit” is a family-friendly story that follows the escapades of three single teachers. One of the women (played by Hunter King) meets a man with whom she has an instant connection, and they spend the rest of the night trying to reconnect. The story line leaves little opportunity for them to interact, and the overall bantering dialogue left me exhausted by the end of the film. Entertaining, but definitely not a keeper for me. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ The Santa Summit. I almost deleted this in the first 10 minutes, but I’m glad I didn’t. The whole idea of a Santa Summit (to this magnitude) was bizarre and ridiculous but I found I just couldn’t turn away from the strange happenings on the screen. As a whole, I actually really enjoyed this movie – this was one where they went for quirky and they hit it spot on. The whole thing was very secular and there were parts that were shallow and frustrating. But, on the other hand, it was quite fun and funny and unique, and I loved the friendship between the three women schoolteachers (and each of their romances were sweet, too). I’ve never heard of such a thing as a Santa Summit but it was actually fun to watch a bunch of crazy people dressed as Santa go on a sort of pub crawl version of a scavenger hunt. I never would’ve thought I would/could enjoy that!?! But it was just so much fun to watch! And well-acted all around. Words I scribbled down as I watched this movie: wacky, bizarre, cute, annoying, zany, odd, geeky, fun, unique, madcap, secular, quirky, weird, unbelievable, shallow, sweet, uncomfortable, different, nerdly, frustrating, funny. This movie is a keeper for now, and I’m actually still surprised to be saying that!! Family friendly other than the negatives I list below, plus there is alcohol consumption at bars but it’s not excessive and it’s not about getting inebriated. {Negatives, for me: The whole movie was very secular. I expected that a Santa movie would miss the True Reason for Christmas, but I still didn’t appreciate the mumbo jumbo about “the universe” making Christmas magic or some such nonsense, but that’s fairly standard in most Hallmark movies nowadays. And along with hearing secular Christmas songs (which is fine because that’s what I expected – and one of the girls singing Jingle Bells was a quite lovely addition to the movie) once or twice they would interject a snippet of a religious Christmas song (at a karaoke contest or something) and that song would be screeched or butchered and sound ugly as they were singing “Joy to the world the Lord has come” or some other song of faith – it almost seemed to be done on purpose by the writers/directors, but who knows???} ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ The Santa Summit was such a fun movie to watch. Loved it. ~dstoutholcomb

๐ŸŽ„ Santa Summit....Hilarious! Family-friendly (although a couple scenes with the reindeer were awkward). I can definitely see how Hallmark was trying to copy GAC’s Destined at Christmas. It was the same base plot. Sorry, GAC, but this one was SO MUCH better. The key ingredient in any movie is the humor. This one was extremely funny whereas Destined wasn’t really funny at all. I had to pause Summit to get all my laughter out. Stephanie was probably the best. She was really the star with her story and humor. I highly recommend watching! It is definitely at the top of the keep list! It could possibly be the best movie of the year. (Minus the reindeer. Uncomfortable.) -Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ The Santa Summit- Charming moments, Bit of Fun, But not good enough to want to warrant more then a 1 time watch from me due to various reasons. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ The Santa Summit – This movie is sooooo super funny! I think I nearly laughed my way through the whole movie. (Warning: I may use the word fun a lot in this review!)

I’ve seen some people relate The Santa Summit to Destined at Christmas, in how they get separated but continue to search for each other. I enjoyed the searching part of it, and I thought all of the close misses were fun, too, just like in Destined.

I do want to mention, however, that there are several mentions of the new-age term, universe… in which the lead woman, Jordan (played by Hunter King) believes the universe is bringing her and the unknown stranger, Liam, together.

Overall, it’s mostly family friendly, minus some casual drinking. I thought the close relationship between the three female friends (who are all teachers) was fun, and I liked watching Ava step out of her comfort zone to admit her feelings for her co-worker, Ben. And then, there’s Stella. Even though she is often a cynical Grinch throughout the night, she was still hilarious. It was also great to see her come out of her shell.

Altogether, it was such a fun watch, and I look forward to watching The Santa Summit again! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Review: The Santa Summit -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Definitely! -

When this movie first premiered, I wasn't planning on watching it - the plot seemed too far out for me. But because of all of the positive reviews, I decided to give this a try. And boy, am I glad I did! As just about everyone else has said, this is one fun - and funny - movie, from start to finish! There isn't much to add that hasn't already been said, but I want to emphasize that the camaraderie among the three ladies was played to perfection - great acting all around! And I think it is time that Amy Groening get "promoted" to a leading role - I have really enjoyed her in her supporting or co-lead roles, and she has what it takes to move on up! ~Mark 25


Everything Christmas - November 10, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas is clean, and quite the magical experience! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas. Not my cup of tea. I imagine I’ll be the unpopular one here, but I really did not like this movie. I probably shouldn’t have watched it since I know I’m not a fan of Cindy Busby’s acting abilities but I keep hoping one day she’ll have a good performance again like she did in the 2019 Godwink movie. Unfortunately, this movie was not it. This one was an immature, silly, mess and I’m thinking whoever wrote this sappy pablum had to still be in junior high school. Cindy’s character was juvenile, irresponsible and artificially enthusiastic. The whole storyline was just whackadoodle. Santa is all about doing magic tricks for the kids (yay, isn’t that special). You would think Corey Sevier would help to elevate this movie since he occasionally turns in a really good performance, but in this one he didn’t/couldn’t. The most realistic actor was the guy who played Jason, the love interest for Cindy’s bff. There was so much about this movie that felt awkward but it did have a few warm moments and the ending was sweet, so I think others will like this far more than I did. It's another one of this season’s movies that I think will appeal to a younger audience more than to me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Just watched Everything Christmas. One time watch for me but it was really cute. I like movies that mention Santa, reminds me of the old Hallmark ones. The best friend was cute in her role & honestly it was just nice to see Cindy Busby in a movie that wasn’t about mountains/being out in the wild. I feel like she had made 10 of those! ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas I thought was cute, and it is family friendly. I just love Corey Sevier is whatever he does. I loved how there were 2 different "meet cutes" for the 2 couples. I loved how it had a bit of mystery to it as well! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas - liked it more than i expected. Cindy and Corey had a cute chemistry (they were like two adorable puppies) and the movie was truly enjoyable and magical. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Everything Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

This is simply one fun movie! Cindy plays an absolute lover of Christmas, to the extreme! (And yet, aren't some of us bordering on her love of the season?!) On the road to a destination with her friend to celebrate her late grandmother, she keeps encountering Santa (or is it Santa?) and ends up in the most Christmassy of towns. This movie kept my interest completely throughout, as I kept wondering how it was all going to play out. The focus is definitely on Cindy - everyone else is basically a supporting player, including Corey - and she plays her quirky role so well! I loved the plot with the ornament, and you feel for her at the end when...well, I don't want to spoil it. Yes, some of the things that happen are unbelievable, but throw believability out the window and just go along for ride. I'm glad I did! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas is family friendly about Christmas enthusiast Lori Jo & her roommate named Victoria “Tori” embark on 3 day on a road trip to Yuletide Springs, a town where Christmas is celebrated one-round. They run into handsome, like-minded strangers Carl & Jason. They go to participate in a longstanding town tradition to honor her late Grandmother has light up ornament from E.C.E.A.T.T (Everything Christmas Everywhere All The Time) store. Every time Lori Jo’s Grandma has a gift certificate to keep inside the envelope. The foursome make stops during their journey to enjoy more small-town Christmas attractions. But when a series of events puts a damper on their plans, a little Christmas magic may put this trip back on the right path ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas was a light-hearted movie. ~Maire

๐ŸŽ„ Everything Christmas – This movie is definitely cute and interesting! I kept getting a Matchmaker Santa vibe with it. In both movies, there is a curious Santa who makes magical things happen. That was such a fun part of the story that made these four adults believe in the wonder of Santa Claus. I loved that! Even adults still like to believe, too, at times. The building romances were also fun; Cindy Busby and Corey Sevier were especially sweet as two over-the-top Christmas lovers. Even though the movie is silly, at times, I was okay with that, but what really bugged me was the ornament.

*SPOILER ALERT* (I was personally crushed when Cindy’s special ornament she made with her grandmother broke, and for me, nothing could EVER replace a sentimental ornament, not even an exact replica.) *END OF SPOILER*

Minus that, this movie is enjoyable, family-friendly, lighthearted, and amusing. It’s quite the trip! ~Net


Christmas Island - November 11, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Island is clean, enjoyable, and that's about all I have to say. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Island is family friendly about when a snowstorm diverts Kate Gabriel’s first private flight to Christmas Island, she must team up with an air traffic controller named Oliver McLead to secure her dream job as the Sharpe family’s pilot. Christmas Island is too expensive is part of Australia territory ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Island. Meh. Mixed opinion. Sweet, but something just felt “off” (especially for the romance part of the movie). Were they going for quirky and got cheesy and ridiculous instead?? Ultimately, this was a cute story but it also was frustrating to me. The attention to detail was nonexistent and so many things were silly and sloppy and just made no sense. For instance, this is a very luxurious private flight flying a wealthy, high-powered, family to Switzerland and yet, there is no staff and the captain (Rachel) has to load everyone’s luggage on the plane by herself and then she has to get up out of the cockpit and go serve drinks to the passengers while the co-pilot handles the flying?!?! And then there’s supposedly a HUGE blizzard that grounds them mid-flight on Christmas Island… but it’s always sunny and clear for the four days they’re grounded in the town (except for every once in a while, the director must remember there’s supposed to be bad weather and a bit of snow is thrown in a shot) – don’t get me started on all the many aspects of this weather storyline that were just so messed up! The whole thing felt like a B-rated movie that had been written and directed by a middle-schooler, and I’m kind of wondering if that’s what they were going for on purpose because, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense, especially for these top-rated actors and crew. The actors and the writer and the director have all turned in excellent work in the past and yet this all just felt so mixed up, messed up and juvenile. And yet, somewhere in the mess there was still a sweet story -- it was just executed rather sloppily. Most of the actors were good (although I liked Rachel much better in last year’s Royal Nanny). And I’ve never been a huge Andrew W. fan but he’s been growing on me lately but, unfortunately, this time, he was not appealing; I don’t know if it was his acting or the directing, but his character seemed way too odd and silly. Even so, this movie had its sweet moments and I appreciated that there were nice family-oriented, warm aspects that would be fun to watch with one’s family, including a unique community tree lighting, and the depiction of a family that is forced to slow down and ends up rediscovering the simple things and their love for one another. Actually, the family story was much stronger and more believable than the romance. For the most part, this movie annoyed me and is not a keeper, but the cute parts were cute and it was okay for a one-time watch and I feel others will enjoy it much more than I did. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Christmas Island -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Only if you have trouble sleeping -

I could not get into this movie at all! The plot was boring, and the acting left a lot to be desired. Simply, Rachel Skarsten was not the person for the role of Kate. Andrew's performance pales in comparison to his role last year in Three Wise Men and a Baby, where he obviously was having a lot of fun. Not the case here - at times it seemed like he was just going through the motions. Sorry, but there is nothing for me to recommend this one. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Island was a great reminder for me to slow down and be present to my children and rethink why I am doing what I do. ~Maire

๐ŸŽ„ CHRISTMAS ISLAND - I watched this a while ago and forgot to review. I usually always like Andrew Walker's movie, but this one was not one I'd watch again. To be fair, he was wonderful here as always, but I just don't think the chemistry with Rachel was there. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Island – I recently rewatched this and realized I haven’t reviewed this, yet. This movie is rather cute and family-friendly. I think I enjoyed it even more the second time around. The romance between Andrew Walker and Rachel Skarsten is somewhat subtle, but still sweet and amusing, as they banter back and forth a bit. I mostly liked the family side of the story, with the couple who are rich and have very little time for their children until they are stranded on Christmas Island. It’s nice that there are several storylines going on. Like others have said, this is also not my favorite movie, for either Andrew or Rachel, but it’s still enjoyable and lighthearted. It’s a great movie for family viewing since there is a teenage girl and young boy in the movie. Christmas Island looks like a fun place to visit during the Christmas season; I wouldn't mind being stranded there for a few days at Christmastime. ~Net


A Heidelberg Holiday - November 12, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday. Very enjoyable! Sweet, cozy, warm, welcoming, family-oriented. Loved the beautiful German setting and warm family traditions, including lighting of advent wreath. I liked the craftsmanship and artistry angle of the movie, including woodworking and handblown glass ornaments (now I want to go take a glass blowing class!). Tasteful set and decorations. Good acting all around. Nice, seamless, intermixing of German and English language. The movie wasn’t perfect but it was, as a whole, quite well done and a keeper for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday really surprised me. I almost wanted to stop watching within the first 20 minutes just because it wasn’t “Christmas enough” for me, as I really love the decor and over the top from most Hallmark Christmas movies. But I am glad I stuck with it because the movie was such a nice one! I love how the romance developed between Heidi and Lukas, they had great chemistry and were so natural together. They first kissed midway into the movie and we got to see them really connect, not just within the last 5 minutes of the movie like a lot of times. Of course the scenery and architecture was beautiful but the family really stole the show, especially the 2 little boys they were so cute. Not the norm for what I would be drawn to from Hallmark but I really enjoyed this one and I would watch it again! ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday - I watched it on YouTube and it was a very well done movie! The chemistry was off the charts. Good story line. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday - Jonathan Bennett makes a cameo & his real life Husband in “A Heidelberg Holiday” with his real life husband in the background of a scene. Apparently they were vacationing in town ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday - Thought I’d chime in, just in case anyone was interested. I watched Heidelberg Holiday and there was absolutely no "content" or visible homosexual agenda in it. I did not notice Jonathan Bennett or any homosexual displays of affection in any of the scenes; of course, they could have just had cameos as “tourists” walking in the background (and from what I’ve read online, they actually were just there, coincidentally, as tourists anyway). The movie was completely family friendly. Moreover, there were actually several times in the movie where they lighted an Advent wreath as a family and mentioned having done the same in church -- mind you, there was no recitation of Scripture but they still emphasized Advent which I appreciated since it is very much a Christian tradition. ~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday - Don’t know if I could say anymore. One of the best so far. ~JoCo

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Heidelberg Holiday -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Maybe a one-time watch

I agree with Paula above - it is so nice to have a movie where the leads kiss in the middle of the movie, and you get to see the romance develop from there.

But that said, this movie came across mostly like a travelogue for Heidelberg, making a point to show all of the wonderful sites of the city. There were also some major holes in the storyline that can't be ignored: 1) For someone who was anxious to get her booth to sell her ornaments, she sure spends A LOT of time away from it, taking in the sites of the city. (Obviously so the movie could show off those sites!) While she is told not to do a "hard sell", that doesn't mean no sell. I would hate to be customer who had questions and no one is there to answer them for almost a whole day! 2) She had, what, 15 or 20 large boxes packed with ornaments, so that means hundreds of ornaments that she had orders for. There is no way they had that many good-size mosaics to replace the ornaments. 3) And not everybody would be happy with the replacement as the movie indicates. A lot of customers would still want the ornament!

So, it is worth a watch because of the romance, but because of the holes, it is not a keeper for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “A Heidelberg Holiday” is a family-friendly story that showcases German Advent and Christmas traditions amidst the beautiful scenery of Heidelberg. Ginna Claire Mason plays the leading role, and her performance is just as inspiring as in her 2022 hit movie, “A Holiday Spectacular”. There’s plenty of German dialogue thrown in to totally immerse the viewer in the story and the sweet romance between the leads. This film gets five stars for me – wunderbar! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday- Ah, this was so lovely. I'm glad Jane talked me into watching it. :) -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Heidelberg Holiday – Heidi is such a sweet person and you feel drawn into her plight to deliver her ornaments on time to the people at the market in Heidelberg, but I just wasn’t happy with the ending overall.

(SPOILER) When Heidi’s ornaments don’t arrive on time (due to her choosing a cheap delivery service), I desperately wanted to see her at least attempt to recreate her designs, perhaps with help from the family who took her in and the friends she met there. While she kept waiting for her shipment to arrive, I thought she should’ve been using that time to create more ornaments, instead of sight-seeing. I was disappointed only one ornament set could be sold in the end, and the new art design she came up with was nice, but it was not, in my opinion, a good exchange for her incredible artistry. (END of SPOILER)

I thought the conversations with the man at the Post Office in Germany were funny and very witty. (Side Note: I will certainly think twice before going with any cheaper delivery service in the future.) It was also nice to see the family Heidi was staying with observe Advent by lighting a candle each Sunday before Christmas; although, I’m not recalling any specific religious references in relation to Advent, other than general words like hope, joy, peace, etc. Altogether, it’s still a sweet story, lighthearted, and family-friendly. ~Net


Navigating Christmas - November 13, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Navigating Christmas. That was thoroughly enjoyable! I was expecting it to be totally shallow and cheesy, but instead, that was a really sweet movie. Well written, well directed (Peter Benson) and well-acted all around (I especially liked the teenage boy). Chelsea Hobbs was better than I've seen her before; Stephen Huszar is gorgeous but he can sometimes come off a bit too plastic-Ken-doll stiff but I thought this movie was one of his better performances. The sets were sparkly, cozy and festive but not too over-the-top (although, the mayor was rather over-enthusiastic!!). The town festival had “reindeer games” that were fun and unique. Stephen’s dance moves were hilarious and made me spit out my tea! I didn't like the "big conflict", nor the one-week time frame to fall happily ever after in love, but those are both typical for Christmas movies. I’m guessing this movie won’t make my top ten list but it’s a keeper for now and definitely worth watching again next year. Family friendly (except for divorce and talk of the teen’s father leaving them a year ago to marry another woman who is now pregnant). Also, there was some mumbo jumbo about how if, on Christmas Eve, anyone kisses the same spot at the lighthouse that St. Nicholas did, then they are endowed with divine direction and the ability to see where they’re supposed to go (they used this mini-storyline in one part of the movie and it wasn’t as objectionable as it could’ve been. – I’m trying to explain without spoilers – In a better movie they would’ve just prayed for guidance from God, but this is Hallmark, so they kissed the anchor at the lighthouse….??). ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Navigating Christmas is clean, wholesome fun (and lots of it!). -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Navigating Christmas was really good and thankfully I didn't pick up on anything "agenda-like". ~Grace

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Navigating Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Leaning toward no -

This isn't really a bad movie, there is just nothing about it that makes me recommend it. I think the meanness of the mother and son turned me off at the start, and although they come around, it set a bad tone for me. And while I enjoyed Huszar in some past movies, here I just couldn't get into his character. And one more thing...I'm getting tired of lighthouses! So, a meh movie for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Navigating Christmas is family friendly about Melanie is recently divorced from her Husband is portrayed by Lochlyn Munro & her son Jason visit a remote island for Christmas called; “St. Nicholas Island Lighthouse”, only to find themselves running a real working lighthouse with a local cafe where she connects with the curt but cute owner named Peter. Melanie & Jason meet Earl, Mayor Katy Cameron, & Sarah. Peter teaches Jason how to use Morse Code by using spotlight by using Morse Code book.Townspeople play games. Peter gets Melanie a gifted lighthouse globe ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I usually avoid most that Chelsea Hobbs is in. Ever since the line in Nine Lives of Christmas --I am a professional model. She needed more acting lessons from that movie. She might have gotten a few so this was better. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ NAVIGATING CHRISTMAS **clean**
This was quite a sweet movie, although I can already tell it would probably be a bit forgettable for me. It was still enjoyable throughout. The struggle about being a mom of teenagers is real and something I am going through currently, so I can totally relate to the female lead character. I agree with what Jane said about Stephen Huszar - i feel the same.. he had always seemed to be so stiff, aloof and not showing too much personality. He was a bit better here than on some other movies. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Navigating Christmas – This movie is best suited for a mature audience. Please know, there is the theme of divorce in this movie, but it’s obviously not the fault of Melanie, the female lead, who desperately wants to give her teenage son a nice Christmas when his father bails on him to spend time with his new pregnant girlfriend. Melanie and her son, Jason, end up going on vacation and staying in a lighthouse owned by Peter, who is, of course, in the process of selling the lighthouse. Basically, the movie is about Melanie and Peter opening up their hearts again to the possibility of love and rediscovering the joy of Christmas. It was an entertaining story and I liked Melanie and Peter together, but it’s probably just a one-time watch for me. ~Net


A Merry Scottish Christmas - November 18, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas - despite the fact that i am not fan of Royal themed movies i enjoyed this one. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas is FANTASTIC!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas….the best thing about it was the scenery. Honestly it didn’t keep my attention and I kept leaving to do other things. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Merry Scottish Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? You bet!

This was a treat from start to finish! Another recent movie where the romance angle takes a back seat to the relationships among family members. Here, the focus is primarily on repairing the relationship between brother and sister (Lacey and Scott) but also between these two and their mother and, to a lesser extent, between Scott and his wife. Lacey and Scott have a natural rapport together, perhaps because of their history. Top notch acting all around, and how about that surprise cameo...and Lacey's references to it?!! And the romance, while not the main focus, was still handled in a very believable manner. A charming and fun movie, not to be missed! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I was tad let down by A Merry Scottish Christmas. The storyline for the brother fell flat. The character playing his wife was just a waste to me. So much storyline and not enough time? I wouldn't mind seeing it again, but IDK if I will? Family friendly, but missing something. Misty

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas... I enjoyed this one. Lacey is one of my favorites! It was family-friendly, a tad cheesy, but cute, warm, and charming! I could have done without the whiskey. I am very Scottish, but I don't drink. And I loved the accents, bagpipes and the highland fling dancers. It's been so long since I had my kilt on and do the Sword Dance. ;)

I thought Max was very sweet and was enjoying the character (still do), but then Will Kemp made an appearance!!! I would have loved to see him as the love interest, but I guess they thought he would take attention away from the brother. Am I the only one...When Lacey says,"Have we met before? " Was it because she acted with him in many films. An inside joke. If so, that was fun. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas and A Paris Christmas Waltz. I guess I’m over saturated. Where is the Christmas. The waltz compitition could have been anytime. More of a Paris Travel ad. Liked characters but not much else. Same with the Scottish Christmas. A lot of traditions but most included drinking. Not really what Christmas means to me. Probably not many that will agree with me, but just my thoughts. ~JoCo

๐ŸŽ„ I also watched "A Merry Scottish Christmas" which was cute and had a fantastic cameo that I wasn't expecting but LOVED it. :-) I enjoyed Scott and Lacey together. Plus, the scenery was nice. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas. I’ll pretty much watch anything about Scotland! ๐Ÿ˜Š And the setting was so beautiful! Warning: possible spoilers ahead (but probably not anything that others haven’t already shared). Overall, the movie was cute and I enjoyed it, but the actual storyline was kinda “meh” and had a lot of holes (especially all the fabricated nonsense relating to succession for Dukes and who gets the estates and titles). And let’s assume that all that succession nonsense was accurate (which it is not) … why doesn’t the mother just make everything easy and become the Duchess (what else has she got to do?) and let Mac continue to run the estates and then she and her children can come and go as needed? I thought Lacey and Scott were good together as siblings but the storyline with Scott and his wife was a bit awkward. Not sure if that was due to the actress/singer who played his wife and seemed to be trying too hard to focus on acting and having an American accent instead of her native Irish (it’s a shame they couldn’t find a way to let her sing Christmas carols or something since that’s where she could’ve shined). Also, the infertility storyline was really too deep a subject to be a part of this lightweight movie, not to mention Scott is probably old enough to be a grandfather instead of a first-time father. And the actress who played their mother looked about the same age as Scott, so that was weird. On a bright note, I thought the Scottish actor that played Lacey’s romantic interest, Mac, was perfection for the role (we need to see more of him in future films!). And speaking of bright notes… I never watched Party of Five so I missed any hidden references. But I absolutely loved the hilarious Will Kemp cameo and the cute references to his movies with Lacey when she says “I only know how to waltz and tango” (The Christmas Waltz and The Dancing Detective)

This movie wasn’t really all that much about Christmas. It was more so about Scottish traditions, including winter solstice celebrations which are traditionally pagan affairs. The whiskey judging was weird. The character of Hamish was an over-the-top, hot mess. The ending of this movie was also a bit of a mess. But I loved the “dirty reindeer” drink of crushed cookies in hot chocolate – yum!! And I enjoyed the warmth of community that was shown in pubs and elsewhere.

So much about this movie just didn’t make sense but it was a lot of fun, nevertheless, especially for a lover of all things Scottish!! I loved these lines (paraphrased): “I think we took a wrong turn between Buckingham Palace and Downton Abbey.” and “Where is the snooze button on this guy?” Hah! Hamish and his bagpipes! Family friendly except for lots of alcohol; I doubt kids would like this one anyway (although, on second thought, they might find Hamish funny instead of annoying). ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A Merry Scottish Christmas – There were some things I enjoyed about this movie and other things, not so much. First, the Mother, Josephine… I found her role to be awful, as we learn how she selfishly abandoned her family and royal heritage as a young woman just before Christmas, and now all these years later she reveals all of her lies to her grown children, Lindsey (Lacey Chabert) and Brad (Scott Wolf), who were cheated of ever knowing their grandparents and uncle. This was an unbelievable deceit to keep from one’s family. Of course, we need to forgive others, but I felt they forgave her way too quickly and easily.

Then, of course, Josephine’s brother (Lindsey & Brad’s uncle) has died and conveniently, he didn’t have any offspring to leave the royal line of succession to. I felt it was wrong for Josephine to have any rights to her royal title (and her children) after abandoning her family so many years ago. I’m surprised the townspeople didn’t have an uprising and turn against her, but it’s a movie after all.

Then, Lacey Chabert’s romance in the movie… For me, Lindsey (Lacey Chabert) and Mac (James Robinson) had no spark of romantic chemistry. I just couldn’t feel the connection between these two, other than possible friendship. Even the ending, when they take their group photo in front of the Christmas tree a year later, Lacey is not even standing next to James. Her mother is standing between them!

The best and brightest positive thing about this movie is seeing Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf together again! It took me back to the 90’s - to the days of watching Party of Five again. I just loved seeing them act like brother and sister, even the little bit of tension brought to mind all of the little tiffs and disagreements they had on their original TV drama. Scott still has a million dollar smile and watching him and Lacey laughing together truly touched my heart! The sibling chemistry between Lacey and Scott is undeniably strong; I was engrossed watching their relationship grow stronger as the film progressed.

I also loved when Lacey asks, “Is this the hotel?” and Scott replies, “Unless we took a wrong turn between Buckingham Palace and Downton Abbey.” To which Lacey responds, “Wrong country.” That was an extremely cute and relatable brother-sister sparring moment. In spite of my enjoyment of seeing Lacey and Scott together again, A Merry Scottish Christmas was a one-time watch for me. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ MERRY SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS - I wish I could’ve loved this more. To me, a good chemistry is a *MUST* when watching a Hallmark movie. It really make/break a movie for me. Unfortunately, the chemistry here was a flop. Sure this movie was not focused on the romance and more the family aspect, but “World Record Christmas” was heavily focused in the family and could still have amazing chemistry. I don’t think it was Lacey’s fault, but I just don’t think it was a good fit casting-wise. Agreed with others who said Will Kemp would be a better pairing for Lacey. Someone with stronger personality for sure. I haven’t even mentioned the Mom/Duchess. Not a big fan of her character. Everything just didn’t really make sense to me. The writing was a bit lacking. I also could do without Scott and his wife being tense with each other. There were too many conflicts already, ha! I watched Party of Five growing up and was excited to see Lacey and Scott together as siblings, however, the storyline did not do justice to this epic reunion. I also wish the supporting characters (their respective significant others) had been better casted. That said, Lacey and Scott together was great. Loved seeing them banter and interact with each other, but even that couldn’t save the movie for me. Personally, I’m bummed to say that it was a one time watch at best. ~CH Mom


Holiday Hotline - November 19, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Hotline- Such a funny and cute movie! :) –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Hotline is family friendly about Abby moved out of London and has been working for a cooking hotline at a hotline for at-home chefs with Christmas cooking questions. And when she connects a frequent anonymous caller named Jack, a single Father becomes her in-person love interest, the virtual job makes its way into her personal life who is unknowingly smitten in real life. Jack has a Daughter named Jessica ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Holiday Hotline -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Slightly leaning toward yes -

I have gone back and forth in deciding how to evaluate this movie. It has some really good stuff...which unfortunately is offset by some not-so-good stuff! First, the bad - the storyline is very contrived, where we once again have the two leads "accidentally" running into each other a lot. We have the dad, who (we assume) is British since it is mentioned more than once that the mom is American, but who speaks with an American accent. But the worst for me is the leader of the hotline...sooooo flamboyant and annoying...I cringed every time he came on. But then there is the good. I love Emily Tennant in this film. She is so good, and she reminds me a bit of Lyndsy Fonseca with her facial expressions when she is shocked or astonished, so charming! I also liked the actress who played the daughter - I thought she was very good. And finally, I thought it was very clever how the did the "split screen", actually having the two leads in the same room. Clever! So, at least for now, I am going to rate one a keeper, since I think the pros outway the cons. I would definitely give it at least a one-time watch. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Holiday Hotline, part 2

Ooops...I forgot a couple of things in my review - sorry! Good: I was laughing out loud at a lot of the scenes where the callers were asking their questions on the hotline. And here is where you see the priceless facial expressions of Emily. So, so funny! Bad: Too many cringeworthy turkey jokes. But here too, the good outweighs the bad! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I just watched Holiday Hotline and it was sweet. The daughter was super cute and I loved how the father was trying his best to make thanksgiving dinner special for her. There was one line where the girl asked her “do you need to buy a gift for a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend?” But nothing more, nothing to ruin the film. One time watch for me, but still cute. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Mark, I forgot to mention that in my review. Yes, the supervisor of the hotline was borderline creepy! I don’t know something about his eyes and how he kept popping up. He also looked very similar to another actor who sometimes plays strange characters, Steve Buscemi, so I just kept seeing him ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป‍♀️๐Ÿ˜‚ ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Movies I liked so far ( I do not have GAC). Navigating Christmas, A Very Scottish Christmas, Holiday Hotline, A Season for Family, Hall out the Holly--Lit Up. Out of these I really liked Holiday Hotline the best--great chemistry with the leads, and then A Very Scottish Christmas. Loved Lacey and Scott as brother and sister again. All family friendly, of course. ~Savvy Girl

๐ŸŽ„ HOLIDAY HOTLINE *clean* - It was pretty sweet and I enjoyed watching it. Like others, I'm not a big fan of the flamboyant supervisor. I think it wasn't realistic that he was encouraging Peggy like that. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Hotline – This movie is unique, odd, interesting, quirky, and intriguing! The switching back and forth on dialects, I thought, was well done, but also a little annoying, at times. I also didn’t like the comment that Paula mentioned above, when the woman asks Abby if she has a boyfriend or girlfriend. There’s also a brief mention of Harry Potter also being from England, like Abby. Overall, it is kind of strange to watch Peggy (Abby) and John (Jack) have their talks on the phone (while they are supposed to be talking about turkey recipes), but they make it look like they are standing in the same room.

The movie is kind of odd, but interesting, too. I became very tired of hearing the line, “Holiday Hotline, let’s talk turkey!” The supervisor, Roger, is a little over-the-top, but many of his jokes cracked me up. He somewhat reminded me of the supervisor in Window Wonderland, played by Matty Finochio. I couldn’t help from wondering if that was the inspiration for that character. Overall, the movie is amusing and entertaining, and mostly family-friendly. It’s not a keeper for me, but I still enjoyed it and will likely watch it again at Christmastime when it’s on TV. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Hotline. I quite enjoyed this movie! Some parts were contrived, some parts were silly (like when he goes a bit psycho about the door handle), the never-ending promos for Daisy dairy products were annoying, and the overblown conflict near the end really made no sense. Yet it was still a lot of fun and Niall and Emily had good chemistry and I liked the twist of them knowing each other in two different spheres but not realizing it (akin to The Shop Around the Corner or You’ve Got Mail).

I liked the way the movie’s director handled the telephone calls with both actors in the same room; it was unique, which I found refreshing in a sea of same old, same old movies. Likewise, I appreciated the tasteful Christmas dรฉcor. Also, there were some hilarious lines and moments, especially involving callers to the turkey hotline (and I did not find the many turkey quips to be excessive, I found them to be delightful, kind of like “dad” jokes). And, lastly, I’m going to have to disagree with the overwhelming consensus… I absolutely adored the turkey hotline manager and did not find him creepy (at all!), I instead found him to be unique, funny, quirky, upbeat, and with a very caring heart -– he was the perfect manager for a part-time, short-term turkey hotline gig; and he also offered some thoughtful advice to Emily. (The same actor played the reindeer, Dasher, in The Santa Summit and I thought he was fabulous in that movie, as well. His huge eyes may be creepy to some people, but I think he’s a great actor.)

This one is a keeper until I need dvr space, and I would buy the dvd, especially because it’s a movie that spans Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. Family friendly (other than the one brief – but tacky - line that Paula mentioned in her review – guess they had to make sure the movie got its DEI points!). p.s. – This is the second Christmas movie, that I can think of, where Niall’s character was an architect. The other was Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater, which I just happened to re-watch last week. ~~Jane


Catch Me If You Claus - November 20, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Catch Me if You Claus is family friendly is like reimagining Home Alone. Avery Quinn's shot at anchoring news clashes with a Santa-suited intruder named Chris, who insists he's Santa's Son on a first Christmas mission. They unravel a career-making story together. Twas the night before Christmas at Avery Quinn’s when her slumber’s disrupted by a would-be burglar.

She creeps through the house to check out the clatter & spies a Santa-clad man she thought would be Father. Avery jumps into action & ties him up tight, but he pleads for his freedom so he can finish the night. He claims to be Chris, Santa’s own son, who’s got to get going and finish his run. His Dad will be angry & kids will be sad, if they rise Christmas morning with no gifts to be had.

Avery thinks he’s the "Santa Crook" who’s been on the news & is bound and determined to not let him loose. The aspiring news anchor gets a great thought—she’ll take him to the cops and tell them he’s caught! Solving this crime wave will boost her career, but soon Avery & Chris will have much to fear.
A series of mishaps lead them to take flight from the police & the bad guys searching all night. Avery & Chris go place to place as Avery begins to crack this big case. The two work together to figure it out and soon Avery sees she has nothing to doubt. Chris brings gift for Avery a new boots & he points up his finger to bring up snow. They’re on Santa’s sleigh ๐Ÿ›ท with reindeer. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Catch Me if You Claus -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? No, no, no, no, NO! -

To be frank, this is one of the absolute worst movies I have ever seen on Hallmark!! I am not even going to begin to describe the various unbelievable plots and subplots - you can get an idea by reading the synopsis above - but a movie that portrays Santa's son as a bumbling idiot? And one that also includes crooks, cops, and, oh, a gangly musical troupe? I am guessing that they were going for comedy here (perhaps given the success of Three Wise Men and a Baby?) - at least I hope they were - but anything resembling humor falls completely flat. I can't tell you how many times during the movie I kept thinking to myself, "I don't believe this...I don't believe this..."! So, I am pretty sure that if you watch this movie, you will be sorry that you wasted a couple of precious hours. I know I am! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Catch Me if You Claus Is family friendly and hilarious. I don't watch as much Hallmark as I used to, but decided to watch the beginning of this one just to see. I was laughing out loud after just a few scenes. Never thought about Luke MacFarlane playing slap stick comedy, but that's basically what this was in the beginning of the movie! Good movie! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Catch Me if You Claus” was neither family friendly nor entertaining. Despite being a big fan of Italia Ricci, I had to bail on this film when her character and Santa’s bumbling son (played by Luke Macfarlane) took refuge during a not-so-funny cops and robbers chase in the Rainbow Club, which featured a troupe of homosexual actors. Creepy and stupid are the only words I can think of to describe this clunker – Italia deserves better. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Catch Me If You Claus. This one’s a “no”, for me. There were a few funny moments in this caper-type movie and I tried to stick with it, but this one was just more mess than I was in the mood to watch, so I quit when Santa Jr. (Luke) and Anchor Girl (Italia) got abducted around the halfway point. I see there have been questions as to whether it’s family friendly and I can’t say for sure since I didn’t watch all the way through. I will say that the questionable thespian troupe, in my opinion, was not blatantly homosexual and, honestly, kind of looked like any group of actors I have ever known (they’re generally all a bit of a unique lot!!). However, it WAS called the “Rainbow Club” and there were a few of the men that could be considered a bit effeminate and mildly flamboyant, so my guess would be that it truly was a homosexual acting troupe; but there was nothing really objectionable that I caught, at least in the first half of the movie. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ "Catch Me If You Claus" -- family friendly (minus kissing that's more than Hallmark usually does). Clearly, this one isn't to everyone's taste, so it caught me by surprise that I enjoyed it! As someone who wearies of slapstick, this comedy successfully tip-toed the line and didn't lose me. Perhaps it helped that the leads, though comedic, didn't overact or get screechy. Having a mystery within the comedy helped the plot a lot, too, and kept me engaged.

Regarding concerns over the theater troupe segment, the group's name is Rainbow and one of the players is flamboyant, but there's nothing un-family-friendly that I noticed. Just thea-tah people enjoying their craft. ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Alicia

๐ŸŽ„ Catch Claus ???? - I also enjoyed this movie. I was laughing most of the way through it. Agree I didn't catch the concern over the theatre scenes...it wasn't anything that I felt was wrong or an "in your face" scene! ~Clara


Letters to Santa - November 24, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Letters To Santa….Bummer because I feel like there was potential to be so much more with this storyline. The magic of Santa is always an exciting storyline for me, as I know many others love these movies as well. The magic pen writing letters was something new I hadn’t seen before but the relationship between the parents kind of ruined the film for me. I mean, they both clearly still had love for one another but neither seemed to be putting in the work. His whole reason for giving his mom the loan was “you have to help family” yes that is true, but to an extent. No one expects someone to abandon their parents when they marry but his new family was his wife when he married her so he should have acknowledged how she felt betrayed and apologized for not communicating with her. Then she admits she never asked for help/expressed herself growing up but doesn’t seem to want to change. I also don’t understand why the assistant Candy was even in the film. To throw a curveball in their working toward repairing their marriage? She wasn’t flirtatious with him, nor was he with her. No one was trying to play matchmaker with them so it was just strange to even have her in the film. The salsa class scene made no sense, and neither did her inviting the guy from her editor office to the holiday Christmas sweater party. I actually wanted to stop watching many times but wanted to be able to give a review to others so I continued watching. My favorite part was the grandma taking the letters from the mailbox and getting excited about playing Santa, but not enough to watch it again. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Letters to Santa is family friendly about when young siblings named Sam & Izzy receive a magic pen ๐Ÿ–Š️ from Santa that appears to be granting wishes, they request a Christmas gift they want more than anything — for their separated parents named Rebecca & Enrique to reunite them. Sam writes to Santa & Izzy draw it, put them in the colored envelopes. Camilla or Candace gets Santa’s letter each night or early morning. Rebecca works at Hines Publishing for the books๐Ÿ“š. Camilla gets the family a dog. Enrique plays guitar ๐ŸŽธ & sing ๐ŸŽค. Sam & Izzy find their parents on bed ๐Ÿ›Œ. Sam gets a gift: PlayStation 5. Izzy gets a gift: Letters to Santa book to read. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Letters to Santa. Meh. It deals with a couple who have separated and are trying (mostly unsuccessfully due to busy, or their perceived busy, schedules) to make time for counseling in order to save their marriage and family, and they have two adorable children who now get bounced between homes (although, the parents, thankfully, do try to still do activities as a family unit). So, the topic is not a warm, fuzzy Christmas classic, to say the least! But, in some respects, this was handled rather realistically; even in our churches we see marriages in rocky situations, and at least this couple was trying to reconcile, and even though we saw their anger and frustration, we also saw the love and warmth they still had for each other. HOWEVER, I quit watching. Oops. I think I quit mainly because I was just not in the mood for marital issues (and I wasn’t overly fond of the wife character), but then they introduced a beautiful young female manager at the husband’s family restaurant and it just felt like the writers/director were trying to throw an infidelity-type obstacle into the movie. From what I saw and from reading other reviews, I don’t think that really happened but I just was not in the mood to keep watching to see get to the happily ever after. It probably actually turned out to be an okay movie, especially with the grandmother character, who was great. The parts I saw were technically clean and there were adorable kids and a puppy, but I really don’t think it’s a movie to watch with young children. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ As charming as Letters to Santa looked, it was lame. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Letters to Santa – Oh boy, this one was tough. The disagreeing couple in the first hour or so was difficult and frustrating to watch. I just wanted the couple to sit down and talk with each other. The children are absolutely adorable – the brightest part of the movie, along with their grandmother and aunt who were playing Santa to the children, granting their wishes as they wrote to Santa Claus and left their letters in the mailbox. I loved that part of the movie, but the constant arguing parents was too much, in my mind, for a Christmas movie. It simply was not enjoyable to watch, especially in the beginning. It’s a definite one-time only watch for me. ~Net


Holiday Road - November 24, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Road is clean, and probably 1 of my favorite Hallmark movies this Season. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Road is family friendly is based an inspired true story about a group of holiday travelers are stranded at an airport for holidays due bad weather & agree to rent a van due a road trip to Denver. When their expected journey leads them into uncharted territory, they must navigate a series of misadventures that brings them closer together. A tech entrepreneur, a travel writer, a devoted Mother & her Son, a stubborn Senior, an enigmatic woman with a hint of mystery, a couple traveling from HK, & a social media influencer agree to rent a shared van to embark on the road trip to Denver. Those travelers are at Maya’s place who is alone at Christmas. They bring some food & eat together. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Road is family friendly. It’s a true story. Every holiday season, over 7 million of us take to the skies… Unless you’re one of thousands of flights that get cancelled. It’s an inspired true events ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Holiday Road. I tend to like more the deep-heart drama stories but that one had just the right mix of light and depth. ~Lizzy R.

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Holiday Road” is a touching and family-friendly story about nine travelers forced to share a van from Portland to Denver for Christmas, after their flight gets cancelled. I mostly enjoyed how they became friends during the journey as their personal stories and life circumstances were shared among each other. The romance and chemistry between Dana and Clay (played by Sara Canning and Warren Christie) is classic Hallmark, and both were a joy to watch. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ HOLIDAY ROAD **clean** I haven't watched a lot of Christmas movies this month but this one was sooo good! Honestly, it might be hard to top. I was skeptical when I read the synopsis but it was nothing like I imagined. It was so enjoyable and really really fun to watch! It was like watching 7 Christmas stories in 1 movie. Some parts were so funny, some were touching, some parts were heartbreaking. Loved the banter between the leads which couldn't be more different, but opposite definitely attracted :) My favorite scene was when Ember sang Amazing Grace and the group broke into tears. This was such a beautiful movie. Really well done! ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Road – I wasn’t certain about this movie when I first saw the promos, but it ended up being really, really interesting, one of my favorites, actually, from 2023.

Albeit, there were also a few moments, here and there, that were somewhat annoying (for instance: first, the pushy influencer constantly recording herself and other people and secondly, the loud karaoke in the van, which looked rather dangerous and distracting as the Asian couple unbuckled their seat belts and sang in front of everyone on the van as they were traveling!), but then a few minutes later, something deep and emotional would happen that would pull me back into the story. I especially loved the singing of “Amazing Grace.” Beautiful!

Each character seemed to have a fascinating background story or reason why they were traveling to Denver for Christmas. I was engaged in this story throughout, thoroughly entertained, and felt emotionally connected to their journey. Excellent cast, fantastic script, phenomenal stories, funny, and heartwarming. This movie has a mix of every emotion! I teared up more than once and laughed out loud, too. Definitely a keeper! It's the best movie I've seen Warren Christie in since "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" Plus, the movie is a wonderful reminder that we never know what the road lies ahead! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Holiday Road. Totally unexpected, but thoroughly entertaining. An odd, but enjoyable little movie. Sweet, annoying, crazy, funny, heartwarming, and at times farfetched. Totally agree with CHMom’s review; I enjoyed the teasing banter, as well as the beautiful singing voice of the one actress. The whole minor subplot about the cash was a bit weird and didn’t make sense (not sure why he was traveling with all that cash anyway?) but, other than that, it was quite well done with a good ensemble cast. Keeper. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ I just watched Holiday Road. I absolutely loved it!! I am about halfway through all the new movies and this one is by FAR my favorite one so far. This one had me in tears quite often. Moved me very much emotionally. I give it a 9.5 out of 10 on the tears scale. Very very few of these movies move me emotionally as much as this one did. Excellent! ~Jim


Christmas in Notting Hill - November 25, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ As nice as Christmas in Notting Hill looks, I wouldn't consider it to be entirely clean: Men in drag are included before the1st hour is up. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ CHRISTMAS IN NOTTING HILLS **clean** We are a big soccer family in our home and as someone who watches English Premier League football/soccer.. this movie is right up my alley. It did make me cringe a lot at a few of the small details. The game scene in the stadium of course had to be creatively recorded somehow, but it just looked fake. For someone who claimed to like soccer, how could Georgia not know who Graham was? It was not quite believable. Also I am not sure about the ending. Did Georgia move, but she took the special Ed job? I am confused. Other than that, the movie was quite sweet. Probably forgettable, and definitely won't be the best one this year. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Notting Hill. Nope. Most of the acting was subpar. Although, I think I would like the lead actor in a better movie with a better lead actress. And I’m not sure if it’s the writing or the directing, but this movie just felt weird and awkward. Even so, it would’ve probably had potential to be a decent “second-string” movie, if they hadn’t completely ruined it with the drag show and the whole family attending and cheering for the men in drag. Yuck. Not to mention, in the beginning we find out that usually the one sister lives with her boyfriend but he temporarily moved out to make room for the visiting sister to stay. So… not family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Notting Hill - Didn't care for this at all. Just had it on for background waiting for Haul out the Holly to come on, but the actors were not great and no chemistry at all. Didn't seem like a Christmas movie at all. ~Savvy Girl

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Notting Hill - nice, one time watch. Didn't understand the meaning of her dream job, travelling special edication teacher? To travel internationally? I've studied something similar and i've never heard about this occupation. Not everywhere people speakenglish so i don't understand how this could work. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Christmas in Notting Hill” fell flat for me because it’s hard to believe that the sister visiting from the USA would not have known her future brother-in-law was a world-famous soccer player. Secondly, the film makes reference to the sister living in London co-habitating with her soon-to-be fiancรฉ, and it includes a totally unnecessary scene of a Christmas drag show (in which a 10-year old girl was watching). Shame on Hallmark for promoting this kind of depravity and ruining a promising story with wokeness. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Movies like Christmas at Notting Hill is the reason I hate watching the Hallmark channel. Why do the always need to slip in woke messages. I loved all 3 GAF Thanksgiving weekend movies. I loved a Christmas for the ages talked about God many times. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ I know I don’t read every single comment about a movie but I was very disappointed that I had not seen anything about the new “family tradition “ in Christmas in Notting Hill. I am talking about the family meeting and going to a drag queen show. It was full of whooping and hollering and laughing and fingure pointing. And It was happening before I even knew it. It was absolutely not needed, guess they just stuck it in for shock value? Well it worked. I was so unsure of what I was seeing I had to look it up and I did find an article that mentioned it. This is the most disgusted I have ever been with hallmark. And they had been so much better this year. To me , this blew anything else they did this year. ~Anonymous


Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up - November 25, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? No -

I didn't care for the first Haul Out the Holly movie, because everyone (except for Lacey) was too self-centered for my liking. Same with this one, except now we have more self-centered people with the arrival of the new neighbors. So because of this, plus the over-the-top storyline, this sequel is a non-keeper for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ The antics on the sequel of Haul out the Holly was over the top. I know that is the reason for the movie--BUT I can only take so much before I turn the channel or turn the TV off --which is what I did tonight. I hate saying this as I usually enjoy most of Lacey Chabert's and Wes Brown's work. This was not to my liking. I am sure that it was others cup of tea. Just one I did not care for. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Haul out the Holly Lit up - i have to agree with others, it's unbelievably silly movie. Lacey plays the only sane character in these movies. Wes character is slightly less irritating in this one but still unbearable most of the time. Only scenes that are worth watching are romantic scenes between Lacey's and Wes's characters. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Watched Haul Out the Holly 2 last night. I will say I liked it better the first, I love the happily ever after sequels. When we can see the 2 main cast as a loving couple. And these two(Jared and Emily) were greatly paired. No strife, and in stressed moments they supported one another. Both of them did a great job acting. Now, the neighbors were harder to watch. Way to childish. I probably skipped about 1/3 of their scenes. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ Haul out the Holly: Lit Up. Last year’s Haul out the Holly movie is a huge favorite with me that I watch whenever I want sweet laughs and some wacky and whimsical Christmas spirit. I love it so much, I bought the dvd. Unfortunately, this sequel did not live up to that original. This one didn’t have the sweetness or the hilarity or the Christmas spirit or the joy or the camaraderie of the first one. However, I’m definitely open to watching a Part 3 next year, simply because Wes & Lacey are adorable and the original cast and movie were terrific. For those reasons, I kept going with this one even though I wanted to delete it after the first thirty minutes. Overall, there were some fun (and funny) parts to this movie, but mostly the addition of the Jolly Johnson’s to the neighborhood felt uncomfortable. Some new, sweet & quirky neighbors would make a fun sequel movie but these people were just distasteful, to me. They weren’t endearing and wacky in their Christmas-decorating competitiveness like the rest of the zany neighborhood but, instead, were mean-spirited and brash and tacky. They weren’t goofy or lovable or charmingly eccentric like the rest of the group; they were just brassy and loud and self-absorbed. I kind of felt like I was being screamed at in all of their scenes. The rest of the zany neighbors actually care about each other and work for the good of the group, but this new addition just felt like an invasive weed taking over the neighborhood. They were the opposite of Wes and Lacey’s characters, who were refined and appealing even when being silly. I get it that the Jolly Johnson’s were supposed to be awful in the beginning, but the writers/directors/actors just took it too far and they lost the fun and Christmas spirit of the first movie; I think if they had toned it all down just a few notches, I might have enjoyed this more than I did. As it was, there was nothing even slightly endearing or likable about them for me to grab onto and want to watch. Nevertheless, in the end, goodness triumphs and they eventually all make peace and get along but by that time I was kind of hoping someone would just run them permanently out of the neighborhood. Lol. ๐Ÿคฃ And yet, even though I wasn’t thrilled with the Johnson’s I still found several parts of this movie to be entertaining. The original cast works really well together and you can tell they had a blast filming. I actually kind of thought Lacey was better in this one than she was in this season’s Scottish movie (and that’s saying a lot because I love anything Scottish!); she seemed to be more engaged and having fun in this one and her rapport with Wes is perfection and believable (way more chemistry than the Scottish movie). In fact, the best part of the movie was watching the sweet, comfortable affection of their romantic relationship and I would gladly endure some over-the-top craziness and some new weirdo neighbors in order to watch Lacey and Wes in the next sequel… maybe an Evergreen Lane Christmas wedding in the ‘hood?! Pamela can sew the wedding dress and Ned can chainsaw them an ice sculpture. ๐Ÿ˜Š Family friendly and kids might like all the silliness. {p.s. – I appreciate that they filmed in Utah instead of Canada.} {p.p.s. – I really did not like those Hallmark “Fan Girls” that made commentary during some of these movies. They felt really awkward and tacky, to me!} ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up –First, I must say I had mixed feelings on the original Haul Out the Holly movie, but since the film is filled with an enthusiastic community of Christmas supporters with exuberant holiday cheer, I decided to give the sequel a try. In the second film, however, I had more difficulty finding the same laugh-out-loud silly scenes. The Jolly Johnsons (the new reality-star famous neighbors- for Christmas buffs) came off as rude and obnoxious to the extreme point I didn’t think there could possibly be any resolution for their characters. They drug out their competitiveness and dominance over everyone else in the neighborhood nearly throughout the entire film. By the time they relented, I felt exhausted. It was just disappointing that they held such an extreme power hold over their neighbors. Much of the movie isn’t even enjoyable to watch, until we get near the end of the movie that centers around Emily (Lacey Chabert) and Jared (Wes Brown). Although I didn’t love this movie, I’m still hoping (as other’s have mentioned) that we’ll see another Haul Out the Holly movie that focuses mainly around Emily and Jared’s Christmas wedding. ~Net


Our Christmas Mural - November 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Mural is family friendly about a single Mother named Olivia returns home for Christmas with her Son & she teams up with a teacher named Will to create a mural for holiday contest & Benjamin Ayres makes a cameo at the beginning of the movie. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Our Christmas Mural” is a family-friendly story featuring Alex Paxton-Beesley as Olivia, a painter looking for inspiration; and Dan Jeannotte as Will, an art teacher who teams with Olivia to paint a mural for their town’s Christmas celebration. The dialogue was upbeat and fun, and the romance was sweet. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Our Christmas Mural. I really enjoyed this one and thought it was an excellent, mature production that was well-acted all around and well written and directed. Sweet movie with a unique twist for a town’s Christmas celebration. Nice, warm, caring family. Great chemistry between the leads, with some cute banter. I love Dan Jeannotte and he was perfect as an elementary school art teacher and art therapist. This one’s a keeper, for me, and I would definitely consider buying the dvd. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Finally watched Our Christmas Mural, and it was sooo sweet! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ OUR CHRISTMAS MURAL **clean** This was a DELIGHT! I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Dan Jeannotte has definitely became one of my favorite actors in Hallmark/GAF. I always look forward to his movies. Alex Paxton-Beesley was new to me, but she was so great and natural here. Their chemistry was wonderful. Loved the writing and the dialogues. Very cute banters. Even the supporting characters were great.

On the surface, it seemed that this is an ordinary Hallmark offering, but the execution, the acting, and everything was great and made it special. I appreciate how Olivia was truly struggling to accept the new feeling she had for Will, because she was hanging on to her passed husband’s memory. The ending was just lovely. I also liked that Olivia and Will didn’t share their kiss on the stage during the mural unveiling (I thought that’s what was going to happen), but instead they shared a private moment. ~CH Mom


A Biltmore Christmas - November 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ I loved A Biltmore Christmas! The dialogue, costume, location, music, it was all so lovely and magical. I have never seen Bethany & Kristoffer together but they had such a natural chemistry. But honestly I am so confused on the ending, can someone please explain…. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ BILTMORE CHRISTMAS **clean** Oh wow! I was so happy to be surprised by this movie. I did not read the synopsis of it nor saw the preview before watching it. I just knew that with Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha as the leads, it's a must-watch. I have a soft spot for old movies and I couldn't love this more. I honestly did not know what to expect and I was totally engaged from beginning to end. This movie has everything: a little suspense, a little Christmas miracle, a ton of chemistry. It was a delight to watch and I was sad when it ended... I wanted more, ha! Kris Polaha was just soooo charming and Bethany Joy was incredible. This will be hard to top. Well done, Hallmark! ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ I watched both ‘A World Record Christmas’ and ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ last evening. And, I have to say both movies brought me so much joy. The cast in both movies was exceptional. Let’s breakdown why both of these gems are now on my favorite Christmas movies of 2023 list. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I LOVED ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ so much! I also highly recommend this movie as well. Full disclosure, my husband and I have been vacationing in Western North Carolina since 2011. We visit multiple times a year and we even went once during the first year of covid. There is a lovely B & B, where we stay, that I knew would be a safe haven. So, this movie hold’s a special place in my heart because Biltmore is one of my favorite places on earth. The way the brought the estate to life with lighting and clothing and dialogue. It was exquisite. And memorable and just beautiful. I thought Kristoffer and Bethany were perfectly cast. Their onscreen chemistry was off the charts. This movie has now replaced ‘A Paris Christmas Waltz’ as my favorite Christmas movie of 2023. Time travel movies can be tricky, if they aren’t done right, but for me, this one checked all of the boxes. Also, the cameos were priceless. The 1940’s are my favorite era and this movie made me so very happy. ๐Ÿ˜Š This one is a keeper! ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Biltmore Christmas……This was the one movie I was really looking forward to and so happy to report it was really great! Family- friendly! Funny, nostalgic, and just very well done. Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristopher Polaha were perfect. I love all the nods to classic Christmas movies. I think they based His Merry Wife roughly on The Bishop’s Wife. The male lead in Merry Wife was quite similar to David Niven and Kristopher Polaha could pass for Cary Grant, though not comical. They also had scenes similar to Shop Around the Corner, White Christmas, and of corse Clarence from It’s A Wonderful Life. That just made it so special! The actors were great and the photographer friend was so funny!!! I’m glad they included her in a more important role! Usually a character wouldn’t share a time traveling secret but I’m so glad they did! I usually do not like the time travel movies. They’re just sort of weird. But I don’t know how anyone could not like Biltmore. I wanted to watch it again as soon as I finished! ***Spoilers**** The end was still pretty weird. I was thinking, don’t tell me they’re not going to end up together, but then they did and that really didn’t make sense. Where was he for 80 years? Floating through space? Strange! Plus, how is she going to explain it to everyone? I do wish they would’ve let the photographer meet him at the end. That would’ve added another funny scene to sort of complete the movie. This is a must watch movie for everyone especially old movie fans!!! Well done! -

The scene with Rachel and Wes was funny too. And did anyone else notice who the director was in that end scene? Mary McDonough who played Erin in the original Waltons. That was neat! —Anonymous1

๐ŸŽ„ Absolutely loved A Biltmore Christmas. What a perfect movie. The last time I felt like this about one of their movies was Crown for Christmas. A Biltmore Christmas was original and the chemistry was perfect between Bethany and Kristopher. I especially loved Margaret and Winston. Bravo, Hallmark! Well done. ~Savvy Girl

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Biltmore Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes, with a caveat -

I have a problem with time travel movies, because unless a person travels back just to observe and does not become part of the past events, there are always holes that can be found...because when a person become involved in the past, they must be part of what actually happened - no one can change what has happened in the past. So when Lucy goes back to 1947 and becomes part of that setting, she had to actually had been there in 1947...which apparently she was, since she broke the hourglass. But then, why wasn't she the actual candy/cigarette girl in the film when she was filmed on the set? But here's an even bigger hole - what has happened to Lucy in the interim period? And what about Jack - what happened to him between 1947 and when he arrives in the present? Non-existent?

I know, I am probably analyzing this way too closely and should just go with the flow. (But that is why I have trouble with time travel movies.) So, if I just go with the flow, yes, this is a really good movie. The Biltmore was beautiful, the acting (and singing!) by Bethany Joy and Kristoffer was top-notch with great chemistry between the two, the cinematography was right on, and the storyline - time-travel aside - was unique and interesting. Plus, I loved the cameos and their reference to their movie! So for these reasons, yes, it is a keeper, but it is also why I enjoy last year's A Holiday Spectacular more - a setting in the past without any time travel. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I just watched A Biltmore Christmas, and I can honestly say it was my favorite so far this season! Absolutely family friendly, and it had me invested from the very beginning. There wasn't a moment where I was bored or distracted. Kristoffer Polana was made to play a classic Hollywood leading man; he was absolutely perfect in the role of 40s actor John Huston. He also had great chemistry with Bethany Joy Lenz. I wasn't sure how they were going to resolve it, either, which is rare in a Hallmark movie. There were moments that were so hilarious while others brought tears to my eyes. I would 100% watch this again. My entire family loved it! ~melnewlife

๐ŸŽ„ Oooh!! I just adored A Biltmore Christmas. My favorite of the year so far!! I could watch it over and over again! Family friendly and great chemistry!! Kristoffer was terrific for that time setting. Loved the two of them singing in a old Jazzy style, the wardrobe, and the characters were all very charming. This is one that I'll buy, wish we could see more films in that era.

I love how Hallmark has been putting inside jokes, mentioning other movies during a film and it was fun seeing Wes Brown and Rachel Boston. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ A Biltmore Christmas is absolutely amazing!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Biltmore Christmas - i am not really sure if i've even planned to watch this but i gave it a try because i hoped it will be a little bit realistic, silly me, it was basically fairytale with clear message "older is better". Want to add, i just watched 15 minutes or so. I know that Hallmark and Hallmark-like movies are already known as unrealistic romantic fantasies but i probably sometimes forget about that. It will be (probably) a bit hit but it's definitely nothing for me. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A Biltmore Christmas was wonderful. Bethany and Kris were prefect together. Their on screen chemistry literally jumps off the screen!! I'm not a real big fan of time travel but this one is different. Of course I was happy to see the Biltmore featured in a movie since it's located in my state!! It's a magical place and was a perfect setting for the movie. Instant classic!! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ Agree A Biltmore Christmas is a great movie. Hallmark is making more holiday movies that are family friendly maybe because they see people are leaving and going to GAC. ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ A Biltmore Christmas, A Merry Scottish Christmas, A Text Before Christmas are keepers & I will buy these movies if they come out on DVD or Blu-ray. Christmas on Windmill Way, (Chad Michael Murray is Christian by the way),The Jingle Bell Jubilee, are good but not true keepers for me. I didn't care for the Haul out the Holly last year, and didn't consider watching HotH:Lit Up this year. --Namegirl Have a Merry Christmas everyone


My Norwegian Holiday - December 1, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “My Norwegian Holiday” is family-friendly and features Rhiannon Fish as a PhD student who accompanies an injured Olympic skier back to his hometown in Bergen, Norway. The story is a little far-fetched given the endless series of coincidences, but the Nordic scenery and holiday traditions that were showcased made this most enjoyable. Kudos to Ms. Fish and her co-star David Elsendoorn. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ The only movie, my husband and I even liked was “My Norwegian Holiday”. It was cute, the scenery was lovely, and I enjoyed the family dynamic with a few surprises dropped in. The acting was quite good from every one of the actors and actresses. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ My Norwegian Holiday was okay. Didn't care for the reference to 'social distancing' though. Any reference to what happened in 2020 has no place in a cozy Christmas movie! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ My Norwegian Holiday. I quite enjoyed this sweet movie, but it won’t be for everyone (see cautions that follow). This movie was beautiful and cozy and extremely well done; I thought the writing, directing and acting were all excellent. And I love movies set in other countries. All my life, people have asked me if I’m from Norway or Sweden, so at one point I actually learned to speak some Norwegian so that I could answer them; therefore, it was nice to see my “homeland” on film.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ The settings for this production just screamed “cozy, Norwegian Christmas” but it really wasn’t all that focused on Christmas. It was more about a wedding, and family, and life, and grief, and finding your place in the world (all with Christmas as the cozy backdrop) -- but mostly all from a secular viewpoint, especially with lots of talk of “fate”. The romance between Jessica and Henrik was sweet (their meet-cute was fun); I thought both actors felt natural and did a good job and I think it might be Rhiannon’s best role that I’ve seen, so far. There were things that were a bit too coincidental and some weird bits but, overall, I really liked this movie and I appreciated that Henrik’s Norwegian family were so warm and loving and welcoming.

I would say the movie is perhaps family friendly, with caution, for older teens and above.

Here are the cautions: *Spoilers*

1)There’s a storyline where we find out that Jessica’s beloved grandmother (now deceased) had a romance in her youth and a child out of wedlock back in the 1960’s. It’s fairly major to the story so it is talked about and cannot be ignored (and in the end it actually turns out to be a touching storyline – if not a bit coincidental). There are no gory details but it is what it is and there is talk of dna tests to figure out the father, etc.; and because this is Hollywood, no one really bats an eyelash at the “out of wedlock” part.

2)Henrik makes a brief toast at his sister’s wedding where he tries, awkwardly, to be funny with a sort of double entendre with a homosexual innuendo about a former conversation he had with his new brother-in-law. Something like: “When Mark approached me about marriage, I was flattered, … but I couldn’t do that to my sister. Haha! Then I found out that he just wanted me to be his best man, so I was relieved.” So, it’s a tacky toast at a wedding. Just several years ago, people would’ve just smirked and rolled their eyes and murmured something about “inappropriate” but now that we’re all on a LGQBXTZYPBJ tinder box, something tacky and awkward now sends up bright red flags in our heads. My point is that, as an adult, this scene was not a big deal to me and was easily glossed over, but I would not want young children to watch and I would probably use it as a teaching moment with older children.

3)Henrik’s sister is getting married to a divorced man with a child, if that bothers anyone’s viewing pleasure.

4)Some alcohol drinking ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ NORWEGIAN HOLIDAY *clean* - As others have mentioned, I didn't buy the storyline in the beginning. I don't think it was believable that JJ would just agree to go with a stranger she had just known. Not trying to "play writer" here, but it would be more believable if they had known each other before at some kind of capacity. It was overall a beautiful movie though, especially towards the end. Quite a deeper drama I think, I would think this was for HMM. Pretty touching in the end. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ My Norwegian Holiday – Rhiannon Fish always plays her characters in such a fun way, she’s typically curious and mischievous, and in this movie as Jessica (J.J.) she’s both. First, the whole traveling with a stranger is somewhat odd, but she and Henrik are on public transportation, and not traveling alone, so that’s not so bad.

I quite enjoyed trying to figure out the whole mystery behind J.J.’s grandmother’s troll, until the answer was revealed rather suddenly. (*SPOILER*: It was made by a young man many years ago that she had fallen in love with on a trip to Norway, and they had a child out of wedlock. He never knew about the child when she (J.J’s grandmother) returned to America. *END of SPOILER*)

I also thought it was interesting to see Henrik limping and coming to terms with his sport’s injury and how that affected the people in Norway and himself. The movie is rather complex, at times, but it’s also entertaining and heartfelt. I adored the knitting of socks story, and how Henrik’s grandmother and (SPOILER: J.J.’s newly found grandfather) lightly argue over where J.J. will live. They both want to keep her – which is sooo sweet!!!

My Norwegian Holiday is a journey worth taking, but it’s probably best suited for a mature audience. ~Net

A Not So Royal Christmas - December 2, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Not so Royal Christmas is so much fun and a sheer delight! (plus, did anyone catch that small promo blip for Lovuary?). Only vice I could find is that the female lead admitted to previously living unmarried with her ex at the start. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Not So Royal Christmas. I think others will enjoy this more than I did. I like Brooke D’Orsay and I especially like Will Kemp but I was not a fan of this movie. I quit watching about 2/3 into it. Completely ridiculous and unrealistic storyline (and nothing warm and fuzzy or emotional to redeem it, for me). I need a tidbit of “real” in my movies but everything just felt fake in this one. Both lead characters are operating under false pretenses, so that wasn’t fun. Everything about the storyline of a noble Count of some Scandinavian country seemed off; for starters Counts are not referred to as “Your Grace”, only Dukes are addressed as such; and Counts are not royal Prince’s and do not have the same stature or responsibilities. I’m not an expert on the nobility (of pretend countries), but I really do not like when the writers of these movies don’t even try for some tiny semblance of accuracy (just a little bit would be nice). The “Royal Council” in this movie was ridiculous and even if it were true that a middle-of-the-pecking-order Count had Royal Council meetings at his home, why in the world would they let Brooke’s character sit in on the meetings (and she butts in and gives them her opinions!!)?? Even the garland that is talked about as “real’ was FAKE -- seriously, couldn’t the producer or director find an actual real garland, considering there was a whole dialogue about it?! And there are so many silly misconceptions. For instance, she believes that a Count would never wear casual clothing or wrinkled shirts – huh??! When talking about his childhood he mentions sledding and she says, “I didn’t know Counts went sledding”. To which he replies, “Oh, they normally don’t”. Say what?!? This is all such complete twaddle. It wasn’t funny (maybe I would’ve stuck with it, if it had had some good tongue-in-cheek humor?). It wasn’t sweet or romantic (I didn’t believe in their romance, at all). It wasn’t really Christmassy or warm or cute. It just felt shallow and so completely farfetched that I couldn’t even buy into a tiny piece of it. I always look forward to seeing Will Kemp in movies, but this one just didn’t hold my interest. I would love to see Brooke and Will together in a different movie; I thought their acting was fairly decent, in this one, but the written roles or scripts they had to work with were lacking. I appreciated that this part wasn’t Brooke’s usual syrupy-sweet role and that she got to stretch her wings a bit, but I just didn’t love either of their characters, they lacked some depth and warmth and did not really pull me in emotionally. What I saw was basically family friendly except there is talk of “illegitimately born” royals during a trashy tabloid meeting and also mention of Brooke’s character previously shacking up with a boyfriend. (p.s. – I decided to go back and watch the last 25 minutes to see if maybe it would win me over. It did not. The ending was even more hokey than the first two thirds.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A NOT SO ROYAL CHRISTMAS *clean*

I loved Will Kemp and Brooke D'orsay together. They had a lovely chemistry. The storyline is not quote convincing to me. Personally, I just found it hard to believe that the real Count Lars was never seen in public before. Also, I am not a fan of a story that is based on lies so I felt a bit nervous the whole time.

I do love that Adam was a sweet dorky Count and it was just so sweet to watch Adam and Charlotte fall in love. The almost-kiss scenes were all so swoony. Overall, the movie was also quite engaging all throughout. I found myself laughing several times. Storyline aside, both Will Kemp and Brooke D'orsay were wonderful in this. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ A Not So Royal Christmas was not what I expected. It's family friendly but in my opinion totally unrealistic. I was disappointed in this one! It's a one time watch for me! ~Joyce in Carlona

๐ŸŽ„ A Not So Royal Christmas... This one was cute. Family friendly. Will Kemp was his great self, always adds comedy to a film. And Brooke D'Orsay was her original self. Kind and passionate. I'm not a fan of gossip magazines, would have preferred them change that and it's not my favorite when the characters lie to each other. I kinda talked to the TV(thinking of you Joan! ;) when her secret was found out and Adam was mad at her. When he had one of his own.

But, overall. It was a sweet movie. Not one I would re watch, but I enjoyed it. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ I agree with Abigail on “A Not So Royal Christmas” – it was definitely a one-time watch. I am kind of over movie plotlines with lie upon lie. I love Brooke and Will, but I wish screenwriters would stop recycling storylines over and over. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ A Not So Royal Christmas was good. I'm deciding if I'm going to keep the dvr recording. --Namegirl

๐ŸŽ„ A Not So Royal Christmas – I was kind of expecting more with this movie, but I still enjoyed the fun chemistry between Will Kemp and Brooke D’Orsay. The pretending to be someone else was kind of strange; did no one know the real Adam before? Other than that, it was an entertaining story, and Will Kemp was adorably nerdy in this role with his disheveled clothes and mischievous grin. And then, in contrast, he looked handsomely regal at the Christmas Ball in his royal suit, while Brooke was stunning in her green evening dress. Overall, the ending was somewhat cheesy, but the happy resolution will be pleasing to most viewers. Will and Brooke are two of my favorite Hallmark stars, so I enjoyed seeing the pairing of these two in this Christmas movie. ~Net


Christmas With a Kiss - December 3, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas with a Kiss. Meh. Kinda cute and warm. I liked the lead actor. I guess it was okay for another cookie-cutter version of the same old, same old storyline of big-city girl comes home and ends up “saving the town/family festival”. And, of course, there is a family member who is in the military and can’t make it home for Christmas… but then, miraculously, someone pulls some strings. It was all sweet and too perfect, too predictable, in every way. And, as always, the family was warm and picture-perfect. They did say a generic thank-you grace before family dinner, so that was nice. It was okay for a one-time watch, but not a keeper. Family friendly and kids might like some of the Christmas carnival scenes. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas with a Kiss – This movie was somewhat predictable, but still a sweet story. I mostly enjoyed seeing the family moments, the two older sisters with their parents and how they worked together to put on the Christmas festival and dance for their community, which is a family tradition. It was also nice to see the father lead them in prayer before one of their meals. The friction between the leads was intriguing, but I felt their conflict at the end was resolved a little too quickly. Overall, it was a pleasant watch and family-friendly. ~Net


Magic in Mistletoe - December 8, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Magic in Mistletoe. Sweet movie. Paul Campbell’s character, when he was a teen, wrote a magical fairytale Christmas story that was inspired by his childhood and the town where he grew up. The book was wildly successful and became a huge conglomerate of books, movies and paraphernalia for sale; and, subsequently, he has become very cynical and feels that Christmas is just one big marketing ploy. The movie is all about him getting his Christmas spirit back. It’s all secular about the “magic” of Christmas, but it was warm and engaging - a nice, typical Hallmark movie. The romance was low-key and maybe felt a bit more like a budding friendship rather than a romance. Since it was a Paul Campbell movie, I expected good acting (which we got), but I also pretty much held my breath through the whole thing waiting for the annoying and forced inclusivity of something or another, but it turned out to be clean and family friendly (so long as you’re okay with a fantasy of a beautiful magic Christmas fairy instead of the usual magical Santa Claus and elves). Not a keeper, but it was a cute little movie. (p.s. – Kimberley Sustad had a cameo.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Magic in Mistletoe is family friendly about Harrington Davis is a reclusive author whose recent comments on social media have ruffled some feathers. As his publicist named April Collins works hard to spin damage control, she tries to unlock his guarded heart and help him rediscover the spirit of the holidays.

A publicist tries to save the career of a popular author when he loses his holiday spirit. Kimberley Sustud makes another cameo in “Magic in Mistletoe,” since she was in “Checkin’ it Twice” as TV Reporter. They have lantern ๐Ÿฎ Luke a shaped Christmas Angel in the middle of the night ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Magic in Mistletoe -
Family-friendly? Somewhat surprisingly, yes -
Keeper? Also surprisingly, although borderline, yes -

I did not have high hopes for this one given that Paul Campbell was involved, and the plot didn't seem all that interesting to me. But this is a very clean and enjoyable movie, primarily because of the wonderful acting by Lyndie Greenwood. While Paul is very good, Lyndie is outstanding, showing all of the necessary emotions at the right time, and the growing chemistry between the two actors was fun to watch. The storyline was okay - as expected, it didn't wow me - but because of the acting, I will be keeping this one, at least for awhile. ~Mark 25


Christmas on Cherry Lane - December 9, 2023
*Please note: This movie will feature a same-sex couple.

Round and Round - December 10, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ ROUND AND ROUND *NOT clean* - Has a very prominent same sex/lesbian couple (the sister). Not just implied, but shown really clearly. I stopped watching after 10 minutes. Unfortunate because it was quite enjoyable and quirky at first, had so much potential :( ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ I wish I had come here first! I usually do check into everything on Hallmark before pushing play, but did not with Round and Round. I am not Jewish, but I highly anticipate Hallmark’s Hanukkah movie each year, and seeing that this one would have a time loop, I was doubly excited. Unfortunately, just 10-15 minutes in, I was unhappily surprised by the featured same sex couple, who it was obvious would be highlighted repeatedly throughout the time loop story. I can often overlook a LGB side character who we don’t have so featured, but I could tell this was going to be a repeated and heavy part. So sad, I had to turn it off. ~Anonymous


The Secret Gift of Christmas - December 15, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ The Secret Gift of Christmas is clean and adorable enough for a 1 time watch. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I started watching The secret gifts of Christmas and I had to stop. In the 1st 5 minutes ORY character asked is it a He she or they. If this is the only woke reference I will continue watching because I like Meagan Ory a lot but if this is a woke movie I am done. Can someone who watched let me know. Thanks ~Ken

๐ŸŽ„ That was the only reference in the movie. The rest of the movie is family friendly. Three Christopher Russel movies this year for Christmas. Woo! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ It was the only reference. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ In my opinion, it was asking if the job was for a male, female, or family not referring to anything woke. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ I was soo looking forward to this movie but the only thing i liked was chemistry between Meghan and Chris. I hope there will be at least one more movie with them. Why is so many Christmas movies about dating and dating apps? Aren't Valentine's Day movies reserved for that? I love my Christmas themed movies calm, uncomplicated, slow-paced, etc. but with dating plots it usually become messy, over the top, awkward etc. I'll probably try to watch it again but probably only scenes with the main two. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ The Secret Gift of Christmas. It’s okay for a one-time watch. Maybe? I feel like they tried to copy Lifetime’s 2015 “A Gift Wrapped Christmas” …. and they copied the premise, but they failed to copy most of the fun and the joy and the sense of style and the quirkiness and the warmth and the sparkle. That movie was charming and a breath of fresh air, whereas this current movie certainly has some Christmas warmth and is nice enough (with caveats!), but it’s just rather unexceptional in comparison. And now for the caveats. Meghan Ory’s character was over-the-top annoying; her silly, immature giggles and fake perkiness were like nails on a chalkboard, for me! (And as for her sense of style, some of her fashion was okay, for me, but some of it just felt forced; I think they were trying to portray her as someone with a natural stylishness like Meredith Hagner’s character in A Gift Wrapped Christmas, but, once again, they somewhat missed the mark.) I’m not familiar with her as an actress but I think I’m going to blame her ridiculous character on the writer and director because whenever she would drop the hyperactive-perkiness act and talk quietly and normally, I could see glimmers of a much better actress, so it must have been the script/direction she was given? Her character was way too pushy and did inappropriate things such as whipping out her tape measure in the middle of a construction site and wrapping it around the torso of a guy she just met in order to take his measurements (and he had not asked to have his measurements taken!), and giggling at weird moments (enough already with the perkiness and awkward giggling!!!), and chatting up his young daughter and promising her things and giving her life advice without ever being actually introduced to her and without checking with the parent first, and she ignored what her client asked her to buy as gifts and just bought whatever she wanted to and all with some kind of carte blanche that I never heard him give her (how in the world does she stay employed??!!). And there is a music teacher who has a crush on Christopher Russell and instead of the writers making it a sweet little unrequited crush, they made it weird; at times it felt like this might morph into a creepy stalker movie. ๐Ÿ˜Š So, take your pick for a new girlfriend – psycho woman or perky woman. Amazingly, one of the highlights of the movie was Christopher Russell who was warm, relaxed, and quite believable in his role; I feel like he’s getting better in this season’s string of movies. And I loved the actor playing his nephew. This movie could have been so much better, but it just felt a bit “off” and like a disjointed mish mash; I really think it was the script and directing (mainly revolving around Meghan’s character). But still, all in all, it had its cute moments and Christmassy things, so I think it would be a nice watch for folks who are not as critical as me. Family friendly (I saw questions about when Meghan’s character asks her secretary if the new Christmas client she needs to get in touch with is a “he, she or they”. In today’s tinder-box we naturally jump to the assumption that Hallmark is interjecting a bit of transgender nonsense; and, knowing Hallmark, it probably was just that. But I also heard it differently, I thought she was asking if the client was more than one person -- a lot of gift-buying services are shopping for corporate clients and businesses, so sometimes they are meeting with more than one person as a liaison.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ So far we watched "Heaven Down Here", "“The Secret Gift of Christmas” and "Sealed with a List". We did not like "“The Secret Gift of Christmas”. "A Gift Wrapped Christmas", which this movie seemed to be a remake of, was a thousand times better! I found Megan very annoying and I felt she did not have any chemistry with Christopher. I also felt the movie was slow and boring. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Review: The Secret Gift of Christmas -
Family-friendly - Yes -
Keeper - No -

Those of you who may have read some of my other reviews know that I am not a big fan of Christopher Russell. However, I must admit that I thought that he did a fine job here - he did not come across as conceited like I found him in other films. And the actress playing the little girl was okay - not as good as some of the other younger ones in films of past years, but still good. But I cannot say the same for Meagan Ory. I did not think that her acting was that good, and her character came across at various times as pushy and/or immature. Plus, I found it very odd she never asked about a budget to spend or wanting facts about some of the people she was buying for. It seems she took it upon herself to spend big bucks on fancy items! (Based on this and her personality, I would have fired her right away!)

This was not even worth a one-time watch for me. For a much better movie with a similar theme, I would highly recommend Hallmark's Twelve Gifts of Christmas. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ SECRET GIFT OF CHRISTMAS **clean** (if you don’t count the “he/she/they” comment but I did not interpret this as a non-binary pronoun reference, as already mentioned by Jane)

I did not like this. Unfortunately, I felt Meghan Ory was not the best choice for female lead for this. I think the movie could’ve been a bit better with another actress. I agree with others - she came across annoying and immature. Way too over the top. The storyline was alright. Chris Russell was alright. I just couldn’t get past Meghan Ory’s portrayal of the character and it killed the whole movie for me. ~CH Mom


Sealed With a List - December 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Sealed with a List. I really enjoyed this fun little movie. Good acting all around, especially the lead actress, Katie Findlay, who has a unique style. The HEA kiss is initiated by the female (again-ugh!) but, other than that, this was a cute movie and a keeper for the moment. Family friendly (except two scenes that might be vaguely questionable (??) for impressionable young tweens: One is where he’s in her bedroom sitting on her bed talking for a few minutes but it’s all basically just friends/platonic. And another scene that feels mildly intimate is where the two “just friends” are sitting on the couch and he’s massaging her leg after she pulled a muscle accomplishing one of the things on her resolution list.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Also, my husband and I also enjoyed "Sealed with a List". It started out slow but once it ramped up we were hooked. Katie was enchanting. I have always liked her as an actress. The movie was funny and sweet and had some really genuine moments that tugged at the heartstrings. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ SEALED WITH A LIST **clean** There were some things I liked about this. I really liked Katie Findlay as the lead actress. As some has mentioned, her acting is unique, and I totally agree. I liked the storyline about wanting to conquer resolutions and have more adventures. The family relationships and conflicts made a good storyline also. However, I only sensed friendship vibe between Wyatt and Carley. In my opinion, the romantic chemistry could’ve been better. ~CH Mom


Friends & Family Christmas - December 17, 2023
*Please note: This movie will feature a same-sex couple.


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„



๐ŸŒŸHALLMARK MOVIES & MYSTERIES:


Ms. Christmas Comes to Town - October 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ "Ms. Christmas Comes to Town" -- family-friendly. The stellar cast made a beautiful story here! I'm not sure any other actors could have pulled it off with the right feel. It brought both smiles and misty eyes, and I enjoyed the watch. ~Alicia

๐ŸŽ„ Ms. Christmas Comes To Town is family friendly and a great movie. Was a little slow at the start but boy did it take off! I believe this is best performance I have ever seen Barbara Niven do! Everyone was great, but she was outstanding. It a must watch! Warning...tear jerker! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ I loved "Ms Christmas Comes to Town" ! It is family friendly, and it was nice to hear "Merry Christmas" so much in this movie. It was very well acted and Barbara Niven was PERFECT for this role. There was plenty of Christmas in this and it was just really good! So many sweet moments, but heartbreaking as well. This is one i will definitely watch again. ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ I broke my own rule last night and watched Ms. Christmas Comes To Town on HMM. Family friendly! Brennan Elliott was good with Erica Durance. Barbara Niven was outstanding in her role. This movie surprised me. I skipped all the commercials so I would not see something offensive. So glad I watched this! First Hallmark movie in a while for me. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Thank you Hallmark for eulogizing Ms. Christmas passing down commercializing Christmas to a protege. The story would have been fine if they'd left Christmas out of it entirely. Who had the bright idea of reversing the message of Brendan's movie Love You like Christmas? ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Ms. Christmas was amazing! Family friendly and will definitely watch again. Love Brennan Elliot , Barbara, and Erica together. This story was emotional, and was full of love, and second chances. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ "Ms. Christmas Comes to Town" was also very good. I am sorry to hear the ratings were terrible because it was worth watching. :-) ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Ms. Christmas Comes to Town. Sweet little movie with a slightly different twist from all the others out there. It was kind of slow and underwhelming but also quite nice. I loved the very festive Holiday Tour bus and kind of want one of my own now (so long as it comes with a Murray to drive it!). The romance was sweet but it was kind of backseat to the rest of the story; the romantic meet-cute was good and I appreciated that "the kiss" and the feelings were revealed early in the movie instead of the last two minutes. The casting was perfect for this story; Erica and Brennan were spot-on (although I would have liked more development of Brennan’s character); Barbara Niven was great (and I loved that she had zero makeup on in the hospital scenes). I’m glad they didn’t get all mawkish and depressing at the end, but I also thought it ended rather abruptly and awkwardly. The other thing that didn’t thrill me was the constant stressing of the need to believe in Christmas magic – ugh. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ "Ms. Christmas Comes to Town" is definitely one you have to be prepared to watch. But, even though there were sad parts, there was also joy, a meet-cute, great acting and reconnections. Barbara was sublime. I forget sometimes how great she is. She was perfect in her role. But, Brennan, Erica and Mark were also fantastic. ~Joan


My Christmas Guide - November 2, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Guide was family friendly and pretty sweet. ~Grace

๐ŸŽ„ Review: My Christmas Guide -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

I really enjoyed this movie! An original plot, with a lead actor who is legally blind in real life! The romance was nicely paced (read: not rushed!), with good acting and chemistry between the leads. Plus, I learned so much about guide dogs and their relationship with their trainers and owners! The only downside was the editing - choppy in places, and what was with the sped-up traffic scene near the end?? Still, this is one of the most heartwarming movies I've seen in a while. A definite keeper for me! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Guide. Two words kept coming to mind throughout this whole movie: “awkward” and “odd”. The dialogue was often quite awkward. The music was odd and overpowering. The lead guy was initially grumpy and rude, and a bit odd through the whole movie. The lead actress had another boyfriend during most of the movie and that character was so distasteful that it made the whole thing unenjoyable. I found myself cringing throughout a good bit of the movie. On the other hand, the young girl was sweet and I loved the dog! It wasn’t a horrible movie, probably okay for a one-time watch, but it just didn’t float my boat, plus it wasn’t all that Christmassy. I think this had potential but I don’t feel like the writers/directors lived up to that potential. I’m not against movies with characters who have certain disabilities or hurdles that they must face in life, but I am getting a bit tired of Hallmark preaching to us, it seems to be all the rage now. (I still have not watched “Guiding Emily” and based on all the reviews here, I’m hoping I will like that “disability” movie much more than this one.) Family friendly but not a keeper for me. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Guide is clean, and so so good!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ My Christmas Guide. Some may not like, but I liked seeing Amber Marshall again. I liked that it dealt with another side of disabilities and how they cope. Felt there was a good chemistry with both leads and the daughter. I personally would watch again. ~JoCo

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “My Christmas Guide” is a family-friendly and touching story about a blind college professor/single father (Ben Mehl) adopting a seeing-eye dog from guide dog trainer (Amber Marshall). The two leads bond despite him not being able to see how beautiful she is, and because of her appreciating his willingness to share his fears and feelings about being blind. The chemistry between the two is portrayed in a unique and sweet way given his disability, and the love they share with Max, the guide dog, is adorable. It’s a keeper! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ "My Christmas Guide" ... is an exceptional movie. My husband and I finally carved out time to view it last night and I have to say it was worth the wait. Both Amber and Ben pulled at our heartstrings as did Ben's daughter Ava. Great movie that I highly recommend. Wonderful message about forgiveness and helping people even when they have been awful to you. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ "My Christmas Guide" is family friendly and this was my top pick of the weekend! I really enjoyed this one. I thought the actors were terrific and had really good chemistry together. I really emjoyed the actress who played the daughter, she was such a cutie! I learned so much about guide dogs, and was glad that was part of the story line! ~Sarah

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “My Christmas Guide” is a family-friendly and touching story about a blind college professor/single father (Ben Mehl) adopting a seeing-eye dog from guide dog trainer (Amber Marshall). The two leads bond despite him not being able to see how beautiful she is, and because of her appreciating his willingness to share his fears and feelings about being blind. The chemistry between the two is portrayed in a unique and sweet way given his disability, and the love they share with Max, the guide dog, is adorable. It’s a keeper! ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ I totally disagree with the 'odd' and 'awkward' comment about My Christmas Guide. I love this movie, one of the best Hallmark movies I've seen in a long time! Yes, the two lead characters end up falling for each other at the end, (predictable for Hallmark) but the storyline about a person with a sudden disability (blindness), the struggles he has with coping with such a life-changing event, the compassion and beautiful humanity of the dog trainer, was beautifully and emotionally portrayed. It was not 'preachy' at all. And of course you had to love the guide dog. I also loved Guiding Emily. I watch both of them whenever they are shown and will continue to. Way to go Hallmark! ~Anonymous


Mystery on Mistletoe Lane - November 9, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ I really liked Mystery on Mistletoe Lane. It was very clean and family friendly, other than divorced parents. It was a new a different story line and good acting. ~Lizzy R

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane. That was really fun! A nice sentimental mystery/scavenger hunt. Sweet budding romance(s). Beautiful, refined decorations in the Mistletoe Manor house and historical society (such a breath of fresh air after the fake and over-the-top decorating in other movies). All the actors were quite good. The movie had its unrealistic moments but, overall, it was just a really nice, feel-good, family movie. A keeper, for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Mystery on Mistletoe Lane -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

I wouldn't think it would be easy to come up with a plot that incorporates Christmas with a mystery and that is family-friendly (that is, it doesn't involve a murder). But this movie does the job very nicely. Granted, the kids (and later with the adults' help) seemed to solve each clue rather quickly, but it helped in moving the movie right along. It was also nice to see romance develop between the older couple as well as between the two leads, and how David's dad changed because of the end result. Very enjoyable from start to finish! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I caught some of Mystery of Mistletoe Lane on YouTube and it was ok. The storyline wasn't as as emotional as it was trying to be to me. The house was gorgeous, but it wasn't used to the greatest effect and there was no chemistry at all between anyone. She seemed more of an aunt than mother. It was obviously not cold when they filmed and to me took away from creating that Christmas feel. The ending seemed to rushed and there was no romance. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane is clean, and quite intriguing. Felt nice to watch a stand alone mystery on this network for the 1st time in a couple of years. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ We enjoyed Mystery on Mistletoe Lane. Family-friendly. The kids were cute and it was nice to see Victor Webster again. Seems like it's been a long time since the Wedding Veil movies. CJ

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane is family friendly about Heidi Wicks, the new historical society director for cozy New England town New Hollow. She’s just relocated from North Carolina with her two kids named Annie & Garrett just in time to spruce up the historical center for the holidays. Her family also took up the historical society’s offer to move into a historical home, a home that the previous director steered clear of. Oh — and the previous director David Rawlings is still hanging around doing handyman work for the historical society called; “The New Hollow Historical Society & Museum”. That’s not an awkward working arrangement at all!

Then a pair of discoveries rock Heidi’s status quo & give her kids a surprise mystery to solve. First, Heidi learns that she’s actually moved into Mistletoe Manor, a house that once upon a time lit up New Hollow like it was Rockefeller Center. As for her kids, who are not too pleased about this December move, they discover that there are reindeer figurines hidden throughout the manor that are paired with tiny scrolls that contain clues to the other figurines. Suddenly moving to this tiny town doesn’t seem so dull, does it?

With her job potentially on the line thanks to a real scrooge of a deputy mayor, Heidi sets out to resurrect Mistletoe Manor to its early 20th century glamour while her kids try to uncover the the secrets contained in the manor’s walls — literally. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane - brilliant! Though I prefer comedies this light hearted family mystery was a great watch. Definitely one to watch with the kids as the kids in this movie are not accessories but a part of the actual plot. A woman moves to New England to lead the historical society, the house she moves into has a reindeer figurine treasure hunt through the old house. ~Anonymous
 
๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane is family friendly. Was a little slow to me in the beginning but it's gets better as the movie goes along. Different storyline for sure and lots of twist and turns. Good acting and chemistry between the leads. It's a 2 time watch for me. ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane – This is a fun, family-friendly, mystery-themed Christmas movie from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. I enjoyed watching the children get wrapped up in trying to solve this mystery from the past and how each clue led to another puzzle. The only thing I thought was unrealistic was that there should’ve been a lot more dust/webs with each clue and puzzle since they had been there for nearly 70 years! Other than that, it was a cute story all ages can enjoy together. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane - Joyce in Carolina, I agree with you. I loved this movie! Victor Webster is a favorite of mine. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane: I really enjoyed this movie on HMM. I haven't watched anything Hallmark in a while, but I gave this a shot since Victor Webster was in it. He is best when he's like that character, love him like that and the banter between the leads was fun to watch (their romance at the end was just a bonus in this movie)! This was a really cool mystery intertwined with the Christmas season. The supporting cast was great, especially the kids. The characters of Wallace and Linda were too cute (although I wasn't sure about Wallace at first). I liked that the kids took on the mystery and then eventually asked for help (loved the clues/reindeer). When Wallace comes clean about himself, it's such an endearing and somewhat heartbreaking story that put a few tears in my eyes. When we saw/heard the last clue/poem, well that was just a tearjerker moment. Overall, it was a really good movie that I'll definitely put on my favorites list. ~Debbie

๐ŸŽ„ Mystery on Mistletoe Lane is family friendly. I thought it was fun how the kids got all into figuring out their mystery and the 2 leads had really sweet chemistry. Had some fun family moments. It was fun to try and figure out the clues with the kids. Just a really well done movie. Its is definitely one I will watch again :) ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Whew! I need more time to get through the movie options. All were family-friendly. The ones that stand out to me were Mystery on Mistletoe Lane, Everything Christmas, Christmas Island, Christmas Keepsake, and A Christmas Blessing. I liked the multi-generational aspect of Mystery on Mistletoe Lane. ~Maire


A World Record Christmas - November 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas is by far and away, the best HMM Christmas movie I have seen this year!!!! This needs to be on DVD next year!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A World Record Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Oh Yes! -

I'll be honest, after reading the plot description a while ago, I didn't think I would like this movie. Turns out, I was right - I LOVE this movie! The romance part - about the mother of an autistic 12-year-old boy and her new husband who try to deepen their relationship - is a minor subplot to the real storyline about this boy and his relationship to his mother, father, stepdad and girl friend (two words) as he challenges himself to break a Jenga world record. This movie captivated me from start to finish, and near the end when disaster strikes (not wanting to give too much away here), I felt soooo bad for him! The acting throughout is top-notch, especially by the young man who has autism in real life. And this movie supports my long-held belief that Nikki DeLoach is one of the best Hallmark actresses around! A must-see! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas - very ambitious to create a film centered around an autistic character, given how deeply personal the subject is to so many people. I am autistic, and at first I did not intend to see the movie, because due to mental health issues I’ve developed in adulthood, I’ve sometimes had panic attacks when encountering negative depictions of autistics. But I decided to take a chance and I’m glad I did, because I did not experience panic, and I found the family relationship moments very moving and beautiful. Autism is such a tricky subject because there are such highs and lows to being autistic and I think it’s important to show both. It brings such great challenges, but it is not a disease or a tragedy, and finding a balanced way to depict it is about as tricky as balancing all those Jenga blocks. But while I might quibble with some of the details, I thought it had a really good overall tone, which is not an easy feat. And the relationships in their little family are truly beautiful, from the sweet romance between a husband and wife who don’t handle everything perfectly but are consistently deeply committed and loving toward each other; to the mother-son relationship in which the mom always tries to discern and address his needs, even when he has a hard time articulating them; to the relationship between the boy and his kind, caring, accepting, devoted stepdad (which I may have shed tears over at one point). Overall a sweet enjoyable movie - and the stepdad is definitely my favorite Lucas Bryant role to date! :) ~RC

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas was a very sweet movie! I enjoyed it. A nice change from Hallmark's chick flicks. Of course I want to see the romance most of the time, but every now and then it's enjoyable to see a family film. It was nice to see them as a happy married couple. And family-friendly. ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ I watched “A World Record Christmas” on YouTube. Charlie is an autistic boy, his Mom named Marissa, his Stepfather named Eric, his biological Father named Peter, his best friend named Amy is with her Mom named Jane.

This movie is really emotional. Charlie’s best friend Amy doesn’t know that she hurt Charlie’s feelings - by he’s saying heartbeat. Charlie’s best friend Amy thinks he’s weird because of complicated & he ran upstairs in his room until his Stepfather Eric talks to him. Amy talks with Marissa that she doesn’t mean to because of his emotional. She talks to Charlie for seconds until Charlie’s parents done at Brookview Library . Amy tells Charlie, it’s not complicated & she gives him a hug. Amy & Charlie get along so well. Eric & Marissa rekindled their relationship. Charlie’s biological Father Matt is there watching Charlie to break the record 1,401 Jenga Blocks ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas is family friendly and a great movie that addresses a very sensitive subject. The whole cast did a very good job in their roles! I have a grandson and great nephew that is autistic, so this story was very special to me. I have to say Hallmark did a great job on this movie! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ World Record Christmas - This was really nice, an emotional family film. Hallmark is diversifying their stories and this one I really enjoyed, it isn't a romance at all just relationships between established families and the struggles of raising a kid on the spectrum and dealing with emotions. Very nicely done. There was a bit at the end with the bio father I didn't like but I won't spoil it. Definitely a watch and you might need tissues. –MS

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas was such a sweet movie! Tears throughout the movie. Nikki Deloach and Lucas Bryant were both perfect and so natural as his parents. The boy who played Charlie, I don’t know if he was really autistic but he was so great in his role as well. The end was so cute seeing them have another baby. The only thing I was a little letdown by was the whole story with his biological dad. It was heartbreaking to see him wish and hope for him to show up but then when he did at the end, I don’t know if that was good or not. I mean, no one saw him so he just smiled and left as if he was content to leave seeing Charlie happy and well with his mom and stepdad. But what was the story of why he was never present in his life? He looked confused when he met with the mom at the restaurant and she stormed out….I think it was probably for the best that charlie didn’t see him at the end so that he wouldn’t be let down if he disappeared again. Family friendly and such a touching story about teaching kids to believe in themselves. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Since her movie Taking the Reins, I'm not a big Nikki fan, personally, but her acting is good and the movies she chooses are more unique choices than others. A World Record Christmas is a deeply moving film. Fam-friendly. ~Allie B

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas is family & friendly. It’s based an inspired true story of courage 12 years old Auldin Maxwell. The movie is so emotional & heartfelt. Charlie Parsons is based on Auldin Maxwell, he’s an autism is determined to break a Guinness World Record by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks. In the spirit of the holidays, his Mother named Marissa & Stepfather named Eric Parsons organize a fundraiser to give the townspeople an opportunity to decorate & donate a block. Charlie’s best friend named Amy, she’s a caring friend of Charlie. 15 years old Auldin Maxwell with an autism spectrum makes a cameo when he walks toward Charlie & Amy. Aias Dalman is an autistic actor in real life as Charlie Parsons. Charlie’s biological Father named Peter isn’t around much in Charlie’s life because he’s busy working & he works at Shaw Law Firm. Charlie’s gift his best friend; Amy with a pendant with birthstone for Christmas. Charlie could have his own personal record by stacking 1,401 Jenga Blocks. Eric & Marissa rekindle their relationship. Charlie offers his Stepfather; Eric a reserved a seat ๐Ÿ’บ for being his real Dad. Eric & Charlie hug. Charlie’s biological Father; Peter is there. Eric & Marissa are so proud of Charlie. Marissa takes a picture of Charlie & Amy, Jenga Champion of the universe. Amy & Charlie get along. Amy wears reindeer sweater looks exactly that Chris wore it with help with her Twin Sister; Kate Lockhart to choice snowman or reindeer sweaters from Switched for Christmas ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ HMM has the most heart-felt movies! I watched A World Record Christmas because I love Lucas Bryant. When that young man's tears fell because his dad was not there, tears fell from my eyes too. If you love kids, this movie will tug at your heartstrings. Great acting by everyone in this movie. I will definitely watch again. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ I watched both ‘A World Record Christmas’ and ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ last evening. And, I have to say both movies brought me so much joy. The cast in both movies was exceptional. Let’s breakdown why both of these gems are now on my favorite Christmas movies of 2023 list. ๐Ÿ˜Š

‘A World Record Christmas’ was wholesome and so realistic. It was refreshing to see a family dynamic that was authentic in every way possible. Oh my gosh Nikki and Lucas was phenomenal together. The love they had for Charlie was so moving and it was nice seeing a solid couple who weren’t trying to find out how they fit. Nikki and Lucas already figured it out and together they built a relationship that most people strive for and pray for. I highly recommend this sweet movie. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ On the surface I wasn’t sure if “A World Record Christmas” would appeal to me, but the story was different than most seen on Hallmark. It wasn’t necessarily a romance and no real mystery, just a family living life at Christmastime and a boy with a dream. It’s one I would watch again and highly recommend to others. ~Rob

๐ŸŽ„ A WORLD RECORD CHRISTMAS **contains spoiler** Wow, this was a really really touching and pulls at all your heartstrings. Even when the premise was not really focused on romance, the relationship of Nikki deLoach’s character and Lucas Bryant’s was really romantic. I just loved seeing them both interact on the screen and couldn’t get enough of them. Marissa’s character as a mom is just so perfect to be played by Nikki, and Lucas Bryant knocked it out of the park playing the Dad. I can’t get over how amazing he was as Charlie’s stepdad and it broke my heart every time Charlie mentioned wanting to make his “real dad” proud. Lucas Bryant needs to be in more Hallmark movies! That ending when Charlie gave Eric the empty chair labeled “Dad” made my cry… just the most beautiful and heartbreaking scene. What an amazing movie! ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas – Beautiful! Bring out the tissues for this heartfelt, touching, inspirational movie. This movie is definitely unique from other Hallmark movies; instead of centering on romance, this movie focuses on family and the desire of a teenage boy, Charlie, who happens to be autistic, to achieve a world record. It is such an entertaining, moving story, as we watch Charlie work towards his dream, while he also holds the wish for his biological father to visit and watch him reach his goal.

My heart was filled with such deep emotion while watching; the ending (I won’t spoil here) is perfection! I had a beaming smile on my face while tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. Overall, A World Record Christmas, in my opinion, is a winner! This is an emotionally stirring, wonderful, family friendly film, ideal for all ages. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ A World Record Christmas. Excellent! Loved it! Warm, tender, cozy, authentic, unwavering love, family-oriented, heartwarming, emotional connection. Every actor was phenomenal but I especially loved Lucas Bryant’s character (and his corny dad jokes) -- he was such a prince of a guy! Good writing, good acting, good directing. Refreshing to watch a mature, well-done production with all the tiny details attended to, all the way down to the director making the on-screen text messages big enough and giving us time to read them. (And I appreciated the unique scene on the blanket in the snow.) Keeper. Will buy the dvd. Family friendly. ~~Jane


A Season for Family - November 22, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Season for Family was such a sweet movie! Brendan Penny is one of those actors who can do the romantic comedies and dramas really well, he did an amazing job. I could really feel his inner conflict of wanting to give his son his brother but also protecting him from what he didn’t know for fear of how he would take it, as well as grieving doing that without his wife. The sister was great in her role, Iv seen her in another movie but can’t remember the title. Family friendly, would definitely watch again. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Review: A Season for Family -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

I'm amazed at how many movies this season have the love story take a back seat to relationships among family members...and all of them have been keepers for me. Here we have developing relationships between two brothers who have been adopted by different families, become friends, but don't know they are brothers. We also have the dad of one boy who is struggling with whether-or-not to tell his son he is adopted. And yes, we have the romance between the dad and the mother of the other adopted boy. I thought that how the parents handled the relationships with their children and with each other was handled very well, very sweetly. And while Brendan Penny did another fine job here (he was great in Time for Them to Come Home for Christmas), I was not familiar with Stacey Farber, and I thought she was really, really good, with a great range of emotions. An unusual and wonderfully told story makes this a keeper for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ I really liked this movie--of course it brought tears to my eyes, but I also liked the fact that the lead was male--and a great HM one at that. Brendan Penny did an amazing job. ~Savvy Girl

๐ŸŽ„ A Season for Family is a very sweet (and clean) movie! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I enjoyed A Season For Family. The only issue I had is that I could not see Brendan Penny and Jessica Sipos as siblings-- I kept seeing them as the married couple they played on Chesapeake Shores. ~Suburban Prep

๐ŸŽ„ A Season for Family – This heartwarming story centered on adoption was such a pleasant watch. It has such an easy flow about it; you truly feel connected to these characters… their hopes, wishes, and heartaches.

It was really, really weird at first (as others have mentioned), to see Brendon Penny and Jessica Sipos act as brother and sister, since we know them as husband and wife on Chesapeake Shores, but I sort of got used to it as the movie played out.

The chemistry between the leads is more subtle, but still sweet. Overall, this movie leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy and good inside. Family-friendly, too! ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ I just had the chance to watch A Season For Family. It's family friendly, good chemistry between the leads. It did remind me of the Christmas Note though, where two people find out they are siblings. but overall , a good movie! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ A Season for Family. Loved it! Ahhh … so refreshing to watch a movie that flows well and excels from all angles – acting, writing, directing, setting, etc. You can just feel the experience and maturity of everyone involved. Everything was believable (even the unbelievable coincidences๐Ÿ˜‰). I adore Brendan Penny, but really everyone in this movie was great. And the one little boy, Azriel Dalman, was a favorite for me in last year’s “We Need a Little Christmas” (he’s also the younger brother to the young actor in this year’s “A World Record Christmas”). I tend to save the best Christmas movies for last as I slowly clear out the dvd recordings, so perhaps I’ve just watched too many mediocre movies and perhaps it’s not fair to compare… but, oh, how nice it was to just sit and enjoy a movie without having to scribble any critical notes! Everything about this movie was well executed and there were no eye-roll moments for me – yay! This one’s a keeper and I would buy the dvd. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A SEASON FOR FAMILY - I loved the unique storyline. I also think that maybe this movie could benefit from having a different female lead that’s a bit more emotive. It would definitely elevate this movie in my opinion. Nothing against Stacey Farber, but I personally think for this particular storyline, another actress like Taylor Cole or Rachael Leigh Cook might be a better fit. Brendan Penny was great as always. Their chemistry was just not there though honestly. I adore the brothers bonding with each other. The older brother seemed too perfect and unflawed to me though. The “talk” scene at the end was touching. ~CH Mom


Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas - November 30, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ I got to watch Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas early, and I am so happy to report that it is a perfectly clean movie!! Plus, there is a couple of Easter Eggs included in it, so you may want to keep your eyes peeled. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Time For Her To Come Home For Christmas. Family -friendly. END OF AN ERA? This "Coming Home" Series has been one of my favourites with last year's Time For Him To Come Home For Christmas the high point. I have seen all but Time For You.........where the female lead had been married before. It feels to me that they are beginning to run out of ideas. Although this is overall enjoyable enough it just didn't quite measure up to the previous movies.

It's a long time since I've seen Chris Cormack and we don't see Shenae Grimes Beech that often - the two had a certain but somewhat low-key chemistry. Carly (Shenae) devastated by the loss of her mother took a job in a small town to coach a church choir into shape in a fortnight before Christmas and meets Matthew (Chris) returning home from the forces. I was initially wary that Ali Liebert was directing but fair enough she did a competent job. The big problem was that the "mystery" was reasonably easy to solve although I have to hold my hand up and admit I overthought things. Quite a lot of the action took place inside a church which was incredibly small - they might just have managed to squeeze about 40 people into it. There was plenty to laugh about in the initial stages with the members of the choir about 6 or 7 strong off-key and out of sync! Generally free-flowing and fine for a one time watch but I personally feel it might now to be time to bring the curtain down on the franchise while it still retains commendable merit. Florence's rating - 7

๐ŸŽ„ Hallmark’s “Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas” is a family-friendly and faith-based story about a musician, Carly, invited to spend her Christmas holiday preparing a church choir for a Christmas Eve service. I enjoyed the many sub-plots that unfolded as we learned about each member of the choir; as well as the blossoming romance between the leads played by Shenae Grimes-Beech and Chris Carmack. As a bonus there is intrigue as we learn the reason why Carly was invited for this assignment, and we’re treated to singing of Grace Leer (of American Idol fame). ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Yes -

At times I felt that I was watching this movie on GAF, because of the religious theme! Anyway, I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. I was not familiar with Grimes-Beech, but I thought she did a wonderful job (but didn't it seem like her hair was longer near the end, with her bangs gone? Just wonderin'...). And like MPT pointed out, it was great to have the sub-plots with the individual choir members. I do wish, though, that they had sung a religious song at the service instead of the non-religious Time to Come Home song. Still, because of the storylines and the wonderful acting by everyone, this is a keeper for me. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas. Cute movie. But I just didn’t love it enough to keep it on the dvr. There was a lot that I really liked (such as the caroling and Grace Leer’s singing!), and there were also things that I didn’t like. I’m not often a fan of movies where Hollywood dabbles in “faith” by filming in a chapel or throwing in a “pastor” who usually spouts some watered-down, vague mumbo jumbo.

Unfortunately, “faith” can mean just about anything nowadays. The church in this particular movie seemed to be more of a warm-fuzzy, feel-good church than a Bible believing church. The pastor says in his Christmas Eve sermon that “one gift is more precious than all the rest at Christmas… and that gift is… time”. That’s nice. Wait!!! Go back. Say what?!? THAT is his Christmas message??? Nothing about the gift of a Savior???!!

There’s also lots of talk of “fate” in this movie. And Shenae’s character starts her introduction to the church choir with “I’m a Leo ….”, and at one point she lifts her eyes to the sky and thanks her deceased mother for arranging all the fateful happenings (um, that’s not based on anything in my Bible). And the director makes sure that in almost every shot of the pastor in his office we see behind him a sign of rainbow-colored people saying “All are Welcome here” – so was that just a nice sentiment of love and welcome, or was it director Ali Liebert getting her LGQXYPBJ message out? Who knows? ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ This movie did have some really sweet parts but, all in all, it wasn’t enough to make it a keeper, for me. It was good for a one-time watch and perhaps again in a couple of years. By the way, I think Mama just called and said it’s definitely time to retire that annoying theme song! Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ TIME FOR HER TO COME HOME *clean*
Agreed with what has been said. I think it would be so much more powerful if the final choir performance had shown other Christmas songs as well, not just the "Time for me to come home" song. I think this was quite touching and lovely overall. Nothing extra special, but it was enjoyable throughout. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ Time for Her to Come for Christmas – I absolutely loved this heartwarming, emotionally moving Hallmark Christmas movie! I always find it interesting to see how they incorporate the “Time to Come for Christmas” song into each of these films. The record exchange in this movie was such a fun way to do it.

I was intrigued from the very start, when Carly travels to a small-town when she is hired to help the local church choir prepare for their Christmas performance. The way Carly interacts and connects with each member in the choir is absolutely beautiful. I was especially touched by George, an older gentleman who joined the choir because his late wife loved it, and being there, made him feel close to her. Those sweet moments and details in the movie made it exceptional - as they stirred my emotions and warmed my heart. I was moved to tears numerous times.

By the way, as others have mentioned, I also would’ve loved to have heard the choir sing more songs at the end, including a standard, religious Christmas Carol. The music throughout, however, is lovely and uplifting.

Time for Her is another keeper for me – from this wonderful series! ~Net


To All a Good Night - December 7, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ To All A Goodnight is family friendly and a very good movie. It starts out a little silly for lack of a better phrase, but gets better as the movie progresses. It's a "watch more than once" movie! ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ To All a Good Night. Loved it. Don't have time to write one of my usual long-winded reviews. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s Hallmark, so not everything was realistic but, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Good writing, good dialogue, funny, unique, emotional, sweet, sad, hopeful. And an adorable goofball dog, as well! Keeper for me. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ "To All A Good Night"-- family-friendly, engaging watch! Sprinkled with humor, intrigue while waiting for answers, and moments to yank the heartstrings. It's one I'll probably watch again.

*SPOILERS*
I didn't get the meaning behind Ceci's dad having the joke about her marrying; it seemed like there should be a compelling reason behind why he would share the joke with the Sam character. Maybe I missed something and need to watch again. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved seeing the dog sweater lady and pet store worker from "9 Lives of Christmas"!!! ~Alicia

๐ŸŽ„ To all a Good Night is clean, and very very sweet! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT *clean*
I'm honestly not sure about this. I think generally it was sweet. There are some parts I liked, and some were alright. Maybe I am a bit picky because I watched a lot of great ones lately. The writing was good. Kimberley Sustad was INCREDIBLE as always. I truly love her acting and how she portrays her characters on screen. I enjoyed her relationship with the people around her, especially her best friend. The male lead, I am not sure. I think he was okay, but I couldn't help but feel something was missing. I don't know... the chemistry was a bit off for me. But I can see that it would be a keeper for many and that others would enjoy this a lot. For me, it's a one time watch. ~CH Mom


Heaven Down Here - December 18, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Heaven Down Here…..I loved so many things about this movie: the constant talk of God, scriptures, faith etc. There was also great acting from Clara, she was my favorite! Some scenes were hard to watch like the poor little boy having the panic attack and Clara being verbally abused by her patient, you could see the pain in her eyes. With all that being said, there were things I did not like and I wish would have been left out as it kind of made it a one time watch for me. I didn’t like the joke about spiked eggnog by the pastor at the beginning by the pastor, or how they drank cider, don’t know if that contained alcohol? I also do not understand why they had to add the little romance between the pastor and Imani….I feel it was unnecessary and slightly inappropriate. I think they should have kept the pastor in just a role of being the peacemaker and a light to everyone that night, no need for the little eye looks and dancing in the kitchen together. Nothing really over the top just didn’t feel right to me. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ I ended my review without mentioning the end of the movie, the scene between Felix and his son was so beautiful. My favorite takeaway from the movie was how God always provides, he provided for his Christmas dinner for the homeless, he had no idea how he would get the food but kept the faith. So there is many things I enjoyed, but did not appreciate the flirting throughout. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Heaven Down Here is, extraordinary! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Heaven Down Here is a truly inspirational and heartwarming movie! It is one of the best Christmas movies of this season, and it is a perfect family watch. It is more like a Hallmark Hall of Fame style movie, and it does not have a central romantic focus. The main focus of the movie is the importance of family and family and helping others during the Christmas season. Hallmark did a beautiful job with this faith-based movie! Laurie

๐ŸŽ„ However, we both thoroughly enjoyed "Heaven down Here". It was heartfelt and lovely and it was so great seeing Phylicia Rashad again. She is still stunning and she was really good in this movie. I also really liked the pastor. It was a touching story with loads of Christian goodness. :-) ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ Heaven Down Here was so good, family friendly, and had so much discussion of faith, it felt like I was watching a Dayspring movie. Of course, the actual name "Jesus" was never mentioned, but I sort of expect that type of vagueness. Still, the pastor actually quoted scripture! (His definition of "heaven" at the end wasn't theologically sound at all - but hey, they tried!) I loved the concept of strangers snowed in together and God using that to bring healing to their lives. There were several moments that made me cry. As a pastor's wife, I also appreciated how they portrayed the pastor. He was a real person with problems, even doubts, and I liked the relationship that developed between he and Imani (though I was hoping for more confirmation of where that went in the flash-forward at the end). There's nothing wrong with a pastor falling in love - they are humans, too. They didn't turn him into a caricature who is just going around saying things that sound deep and solving everyone else's problems. There was depth to him and a complicated past. Sorry I'm rambling about the pastor thing - it's just personal to me! Overall, it was a great movie with a unique premise, great acting, and a satisfying ending. It also felt like it mattered that it was actually Christmas rather than "this is a generic story that just happens to take place at Christmas." Definitely one I would watch again! ~melnewlife

๐ŸŽ„ Heaven Down Here – This is an interesting story idea with the four individuals being trapped together in a diner during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. It’s an entertaining, engaging story that leaves you wondering what might happen next. I especially enjoyed hearing various scriptures mentioned throughout the movie from the pastor, and it was engrossing to see these four people (mostly strangers) open up to each other, sharing their heartaches from Christmases past and their hopes and dreams for the future. I was glad that a romance wasn’t featured here, but only hinted at, especially since Imani had recently lost her husband. I’m not sure I felt a strong connection between the two, so I was fine with how the story played out.

Some storylines, I felt, closely resembled other movies – such as: the adoption story from “A Joyous Christmas” and the father reuniting with his son storyline from “Home Alone.” There’s even a short film titled “Christmas at Cadillac Jack's” that involves strangers being trapped together in a diner on Christmas Eve, and one woman is attempting to reconcile with a daughter she previously gave up for adoption. In spite of those close resemblances to other stories, this movie is still unique and refreshingly different.

Altogether, “Heaven Down Here” is a captivating story, and I enjoyed the focus on faith, family, and friendships. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ HEAVEN DOWN HERE **clean** This was so touching. The storyline is unique, not a cookie-cutter Hallmark movie. I loved the way the story came together and developed. That last scene of Felix and his son really broke my heart. How hard it must be for him to be vulnerable and showed up to apologize. I agree with melnewlife that the definition of Heaven in the pastor’s sermon at the end was off. Also, I was a bit confused with the direction of the romance. There was not much romance going on honestly. It seems like they are trying to pair Imani and Pastor Felix as a couple, but there were not much focus on this and it felt more like a friendship. The romance was a bit forced in my opinion. The only “romantic” scene was the dance in the kitchen which lasted 3 seconds. This movie was more focused in family relationships and there was no conclusion on Imani and Felix’s relationship. ~CH Mom


Miracle in Bethlehem, PA - December 21, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Miracle in Bethlehem... Very, very family friendly! I loved this one so much. This movie gave me the good chills the whole way through, especially when the mother and daughter have their chat, and I loved seeing the baby Natalie get passed around with Joe's family. They were so sweet and loving! Of course the best was that the Lord is mentioned so many times throughout and Scripture is quoted as well. Another thing I enjoyed was seeing the adoption. Babies are such a wonderful gift and it always warms my heart to see a child sparred from abortion. I can't write this without crying.

It did bother me that they were living together in the same house alone. And I was hoping he would shave his 5 o'clock shadow. He looked scruffy to me (same reason why I don't like the Mathew McFadden Mr. Darcy...haha;) At least he cleaned up later. I'll have to watch this one every year! I was smiling the whole time!๐Ÿ˜Š ~Abigail

๐ŸŽ„ Miracle in Bethlehem PA is another fantastic Dayspring movie! And best of all, this 1 doesn't feel like the 'odd ball' in the lineup, it fits right in with this year's clean lineup! I hope there's more of these planned for 2024.-Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Loved Miracle In Bethlehem, PA! There were so many Jesus moments in this movie. Surprise for me is I don't care for Benjamin Ayers but this is his best so far. ~kitkat

๐ŸŽ„ Miracle in Bethlehem, PA was family friendly, and like the previous Dayspring movies, more obvious with the faith elements than most Hallmark fare. The main character, Mary Ann, prays several times, the characters are frequently in church, and they discuss the verse James 1:17: "Every good and perfect gift comes from above." Best of all, as the family prays over their Christmas Eve meal, they thank God for His gift of the savior! The concept of the movie was a tiny bit cheesy: "Mary" Ann adopts a baby right before Christmas, but when she's stranded in Bethlehem, PA during a blizzard, there is no room at the inn. But, the innkeeper's brother, JOSEPH, has a spare room. His house is a mess (like a barn, I guess?), and he has a dog named Donkey. His sister's name is Frankie (Frankincense), his mom Goldie (Gold), and his grandma is Myrtle (Myrhh). However, the way they all support and give freely to Mary Ann and her baby girl Natalie was very sweet. The only thing I didn't like was how fast everything went. In the beginning of the movie, Joseph's girlfriend dumps him because he's a loser who never cleans his house and lays around all day playing video games. What seems like that same night, he takes in Mary Ann and her baby. Two days later, the roads open, but Mary Ann's car won't start. It's Christmas Eve, so she spends it with his family. When they get home, they almost kiss, but ex-girlfriend has shown up, missing Joe. She's upset because he's suddenly started cleaning his house and being responsible and seemingly moving on to a new girl, and they literally just broke up. Well, ex-girlfriend kind of has a point, lol. It seems a little unrealistic that he'd fall in love with Mary Ann and completely change in less than three days. Then at the end they are hinting at still being together next year? When you met three days ago? BUT, it is Hallmark we're talking about. So still a sweet movie, I just liked the other Dayspring offerings better (especially The Blessing Bracelet). ~melnewlife

๐ŸŽ„ MIRACLE IN BETHLEHEM, PA *clean*
Family friendly (main characters did stay in one house alone, in different rooms) and not shying away from the faith elements, which is rare for Hallmark these days, so for this alone, I am grateful for. Loved that a scripture was mentioned. Lots of analogy and likeness with the birth of Jesus story. Ben Ayres was great in this. I loved seeing his character development from being a lazy gamer to rocking baby Natalie to sleep. That scene of him with the baby sling dancing was hilarious. I also loved the ending scene of Mary Ann and her Mom, it made me cry. This was so well done, so well written by Hallmark. I'd watch it over and over again. This is probably in the top 3 of my favorite Christmas movies this year. ~CH Mom

๐ŸŽ„ MIRACLE IN BETHLEHEM, PA is family friendly. Even though it it's very religious compared to most movies these days, it's not one of my favorites. Didn't care for the lead actress and the chemistry between the leads wasn't that great. It's a one time watch for me. ~Joyce in Carolina

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Miracle in Bethlehem , PA -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? Definitely -

I absolutely loved this movie! It is an obvious parallel story to the Nativity story - not just with the storyline itself but with the names of persons and places - but it is done so well and its heart is in the right place. I know I have seen Laura Vandervoort somewhere else (but where I can't recall), but she was like a breath of fresh air and was perfect in her role as the adoptive mother. It was also a plus for me to see Amy Groening (fast becoming one of my favorites) and Teryl Rothery (one of my parental-role favorites) in this film. A great mix of religion, drama, and humor - one of the best of the season! ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ *Miracle in Bethlehem, PA* is so beautiful. ~Denise


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„



๐ŸŒŸUPtv:


UPtv:

We’re Scrooged – November 5, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ We’re Scrooged. Meh. Made it halfway and deleted. It’s probably an okay movie but I just couldn’t get into it. The part I watched was family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ We're Scrooged is quite fun. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ We’re Scoorged is family friendly about reimagining Christmas Carol & Scoorged about Years after parting ways, former high school sweethearts named Sarah Russel & Scott Mayford reunite at their 10 year’s Christmastime reunion at Samson Mills High School, where they are visited by 3 ghosts: Mr. Fletcher is a ghost of Christmas Past, J.O.I is a female Virtual Christmas of Christmas Present, & Future Ghosts Sarah & Scott of Christmas Future who try to make them reconsider their decision to part ways. In the future, Sarah Russel Architects & Scott Mayford’s Sport Management Corporation in New York.

Sarah Russel is at Georgian Room & Scott Mayford are at Huronia Room at Fizzwick Hotel. Nick works at Fizzwick Hotel has a key of Grandfather Clock. Sarah & Scott meets Mr. Fletcher is a Christmas Ghost of Past when Scott handed a gift of Snowflake necklace to Sarah. Scott & Sarah broke up on Christmas Day, he had a ring to propose to her. Scott & Sarah meet J.O.I on laptop computer as she tells Scott about Angelique & Sarah about Kylie’s Mom. Nick sends Sarah & Scott separately to the future to meet future Sarah & Scott. Scott tells Nick that Sarah & himself’s relationship takes worth the risk with magical feelings. Their connection is so real & Sarah feels it too. Sarah manages to fix it & Scott could give himself more times just before too late. Scott & Sarah get together at Christmas Snowflake High School Reunion at Sampson Mills High School ~Anonymous


Christmas Time Capsule – November 12, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Time Capsule - I didn't like the movie. Ten years to read a note? Him really asking her to be h I s best man at yhe wedding!?I don't buy it. ~Misty

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Time Capsule- very watchable and you can see all the plot ending within the first 10 min, but enjoyable for a watch. Does appear low budget. The lead actor is gorgeous, you won't want to look away! Story is about solider who is about to leave active duty and struggling with "Whats next" both in his professional and personal life. He plans to propose to his (fairly new) girlfriend but has to get the engagement ring he left with his female BFF. I think you see where this is going. Side plot about the BFF's parents' health journey led to some comedic breaks. –MS

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Time Capsule. Um? It had its sweet moments and some humor, but also some things that were odd and other stuff that made absolutely no sense (like what she found in the time capsule – it made no sense that her younger self would have put it in there 10 years ago without looking at it first). The movie wasn’t all that Christmassy, and really could have been set at any time of year with different decorations (the Alien Christmas Bazaar was weird but I suppose I’ll give them points for uniqueness because, you know, nothing says warm Christmas cheer better than little green space people!?๐Ÿ‘ฝ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿคฃ). The lead actress was fairly good. The lead actor is quite pretty to look at but he sometimes comes off rather flat, I liked him better in last year’s “Well Suited for Christmas” (which is not entirely family friendly). For a low-budget, second-string movie, this one really wasn’t all that bad. If you’re a diehard Christmas movie fan, it would be cute for a one-time watch. Family friendly except maybe(?) this: the two leads have to share a hotel room (strictly as platonic, long-time bffs), he somehow finds a massive rope and hangs a sheet between the beds to give them some privacy (a little trick he learned in the army – eyeroll!), they’re both wearing appropriate sleepwear/pjs, but then there is a scene in the morning where she wakes up to see him doing push-ups on the floor and, of course, the privacy sheet has been taken down and he somehow managed to lose his t-shirt during the night so we get to see his beautiful, muscled and naked torso (eyeroll, again!), then when he’s finished with his push-ups he puts his t-shirt back on (…and another eyeroll from me! -- but the boy really is pretty to look at so, I guess flaunt it while you’ve still got it!? ๐Ÿ˜Š) p.s. - I laughed at one point in the movie because the production company upcycled the exact same ugly Christmas sweaters used in their other movies (one was so distinct, it was unmistakable). I’m used to them reusing the exact same charming, snow-covered Canadian town in all these movies but this is the first time I’ve noticed a repurposed ugly sweater. p.p.s. – And, ugh. If the directors want us to read the text messages on the screen, please make them big enough and hold the shot for more than two seconds! ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ I started watching Christmas Time Capsule, they started talking about astrology ( not to be confused with Astronomy) and they to some alien thing. Ugh ~ Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Time Capsule was amazing! Highly recommend. -Maria


Country Hearts Christmas – November 19, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ UPtv’s “Country Hearts Christmas” is family-friendly, although it deals with serious issues such as alcohol abuse and a love triangle. The film has a strong Christian theme, and another highlight is the singing of two sisters looking for their big break in country music, played by Lanie McAuley and Katerina Maria. The story felt too much like a soap opera however, one that finally provides closure when the family comes together for a Christmas Eve service. As sequels go, this one is just average. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Country Hearts Christmas was so beautiful! I hope there's a 3rd movie. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Country Hearts Christmas – This movie is basically a holiday repeat of the first film, Country Hearts. Once again, the sisters are struggling with their new-found fame in the singing industry, while each of them is grappling with their own relationships. June is torn with leaving her husband behind while performing, and unbeknownst to her, he is dealing with an enormous pile of gambling debts. Tori, in the meantime, is torn between two men, her bandmate and friend, Luke, and her ex-boyfriend, Barrett, who has broken her heart before. Their mother is also a well-known singer traveling the world with their younger sister, and their father is a previous rock star and former alcoholic, who now owns a horse ranch. There’s a lot of drama in this family; Tori’s husband, Justin, gets drunk one night and is beat up when he doesn’t pay his debts. Another dilemma presents itself when the singing sisters, Tori and June, are offered to perform LIVE on a popular Christmas Eve TV Special away from home, when they don’t want to miss the Christmas Eve church service at home with their family. It’s quite the quandary. In the end, there is a happy ending, but this movie is an okay, one-time watch for me. It’s another movie better suited for an older, mature audience. ~Net


Mistletoe Connection – November 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Connection. Just ran across this on PIXL network. It shows date of 2023 but had not remembered seeing mention of this. Was a pleasant surprise. Family Friendly and an enjoyable watch. Have enjoyed Jessica Sipos from Chesapeake Shores. Definitely worth a watch. ~JoCo

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Connection. Delightful movie with good acting all around and nice chemistry between the leads. And there’s more than one sweet romance; plus, some nice warm Christmas cozy feeling. On the other hand, this was one of those movies that tries to play on our emotions by pitting the poor, poor, pitiful and clueless, small-shop owner against the big bad mean and greedy business developer. I absolutely abhor those types of movies and the way Hollywood paints as bad any business that has more than ten employees and actually tries to make a profit for their business. (I imagine people will think - because I whine so much about this topic! – that I must work for some huge corporate conglomerate, but I don’t, I actually come from an entrepreneurial/small business background but I just don’t like Hallmark’s agendas.) However, I thought this movie did a better job with making it slightly more believable and less ridiculous than others. Of course, there is still a last-minute Christmas miracle that saves the shop – eye-roll! Just once, I’d like them to show all the shop owners gladly taking the big bucks and giving nice bonuses to their employees and opening up in their new location right down the street and living happily ever after in lovely harmony with the new sparkly development that is bringing revival and new economic booms to their dying small town. Oh well, at least the sappy miracle in this one was maybe slightly different from all the rest and the big bad business owner had a heart. The movie is quite sweet and I truly enjoyed it; it’s not a keeper but I would definitely watch next year and recommend to others. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Connection - no, no, no. I've stopped it around 20 minutes in. What are those writers thinking while writing these scripts? Another example of movie where secondary character, usually best friend of the main character, is pathologically nosy. She knows the main male character is trying to close their shop and she still thinks it's really good idea to help him to get closer to the main female character, her boss and friend? Why the story can't be organic like some other movies from Hallmark? Without sketchy, convenient interference of anyone around the main character? Why the main character never meddle in secondary characters lives, let them make their own life's decisions but the main character has to be manipulated into everything? Sorry for this but i am really disappointed. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ UPtv’s “Mistletoe Connection” is family-friendly and features wonderful chemistry between the two leads (Jessica Sipos as Kate and Markian Tarasiuk as Mark). I especially liked the clever ending, and means by which Kate was able to avoid the corporate buy-out and save her beloved boutique. ~MPT

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Connection is definitely 1 of my favorites for this year! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Mistletoe Connection -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? No -

Let's see...in the past few weeks we've had Mistletoe Connection, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Magic in Mistletoe, Mistletoe Match...is anyone else getting confused here??

Anyway, based on a couple of recommendations, I decided to give this one a try. Sorry, but I cannot recommend it. It has the tired plot of a small business trying to save her shop and, of course, is successful in the end. (It probably doesn't help that the previous day I watch one with a similar plot, Sound of Christmas from 2016, and that one is so much better!) Also, I was laughing at how the "big boss" had such a big and quick change of heart, it's like he became a totally different person! Way too unbelievable! And finally, some of the acting, especially by the main guy's friend/business associate, was creepy or bad, I'm not sure. Anyway, I'll be passing on this in the future. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Connection – This was such a delightful romantic comedy from PixL and UPtv! I really enjoyed the opening scene meet-cute with Kate Snow (played by Jessica Sipos) and her opposite, Mark Goodwin (played by Markian Tarasiuk). Mark’s a little down because he’s broken up with his girlfriend, but he admits they weren’t compatible because she didn’t love Christmas, and then he meets Kate, all dressed up in an adorable elf costume, and he’s immediately smitten by her obvious love of Christmas! The two have such sweet chemistry together all throughout the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this lighthearted, family-friendly Christmas film; the conclusion left me feeling truly good inside! ~Net


Yuletide the Knot - December 3, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Yuletide the Knot. I couldn’t make it very far with this movie. Too silly and sappy and unbelievable. The acting wasn’t all that inspired and I didn't really love the main character, Rachel. Maybe it all improved as it went along?? Don’t know. I just wasn’t in the mood to find out. UPtv and I are hit or miss (usually miss) -- I don’t think I’m their target audience. The little bit I saw was family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ We watched Yuletide the Knot. We felt the beginning was very confusing and the family dynamic a bit strange. The influencer lady talked way too fast. They could have made her a bit more understandable. And the fiancรฉ of the influencer was really a strange character. Doesn’t say a word throughout the movie and facial expressions like he should have been in bed asleep. That character’s story line could have been much better written. ~Anonymous


Christmas at an Amish Bakery - December 10, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Amish Bakery. I couldn’t make it all the way through. It was probably cute enough but I just wasn’t feeling it. Mediocre acting, especially the lead actor. Plus, having grown up with a small bit of personal experience with the Amish, I have a hard time watching inaccuracies in movies, not to mention the way Hollywood either idolizes them or pokes fun at them. I can’t say for sure if this movie was family friendly, but my guess is that it was. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Amish Bakery is incredible! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I started watching Christmas at the Amish Bakery and got almost half way through but the main actor just was not good, the girl was but he was so awkward in his acting, I couldn’t get into it. ~Paula

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Amish Bakery – This movie could’ve been cute and interesting, but it just didn’t work for me. I was really surprised at how easily Sarah was welcomed back into her loving Amish family. According to their rules, as Sarah explained, if you decide to leave before accepting the Amish church ways, then you’re able to come and go as you please, but if you accept the church ways and then turn your back on them, then you will be shunned. This seemed rather odd to me that any outsider would be welcomed back into their community, and even stranger, was how accepting her father was, even kindly telling her, at one point, to change from her Amish clothing to English clothing before going into town. The romance was also lackluster to me, although I did find the lead girl who played Sarah, Alexandra Harris, to be extremely likeable. Family-friendly, but not a keeper for me. ~Net


Dial S for Santa - December 17, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Dial S for Santa is a good movie. –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ UPtv’s “Dial S for Santa” is a family-friendly mystery about a series of burglaries and a not-too-complicated plot that children can enjoy. The romance between Lana, an insurance investigator (Sarah Dugdale) and Nick, a local police detective (Julian Haig) is sweet and fun to watch, despite Lana’s overzealous approach to discovering the perpetrator of the crimes. ~MPT


A Christmas Letter - December 24, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Letter was, okay-ish. Few swear words included. –Maria


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๐ŸŒŸLIFETIME:


Christmas Plus One - November 18, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Plus One is a personal favourite of mine. ~Florence

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Plus One was soooo nice!! –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Plus One was clean and very enjoyable. ~Grace

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Plus One. Thoroughly enjoyable! Sweet, feel-good story. Visually appealing with lots of warm, cozy ambiance and tasteful sets and Christmas decorations. Warm and loving family relationships. Real snow and you felt like it was actually cold in all the outdoor activity scenes – thank you, Canada! Lots of romantic chemistry between the leads, they’re cute together, and it was fun to watch him experience all of the Christmas traditions that she loves and shares with him (he has to write an article on fun things to do around NYC, so she shows him all her favorite activities). Well written, well directed and good acting all around. I was fully expecting this to be a Reel One dud with all the normal audio, budget, and acting issues, but this one surprised me and turned out to be quite excellent with none of those usual complaints. Well done! It’s a keeper, for now. Family friendly. ~~Jane


Planes, Trains, and Christmas Trees - November 19, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Planes Trains and Christmas Trees was very nice! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Planes, Trains, and Christmas Trees. I absolutely cannot remember many specifics, but I think I deleted this at about the halfway point. I do remember that it wasn’t quite as bad or silly as I thought it was going to be, so I’m surprised that I deleted it before finishing. It’s probably an okay movie. But perhaps it just became too much of a same old, same old, “second-string” Christmas movie with bad audio?? I do like the lead actor and sometimes the lead actress when she isn’t over-acting, so I don’t know, I guess I just got tired of the movie and decided to move on to something else. Or maybe it had the usual bad audio issues that a lot of Reel One movies have?? Dunno? Can’t remember. Family friendly, I think? ๐Ÿคท‍♀️ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Planes, Trains, and Christmas Trees – This is a nice family-friendly romantic-comedy from Lifetime. The beginning is a little odd, though, since Kayley (the female lead) is quickly convinced to travel with a complete stranger, Brett, a man she has never met. The two try to get on a plane, but their travel plans are delayed, then they attempt to get train tickets, but that, too, is cancelled, due to weather. Eventually, Brett invites Kayley to join him at his Uncle’s home, and they get roped into helping with the Christmas town festival. It seems they don’t try very hard to make it to NYC, even though she has a job there and his son is waiting there for him to spend Christmas. Overall, it was a pleasant watch, but somewhat forgettable amongst all of the other Christmas movies. ~Net


Christmas at the Chalet - November 25, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Chalet - i've already seen it and it was nice. Terri is playing her usual silly, over the place character she has played so many times before but it's enjoyable movie. ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Chalet. From the blurb, I was fully expecting this to be a tacky movie but it turned out to be rather nice. Of course, it had some awkward moments and the whole topic of split families and ex-spouses and their new, younger love interests wasn’t nice but, overall, I enjoyed this movie. I appreciate watching mature, experienced actors and Teri Hatcher and William DeVry made a cute couple. It was fun to watch Teri’s character of a woman in her fifties embrace social media with her grown son and attempt to re-invent herself for a possible second (third) career after having quit her high-profile tv reporter job some twenty years ago to become a stay-at-home mom (a role that she absolutely adored but now her son is grown and she’s an empty nester).

Not a whole lot of substance to this movie but fun fluff for the evening. And the “Aspen” (really Canada) ski slope setting was beautiful. The ski chalet was so warm and cozy with beautiful twinkling lights and Christmas trees – I want to go live there! However, beyond the Christmas trees and some holiday traditions, this movie really could have been just as good as a January/February “winter” movie. This one was family friendly because it was clean, other than divorce topic; and even though there is an adorable little girl in the movie, I doubt this is really a movie kids would like. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Chalet was quite fun. Even though I was mostly distracted while watching it. -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Chalet – I really enjoyed Teri Hatcher in this movie; her character, Lex, is truly fun, authentically real, and down-to-earth.

Lex (newly divorced) thinks she’ll spend Christmas with a new boyfriend, but then she receives flowers and a note from him saying that he’s going to try to get back together with his wife. So… feeling low and defeated, Lex accepts her son’s invite (with some trepidation) to come to a high-end ski resort with him, where her ex-husband and his new girlfriend will also be over Christmas.

Once Lex arrives at the resort, she learns that her reservation did not go through, so the only way she can stay is if she becomes the Chalet girl, which comes with a nicely decorated room. Lex dives into this role and thrives at helping clean rooms, set up parties, etc. – as she shares the self-deprecating experience on social media with her followers. Eric, the Chalet owner, is obviously taken by Lex and her willingness to help.

Although this movie is PG, based on the various relationships, this movie is probably best suited for an older audience. By the way, Actor Dan Payne was excellent as the jerky ex-husband. Altogether, this was an entertaining watch; it’s a keeper for me. ~Net


Laughing All the Way - November 26, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Laughing All the Way. This was an unusual little movie that didn’t scream warm, cozy Christmas to me. That doesn’t mean it was bad, it was just different – a little on the quirky, peculiar side, but still kind of cute. Jake Epstein was the lead actor and he was good, but I’ve liked him so much better in movies such as ‘Eight Gifts of Hanukkah’ and ‘Mistletoe and Menorahs’. The lead actress was also quite good in this one. But I think the story about a comedy club was just not my favorite. And none of it really hit my funny bone. There was lots of Canadian snow so it definitely had the winter vibe. And the romance was so lowkey it almost didn’t exist (but maybe lowkey is good sometimes, especially as I often get tired of them overdoing it with instalove in all the other movies?). I’d say this movie is okay for a watch, if you’ve exhausted all your other movie options; it would even be fine to watch in the winter since it’s not especially Christmassy. Family friendly, but I don't think it would appeal to kids. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Laughing all the Way is very delightful and filled with good humor (and a few alcoholic references)! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Laughing All the Way – Oh my, this movie was a struggle for me. I fully expected to enjoy it, since I pretty much love all of Jake Epstein’s previous Christmas movies, but this one just didn’t have that same charm. I assumed, based on the title, it would be really funny, but honestly, I don’t think I laughed once. The lead girl, Aubri, writes comedy for a comedienne, Bella Deldomino, who is rather rude, flamboyant, and obnoxious throughout the movie. The setting is gorgeous with all of the real snow and it’s mostly family-friendly minus some casual drinking. Not a keeper for me. ~Net


Ladies of the ‘80s: A Divas Christmas - December 2, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Despite the swearing and 1 of the divas admitting she kissed a girl in collage, Ladies of the 80's was so much fun! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Ladies of the ‘80s: A Divas Christmas. I deleted this one pretty early on. It just felt tacky and tawdry. Definitely not family friendly for young kids, especially with some of the stuff right from the beginning. The two young leads in this film probably would have been cute in a romance, but I just wasn’t in the mood for sticking around to find out. (p.s. – I cannot believe Donna Mills is 82 years old, she looks better than the rest of them!) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Ladies of the 80’s: A Diva’s Christmas – I recognized all of these legendary actresses from previous TV shows back in the day, so it was great to see them again, but sadly this movie has cringey dialogue, awful language, and some of the women are scantily dressed. Definitely NOT family-friendly. By the way, it’s Loni Anderson’s character who mentions kissing a girl in college. There is also talk about adultery and multiple marriages. I ended up turning it off. ~Net


Mistletoe Match - December 3, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Match was both hilarious and adorable. :) –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Mistletoe Match. A bit rough and awkward at first but it smoothed out to be cute. It’s basically the same predictable plot and movie we’ve seen before, it had odd moments, as well as nice ones. Widower with young teen daughter falls for woman who is undercover writing a story about the days-long Christmas-themed matchmaking event; then they have big conflict when he finds out she was there under false pretenses; then they work it out and live happily ever after. It was all a mixture of fun, clumsy, and sweet at the same time. Interesting little thing was that they showed a shot of the Christmas crossword puzzle that the daughter was working on and one of the crossword answers, in addition to ‘mistletoe’, ‘gingerbread’, etc., was ‘Jesus’ – I found that to be a bit noteworthy that somebody involved with this secular movie was “brave” enough to do that, and kudos to them. I had a weird dรฉjร  vu thing in the beginning and almost deleted because I thought I had already watched this movie -- the exact same newspaper boss lady actress was handing out almost identical assignments to another movie in my recent memory, which turned out to be “Christmas Casanova” (a better film than this one, in my opinion, and currently only showing for free on XumoPlay or other streaming services). So, overall, this one was a cute, lightweight, sort of “second-string” movie that’s fine for a one-time watch but don’t expect anything spectacular. Family friendly. ~~Jane


A Cowboy Christmas Romance - December 9, 2023

Yes, Chef! Christmas - December 10, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Yes, Chef! Christmas. Cute… until they ruined it and made it not family friendly. This was a nice, entertaining Christmas movie until the midway point when, during a fun Christmas game night, they introduced a “married” gay couple with a child as part of the main family. I watched the second half of the movie in fast-forward and there was nothing else said and nothing shown. That one little scene ruined an otherwise warm and cute Christmas movie about a chef in a competition (as well as her search for her birth parents). Not family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Yes, Chef! Christmas was a really good movie. And I loved Alicia's (Tia Mowry) pink and white shirt that she wears at one point in the movie! ~Grace

๐ŸŽ„ I'd like to update this. I noticed another review for this movie that said there was a man that mentioned his husband. It was a very small part and I did not notice it the first time I watch this. I decided to go back and look at that part, and she's correct. While the movie was otherwise enjoyable, I would not have promoted it as completely clean like I did. ~Grace


The Holiday Proposal Plan - December 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ The Holiday Proposal Plan. Not family friendly. I had a weird feeling about this one when I saw who the writer/director was, and also two of the actors in the cast who are gay. Then I stumbled upon a short clip from the movie where those two male actors are definitely a romantic couple in the movie. I have no idea if they have a recurring storyline in the movie, but I have no intention of watching and finding out. Evidently, not all "Nicely" movies are nice for families. ~~Jane


A Christmas Intern - December 16, 2023


Merry Magic Christmas - December 17, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ For those who are wary of it there is a touch of the supernatural about Merry Magic Christmas. Otherwise it's a just okay watch - a bit slow and not a great deal of chemistry between the two leads - Florence


Mom’s Christmas Boyfriend - December 23, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Mom's Christmas Boyfriend- probably clean. but that kid was too obnoxious for me to stick around. (And I wasn't really in the mood to watch this anyways). –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Review: Mom's Christmas Boyfriend -
Family-friendly? Yes -
Keeper? I can't believe I am saying this, but borderline Yes -

Before I started watching this, I thought for sure I was going to be writing a negative review. A not-very-interesting plot, with mostly unfamiliar actors, on LIfetime. But...

Recently I mentioned how lately there seemed to be a dearth of Christmas movies that have a cute well-behaved child in a prominent role. (Some years ago there seemed to be an abundance of them!) Well, here is one! Ai Barrett won me over in her role as an adopted child wishing for her mom to find a boyfriend this Christmas. She was great at being both serious and humorous, and I hope we see here in more films in the future. The other thing I enjoyed seeing was the caring that was shown throughout between the mother and daughter - both were really looking out for each other. I won't bother with the rest of the details - the plot and the rest of the acting won't win any prizes - but because of the mother-daughter relationship and the top-notch acting by Ai, I am giving this a slight yes. ~Mark 25

๐ŸŽ„ Mom’s Christmas Boyfriend. I was thinking of skipping this one but am glad I didn’t. Mark25’s review made me reconsider, and I’ll agree with him and even take his review one step further and say I liked almost everything about this movie, not just the sweet girl and her relationship with her mother. The actor who played Zach was really good, as well as the actors who played the two side-kicks. There was a naturalness and a believability to the various characters. The chemistry was good. The dialogue was good. The touch of humor was just right. Kudos to the actors, writer, director, set designer – they all did a good job (with the three main actors really shining). It's not going to win any awards, but it was an appealing little Christmas movie with some nice coziness and genuine warmth. It's a keeper, for now. It had a bit of the typical Reel One issues with loud background music that’s not quite as background as it should be, but it was easily overlooked because I was engaged in the story. Family friendly and would be cute to watch with kids simply because of the little girl. The only mild warning I would say is that the term “cuffing season” was lightly mentioned more than once by the perpetually-dating best friend character, and once would have been more than enough; the character even acknowledges that she probably shouldn’t have said it in front of a ten-year-old. I had never heard the phrase and had to ask an older niece what it meant. Basically, it means young people “dating” or looking to be attached for short-term “relationships” for only the cold winter months and then splitting up in the warmer months – whatever “dating” means to people nowadays?!? – it’s all rather tacky, shallow and meaningless! Most young people probably already know what it means but I think it would be easy to gloss over the phrase when mentioned in the movie, so long as children weren’t overly curious, and even then, you could maybe spin it to mean just new friends hanging out a lot during the winter?? ~~Jane


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๐ŸŒŸFOX:


The Christmas Break

๐ŸŽ„ The Christmas Break- Yeah, definitely intended for adults. Swearing, sex themes, slightly too much drinking. But despite all that, it was pretty funny and charming. -Maria


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๐ŸŒŸTCT:


Christmas at the Holly Hotel

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas at the Holly Hotel – This movie was a bit slow and the acting is, well, not the greatest. At times, it is somewhat cheesy, but the actors seemed like genuinely nice people; the story just didn’t pull me in. Overall, it is family-friendly. ~Net


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๐ŸŒŸTBS:


A Christmas Story Christmas (Broadcast Premiere)

๐ŸŽ„ A Christmas Story Christmas – So, this movie premiered last year on HBO Max and it’s available to order on DVD and stream, too. A week or so ago it has its broadcast premiere on TBS, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a watch. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve seen the original movie through the years. I mean, most everyone knows the story about Ralphie wanting the Red Ryder BB gun, and his folks say, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The original movie is truly iconic, and I sort of remember them trying to do a sequel before, but it wasn’t well-received.

Well, this sequel is hilarious!!! I loved seeing all of the nostalgia of the 70’s… the cars, clothes, toys, and even the home dรฉcor. Peter Billingsley’s portrayal of the adult Ralphie, who has a wife and children, was true perfection, right down to the same mannerisms and face tilts that he did as a child in the first movie. I was truly impressed by all of the familiar details.

In this movie, Ralphie Parker is an aspiring writer who returns with his family to his mother’s home for Christmas. At times it can be wacky and crazy (in a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kind of way), but every scene is entertaining and engaging. I was filled with all sorts of emotions while watching – between laughing out loud and happy tears.

Caution: There is some drinking in this movie and there are some neighborhood bullies who pick on Ralphie’s children, which of course, brings to mind the original movie when Ralphie also had to deal with a mean bully. There’s also a moment, when Ralphie’s son (around age 12) is flipping through an old catalog (probably Sears or JCPenneys) looking at toys, and then he quickly flips to the ladies undergarments section. Nothing obscene is shown, but of course, it’s suggestive. Thankfully, he just as quickly flips back to the toys when he’s afraid someone might notice.

In addition to Peter Billingsley (Ralphie), it was fun to see other actors from the original A Christmas Story return for this sequel, Ian Petrella (Ralphie’s brother, Randy), Scott Schwartz and R. D. Robb (Flick and Schwartz, Ralphie’s childhood friends), and Zack Ward (Scut Farkus, Ralphie’s childhood nemesis).

Both of Ralphie’s children in this movie, Mark (played by River Drosche) and Julie (played by Julianna Layne) are phenomenal!!! I was truly blown away by how good they are; their dramatic looks, pauses, and reactions were spot on. When Ralphie has to tell Julie that they HAVE to have a star on top of the tree for Santa to come at Grandma’s home in Indiana, Julie’s look of analyzing whether or not she believes him is adorable. I think many of us have seen that doubtful look in a child’s eyes before, but it was sweet to see her relent to her father and trust in his word that Santa would still come, even if they didn’t have an Angel tree topper.

Of course, there is a lot of comedy in this movie as Ralphie attempts to create the perfect Christmas for his family and some silly fantasy scenes, but there are also plenty of heartwarming moments, too, and sentimental nods back to the original film, that may leave you yearning and reminiscing your own childhood Christmas memories. ~Net

๐ŸŽ„ Hey Net, Based on your review, I decided to give A Christmas Story Christmas a try. I’ve seen the original, but this movie even tops that. I grew up in the 1970s, so all the throwback toys and memorabilia caught my kid-like heart. And the cars. Oh man. That neighborhood looked just like mine growing up. It’s been a long while since a movie made me truly feel something and laugh like Christmas Vacation and this did just that. This movie is now in my yearly must watch list. Many thanks for your review, I would’ve missed this gem if not for you. ~Rob


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๐ŸŒŸSTREAMING MOVIES:


๐ŸŒŸHALLMARK MOVIES NOW:


Rescuing Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Rescuing Christmas is clean, and so, much, fun!!! Seriously, what was Hallmark thinking shunting this delightful flick to it's streaming service?! I hope they decide to air it like they've done in years past. Everyone deserves to see this! –Maria


An Ice Palace Romance

๐ŸŽ„ Just letting you all know, that the HMN streaming movie ,Ice Palace Romance is not family friendly. Within the first ten minutes, an over the top gay coworker discussing his fabulous first date with another man. I couldn't get past that scene and quit watching. Very disappointing as I was looking forward to watching it. Sad but not surprised anymore! ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ An Ice Palace Romance - did not like the main actress. She looked very self absorbed throughout the movie and it was distracting. I usually like movies with Marcus but this one i am definitely deleting. ~Anonymous


๐ŸŒŸTBN+:

๐ŸŽ„ Bringing Back Christmas – I streamed this movie through the TBN+ app at Christmastime. It’s obvious that the main actors in this movie have a desire to share the love of Jesus, but some of the comedy was too much for me.

The intro is kind of silly and drawn-out, when a man, Daniel, is called into his boss’ office. (By the way, the boss is played by Dean Cain, who is only in this scene.) From there, Daniel is let go from his job. A mail courier/angel named Cal, played by Leigh Allyn Baker, also follows Daniel into the office, intrudes into their conversation, and advocates for more severance pay.

When Daniel is feeling depressed later at home, Cal (the angel) visits him again and takes him back in time to the arrival of the birth of Jesus – so he can see the difficulties Mary and Joseph endured. There are some beautiful scenes and moments leading up to Jesus’ birth, but there are also, in my opinion, many silly jokes and poor attempts at comedy: for example, Mary and Joseph’s parents argue over who gets to name their firstborn, Mary and Joseph disagree over a new area rug for their home, Joseph struggles to help Mary (when she is expecting) down from the donkey, one of the innkeepers asks if they have a reservation, and other illogical happenings and modern dialogue that did not take place in the Bible.

There’s also a scene near the end that shows a frustrated and humiliated Joseph leaving Mary alone for a short time in the stable, just before Jesus’ birth, as he sulks over the fact that they have to stay in poor conditions. I thought this made Joseph look like a weak man, when in truth he was a strong and incredibly giving man, who endured much to become Mary’s husband and Jesus’ earthly father.

The basic movie concept is to show us the troubles Mary and Joseph endured during the arrival of Jesus, so we would know how God understands our problems today. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this movie due to the silly comedy and Biblical inaccuracies. ~Net


๐ŸŒŸDISNEY+:

The Naughty Nine

๐ŸŽ„ I have read that "The Naughty Nine" is NOT family friendly on Matt Walsh's website. It contains young boys talking about how other boys are 'hot' and other things of that nature. I will not be watching this one, and thought you should know. Merry Christmas and may God Bless. ~JoAnne McMaster

๐ŸŽ„ When Andy finds out he's on Santa's "naughty list," he pulls together a group of nine "naughty list" kids to steal the presents they think they deserve from the North Pole. So. If you don’t like movies where the kids are all obnoxious geniuses & all the adults are inept buffoons, you might want to give this a miss. If you can stomach these (or you have no choice because a few years ago you decided making a Facebook page to review Christmas movies was a good idea๐Ÿซฃ) then strap yourself in.

It’s actually quite clever how they have made nine children all obnoxiously uppity in their own ways. That took some thought! But to remove all doubt, that doesn’t make this movie at all endearing or enjoyable. The script is painfully juvenile. The characters beyond unlikeable. The story, stupid beyond belief. The ending - a complete confusion, which was also abrupt and nonsensical leaving us wondering why we sat through this torture only for such unresolved nothingness. All portrayed by a bunch of kids some of which couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag. It’s like they auditioned for 9 roles and only 4 kids turned up. And then they had to beg their second cousins to fill the other roles.

And let’s not overlook the gaping plot hole where kids of this age would still believe in the big red guy. (And while we’re on that subject, what maniac at Disney thought Danny Glover playing Santa was a good idea? Danny, is your career such that you needed to resort to this movie???

In our minds, it will be tough to find a worse movie this season. We can think of two, but it’s a close race.

We couldn’t stomach giving this so much as a single pine needle out of 10. So we give it minus two. ❌❌ ~Anonymous


๐ŸŒŸROKU CHANNEL:


How to Fall In Love By the Holidays

๐ŸŽ„ How to Fall In Love By the Holidays is a clean and very, very delightful romp! -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I watched a cute movie, last night, on Roku. It was "How to Fall in Love by the Holidays". My husband and I really enjoyed it. It was clean and a lot of fun. Teri Hatcher and Dan Payne were the leads and they had warm, natural chemistry. It was nice seeing older leads fall in love. :-) They had a really interesting meet-cute. I laughed out loud. ~Joan

๐ŸŽ„ How to Fall in Love by Christmas. Cute movie with more mature leads, which I appreciated. Teri and Dan were great and believable (the meet-cute was fun). The premise about the 10-step dating article and the company board not being happy was a bit convoluted and confusing to me but it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the movie. This was a nice little standard Christmas movie with some warm “feels” good for a one-time watch (and possibly a re-watch in the future?). Not as good as Teri’s “A Kiss Before Christmas” from two years ago. Family friendly. ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ How to Fall in Love by the Holidays – (Streamed free through the Roku Channel) This Christmas movie, starring Teri Hatcher and Dan Payne, was such a delightful watch. I enjoyed the comedy (such a fun meet-cute!) and heartwarming moments, too. It is such an easy-going, enjoyable movie that will surely leave you with a smile on your face. ~Net


๐ŸŒŸXUMO PLAY:


Coupled Up For Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ We watched Coupled Up For Christmas last night and enjoyed it, the picture quality was excellent - one of Marcus Rosner's better outings - Florence

๐ŸŽ„ Coupled Up for Christmas. Entertaining and funny. Sara Canning and Marcus Rosner were great as the lead couple, they had good chemistry and were fun to watch. This was a fairly typical “fake dating” movie with a lot of silly bits (especially the much too over-the-top character of the mother who is planning the requisite town “snow ball gala”!), but it was still a lot of fun and a sweet little Christmas movie good for at least a one-time watch, and maybe even a second time in the future. Family friendly. (This was previously showing on XumoPlay but they took it off, so I watched it on the Roku channel. Might also be available on Amazon streaming?) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Coupled Up for Christmas – (watched through Xumo Play) This is such a fun movie with the typical fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope. Peter Brooks (Marcus Rosner) and Tiffany Williams (Sara Canning) are great together and such a delight to watch, especially when they get tripped up trying to prove they are actually involved. Caution: there is some lying in the movie as the two are trying to pull of their fake dating; otherwise, the movie is completely cute and family-friendly. Both Marcus and Sara play off each other well, and it was obvious the two were having lots of fun while filming this movie. For me, it’s a keeper! ~Net

The Fabric of Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's The Fabric of Christmas is clean and very sweet. (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ The Fabric of Christmas - This was a surprise - a low budget movie about a fireman and a quilting teacher joining up to make a Christmas quilt for the fireman's sister's wedding. Sounded like a sure-fire recipe for 90 minutes of boredom! But hey, the two leads Kyana Teresa (Amy) and Harmon Walsh (Liam) both previously unknown to me were perfect together with great chemistry. It was engaging to se Liam try to keep on top of his burgeoning feelings. It started off nicely with friction between Amy and Liam as he had to fail Amy's premises in a fire inspection and there was a side plot of the business threatened with going under. The movie was full of warmth and humour and the mechanics surrounding the production of the quilt turned out to be fascinating. A little bit different and an unexpected delight - Florence Rating 8.5

๐ŸŽ„ The Fabric of Christmas. Completely agree with Florence - this was a thoroughly enjoyable movie! I was expecting a low-budget movie with typical audio issues and subpar acting, but this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The acting, writing and directing were well done. (I looked up the director and it turns out he’s been the director on a lot of the bigger-name Hallmark/GAF movies.) The actors were new to me but I thought they were all good, including side characters. The lead actress, Ferelith Young, was excellent; she was so natural and believable and sincere and warm - I never felt like I was watching someone act. And the lead actor, Harmon Walsh, is a cutie patootie, reminiscent of Kevin McGarry; the chemistry between the two leads felt realistic. This whole production felt a bit more polished and mature than a lot of the “first-string” movies out there this year (and I appreciated that there was no ridiculous and overblown conflict or big misunderstanding between the couple). The sweet relationship between the brother and sister was a nice bonus. This one would be a keeper if I had it on my dvr but right now it’s only available via streaming (previously it had been showing on XumoPlay but they took it off and as of January 2nd it’s now playing on the Roku channel – catch this cute movie while you can! Maybe also available on Amazon streaming?). Family friendly. ~~Jane


The 12 Dares of Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's The 12 Dares of Christmas is clean (aside from a small rainbow flag on a cash register), and a whole lot of fun. (streaming on Xumo) -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ 12 Dares of Christmas. Double meh, for me. Cringey, low-budget, b-list mess. I couldn’t make it all the way through. The movie was a weird mish mash of storylines. The part that was “12 Dares” could have been cute had it been better planned out with a better script and better actors and “dares” that were all wholesome (as most of them were). Unfortunately, the first dare was the tacky “go to bar and give your phone number to 12 strangers” – yuck! The actress who plays the sister is better than the lead actress, but they both acted silly, especially with lines like “Yay! Hot girl winter!” – cringe! And the lead actor is just not my version of swoony – more like an effeminate nerd. I kept watching for a while and just when I’d think there was some cute banter or positive elements, they’d go and ruin it with more silly scenes and subpar acting. This thing was a train wreck. It was a Reel One movie so, of course, it had the obligatory annoying and odd background music that plays too loudly through scenes where people are talking. And I don’t think it was even Christmas music (unless it was some weird version of Jingle Bells), it sounded more like oompa-loompa polka music or game show music that’s been slowed way down. What was that?!! So, I probably only made it a third of the way through. What I saw was family friendly and I’m guessing a teenage crowd might like this movie better than I did (but caution, the pharmaceutical commercials were not wholesome and there was no way to skip through them). Also, the director is an actress/director/producer who has been a part of several homosexual projects and whose bio paints her as a “queer Muslim Middle Eastern-Canadian” who is “very passionate about joyful representations of minority groups”  so who knows what might be included in the rest of this movie?? (I watched this on the XumoPlay app, free on Roku.) ~~Jane


Unforgettable Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's Unforgettable Christmas is a very lovely and clean movie! (streaming on Xumo Play). -Maria


A Vineyard Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's A Vineyard Christmas is clean and very sweet! (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Vineyard Christmas – I only made it about 20 minutes into this movie and from there I was done. Nothing bad happened in that time; the story just didn’t interest me at all. I watched the trailer, instead, but even those two minutes were somewhat boring. ~Net


Christmas by Candlelight

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's Christmas by Candlelight is clean and very sweet! (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Candlelight is available on steaming platforms: Pluto TV, Peacock, Apple TV, Paramount+

Christmas by Candlelight is family friendly about Wellness expert Juliet pitches selling Christmas memory candles to her boss hopes of earning a promotio, & enlists the help of boutique candle store owner Tom Turner to create new candle scents. He refuses ho thinks the wellness industry is a scam, refuses at first but agrees when he realizes the money will help make his Daughter named Olive Turner’s Christmas wish come true. Can Juliet and Tom work together to impress the boss or will their differing views result in disaster. Grandma Ruth Turner is Tom Turner’s Mother who babysits when Tom goes after Juliet who with her assistant named Lucy. Lucy leaves those 2 alone: Tom & Juliet. Tom & Juliet are in front of Christmas tree ๐ŸŒฒ (streaming on Pluto TV) ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas by Candlelight – This is a lighthearted, sweet, family-friendly movie. Juliet has to create a unique, highly sought after product just before Christmas, and is struggling to figure something out until she meets Tom, who is a candle maker and single father. The two work together on making memory scented candles, which is a nice idea, but I wasn’t sure this product idea would be all the rage, as Juliet’s boss had hoped. It’s a fairly standard Christmas rom-com, and Tom and Juliet have good chemistry. For me, it was an okay one-time watch. ~Net


Take a Chance at Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Reel One's Take a Chance at Christmas is clean and good for a 1 time watch (streaming on Xumo). –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ I stopped watching 'Take a Chance at Christmas' in the beginning because the 'friend' of the lead actress alluded to being in a relationship with another guy that was in the same scene. It happened around the 2:48 mark. ~Anonymous


Christmas in Scotland

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Scotland. Cute movie. (Watched on Xumo Play app, free on Roku but you just have to endure commercials.) I’ll give pretty much any movie based in Scotland a watch and I loved that this one was filmed locally and we could see authentic scenery and set locations instead of it being somewhere in Canada. The script and the premise are rather lacking and the movie had some typical “eye roll” moments but it also had its share of sweet and warm moments (the hot chocolate game was a cute and unique twist on a Christmas-movie staple) and I appreciated hearing some genuine UK accents instead of Americans faking it. The lead actor was kind of different than the usual leading man but I thought he felt pretty genuine in his role. The lead actress was okay but I didn’t really think she was a perfect fit for a warm fuzzy Christmas role (she has the look of Autumn Reeser but her mannerisms and tone of voice comes off as much less lighthearted than Autumn, in my opinion). I could better see her in a role that is more serious or serious with a side of quirky or light sarcasm; maybe in a mystery movie as the serious detective or the coroner along with a male lead who can provide the touch of lightness and humor and also just a hint of romance. And the two leads didn’t have the greatest of romantic chemistry, it was okay but could have been better with different casting. (Also, I was not crazy that she had a loser boyfriend throughout the movie so it felt weird for her to be falling for another guy, even though the boyfriend was an ocean away.) One cringeworthy element to the movie was the actor that played her father - he was way over-acting to the point of being ridiculous (I’ve seen him in other roles years ago and he wasn’t nearly as horrible as this one; I was actually wondering if he’s had a stroke or something that affected the way he acts?). I’m not a huge fan of Reel One movies, I feel they tend to be a bit low-budget and the sound is usually rather bad, but I’m happy to say this one was good and fun for a one-time watch, for me. Family friendly (except there is a weird, awkward scene at the beginning of the movie where the loser boyfriend briefly says he’s rented them a suite at The Plaza hotel so they could spend Christmas there, implying they’d be sharing the room???). ~~Jane


A Very English Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ A Very English Christmas. Ugh. No. Couldn’t make it all the way through. This movie had almost everything I dislike about Reel One movies. Frustratingly horrible (!*@!*#!) sound issues – either too soft and muffled or too loud (Reel One needs to fire all their sound people!). Ridiculous story premise (but that could be said about many Hallmark/GAF/UpTv movies, as well). Loud music that, annoyingly, overpowers every scene (seriously, need new sound people). Lack of attention to detail – one minute it’s sunny and the next minute after walking one block away it’s pitch-black nighttime. Editing and filming need some help. Horrible acting, mainly by the lead actress. The whole thing just feels like it was written, directed and produced by a tweenager on an adolescent’s budget. The movie did have some nice Christmassy decorations at the craft market and most of the other actors were okay-ish. I think if they got a new lead actress and a new director, had an adult re-write and tighten up the script, and got rid of the technical issues, it could have been a cute low-budget film good for a one-time watch. Who knows? Maybe it got better in the second half? The part I saw was clean, except the sister getting married is already pregnant (so, oops). (I watched this on the Xumo Play app, free on Roku.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ A Very English Christmas (streaming on Xumo) Dear, oh dear. oh dear. 90 minutes of utter boredom, slower than slow-pace, little happening , poor and stilted dialogue. Originally called Christmas in the Cotswolds (a hilly country region in England). Perhaps a Christmas market in a small settlement could be successful at the weekends with tourists etc but in cold and frosty weather it opened early in the morning - utter nonsense. Little chemistry between the leads and the female lead's half-sister whose wedding she has come to organise is already pregnant so not family friendly. I can only offer one piece of advice - if you get the chance to watch this - DON'T. - Florence's rating 2


Christmas Casanova

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Casanova. Very cute movie with some warm fuzzies and a sweet romance. Filmed in Canada but I still got the intended NYC Christmas vibe with sparkly sights and fun NY holiday winter activities. I almost skipped this movie because of the cheesy title but it turns out it was nothing more than the title of a podcast. I usually complain about Reel One movies but this one was fairly well done and only had very minimal sound and other issues (just don’t ever watch the ROE movie trailers since they always give away the entire movie, including the ending). The actors were new to me, but quite good all around. I would definitely watch this again next year. Family friendly. (Watched on Xumo Play app, free on Roku but you just have to endure random, but brief, commercials; I couldn’t figure out how to skip the commercials but could definitely mute them; and, so far, if I remember correctly (?), the commercials were all okay for family viewing.) ~~Jane

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Casanova (streaming on Xumo) I seem to be out on a limb with this one - a disappointing 5.9 on IMDb but this one of my favourites so far this Christmas (not that I've watched a lot yet). Kalinka Petrie (Elise) and Fuad Ahmed (Daniyal) were just brilliant together, they acted well above their grade and the banter was superb. I was surprised that Fuad was of Pakistani origin - he was obviously not Caucasion but he was light-skinned and had an English accent. Daniyal's best friend from childhood Tanya has just become engaged and he suddenly believes he actually loves her. Passing himself as Kris Kringle (ha-ha)! he contacts the podcast Elise is co-hosting to solicit advice but things get heated..........and it goes viral. Then Elise's boss insists she follows up on the phone call. At first Daniyal is resistant but thanks to Tanya (the best friend) seduced by the offer of a luxury apartment for her family for the holidays he agrees to participate and he and Elise work out a plan to show the family the best of New York at Christmas and place Daniyal in a new and good light. Take it from there - we've seen it before snowshoe walking in Central Park, a carriage ride, Christmas window-shopping but the freshness, originality, and camaraderie between Tanya's family, boyfriend, Elise and Daniyal make this a hit for me. There are also a couple of interesting side plots - Daniyal pitching for an account in his business and eventually his rediscovering Christmas winning this for him plus he reconnects with his family. One of the best features for me was that you could see the growing love between Elise and Daniel as the movie progressed and the bewildered look on Daniyal's face at times as he wonders what is happening to him! Everything just seemed to come together - it's been a while since I punched the air at the final kiss and shouted -YES!! Absolutely loved this. Florence's rating - a whopping 9

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas Casanova – (streamed through Xumo Play) This movie was a little hard for me to get into in the beginning, but it ended up being a rather sweet standard romantic comedy. The main girl, Elise, and guy, Daniyal, are working/scheming together to get him together with his childhood friend, Tanya, who is now dating someone else. In the meantime, of course, Elise and Daniyal start falling for each other. Their chemistry together was undeniably strong and Elise was very sweet in the way she talked about her late mother and how she still connects to her with baking, etc. during the holidays. I’m sure this part of the story will touch many hearts, as it did mine. ~Net


Waking Up to Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Waking Up to Christmas (aka Just Like a Christmas Movie). Not family friendly. This was a weirdly entertaining and funny low-budget movie that was a spoof of typical cheesy, sappy, Christmas movies. Emily is a cynical workaholic who does not like Christmas; she falls and hits her head and is transported (with a little help from a creepy Santa) smack dab into being the leading lady in a pretend Christmas movie world; she then must find her Christmas cheer and help save the town’s Christmas Fair and fall in love in order to get back to her real life. The actor that played the leading man was one of the policemen in the Aurora Teagarden movies; his acting seemed a bit flat but sometimes I think it was intended as part of the crazy parody. There were some really funny lines and characters in this movie and it would have qualified as a one-time fun & silly watch for me but, alas, it was ruined. About two-thirds through, the best-friend character falls into a lesbian romance, so that’s when I stopped watching. (This was a Reel One movie that I watched streaming on the XumoPlay app on Roku.) ~~Jane


๐ŸŒŸHulu:


Reporting for Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's Reporting for Christmas is a clean, delightful ride! (streaming on Hulu). –Maria


๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's A Christmas Frequency is clean and very delightful! (streaming on Hulu). -Maria


๐ŸŒŸFreevee:


A Perfect Christmas Pairing

๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's A Perfect Christmas Pairing is clean, yummy, delightful, and all around amazing! (streaming on Freevee). –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ A Perfect Christmas Pairing – (streaming through Freevee) I found myself trying very hard to stay interested in this movie and characters, as I thought it was rather slow, at times. Grace Cooke (portrayed by Ansley Gordon) just so happens to be a chef and her main goal in life is to earn a Michelin Star. She shares this wish over and over throughout the movie. Her opposite, Asher St. James, is a writer, who travels all over the world. Asher just-so-happens to be Grace’s best-friend’s (Felicity) brother, but somehow Grace has never met or seen him. That seemed very odd to me, since he’s a well-known author, too.

Anyway, after receiving a bad review from a food critic, Grace decides to take some time off and visit her Aunt and Uncle just before Christmas at their vineyard, where Felicity works. Asher is also there visiting his sister. Grace and Asher seem to instantly connect, even before they spend much time together, but both are leaving before Christmas. Maybe.

The story is fairly straightforward, with not many surprises, and even though the movie is set at Christmastime, it just doesn’t feel very Christmassy. There is some casual drinking of wine throughout the movie; otherwise, it is family-friendly. ~Net


The Christmas Venue

๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's The Christmas Venue is also clean, and quite fun! (streaming on Freevee) -Maria


A Christmas Vintage

๐ŸŽ„ If you like 'The Taming of the Shrew', then Nicely's A Christmas Vintage is for you! (streaming on Freevee). Clean, Hilarious, Heatfelt, and good wine. –Maria


The Christmas Checklist

๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's The Christmas Checklist (streaming on Freevee) is so heartwarming and inspiring, which is why it pains me to say it's not a clean movie. There's 1 swear word that I know of, and near the end of the movie, there's a gay brother. Sorry to anyone who might have wanted to see it. -Maria

๐ŸŒŸFox Nation / Amazon Prime:


Christmas with the Knightlys

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas with the Knightlys. What a cute little movie! Sweet, romantic, funny. Most all of the actors were new to me and they all did a good job. Family friendly. Glad I own the dvd so I can watch this again sometime. (I bought the dvd thru Net’s arrangement with Amazon but the movie is also scheduled to start streaming on FoxNation beginning on Thanksgiving and I think they offer a 7-day free trial.) ~~Jane

*Thank you, Jane, for purchasing this DVD through my site! I'm so glad you enjoyed this movie in the collection set. If anyone else is interested, here's the DVD link at Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Z9o0Ee.
Blessings, Net

Christmas in Big Sky Country

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas in Big Sky Country. I rather enjoyed this predictable little movie. It was comfortable and satisfying, even though sometimes hokey. There wasn’t a huge amount of romantic chemistry but I thought all the actors did a decent job (in fact I kind of think it might be the best movie the two leads have each done?). It was the same old, same old plotline, and it’s not going to win any awards and I’m not even sure it was all that Christmassy, but there was just enough drama and uniqueness and family sweetness to make it stand out a little bit and be worth watching in a sea of Christmas-movie sameness. Loved the yarn shop; and the family patriarch, who is a sheep farmer, and has lots of silly Dad puns. Family friendly. {I watched this as part of a 3-movie dvd collection that I bought through Net’s affiliation with Amazon. All three movies are good so it was worth the purchase. “Christmas in Maple Hills”, “Christmas with the Knightleys” and this one. This is also available on FoxNation with subscription or 7-day free trial, and maybe also on Amazon?} ~~Jane


Christmas with the Foxes

๐ŸŽ„ Christmas with the Foxes. Mixed opinion on this one. I think they were going for quirky and funny and they partly achieved it, but they also achieved some weird and awkward along the way. Parts of the movie were rather sweet; parts were silly and tacky. One minute it was cute and funny, one minute it was just a bit odd. At times it felt, perhaps, like it maybe wanted to be a faith-based or faith-included movie (i.e., the nice blessing said before meals and the religious carols that were sung and the forgiveness lessons); and yet at other times it felt somewhat tarnished (see below). Some of the acting was decent, some of it was mediocre. The lead actress was quite good. Likewise with the actor who played the high school boyfriend with whom she reunites. (There are actually two ex-boyfriends in this movie, one of them is a complete jerk through most of the movie.) I also liked the actor that played the brother character. My conclusion is that I’m confused and not sure exactly what I think. Hah! I’m not certain, but I think I’m going to lay the negative aspects of this movie with the writer, who seemed to be trying too hard to be quirky or original or something??? I suppose, overall, it was a fun and lightweight movie with some funny lines and some sweet family moments, but there were also a few things that were distasteful to me. For one, the loser ex-boyfriend, who dumped her a month ago and who is at the family party because their families are old friends, tells lies to their families and then she’s stuck going along with him and pretending for the day that they’re still a couple. He says, “Just one little white lie for one day; and besides, I already told everyone that we’re probably going to be moving in together”. He’s really a loser!! The second thing that bothered me a whole lot is when the grandmother, the matriarch of the family, mutters softly under her breath “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”. She was saying it as an exclamation, not in prayer or reverence, so I found it objectionable. There are some funny things in the movie that kids might enjoy, but because of the previous two things as well as some alcohol drinking, I would caution watching this with children of impressionable age. (I watched this on FoxNation with my subscription.) ~~Jane


๐ŸŒŸTubi:


Colorado Christmas

๐ŸŽ„ I watched Colorado Christmas on streaming service

Colorado Christmas is family friendly a single mom named Melody decides to follow her dreams when she meets a charming country music singer named Johnny Colorado who becomes her inspiration, and more

Struggling single mother, Melody Miller, has left her dream job as a music teacher to work in home health care in order to provide for her young daughter. When one of her clients falls ill, his family rush home, and to Melody’s surprise his son turns out to be none other than country music superstar, Johnny Colorado. As the unlikely pair grow closer, it looks like it could be the start of the perfect Christmas romance, until an old flame of John’s arrives at the family ranch, threatening their relationship before it’s even begun ~Anonymous

๐ŸŽ„ Colorado Christmas is clean and fairly decent (streaming on Tubi) ~Maria


Saving Christmas Spirit

๐ŸŽ„ Nicely's Saving Christmas Spirit is clean (aside from 1 swear word), refreshing, magical, and stunning! (streaming on Tubi). –Maria

๐ŸŽ„ Saving Christmas Spirit. I watched this because it was filmed in Scotland and the lead actor was the same as in Lacey’s Scottish movie. The setting was stunning and a lot of the indoor sets were cozy but Lacey’s movie was, of course(!), a better production. I thought most of the Scots actors were good in this one but Ashley Newbrough, though beautiful, was a tad bit stiff or silly or something. Plus, the one thing I don’t love – in my love affair with Scotland – is the obsession with faeries and ghosts and such, and this movie was full of that. I don’t mind an occasional tall tale being woven but this movie had too much of it. And because Ashley was an archaeologist there was a lot about searching for ancient druid relics and shrines to goddesses – those are not really things I’m interested in. Also, naturally, because we’re in Scotland, there was a lot about whiskey and saving the family distillery; and in fact, their current whiskey blend is called “Christmas Spirit” so thus the movie’s title. I’d say this was okay for a one-time watch, but mainly for the incredible views, cozy sets and the lovely Scottish accents. There was also a cute subplot with a young, teen romance (probably better than the main romance!). Was it family friendly? Eh? Not entirely. Ashley’s boss back in the U.S. (who is not a huge part of the movie) seems to probably be gay and there is a point in the beginning of the movie where he recommends a place in Scotland for Ashley to stay and then I THINK he mumbles something about having his anniversary with “Steve” at the same bed and breakfast but it was not very clear and could easily be glossed over or fast forwarded through. But there’s also the focus on magical faeries and ghosts, as well as all the whiskey to consider. (This movie was made in 2022 but is currently available streaming on Roku and XumoPlay.) ~~Jane


A Christmas Vintage

๐ŸŽ„ I watched A Christmas Vintage on streaming service Tubi or Prime

A Christmas Vintage is family friendly about Samantha Hermannhof goes home to help her love struck Sister, Emily, during the holidays. She discovers that Emily & Tony can not be together unless Samantha attracts & dates the unpleasant Parker Williams, an owner of a competing winery. Tony and Emily are in love, but they've had to keep their relationship a secret because they are heirs to rival wineries. If Tony's half-brother/co-owner Parker discovers Tony's relationship, he has grounds to take over Tony's share of the winery due to a contract they have promising that neither of them will "jeopardize the company." Emily begs her older sister Samantha, a flight attendant visiting from out of town, to woo Parker in the hopes that he will be convinced that falling in love with a rival isn't the end of the world. Meanwhile, Samantha grapples with her own relationship with her dad and the family business, while rekindling her love for making wine just in time for the annual Christmas Blend competition. As Parker gets to know Samantha & her keen taste for wine, he begins to develop true feelings & lose some of his more unpleasant up-tight qualities. But will the reveal of Samantha's true identity ruin their budding relationship? Or can he see past the deception in the name of true love? Based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. ~Anonymous


๐ŸŒŸAmazon Prime:


Elf Me


๐ŸŽ„ I watched this Elf Me on streaming service on Prime. It’s Italian Christmas movie was release on Prime last November 24, 2023. Elf Me is so typical movie is like Small Soldiers. Trip is an unconventional elf. As Santa's helper, he seems to succeed only in building bizarre weapons rather than toys. Fate will lead him to meet Elia, a shy and unconventional boy pursued by a gang of bullies. The two will help each other and together discover the value of friendship Trip whose portrayal as an unconventional elf that builds weapons instead of toys adds a humorous note to the film. Things take an unexpected turn in his life after he befriends a shy, bullied boy Elia. Together they embark on an adventurous journey to save Christmas from a haughty, merciless businessman. ~Anonymous


๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„



Stay tuned...

I will be updating this post above, from time to time, as reviews from our *It's a Wonderful Movie" family & friends come in!

Thank you once again to EVERYONE above who has contributed, so far, into making this movie review post a success.

HOW TO SHARE A REVIEW:

If YOU want to share an opinion/review on any movie premiering this year, simply leave a response in comments anywhere on this site. I'll be sure to share your review in this post above with others. If possible, please don't include spoilers, or just give a spoilers warning if you need to. Also, if you want to give an Anonymous review, that is fine, but it's also nice if you give us your initials, a nickname, etc... It goes without saying, but please, also be kind and thoughtful in your reviews. It's possible one of the actors or actresses involved may see your comment.

Again, THANK YOU ALL! I truly look forward to hearing Your Take on the upcoming 2023 Christmas movies!

God Bless Us, Everyone!
Net

125 comments:

  1. I love this big post! Hoping to see lots of good reviews over the next 2 months (well, namely for GAF movies!)! -Maria

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    1. Maria, I'm so glad you enjoy it!

      I, too, look forward to this post every year now and hearing everyone's thoughts on the new movies throughout the Christmas season.

      Thank you for being such a valued movie reviewer here!

      Blessings to you! Net

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    2. You're very welcome! -Maria

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  2. Thank you for all you do NET.

    We appreciate you!

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    1. Awww, thank you! I'm so grateful for you and all of you who visit here!

      Blessings! Net

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  3. I really enjoy Christmas movies!

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  4. Net,

    I know I have said this before but I will say it again because new people keep finding their way to your blog... I know each one of us are so incredibly thankful that you started this blog. I have been coming here for years and I never had to worry about ugliness, or nonsense or hidden agendas. I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts about God and faith without hesitation. So many like-minded folks have found this safe place which is wonderful.

    I always smile whenever I read your responses to my posts as well as your responses to others. I also smile when I read comments from other friends on this site who take the time to comment on things I post. Anyway, I hope you continue hosting this lovely blog for many years to come. Net, you are a blessing to us all and I am so glad I found this place. It has brought me joy, peace and friendships with you and others I have not had the pleasure to meet. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart! :-)

    Joan

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    1. Joan, Oh my... thank you soooo much!!! I can't begin to tell you how meaningful your comment is to me today. It has certainly brought a bright smile to my face and blessed me more than you'll ever know!!! :)

      At the end of each year, I pray about it and decide whether or not I will continue to keep this blog. Comments like yours are truly the reason why I continue - and the wonderful friends I've met here. I'm so encouraged and uplifted today by your thoughtful words!

      Thank you for taking the time to share! I'm so grateful YOU found It's a Wonderful Movie and are a special part of this family!!!

      Hugs to You, my dear Friend!!!
      Blessings on your day!!! Net :)

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    2. Net,

      You are welcome! I am so happy to hear my comment uplifted and encouraged you. :-) Thank you so much for your sweet words. Once again, they brought a smile to my face. Blessings to you as well.

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    3. Amen to everything you said Joan! It is so nice to be able to come to a safe place where we can share our belief in God (and not be attacked) and also share our love for these movies. I grew up with my mom watching Hallmark and now as a mom myself I have grown to love it as well as discovering UpTv and GAF Channel. I always share this blog with her and we love discussing the movies together. I hope you continue this blog Net, it kind of feels like we are all in a book club of sorts together.
      Have a blessed day everyone!
      ~Paula

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    4. I don't comment much, but I too have been following Net's posts for years and consider it a ministry to those of us who want clean programming! So thankful for all you do here Net and the Scriptures you share. You are a light and a blessing!

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  5. thanks for creating an organized post.

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    1. dstoutholcomb, Thank you for being such a wonderful contributor here and friend! :)

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  6. Net thank you for providing this website for us to review the movies and give feedback to other watchers! This website has been a godsend, and it is all because of you! I have added this to my bookmarked websites so I can check for the latest reviews! I will also try to add to this as much as I can :) I hope you are able to enjoy time with your family and just THANK YOU!

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    1. Sarah, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this sweet message! It truly means the world to me. I'm so glad you enjoy your visits here.

      I will absolutely enjoy this Christmas season with my family, and I wish for you the same! :)

      God bless you!!! Net

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  7. Loved, loved, loved the Destined 2. I liked this first one but this one was really great. Loved the touching scene of the little girl praying. Love your and others reviews to so, thanks.

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  8. Movie Review:

    Where are You, Christmas? – This is truly one of the most unique Christmas movies I’ve ever seen. If you were sitting next to me while watching, you would’ve heard me say – “This is… interesting, crazy, wild, nuts, cheesy, heartwarming, odd, intriguing, unusual, and fascinating!”

    As far as movies go, this is one that truly stands out as being different, very memorable. I liked how remembering the joy of Christmas brought color and life back into their individual lives. Course, the actual true meaning of Christmas is never mentioned, which was unfortunate.

    Lyndsy Fonseca performance as Addy was top-notch, as always! I love the way she’s always so expressive, with the way she speaks and the looks she gives. Since Next Stop, Christmas, she quickly became a favorite of mine, and Michael Rady is also a favorite! I have a theory, though, with him. I always say, the movie’s where he has facial hair are either not-so-great or so-so, and the movies when he is clean-shaven are his best, like A Joyous Christmas, Two Turtle Doves, The Christmas Bow, etc… Since he was both in this movie (he’s clean-shaven for a brief flashback scene), I’m going to say this movie falls in the in-between category.

    Where are You, Christmas? is family-friendly, but you really have to be in the mood for a quirky holiday story that is rather Twilight Zone-ish.

    I wish we could’ve seen more details in the transformations with the people around Addy, especially the doctor and his daughter. That story started out interesting, but wrapped up quickly without giving us more info on how the resolution in their relationship really happened.

    Also, (Spoiler Alert) I thought when Addy and her father had a special, deep, meaningful talk, that would be the moment when they both got their color back, but it didn’t happen. The moment Addy does get her color, didn’t seem to have any real connection with Christmas or the past at all. That part of the story seemed weak to me, and the romantic chemistry between the leads was a bit lacking. (End of Spoiler)

    Overall, Where are You, Christmas is eccentric, entertaining, extraordinary, and filled with emotion! Whether you watch it once or several times, it’s one of those movies you won’t easily forget, since the storyline is truly unique.

    My heart swelled with emotion as soon as I heard the title’s theme song “Where are You, Christmas?” play near the end of the movie. I haven’t decided, yet, if it’s a DVR keeper, but it’s probably one I’ll watch again, sometime, when it airs on TV. ~Net

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    1. Net, my daughter and I thought the exact same thing - that Addy and her dad should have gotten their color back together as they mended their relationship! Wasted opportunity for sure with all the emphasis on how they had drifted apart. Father/daughter relationships always hit me in a deep way, maybe because my Dad is my spiritual hero and I can't imagine not being close to him!

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    2. melnewlife, That was beautifully said! I still feel the same way about my Daddy, too.

      When they healed their relationship, it just didn't make sense to me that that wasn't THE moment.

      And what you said about the special effects/green screen was so true; it was rather bad, at times.

      Glad you were still able to enjoy it with your daughter; my family and I watched it together too. :)

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  9. While I enjoyed Where are You Christmas--it was a Christmas version of Pleasantville that had Reese Witherspoon in it.
    Could not watch Destined 2. The one with Kevin McGarry and Kim Matula was cute.

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  10. Thanks for the Hallmark reviews.. Under The Christmas Sky is an example of its not a Christmas movie. Doesn't sound romantic either.
    Misty

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  11. Really enjoyed Christmas by Design. Family friendly, loved the characters and different type of story line.

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  12. Ms. Christmas was amazing! Family friendly and will definitely watch again. Love Brennan Elliot , Barbara, and Erica together. This story was emotional, and was full of love, and second chances.

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  13. I really enjoyed Twas the Text Before Christmas! It had a unique plotline that kept me interested all the way through, the acting was good, and it definitely put me in the Christmas spirit. Also, did anyone else notice that they used some of the sets from When Hope Calls? The interior of the inn where she stays is the hotel and Nana's house is the orphanage from Brookfield!

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  14. How to Fall In Love By the Holidays is a clean and very, very delightful romp! -Maria

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  15. Reel One's Unforgettable Christmas is a very lovely and clean movie! (streaming on Xumo Play). -Maria

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    1. Maria, Thank you for these great streaming Christmas movie reviews! Nice to hear they are both family-friendly.

      I've added both above in a new streaming section. :)

      Blessings! Net

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    2. You're welcome! -Maria

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    3. Maria, haven't seen these two yet.

      The characters in How To Fall In Love....... are older.

      Has either been married before?

      Thanks - Florence

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    4. I don't know. I'm never concerned about that kind of little detail. -Maria

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    5. Florence, I was thinking about watching it tonight or tomorrow. I'll let you know if they mention whether they were married before. ~~Jane

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    6. Florence, I watched How to Fall in Love by Christmas. It was cute but I think you'll probably decide to pass on this one. Teri's character hasn't dated in a very long time but she says she was married, briefly, a very long time ago to a "fantastic" guy and they really loved each other but just weren't a good fit because her career in the city was taking off and he wanted to move out to a farm and raise a family so they decided to split. Dan's character was never married, but engaged twice and he regrets having put his career first and jeopardizing those engagements. Also, I can't remember if you like movies with or without children so just to let you know, Dan temporarily has his young nephew with him for a week or so because his sister is a single mom and a busy ER doctor and needed his childcare help. ~~Jane

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  16. Nicely's Saving Christmas Spirit is clean (aside from 1 swear word), refreshing, magical, and stunning! (streaming on Tubi). -Maria

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  17. If you like 'The Taming of the Shrew', then Nicely's A Christmas Vintage is for you! (streaming on Freevee). Clean, Hilarious, Heatfelt, and good wine. -Maria

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  18. Reel One's The 12 Dares of Christmas is clean (aside from a small rainbow flag on a cash register), and a whole lot of fun. (streaming on Xumo) -Maria

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  19. Mystic Christmas was by far the best Hallmark so far (still early in the season). It does have a background character flirting/ budding romance with two men. If you don't want to see that, don't watch. The movie itself was one that highlighted a real local place instead of generic filmed in Canada, i like these. The movie had very little to do with Christmas but had good dialogue and chemistry between leads. I think Chandler is becoming one of my new favorites after this and the Train back in time one a few years ago. The characters have believable problems and actually talk ( some) to work them out rather than making wild assumptions after miscommunication ( the second time around).
    -MS

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  20. Joyeux Noel - this did not keep my attention. I let it play on but wasn't paying much attention. I like both leads in other films, but no chemistry here. --MS

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  21. Twas the Text Before Christmas - This was OK, I think best of GAC that I have seen so far this year but would be average or below for Hallmark. I like both leads, which kept me through it. The plot was different enough and i have seen real stories like this about strangers joining holiday festivities of a wrong number. --MS

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  22. Under the Christmas Sky - I couldn't get through this one. It wasn't science-y enough to be interesting from that perspective, and it the parts I caught didn't seem particularly Christmas-y or romantic. -- MS

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  23. Flipping Christmas - standard fare. Hits all the basic clichรฉ's, good chemistry between leads. The enemy here is big bad business.. really over the top with glossing over the concerns of "gentrification" . There was good family bonds between sisters. --MS

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  24. I forgot to mention in my Christmas By Design review (which I still don't like)...did any else notice that the boss Roger was played by Scott Gibson, who 10 years earlier played Alicia Witt's fiancรฉ Will in the classic A Very Merry Mix-up? I hadn't seen him in any roles during this interval. And he looks exactly the same!

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    1. I did notice this Mark. I even rewound it to see if it was him and i was like its Will. I love that the fun Mitchums called him Billy and she told them he goes by Will. Matt even says Billy/Will when they are driving before the car accident. They all think he changed to Will to sound more grown up. I LOVE that movie.

      Sabrina

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    2. So do I, Sabrina! That is one of my all-time favorites!

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    3. Mark 25 and Sabrina, you've got me wanting to pull out my dvd's and watch A Very Merry Mix-Up. Love it. ~~Jane

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  25. How to Fall in Love by Christmas. Cute movie with more mature leads, which I appreciated. Teri and Dan were great and believable (the meet-cute was fun). The premise about the 10-step dating article and the company board not being happy was a bit convoluted and confusing to me but it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the movie. This was a nice little standard Christmas movie with some warm “feels” good for a one-time watch (and possibly a re-watch in the future?). Not as good as Teri’s “A Kiss Before Christmas” from two years ago. Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  26. Nicely's A Christmas Frequency is clean and very delightful! (streaming on Hulu). -Maria

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  27. Movie reviews:

    Colorado Christmas is clean and fairly decent (streaming on Tubi)

    Nicely's The Christmas Venue is also clean, and quite fun! (streaming on Freevee)

    -Maria

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  28. A Dash of Christmas -- I watched this one live on GAC when it aired. I love both leads in this, but the story/this movie didn't keep my attention. I did keep it on but will need to catch again sometime as I was easily distracted. I think Christopher has 3! movies this season. The bakery/ cooking themes was also one I enjoy.

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  29. Never Been Chris'd - I had low expectations for this one based on the tagline and previews but was pleasantly surprised. My taste is definitely for the comedy movies over dramatic and this fits that category. Overall, good performance, Tyler is always a favorite. This doesn't follow the usual template which was nice. I liked the focus on the girls friendship and each's relationships with their mothers. I didn't like how they portrayed the 35 year old women acting like immature teens at situations. The "back to hometown and thrown in HS friends/situations" vibe led to some funny scenes. Overall I felt this was good, but may be because the preview looked so bad.

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  30. The Santa Summit - My preferences are comedy movies and this one was in that category. It takes place mostly over a single day, the premise was a departure for Hallmark and leaned more toward a classic comedy style. Three girls spend the evening chasing down a chance encounter for one of the girls with near misses and other relationship building along the way. Very well done.

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  31. Christmas in Scotland. Cute movie. (Watched on Xumo Play app, free on Roku but you just have to endure commercials.) I’ll give pretty much any movie based in Scotland a watch and I loved that this one was filmed locally and we could see authentic scenery and set locations instead of it being somewhere in Canada. The script and the premise are rather lacking and the movie had some typical “eye roll” moments but it also had its share of sweet and warm moments (the hot chocolate game was a cute and unique twist on a Christmas-movie staple) and I appreciated hearing some genuine UK accents instead of Americans faking it. The lead actor was kind of different than the usual leading man but I thought he felt pretty genuine in his role. The lead actress was okay but I didn’t really think she was a perfect fit for a warm fuzzy Christmas role (she has the look of Autumn Reeser but her mannerisms and tone of voice comes off as much less lighthearted than Autumn, in my opinion). I could better see her in a role that is more serious or serious with a side of quirky or light sarcasm; maybe in a mystery movie as the serious detective or the coroner along with a male lead who can provide the touch of lightness and humor and also just a hint of romance. And the two leads didn’t have the greatest of romantic chemistry, it was okay but could have been better with different casting. (Also, I was not crazy that she had a loser boyfriend throughout the movie so it felt weird for her to be falling for another guy, even though the boyfriend was an ocean away.) One cringeworthy element to the movie was the actor that played her father - he was way over-acting to the point of being ridiculous (I’ve seen him in other roles years ago and he wasn’t nearly as horrible as this one; I was actually wondering if he’s had a stroke or something that affected the way he acts?). I’m not a huge fan of Reel One movies, I feel they tend to be a bit low-budget and the sound is usually rather bad, but I’m happy to say this one was good and fun for a one-time watch, for me. Family friendly (except there is a weird, awkward scene at the beginning of the movie where the loser boyfriend briefly says he’s rented them a suite at The Plaza hotel so they could spend Christmas there, implying they’d be sharing the room???). ~~Jane

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  32. A Very English Christmas. Ugh. No. Couldn’t make it all the way through. This movie had almost everything I dislike about Reel One movies. Frustratingly horrible (!*@!*#!) sound issues – either too soft and muffled or too loud (Reel One needs to fire all their sound people!). Ridiculous story premise (but that could be said about many Hallmark/GAF/UpTv movies, as well). Loud music that, annoyingly, overpowers every scene (seriously, need new sound people). Lack of attention to detail – one minute it’s sunny and the next minute after walking one block away it’s pitch-black nighttime. Editing and filming need some help. Horrible acting, mainly by the lead actress. The whole thing just feels like it was written, directed and produced by a tweenager on an adolescent’s budget. The movie did have some nice Christmassy decorations at the craft market and most of the other actors were okay-ish. I think if they got a new lead actress and a new director, had an adult re-write and tighten up the script, and got rid of the technical issues, it could have been a cute low-budget film good for a one-time watch. Who knows? Maybe it got better in the second half? The part I saw was clean, except the sister getting married is already pregnant (so, oops). (I watched this on the Xumo Play app, free on Roku.) ~~Jane

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  33. Reel One's Christmas by Candlelight is clean and very sweet! (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

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  34. Christmas Casanova. Very cute movie with some warm fuzzies and a sweet romance. Filmed in Canada but I still got the intended NYC Christmas vibe with sparkly sights and fun NY holiday winter activities. I almost skipped this movie because of the cheesy title but it turns out it was nothing more than the title of a podcast. I usually complain about Reel One movies but this one was fairly well done and only had very minimal sound and other issues (just don’t ever watch the ROE movie trailers since they always give away the entire movie, including the ending). The actors were new to me, but quite good all around. I would definitely watch this again next year. Family friendly. (Watched on Xumo Play app, free on Roku but you just have to endure random, but brief, commercials; I couldn’t figure out how to skip the commercials but could definitely mute them; and, so far, if I remember correctly (?), the commercials were all okay for family viewing.) ~~Jane

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  35. Mystery on Mistletoe Lane - brilliant! Though I prefer comedies this light hearted family mystery was a great watch. Definitely one to watch with the kids as the kids in this movie are not accessories but a part of the actual plot. A woman moves to New England to lead the historical society, the house she moves into has a reindeer figurine treasure hunt through the old house.

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  36. Joyeux Noel.....This movie is a one time watch for me. It was nice to have a different cast and location, but it was really dragging. The actors even talked slow. It was a sweet story, but just didn’t click. Family friendly, but that’s about all it had going for it. - Anonymous1

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  37. Journey to Christmas....The best part of this movie were the two main stars and it was nice to see Brad Johnson again. The actress’s goodwill heart was sweet and exactly what Christmas spirit is about. It wasn’t one of the great ones, but definitely a good movie. Worth a watch. Family friendly- Anonymous1

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  38. Destined 2.....This one was about as annoying as the first one. I didn’t understand why they needed a second movie. The daughter was probably the best one. I didn’t care for all the hectic, busy schedules they kept stressing. Especially since they weren’t that way in the last movie yet both still had the same jobs and roles. Idk. This one just didn’t do anything for me. It was more frustrating than anything and who really wants that in a movie that’s supposed to be relaxing? We’re trying to unwind from our own hectic lives not take part in a fictional one. -Anonymous1

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  39. Waking Up to Christmas (aka Just Like a Christmas Movie). Not family friendly. This was a weirdly entertaining and funny low-budget movie that was a spoof of typical cheesy, sappy, Christmas movies. Emily is a cynical workaholic who does not like Christmas; she falls and hits her head and is transported (with a little help from a creepy Santa) smack dab into being the leading lady in a pretend Christmas movie world; she then must find her Christmas cheer and help save the town’s Christmas Fair and fall in love in order to get back to her real life. The actor that played the leading man was one of the policemen in the Aurora Teagarden movies; his acting seemed a bit flat but sometimes I think it was intended as part of the crazy parody. There were some really funny lines and characters in this movie and it would have qualified as a one-time fun & silly watch for me but, alas, it was ruined. About two-thirds through, the best-friend character falls into a lesbian romance, so that’s when I stopped watching. (This was a Reel One movie that I watched streaming on the XumoPlay app on Roku.) ~~Jane

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  40. A Christmas Blessing - very standard fare, all the Canadian background actors I am used to seeing in Holiday movies. This was very watchable, nice to see Lori again. It was predictable and formulaic but thats what I watch these movies for! A story encouraging giving at the holidays. It had a slightly different name on IMDB, not sure why. --MS

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  41. Christmas Time Capsule- very watchable and you can see all the plot ending within the first 10 min, but enjoyable for a watch. Does appear low budget. The lead actor is gorgeous, you won't want to look away! Story is about solider who is about to leave active duty and struggling with "Whats next" both in his professional and personal life. He plans to propose to his (fairly new) girlfriend but has to get the engagement ring he left with his female BFF. I think you see where this is going. Side plot about the BFF's parents' health journey led to some comedic breaks. --MS

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  42. Reel One's A Vineyard Christmas is clean and very sweet! (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

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  43. Nicely's Reporting for Christmas is a clean, delightful ride! (streaming on Hulu). -Maria

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  44. Nicely's A Perfect Christmas Pairing is clean, yummy, delightful, and all around amazing! (streaming on Freevee). -Maria

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  45. World Record Christmas - This was really nice, an emotional family film. Hallmark is diversifying their stories and this one I really enjoyed, it isn't a romance at all just relationships between established families and the struggles of raising a kid on the spectrum and dealing with emotions. Very nicely done. There was a bit at the end with the bio father I didn't like but I won't spoil it. Definitely a watch and you might need tissues. --MS

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  46. Reel One's The Fabirc of Christmas is clean and very sweet. (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

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    1. This was a surprise - a low budget movie about a fireman and a quilting teacher joining up to make a Christmas quilt for the fireman's sister's wedding.

      Sounded like a sure-fire recipe for 90 minutes of boredom!

      But hey, the two leads Kyana Teresa (Amy) and Harmon Walsh (Liam) both previously unknown to me were perfect together with great chemistry.

      It was engaging to se Liam try to keep on top of his burgeoning feelings.

      It started off nicely with friction between Amy and Liam as he had to fail Amy's premises in a fire inspection and there was a side plot of the business threatened with going under.

      The movie was full of warmth and humour and the mechanics surrounding the production of the quilt turned out to be fascinating.

      A little bit different and an unexpected delight - Florence

      Rating 8.5

      Delete
  47. Movie reviews:

    A Heidelberg Holiday- Ah, this was so lovely. I'm glad Jane talked me into watching it. :)

    Holiday Hotline- Such a funny and cute movie! :) -Maria

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    1. Maria,
      I'm so glad you enjoyed A Heidelberg Holiday!
      Today is the first day this holiday weekend that I've had a chance to sit down and watch movies and I'm halfway through Holiday Hotline and enjoying it, just as you did. ~~Jane

      Delete
    2. Aw, that's nice to know! -Maria

      Delete
  48. A Very English Christmas (streaming on Xumo)

    Dear, oh dear. oh dear.

    90 minutes of utter boredom, slower than slow-pace, little happening , poor and stilted dialogue.

    Originally called Christmas in the Cotswolds (a hilly country region in England).

    Perhaps a Christmas market in a small settlement could be successful at the weekends with tourists etc but in cold and frosty weather it opened early in the morning - utter nonsense.

    Little chemistry between the leads and the female lead's half-sister whose wedding she has come to organise is already pregnant so not family friendly.

    I can only offer one piece of advice - if you get the chance to watch this - DON'T.

    Florence's rating 2

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  49. Our Christmas Wedding

    When this was first announces I commented as why on earth anyone would want to make a sequel to My Boss's Wedding.

    Judging from the reviews here it would seem most agree, even Net expresses reservations about this one.

    Poor acting and OTT - a ludicrous situation where someone who has been anticipating her wedding most of her life and then tries to do it in a couple of weeks AND leave everything to a co-worker.

    It all seemed very forced ad the acting was as if everyone was reting too hard.

    Difficult to sit through for an hour-and-a-half.

    Florence's rating 3.5

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  50. Time For Her To Come Home For Christmas.

    Family -friendly.

    END OF AN ERA?

    This "Coming Home" Series has been one of my favourites with last year's Time For Him To Come Home For Christmas the high point.

    I have seen all but Time For You.........where the female lead had been married before.

    It feels to me that they are beginning to run out of ideas.

    Although this is overall enjoyable enough it just didn't quite measure up to the previous movies.

    It's a long time since I've seen Chris Cormack and we don't see Shenae Grimes Beech that often - the two had a certain but somewhat low-key chemistry.

    Carly (Shenae) devastated by the loss of her mother took a job in a small town to coach a church choir into shape in a fortnight before Christmas and meets Matthew (Chris) returning home from the forces.

    I was initially wary that Ali Liebert was directing but fair enough she did a competent job.

    The big problem was that the "mystery" was reasonably easy to solve although I have to hold my hand up and admit I overthought things.

    Quite a lot of the action took place inside a church which was incredibly small - they might just have managed to squeeze about 40 people into it.

    There was plenty to laugh about in the initial stages with the members of the choir about 6 or 7 strong off-key and out of sync!

    Generally free-flowing and fine for a one time watch but I personally feel it might now to be time to bring the curtain down on the franchise while it still retains commendable merit.

    Florence's rating - 7

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  51. Christmas Casanova (streaming on Xumo)

    I seem to be out on a limb with this one - a disappointing 5.9 on IMDb but this one of my favourites so far this Christmas (not that I've watched a lot yet).

    Kalinka Petrie (Elise) and Fuad Ahmed (Daniyal) were just brilliant together, they acted well above their grade and the banter was superb.

    I was surprised that Fuad was of Pakistani origin - he was obviously not Caucasion but he was light-skinned and had an English accent.

    Daniyal's best friend from childhood Tanya has just become engaged and he suddenly believes he actually loves her.

    Passing himself as Kris Kringle (ha-ha)! he contacts the podcast Elise is co-hosting to solicit advice but things get heated..........and it goes viral.

    Then Elise's boss insists she follows up on the phone call.

    At first Daniyal is resistant but thanks to Tanya (the best friend) seduced by the offer of a luxury apartment for her family for the holidays he agrees to participate and he and Elise work out a plan to show the family the best of New York at Christmas and place Daniyal in a new and good light.

    Take it from there - we've seen it before snowshoe walking in Central Park, a carriage ride, Christmas window-shopping but the freshness, originality, and camaraderie between Tanya's family, boyfriend, Elise and Daniyal make this a hit for me.

    There are also a couple of interesting side plots - Daniyal pitching for an account in his business and eventually his rediscovering Christmas winning this for him plus he reconnects with his family.

    One of the best features for me was that you could see the growing love between Elise and Daniel as the movie progressed and the bewildered look on Daniyal's face at times as he wonders what is happening to him!

    Everything just seemed to come together - it's been a while since I punched the air at the final kiss and shouted -YES!!

    Absolutely loved this.

    Florence's rating - a whopping 9



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  52. Never Been Chris'd

    (The flop of 2023)?

    From the initial Christmas movie list this was the one I immediately picked out as likely to be the best and was going to hold this back for the family to watch on Christmas night.

    However as the reviews came in it was obvious this had majorly bombed (a disastrous 5.4 on IMDb) so going by the reviews both here and on IMDb we are now keeping Bringing Christmas Home with Jill Wagner and Paul Greene with a second choice not yet decided.

    You've got to wonder just what Hallmark was thinking of here, this was a mish mash, disjointed and not really much of a plot or direction even romance.

    As for the fish-eating vegan aspect of Chris (Taylor Hynes) and his need to hide it it was just ridiculous.

    to be continued

    There wasn't even

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  53. Yay! Florence, is back. I love reading your reviews! ~~Jane

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    1. Florence / Jane...

      Another sweet, thoughtful message, Jane!

      I agree... it's so fun to read your reviews again, Florence! You always have a refreshing take.

      Blessings & Merry Christmas!!! Net

      Delete
  54. 12 Dares of Christmas. Double meh, for me. Cringey, low-budget, b-list mess. I couldn’t make it all the way through. The movie was a weird mish mash of storylines. The part that was “12 Dares” could have been cute had it been better planned out with a better script and better actors and “dares” that were all wholesome (as most of them were). Unfortunately, the first dare was the tacky “go to bar and give your phone number to 12 strangers” – yuck! The actress who plays the sister is better than the lead actress, but they both acted silly, especially with lines like “Yay! Hot girl winter!” – cringe! And the lead actor is just not my version of swoony – more like an effeminate nerd. I kept watching for a while and just when I’d think there was some cute banter or positive elements, they’d go and ruin it with more silly scenes and subpar acting. This thing was a train wreck. It was a Reel One movie so, of course, it had the obligatory annoying and odd background music that plays too loudly through scenes where people are talking. And I don’t think it was even Christmas music (unless it was some weird version of Jingle Bells), it sounded more like oompa-loompa polka music or game show music that’s been slowed way down. What was that?!! So, I probably only made it a third of the way through. What I saw was family friendly and I’m guessing a teenage crowd might like this movie better than I did (but caution, the pharmaceutical commercials were not wholesome and there was no way to skip through them). Also, the director is an actress/director/producer who has been a part of several homosexual projects and whose bio paints her as a “queer Muslim Middle Eastern-Canadian” who is “very passionate about joyful representations of minority groups”  so who knows what might be included in the rest of this movie?? (I watched this on the XumoPlay app, free on Roku.) ~~Jane

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  55. Christmas Keepsake – This movie was a little slow for me and tinged with sadness. I thought the young girl found the Christmas time capsule way too easily in their backyard; it was barely hidden under a skiff of snow, and the box and all of its contents appeared to be in perfect condition. Nothing was wet, muddy, or messy in any way, and it had been “hidden” there for at least 15+ years.

    I do like Daniel Lissing and Jillian Murray, but this story just didn’t work for me. I couldn’t understand why Daniel would uproot his daughter and leave their family behind in Australia and move to America after his wife’s passing. Those are usually the times when families want to stay closer together.

    Christmas Keepsake is family-friendly, but not a keeper for me. ~Net

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    1. Yes! Totally agree. I didn't understand why they moved to the U.S. either; I thought maybe I had missed part of the storyline about him getting a new job or something?? But it must have been some kind of fantastic job because he didn't do anything other than plan his backyard Christmas Fair. Wait! Maybe that's it... maybe he has a new job as an event planner. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚
      And a 15-20 year old buried time capsule that just happens to be laying on top of the snow?!?! Hah!! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ
      It was still cute, but just not a keeper, for me. ~~Jane

      Delete
    2. Jane, I love that! You cracked me up! Maybe he was an "event planner"! LOL!!!

      Merry Christmas to You! Net๐ŸŽ„

      Delete
  56. Santa, Maybe – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this movie, but I found it be kind of interesting and entertaining.

    I enjoyed the character development for Glenn, who we learn was an obnoxious teenager who bullied other kids with practical jokes back in high school, especially Lila, who is his present day current coworker at the local ballet performance theater.

    It was nice to see Glenn feel shame for his past mistakes and ask Lila for forgiveness. However, I also understood Lila’s hesitancy to trust Glenn again after all of the humiliation and grief he put her through in high school. I think that would be really hard to do. And while I think adults could surely be civil as coworkers, I’m not sure it’s realistic for romance to develop after someone is treated so harshly.

    Another interesting point in the film was seeing Glenn’s interaction with his aging parents, including his father who has had a stroke and can’t speak. Those moments touched my heart, especially when the father and son crocheted scarves together, because that was helpful for the father's recovery.

    There are also some cute/comical scenes: when Glenn retrieves his mother’s mouth guard from the pipe beneath the sink, when they go ice skating, and the Secret Santa gift exchange.

    Altogether, it’s not my favorite movie of the season; however, I was still entertained, it warmed my heart, and I laughed out loud here and there.

    Santa, Maybe is a family-friendly story with a good lesson on forgiveness. ~Net

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  57. My Christmas Hero – I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful, inspirational Christmas movie that honored not only our military, but their spouses and families, as well.

    I also appreciated all of the little touches of faith throughout the film that highlighted the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus!

    Candace Cameron Bure and Gabe Hogan had fantastic chemistry together, and it was fun to see Candace on screen again with her “Aurora Teagarden Mysteries” costars Robin Dunne (Author Robin Daniels) and Andrew Airlie (Candace’s father, Charles Teagarden).

    The cast overall was excellent, but I thought the absolute best performance in the movie was by Anthony Timpano, who portrayed Private Landon Southworth, the young soldier who is dealing with physical injuries and PTSD. His emotional reaction to telling his battle story brought tears to my eyes as I thought of all of the soldiers like him dealing with these issues. It was encouraging to see both Major Daniel Ross (Gabe Hogan) and Captain Mark Jennings (Robin Dunne) reach out to help him.

    The ending was so beautiful (I want include any spoilers) it left me flooded with joyous tears. Much like It’s a Wonderful Life, it was incredible to see how one life impacts so many others.

    My father was in the army, and I think this movie may have an even deeper meaning for those who have family who have served our country or are currently serving.

    “My Christmas Hero” is a heartwarming, enriching, impactful story! Rank and order are most important in the military, and I would say this movie ranks very high on my 2023 Christmas movie list! ~Net

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  58. Reel One's Take a Chance at Christmas is clean and good for a 1 time watch (streaming on Xumo). -Maria

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    1. Hi Maria,

      I stopped watching 'Take a Chance at Christmas' in the beginning because the 'friend' of the lead actress alluded to being in a relationship with another guy that was in the same scene. It happened around the 2:48 mark.

      Delete
  59. Christmas on Windmill Way – The actors in this movie are all wonderful, and I liked the idea of saving Windmill Way, and the bit of tension/chemistry that this brought between the leads, but I also felt the story was a little slow and needed more activity and a few different settings besides the Windmill. It was lovely, however, to see the "When Hope Calls" set repurposed for this Christmas movie, and I hope the set will be useful for more films in the future.

    Altogether, "Christmas on Windmill Way" is a sweet, lighthearted, family-friendly story; plus, I truly adore Chad Michael Murray, and of course, he was handsome and charming, as always! ~Net

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  60. A Christmas for the Ages – It is beautiful to see these four generations of women – a Great Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother, and Granddaughter… all coming together and sharing their lives with each other. Natasha Bure, who portrays the Granddaughter, Savannah, is a natural on screen like her mother, Candace Cameron Bure.

    In this story the family has a nice Christmas tradition of having Christmas gatherings/parties at each of their homes, but this year Savannah suggests they do theme parties from the era in which each family member was young, because she wants to see what life was like back then.

    All of the Christmas dรฉcor and costumes from each time period are truly spectacular and fun to see! Each era gave a warm, cozy feeling. Kudos to the wardrobe department and set designers for a job well done! I loved seeing the tinsel on the Christmas tree, old-fashioned ornaments, Christmas cards hanging in a garland, etc… And I enjoyed how the family sat together and discussed the different eras. I only wish they had spoken more of the history of the time and less on popular toys.

    Overall, I enjoyed the faith elements in the movie, a moment of prayer with the women as they had their tea gathering and how Grandma Great would impart biblical wisdom to all of the ladies. It is an inspiring, upbeat film, and I enjoyed the singing and dancing at the end so much… I wanted more!

    A Christmas for the Ages is a delightful, family-friendly film for all ages! ~Net

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  61. A Merry Scottish Christmas – There were some things I enjoyed about this movie and other things, not so much.

    First, the Mother, Josephine… I found her role to be awful, as we learn how she selfishly abandoned her family and royal heritage as a young woman just before Christmas, and now all these years later she reveals all of her lies to her grown children, Lindsey (Lacey Chabert) and Brad (Scott Wolf), who were cheated of ever knowing their grandparents and uncle. This was an unbelievable deceit to keep from one’s family. Of course, we need to forgive others, but I felt they forgave her way too quickly and easily.

    Then, of course, Josephine’s brother (Lindsey & Brad’s uncle) has died and conveniently, he didn’t have any offspring to leave the royal line of succession to. I felt it was wrong for Josephine to have any rights to her royal title (and her children) after abandoning her family so many years ago. I’m surprised the townspeople didn’t have an uprising and turn against her, but it’s a movie after all.

    Then, Lacey Chabert’s romance in the movie… For me, Lindsey (Lacey Chabert) and Mac (James Robinson) had no spark of romantic chemistry. I just couldn’t feel the connection between these two, other than possible friendship. Even the ending, when they take their group photo in front of the Christmas tree a year later, Lacey is not even standing next to James. Her mother is standing between them!

    The best and brightest positive thing about this movie is seeing Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf together again! It took me back to the 90’s - to the days of watching Party of Five again. I just loved seeing them act like brother and sister, even the little bit of tension brought to mind all of the little tiffs and disagreements they had on their original TV drama. Scott still has a million dollar smile and watching him and Lacey laughing together truly touched my heart! The sibling chemistry between Lacey and Scott is undeniably strong; I was engrossed watching their relationship grow stronger as the film progressed.

    I also loved when Lacey asks, “Is this the hotel?” and Scott replies, “Unless we took a wrong turn between Buckingham Palace and Downton Abbey.” To which Lacey responds, “Wrong country.” That was an extremely cute and relatable brother-sister sparring moment.

    In spite of my enjoyment of seeing Lacey and Scott together again, A Merry Scottish Christmas was a one-time watch for me. ~Net

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  62. The Santa Summit – This movie is sooooo super funny! I think I nearly laughed my way through the whole movie. (Warning: I may use the word fun a lot in this review!)

    I’ve seen some people relate The Santa Summit to Destined at Christmas, in how they get separated but continue to search for each other. I enjoyed the searching part of it, and I thought all of the close misses were fun, too, just like in Destined.

    I do want to mention, however, that there are several mentions of the new-age term, universe… in which the lead woman, Jordan (played by Hunter King) believes the universe is bringing her and the unknown stranger, Liam, together.

    Overall, it’s mostly family friendly, minus some casual drinking. I thought the close relationship between the three female friends (who are all teachers) was fun, and I liked watching Ava step out of her comfort zone to admit her feelings for her co-worker, Ben. And then, there’s Stella. Even though she was often a cynical Grinch throughout the night, she was still hilarious. It was also great to see her come out of her shell.

    Overall, it was such a fun watch, and I look forward to watching The Santa Summit again! ~Net

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  63. A Christmas Story Christmas – So, this movie premiered last year on HBO Max and it’s available to order on DVD and stream, too. A week or so ago it has its broadcast premiere on TBS, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a watch.

    Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve seen the original movie through the years. I mean, most everyone knows the story about Ralphie wanting the Red Ryder BB gun, and his folks say, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The original movie is truly iconic, and I sort of remember them trying to do a sequel before, but it wasn’t well-received.

    Well, this sequel is hilarious!!! I loved seeing all of the nostalgia of the 70’s… the cars, clothes, toys, and even the home dรฉcor. Peter Billingsley’s portrayal of the adult Ralphie, who has a wife and children, was true perfection, right down to the same mannerisms and face tilts that he did as a child in the first movie. I was truly impressed by all of the familiar details.

    In this movie, Ralphie Parker is an aspiring writer who returns with his family to his mother’s home for Christmas. At times it can be wacky and crazy (in a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kind of way), but every scene is entertaining and engaging. I was filled with all sorts of emotions while watching – between laughing out loud and happy tears.

    Caution: There is some drinking in this movie and there are some neighborhood bullies who pick on Ralphie’s children, which of course, brings to mind the original movie when Ralphie also had to deal with a mean bully. There’s also a moment, when Ralphie’s son (around age 12) is flipping through an old catalog (probably Sears or JCPenneys) looking at toys, and then he quickly flips to the ladies undergarments section. Nothing obscene is shown, but of course, it’s suggestive. Thankfully, he just as quickly flips back to the toys when he’s afraid someone might notice.

    In addition to Peter Billingsley (Ralphie), it was fun to see other actors from the original A Christmas Story return for this sequel, Ian Petrella (Ralphie’s brother, Randy), Scott Schwartz and R. D. Robb (Flick and Schwartz, Ralphie’s childhood friends), and Zack Ward (Scut Farkus, Ralphie’s childhood nemesis).

    Both of Ralphie’s children in this movie, Mark (played by River Drosche) and Julie (played by Julianna Layne) are phenomenal!!! I was truly blown away by how good they are; their dramatic looks, pauses, and reactions were spot on. When Ralphie has to tell Julie that they HAVE to have a star on top of the tree for Santa to come at Grandma’s home in Indiana, Julie’s look of analyzing whether or not she believes him is adorable. I think many of us have seen that doubtful look in a child’s eyes before, but it was sweet to see her relent to her father and trust in his word that Santa would still come, even if they didn’t have an Angel tree topper.

    Of course, there is a lot of comedy in this movie as Ralphie attempts to create the perfect Christmas for his family and some silly fantasy scenes, but there are also plenty of heartwarming moments, too, and sentimental nods back to the original film, that may leave you yearning and reminiscing your own childhood Christmas memories. ~Net

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    1. Hey Net, Based on your review, I decided to give A Christmas Story Christmas a try. I’ve seen the original, but this movie even tops that. I grew up in the 1970s, so all the throwback toys and memorabilia caught my kid-like heart. And the cars. Oh man. That neighborhood looked just like mine growing up. It’s been a long while since a movie made me truly feel something and laugh like Christmas Vacation and this did just that. This movie is now in my yearly must watch list. Many thanks for your review, I would’ve missed this gem if not for you. Rob

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    2. Rob, That warms my heart to know how much you enjoyed this movie. The nostalgia is truly incredible from that era, and I thought Peter Billingsley was courageous to take on the role of Ralphie again. Most adult actors want to distance themselves from younger roles, but I love how he has embraced it through the years.

      Thank you so much for sharing this review.
      Merry Christmas to you! Net

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  64. "Catch Me If You Claus" -- family friendly (minus kissing that's more than Hallmark usually does). Clearly, this one isn't to everyone's taste, so it caught me by surprise that I enjoyed it! As someone who wearies of slapstick, this comedy successfully tip-toed the line and didn't lose me. Perhaps it helped that the leads, though comedic, didn't overact or get screechy. Having a mystery within the comedy helped the plot a lot, too, and kept me engaged.

    Regarding concerns over the theater troupe segment, the group's name is Rainbow and one of the players is flamboyant, but there's nothing un-family-friendly that I noticed. Just thea-tah people enjoying their craft. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~Alicia

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  65. I also enjoyed this movie. I was laughing most of the way through it. Agree I didn't catch the concern over the theatre scenes...it wasn't anything that I felt was wrong or an "in your face" scene!

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  66. Review: Mistletoe Connection -
    Family-friendly? Yes -
    Keeper? No -

    Let's see...in the past few weeks we've had Mistletoe Connection, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Magic in Mistletoe, Mistletoe Match...is anyone else getting confused here??

    Anyway, based on a couple of recommendations, I decided to give this one a try. Sorry, but I cannot recommend it. It has the tired plot of a small business trying to save her shop and, of course, is successful in the end. (It probably doesn't help that the previous day I watch one with a similar plot, Sound of Christmas from 2016, and that one is so much better!) Also, I was laughing at how the "big boss" had such a big and quick change of heart, it's like he became a totally different person! Way too unbelievable! And finally, some of the acting, especially by the main guy's friend/business associate, was creepy or bad, I'm not sure. Anyway, I'll be passing on this in the future.

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    1. Mark 25, Hah!!! It's the mistletoe creep. I know we talked about this movie but at this point, I can't even remember watching it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don't know if that's dementia setting in or just too much mistletoe. I do remember the big, bad, corporate boss having a miraculous and unbelievable change of heart and becoming a softie. Maybe mistletoe has multiple properties? ~~Jane

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  67. Heaven Down Here was so good, family friendly, and had so much discussion of faith, it felt like I was watching a Dayspring movie. Of course, the actual name "Jesus" was never mentioned, but I sort of expect that type of vagueness. Still, the pastor actually quoted scripture! (His definition of "heaven" at the end wasn't theologically sound at all - but hey, they tried!) I loved the concept of strangers snowed in together and God using that to bring healing to their lives. There were several moments that made me cry. As a pastor's wife, I also appreciated how they portrayed the pastor. He was a real person with problems, even doubts, and I liked the relationship that developed between he and Imani (though I was hoping for more confirmation of where that went in the flash-forward at the end). There's nothing wrong with a pastor falling in love - they are humans, too. They didn't turn him into a caricature who is just going around saying things that sound deep and solving everyone else's problems. There was depth to him and a complicated past. Sorry I'm rambling about the pastor thing - it's just personal to me! Overall, it was a great movie with a unique premise, great acting, and a satisfying ending. It also felt like it mattered that it was actually Christmas rather than "this is a generic story that just happens to take place at Christmas." Definitely one I would watch again!

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  68. A Biltmore Christmas is Hallmark's highest rated movie of all time, scoring a phenomenal 8.0 on 2.3k ratings.

    A lot of ratings are suspect these days as many tend to be watching channels and have preconceived views so unless there are at least several hundred ratings you need to take things with a pinch of salt but the large number for this guarantees a true value.

    I can't say anything about the movie personally as along with Bringing Christmas Home we will be watching it on Christmas night.

    I've only seen the numbers and the headline reviews so I will be going into this with an open mind.

    Florence

    Two episodes of When Calls The Heart have scored more than this but that is but that is from a much lower base and that obviously plays to a niche audience.

    Florence

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  69. Review: The Santa Summit -
    Family-friendly? Yes -
    Keeper? Definitely! -

    When this movie first premiered, I wasn't planning on watching it - the plot seemed too far out for me. But because of all of the positive reviews, I decided to give this a try. And boy, am I glad I did! As just about everyone else has said, this is one fun - and funny - movie, from start to finish! There isn't much to add that hasn't already been said, but I want to emphasize that the camaraderie among the three ladies was played to perfection - great acting all around! And I think it is time that Amy Groening get "promoted" to a leading role - I have really enjoyed her in her supporting or co-lead roles, and she has what it takes to move on up!

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    1. Mark 25 - I so agree! It is time that Amy Groening gets her own movie, and since she was in one on both GAF and Hallmark this year, I think GAF should act fast and snatch her up for a lead role!

      To be honest, without saying names, there are others who I'm not sure why they always get lead roles, when they would be better as a sidekick character. That's just my opinion.

      Anyway, glad to hear how much you enjoyed The Santa Summit. I have a feeling it's one of those movies - we can watch 5 times and still see something new!

      God Bless and Merry Christmas to you, my friend! Net

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  70. I rewatched A Christmas Blessing yesterday and I think that has to be GAFs best Christmas movie this year. It gives me all the feels every time I watch. Great performances by Lori, James, and Jesse!

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  71. Nicely's The Christmas Checklist (streaming on Freevee) is so heartwarming and inspiring, which is why it pains me to say it's not a clean movie. There's 1 swear word that I know of, and near the end of the movie, there's a gay brother. Sorry to anyone who might have wanted to see it. -Maria

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    1. Thank you so much for this review! I'll be taking it off my watchlist.

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  72. A Royal Date for Christmas – This movie is delightful and family-friendly; however, since Danica starred in Crown for Christmas, any royal-themed movie she takes on after that will, of course, be compared, and while this movie was enjoyable in its own way, it just didn’t have that extra spark of Crown. There is a little surprise element to the story at the end with the photographer that brought a tear to my eye. For me, that was the best moment. I only wish we could have seen Danica’s work with the Senior Citizen group, instead of just hearing about it. That could’ve brought some heartwarming depth to the story. Also, I would’ve liked to have seen faith incorporated into the movie in some way. Altogether, it is still a nice, uplifting and lighthearted story and Christmas romance, one I’m sure to watch whenever Great American Family plays it. ~Net

    A Season for Family – This heartwarming story centered on adoption was such a pleasant watch. It has such an easy flow about it; you truly feel connected to these characters… their hopes, wishes, and heartaches.
    It was really, really weird at first (as others have mentioned), to see Brendon Penny and Jessica Sipos act as brother and sister, since we know them as husband and wife on Chesapeake Shores, but I sort of got used to it as the movie played out.
    The chemistry between the leads is more subtle, but still sweet. Overall, this movie leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy and good inside. Family-friendly, too! ~Net

    Laughing All the Way – Oh my, this movie was a struggle for me. I fully expected to enjoy it, since I pretty much love all of Jake Epstein’s previous Christmas movies, but this one just didn’t have that same charm. I assumed, based on the title, it would be really funny, but honestly, I don’t think I laughed once. The lead girl, Aubri, writes comedy for a comedienne, Bella Deldomino, who is rather rude, flamboyant, and obnoxious throughout the movie. The setting is gorgeous with all of the real snow and it’s mostly family-friendly minus some casual drinking. Not a keeper for me. ~Net

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  73. Christmas at the Amish Bakery – This movie could’ve been cute and interesting, but it just didn’t work for me. I was really surprised at how easily Sarah was welcomed back into her loving Amish family. According to their rules, as Sarah explained, if you decide to leave before accepting the Amish church ways, then you’re able to come and go as you please, but if you accept the church ways and then turn your back on them, then you will be shunned. This seemed rather odd to me that any insider would be welcomed back into their community, and even stranger, was how accepting her father was, even kindly telling her, at one point, to change from her Amish clothing to English clothing before going into town.

    The romance was also lackluster to me, although I did find the lead girl who played Sarah, Alexandra Harris, to be extremely likeable. Family-friendly, but not a keeper for me. ~Net

    Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – This is a pleasant, entertaining story with two dueling realtors. I enjoyed watching Eva and Jeff gently spar over how to best to sell a house, whether it should be fast or wait for the best price. There was something extra nice about this movie that truly felt authentic; it seemed more like actual events that could possibly happen in real-life. Eva is sweet and likable, and it’s nice to see Jeff’s walls come down gradually as he warms up to her. It was also nice to see how close Eva is with her delightful niece, who is very serious about her studies and science. Altogether, it’s a lighthearted, family-friendly movie, an enjoyable watch. ~Net

    The Jingle Bell Jubilee – This is a heartwarming story about giving to others. Basically, if you have something you don’t need or want, you are asked to re-gift that item to someone else. It was sweet to hear Hope (Erin Agostino) share a special story about grandmother who came up with the Regift-mas concept.
    Even though the Regift-mas idea is great, I personally dislike when any word is placed in front of “mas,” instead of Christ.

    Overall, the story was nice regarding giving, but the relationships in it seemed a little high-schoolish. Does so-and-so like me? Can you find out? And so on…

    Plus, a widower, who says he’s not ready to be involved with anyone, is rushed into being with someone by the movie’s end.

    Overall, The Jingle Bell Jubilee is lighthearted and family-friendly. I really enjoyed seeing Marshall Williams (loved him on “When Hope Calls”) again, who was the best part of the movie, and I hope we see him in more Great American Family movies in the future. ~Net

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  74. Peppermint & Postcards – As others have mentioned, I also didn’t care for the way the divorced husband and his new girlfriend visit and stay for the holidays with his ex-wife and young daughter. The cavalier way divorce is portrayed so casually was very disappointing. Divorce is very sad, but they portrayed it as being no big deal, we’re just one big happy family.

    The lead woman, Cara, even seems to become close friends with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, Suzette, confiding in her after her dates with other men. It was sad to hear the way she described their marriage, saying they were (paraphrasing) simply young and naรฏve, as if that makes it okay. Marriage is a commitment that should be taken seriously at any age.

    Overall, I just couldn’t get into this story after that. This is a movie that I’ll be skipping whenever it’s replayed on Great American Family. ~Net

    12 Games of Christmas – This was a nice ensemble cast, and I felt sweet chemistry between the leads, but the fantasy story of playing in this game was rather odd to me. I was hoping there would be more to the beautiful church scene, but that scene ended all too soon when the lead girl’s aunt unexpectantly arrived near the end of their game playing.

    It was interesting to see Patrick Labyorteaux (who portrayed Andrew Garvey on “Little House on the Prairie”) as the Game’s Leader. Not a keeper for me, but I would like to see these actors again on Great American Family. ~Net

    How to Fall in Love by the Holidays
    (Streamed free through the Roku Channel) This Christmas movie, starring Teri Hatcher and Dan Payne, was such a delightful watch. I enjoyed the comedy (such a fun meet-cute!) and heartwarming moments, too. It is such an easy-going, enjoyable movie that will surely leave you with a smile on your face. ~Net

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  75. Heaven Down Here – This is an interesting story idea with the four individuals being trapped together in a diner during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. It’s an entertaining, engaging story that leaves you wondering what might happen next. I especially enjoyed hearing various scriptures mentioned throughout the movie from the pastor, and it was engrossing to see these four people (mostly strangers) open up to each other, sharing their heartaches from Christmases past and their hopes and dreams for the future. I was glad that a romance wasn’t featured here, but only hinted at, especially since Imani had recently lost her husband. I’m not sure I felt a strong connection between the two, so I was fine with how the story played out.

    Some storylines, I felt, closely resembled other movies – such as: the adoption story from “A Joyous Christmas” and the father reuniting with his son storyline from “Home Alone.” There’s even a short film titled “Christmas at Cadillac Jack's” that involves strangers being trapped together in a diner on Christmas Eve, and one woman is attempting to reconcile with a daughter she previously gave up for adoption. In spite of those close resemblances to other stories, this movie is still unique and refreshingly different.

    Altogether, "Heaven Down Here" is a captivating story, and I enjoyed the focus on faith, family, and friendships. ~Net

    A Perfect Christmas Pairing – (streaming through Freevee) I found myself trying very hard to stay interested in this movie and characters, as I thought it was rather slow, at times. Grace Cooke (portrayed by Ansley Gordon) just so happens to be a chef and her main goal in life is to earn a Michelin Star. She shares this wish over and over throughout the movie. Her opposite, Asher St. James, is a writer, who travels all over the world. Asher just-so-happens to be Grace’s best-friend’s (Felicity) brother, but somehow Grace has never met or seen him. That seemed very odd to me, since he’s a well-known author, too.

    Anyway, after receiving a bad review from a food critic, Grace decides to take some time off and visit her Aunt and Uncle just before Christmas at their vineyard, where Felicity works. Asher is also there visiting his sister. Grace and Asher seem to instantly connect, even before they spend much time together, but both are leaving before Christmas. Maybe.

    The story is fairly straightforward, with not many surprises, and even though the movie is set at Christmastime, it just doesn’t feel very Christmassy. There is some casual drinking of wine throughout the movie; otherwise, it is family-friendly. ~Net

    Christmas Island – I recently rewatched this and realized I haven’t reviewed this, yet. This movie is rather cute and family-friendly. I think I enjoyed it even more the second time around. The romance between Andrew Walker and Rachel Skarsten is somewhat subtle, but still sweet and amusing, as they banter back and forth a bit. I mostly liked the family side of the story, with the couple who are rich and have very little time for their children until they are stranded on Christmas Island. It’s nice that there are several storylines going on.

    Like others have said, this is also not my favorite movie, for either Andrew or Rachel, but it’s still enjoyable and lighthearted. It’s a great movie for family viewing since there is a teenage girl and young boy in the movie. Christmas Island looks like a fun place to visit during the Christmas season; I wouldn't mind being stranded there for a few days at Christmastime. ~Net

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  76. I finally took some time today to finish writing up these 12 movie reviews above that I've been working on.

    Please know... I would still love to hear from any of you - if you'd like to share some reviews on the 2023 Christmas movies, too! It's always interesting to hear various thoughts and views.

    Blessings to you all! Net

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  77. The Fabric of Christmas. Completely agree with Florence - this was a thoroughly enjoyable movie! I was expecting a low-budget movie with typical audio issues and subpar acting, but this turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The acting, writing and directing were well done. (I looked up the director and it turns out he’s been the director on a lot of the bigger-name Hallmark/GAF movies.) The actors were new to me but I thought they were all good, including side characters. The lead actress, Ferelith Young, was excellent; she was so natural and believable and sincere and warm - I never felt like I was watching someone act. And the lead actor, Harmon Walsh, is a cutie patootie, reminiscent of Kevin McGarry; the chemistry between the two leads felt realistic. This whole production felt a bit more polished and mature than a lot of the “first-string” movies out there this year (and I appreciated that there was no ridiculous and overblown conflict or big misunderstanding between the couple). The sweet relationship between the brother and sister was a nice bonus. This one would be a keeper if I had it on my dvr but right now it’s only available via streaming (previously it had been showing on XumoPlay but they took it off and as of January 2nd it’s now playing on the Roku channel – catch this cute movie while you can! Maybe also available on Amazon streaming?). Family friendly. ~~Jane

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  78. Coupled Up for Christmas. Entertaining and funny. Sara Canning and Marcus Rosner were great as the lead couple, they had good chemistry and were fun to watch. This was a fairly typical “fake dating” movie with a lot of silly bits (especially the much too over-the-top character of the mother who is planning the requisite town “snow ball gala”!), but it was still a lot of fun and a sweet little Christmas movie good for at least a one-time watch, and maybe even a second time in the future. Family friendly. (This was previously showing on XumoPlay but they took it off, so I watched it on the Roku channel. Might also be available on Amazon streaming?) ~~Jane

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  79. Christmas with the Foxes. Mixed opinion on this one. I think they were going for quirky and funny and they partly achieved it, but they also achieved some weird and awkward along the way. Parts of the movie were rather sweet; parts were silly and tacky. One minute it was cute and funny, one minute it was just a bit odd. At times it felt, perhaps, like it maybe wanted to be a faith-based or faith-included movie (i.e., the nice blessing said before meals and the religious carols that were sung and the forgiveness lessons); and yet at other times it felt somewhat tarnished (see below). Some of the acting was decent, some of it was mediocre. The lead actress was quite good. Likewise with the actor who played the high school boyfriend with whom she reunites. (There are actually two ex-boyfriends in this movie, one of them is a complete jerk through most of the movie.) I also liked the actor that played the brother character. My conclusion is that I’m confused and not sure exactly what I think. Hah! I’m not certain, but I think I’m going to lay the negative aspects of this movie with the writer, who seemed to be trying too hard to be quirky or original or something??? I suppose, overall, it was a fun and lightweight movie with some funny lines and some sweet family moments, but there were also a few things that were distasteful to me. For one, the loser ex-boyfriend, who dumped her a month ago and who is at the family party because their families are old friends, tells lies to their families and then she’s stuck going along with him and pretending for the day that they’re still a couple. He says, “Just one little white lie for one day; and besides, I already told everyone that we’re probably going to be moving in together”. He’s really a loser!! The second thing that bothered me a whole lot is when the grandmother, the matriarch of the family, mutters softly under her breath “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”. She was saying it as an exclamation, not in prayer or reverence, so I found it objectionable. There are some funny things in the movie that kids might enjoy, but because of the previous two things as well as some alcohol drinking, I would caution watching this with children of impressionable age. (I watched this on FoxNation with my subscription.) ~~Jane

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  80. Christmas in Big Sky Country. I rather enjoyed this predictable little movie. It was comfortable and satisfying, even though sometimes hokey. There wasn’t a huge amount of romantic chemistry but I thought all the actors did a decent job (in fact I kind of think it might be the best movie the two leads have each done?). It was the same old, same old plotline, and it’s not going to win any awards and I’m not even sure it was all that Christmassy, but there was just enough drama and uniqueness and family sweetness to make it stand out a little bit and be worth watching in a sea of Christmas-movie sameness. Loved the yarn shop; and the family patriarch, who is a sheep farmer, and has lots of silly Dad puns. Family friendly. {I watched this as part of a 3-movie dvd collection that I bought through Net’s affiliation with Amazon. All three movies are good so it was worth the purchase. “Christmas in Maple Hills”, “Christmas with the Knightleys” and this one. This is also available on FoxNation with subscription or 7-day free trial, and maybe also on Amazon?} ~~Jane

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  81. Saving Christmas Spirit. I watched this because it was filmed in Scotland and the lead actor was the same as in Lacey’s Scottish movie. The setting was stunning and a lot of the indoor sets were cozy but Lacey’s movie was, of course(!), a better production. I thought most of the Scots actors were good in this one but Ashley Newbrough, though beautiful, was a tad bit stiff or silly or something. Plus, the one thing I don’t love – in my love affair with Scotland – is the obsession with faeries and ghosts and such, and this movie was full of that. I don’t mind an occasional tall tale being woven but this movie had too much of it. And because Ashley was an archaeologist there was a lot about searching for ancient druid relics and shrines to goddesses – those are not really things I’m interested in. Also, naturally, because we’re in Scotland, there was a lot about whiskey and saving the family distillery; and in fact, their current whiskey blend is called “Christmas Spirit” so thus the movie’s title. I’d say this was okay for a one-time watch, but mainly for the incredible views, cozy sets and the lovely Scottish accents. There was also a cute subplot with a young, teen romance (probably better than the main romance!). Was it family friendly? Eh? Not entirely. Ashley’s boss back in the U.S. (who is not a huge part of the movie) seems to probably be gay and there is a point in the beginning of the movie where he recommends a place in Scotland for Ashley to stay and then I THINK he mumbles something about having his anniversary with “Steve” at the same bed and breakfast but it was not very clear and could easily be glossed over or fast forwarded through. But there’s also the focus on magical faeries and ghosts, as well as all the whiskey to consider. (This movie was made in 2022 but is currently available streaming on Roku and XumoPlay.) ~~Jane

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  82. I've been meaning to share these movie reviews. I just noticed I have a bunch piling up, so I'll just share some of these today and more next week...

    Holiday Road – I wasn’t certain about this movie when I first saw the promos, but it ended up being really, really interesting, one of my favorites, actually, from 2023.

    Albeit, there were also a few moments, here and there, that were somewhat annoying (for instance: first, the pushy influencer constantly recording herself and other people and secondly, the loud karaoke in the van, which looked rather dangerous and distracting as the Asian couple unbuckled their seat belts and sang in front of everyone on the van as they were traveling!), but then a few minutes later, something deep and emotional would happen that would pull me back into the story. I especially loved the singing of “Amazing Grace.” Beautiful!

    Each character seemed to have a fascinating background story or reason why they were traveling to Denver for Christmas. I was engaged in this story throughout, thoroughly entertained, and felt emotionally connected to their journey. Excellent cast, fantastic script, phenomenal stories, funny, and heartwarming. This movie has a mix of every emotion! I teared up more than once and laughed out loud, too. Definitely a keeper! It's the best movie I've seen Warren Christie in since "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" Plus, the movie is a wonderful reminder that we never know what the road lies ahead! ~Net

    Christmas at the Holly Hotel – This movie was a bit slow and the acting is, well, not the greatest. At times, it is somewhat cheesy, but the actors seemed like genuinely nice people; the story just didn’t pull me in. Overall, it is family-friendly. ~Net

    Ladies of the 80’s: A Diva’s Christmas – I recognized all of these legendary actresses from previous TV shows back in the day, so it was great to see them again, but sadly this movie has cringey dialogue, awful language, and some of the women are scantily dressed. Definitely NOT family-friendly. By the way, it’s Loni Anderson’s character who mentions kissing a girl in college. There is also talk about adultery and multiple marriages. I ended up turning it off. ~Net

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  83. A World Record Christmas – Beautiful! Bring out the tissues for this heartfelt, touching, inspirational movie. This movie is definitely unique from other Hallmark movies; instead of centering on romance, this movie focuses on family and the desire of a teenage boy, Charlie, who happens to be autistic, to achieve a world record. It is such an entertaining, moving story, as we watch Charlie work towards his dream, while he also holds the wish for his biological father to visit and watch him reach his goal.

    My heart was filled with such deep emotion while watching; the ending (I won’t spoil here) is perfection! I had a beaming smile on my face while tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. Overall, A World Record Christmas, in my opinion, is a winner! This is an emotionally stirring, wonderful, family friendly film, ideal for all ages. ~Net

    A Heidelberg Holiday – Heidi is such a sweet person and you feel drawn into her plight to deliver her ornaments on time to the people at the market in Heidelberg, but I just wasn’t happy with the ending overall.

    (SPOILER) When Heidi’s ornaments don’t arrive on time (due to her choosing a cheap delivery service), I desperately wanted to see her at least attempt to recreate her designs, perhaps with help from the family who took her in and the friends she met there. While she kept waiting for her shipment to arrive, I thought she should’ve been using that time to create more ornaments, instead of sight-seeing. I was disappointed only one ornament set could be sold in the end, and the new art design she came up with was nice, but it was not, in my opinion, a good exchange for her incredible artistry. (END of SPOILER)

    I thought the conversations with the man at the Post Office in Germany were funny and very witty. (Side Note: I will certainly think twice before going with any cheaper delivery service in the future.) It was also nice to see the family Heidi was staying with observe Advent by lighting a candle each Sunday before Christmas; although, I’m not recalling any specific religious references in relation to Advent, other than general words like hope, joy, peace, etc. Altogether, it’s still a sweet story, lighthearted, and family-friendly. ~Net

    Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up –First, I must say I had mixed feelings on the original Haul Out the Holly movie, but since the film is filled with an enthusiastic community of Christmas supporters with exuberant holiday cheer, I decided to give the sequel a try.

    In the second film, however, I had more difficulty finding the same laugh-out-loud silly scenes. The Jolly Johnsons (the new reality-star famous neighbors- for Christmas buffs) came off as rude and obnoxious to the extreme point I didn’t think there could possibly be any resolution for their characters. They drug out their competitiveness and dominance over everyone else in the neighborhood nearly throughout the entire film. By the time they relented, I felt exhausted. It was just disappointing that they held such an extreme power hold over their neighbors. Much of the movie isn’t even enjoyable to watch, until we get near the end of the movie that centers around Emily (Lacey Chabert) and Jared (Wes Brown).

    Although I didn’t love this movie, I’m still hoping (as other’s have mentioned) that we’ll see another Haul Out the Holly movie that focuses mainly around Emily and Jared’s Christmas wedding. ~Net

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  84. Christmas in Maple Hills – This is a fascinating story that weaves back and forth from present day to the World War II era. The historical scenes were done amazingly well, with fashion, cars, and furniture from that time period. The mystery element was also intriguing.

    The cast overall is excellent. I enjoyed seeing actor Andrew Jackson, who played the father, who also portrayed Van in the popular period TV series, Wind at My Back.

    The leads, Valerie Warrick (Emily Alatalo) and Walker Jennings (Marcus Rosner), have great chemistry together. And Valerie’s friend/Walker’s receptionist, Holly Garland (Bukola Ayoka), was such a bubbly, delightful addition.

    Throughout the movie, it was nice to see Walker (Marcus Rosner) attempt to reach out to his father, who is an introverted loner. And I was pleased with how the mystery from the past involving Valerie’s (Emily Alatalo) grandmother was solved. The film is also a wonderful tribute to those who have served our country. I hope Great American Family will include this film in their lineup again next year. ~Net

    Holiday Hotline – This movie is unique, odd, interesting, quirky, and intriguing! The switching back and forth on dialects, I thought, was well done, but also a little annoying, at times. I also didn’t like the comment that Paula mentioned above, when the woman asks Abby if she has a boyfriend or girlfriend. There’s also a brief mention of Harry Potter also being from England, like Abby. Overall, it is kind of strange to watch Peggy (Abby) and John (Jack) have their talks on the phone (while they are supposed to be talking about turkey recipes), but they make it look like they are standing in the same room.

    The movie is kind of odd, but interesting, too. I became very tired of hearing the line, “Holiday Hotline, let’s talk turkey!” The supervisor, Roger, is a little over-the-top, but many of his jokes cracked me up. He somewhat reminded me of the supervisor in Window Wonderland, played by Matty Finochio. I couldn’t help from wondering if that was the inspiration for that character.

    Overall, the movie is amusing and entertaining, and mostly family-friendly. It’s not a keeper for me, but I still enjoyed it and will likely watch it again at Christmastime when it’s on TV. ~Net

    A Christmas Kiss – This movie was somewhat predictable, but still a sweet story. I mostly enjoyed seeing the family moments, the two older sisters with their parents and how they worked together to put on the Christmas festival and dance for their community, which is a family tradition. It was also nice to see the father lead them in prayer before one of their meals. The friction between the leads was intriguing, but I felt their conflict at the end was resolved a little too quickly. Overall, it was a pleasant watch and family-friendly. ~Net

    Christmas by Candlelight – This is a lighthearted, sweet, family-friendly movie. Juliet has to create a unique, highly sought after product just before Christmas, and is struggling to figure something out until she meets Tom, who is a candle maker and single father. The two work together on making memory scented candles, which is a nice idea, but I wasn’t sure this product idea would be all the rage, as Juliet’s boss had hoped. It’s a fairly standard Christmas rom-com, and Tom and Juliet have good chemistry. For me, it was an okay one-time watch. ~Net

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  85. A Cape Cod Christmas. Kind of a simple, quiet, unassuming, gently-twinkling, sweet little movie. Might evoke nostalgia for one’s own past Christmases. Nice, subtle chemistry between the leads. No big misunderstandings (although, I didn’t like one thing the leading lady did near the end – kind of put the cart before the horse and put leading guy in a bad position, but it didn’t seem to bother him, so?). And the little flashbacks to their childhood friendship were nice. The sibling conflict was believable while still showing family love in the midst of their conflict. Lovely Cape Cod scenery, and filmed with actual local shops. There were a few awkward cast members but, overall, this was a nice movie for a one-time watch. Family friendly. {This movie has a date of 2021 but is currently available streaming on the QVC+ app on my Roku device. This is my first experience with the app and I really appreciated the viewing experience. They have a qvc host that does the “commercials” and it was so much nicer than having woke and nasty pharmaceutical commercials on the other cable & streaming channels. I actually watched all the way through these “commercials” that were very short, with no hard sales pressure, and tastefully done showing things you might actually enjoy while watching a movie or for the Christmas season – cozy throw blankets, cuddle duds fuzzy socks, movie-watching snacks, Christmas stockings and home dรฉcor and tree ornaments. And you can actually watch all the credits when the movie is over, which is one of my pet peeves with Hallmark and GAF because they cut to promos and ads immediately and you can’t see the credits. I’ve never bought anything on QVC but I’m thinking about buying something and letting them know how much I appreciated the viewing experience so they’ll have more – and better -- movies in the future. (I think they currently have about 5-6 movies available to watch, some looked like they might be Reel One or Nicely movies.} ~~Jane

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    1. Jane, I'm glad to hear you were able to watch "A Cape Cod Christmas" through QVC+. I rewatched it during the Christmas season on BYUtv; it is a sweet one, and I much preferred the lead actress, Katie Leclerc, in this over her new Hallmark movie, "Letters to Santa."

      As for QVC+, I have seen their 2022 Christmas movie premiere, "Holly and the Hot Chocolate," and I don't remember every detail, but from what I recall, it was cute and family-friendly.

      However, I have yet to see the QVC+ 2023 new Christmas movie, "The Recipe Files." Have you, by chance, seen it? It's still on my watch-list.

      Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful reviews with us! Blessings, Net

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    2. Hi Net, I have not seen "The Recipe Files", yet. Awhile ago I had started watching the "Holly" one and I didn't like the way the father and daughter were talking to each other at the very beginning. Then I read some reviews and decided to give it another chance. I'm glad to hear that you kind of remember it as being cute to watch. So, both of them are on my list. Hopefully, they'll be fun to watch! I was thinking about watching one last night but changed my mind. But I did notice that the "Movie Mall" has disappeared from the qvc+ app and so none of the 5-10 movies are listed anymore. You can find the "Holly" and "Recipe" movies if you do a search, but all the others have just disappeared, which is odd since they weren't just Christmas movies. Maybe their rights to those other movies expired and they weren't generating enough profit to make it worthwhile to add new ones. Or maybe they only show them at Christmas and I just didn't realize it. ~~Jane

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    3. Jane, Thanks for the update on the QVC+ "Movie Mall." I will try to keep an eye out for that around Christmastime again.

      That's the one thing I don't like about streaming stuff, if I don't finish a movie one day; it may not be there the next.

      Happy watching!!! Net

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  86. Movie Reviews...

    Christmas at the Chalet – I really enjoyed Teri Hatcher in this movie; her character, Lex, is truly fun, authentically real, and down-to-earth.

    Lex thinks she’ll spend Christmas with a new boyfriend, but then she receives flowers and a note from him saying that he’s going to try to get back together with his wife. So… feeling low and defeated, Lex accepts her son’s invite (with some trepidation) to come to a high-end ski resort with him, where her ex-husband and his new girlfriend will also be over Christmas.

    Once Lex arrives at the resort, she learns that her reservation did not go through, so the only way she can stay is if she becomes the Chalet girl, which comes with a nicely decorated room. Lex dives into this role and thrives at helping clean rooms, set up parties, etc. – as she shares the self-deprecating experience on social media with her followers. Eric, the Chalet owner, is obviously taken by Lex and her willingness to help.

    Although this movie is PG, based on the various relationships, this movie is probably best suited for an older audience. By the way, Actor Dan Payne was excellent as the jerky ex-husband. Altogether, this was an entertaining watch; it’s a keeper for me. ~Net


    Country Hearts Christmas – This movie is basically a holiday repeat of the first film, Country Hearts.

    Once again, the sisters are struggling with their new-found fame in the singing industry, while each of them is grappling with their own relationships. June is torn with leaving her husband behind while performing, and unbeknownst to her, he is dealing with an enormous pile of gambling debts. Tori, in the meantime, is torn between two men, her bandmate and friend, Luke, and her ex-boyfriend, Barrett, who has broken her heart before.

    Their mother is also a well-known singer traveling the world with their younger sister, and their father is a previous rock star and former alcoholic, who now owns a horse ranch.

    There’s a lot of drama in this family; Tori’s husband, Justin, gets drunk one night and is beat up when he doesn’t pay his debts.

    Another dilemma presents itself when the singing sisters, Tori and June, are offered to perform LIVE on a popular Christmas Eve TV Special away from home, but they don’t want to miss the Christmas Eve church service at home with their family. It’s quite the quandary.

    In the end, there is a happy ending, but this movie is an okay, one-time watch for me. It’s another movie better suited for an older, mature audience. ~Net

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  87. Navigating Christmas – This movie is best suited for a mature audience. Please know, there is the theme of divorce in this movie, but it’s obviously not the fault of Melanie, the female lead, who desperately wants to give her teenage son a nice Christmas when his father bails on him to spend time with his new pregnant girlfriend. Melanie and her son, Jason, end up going on vacation and staying in a lighthouse owned by Peter, who is, of course, in the process of selling the lighthouse. Basically, the movie is about Melanie and Peter opening up their hearts again to the possibility of love and rediscovering the joy of Christmas. It was an entertaining story and I liked Melanie and Peter together, but it’s probably just a one-time watch for me. ~Net


    A Vineyard Christmas – I only made it about 20 minutes into this movie and from there I was done. Nothing bad happened in that time; the story just didn’t interest me at all. I watched the trailer, instead, but even those two minutes were somewhat boring. ~Net


    My Norwegian Holiday – Rhiannon Fish always plays her characters in such a fun way, she’s typically curious and mischievous, and in this movie as Jessica (J.J.) she’s both.

    First, the whole traveling with a stranger is somewhat odd, but she and Henrik are on public transportation, and not traveling alone, so that’s not so bad. I quite enjoyed trying to figure out the whole mystery behind J.J.’s grandmother’s troll, until the answer was revealed rather suddenly. (*SPOILER*: It was made by a young man many years ago that she had fallen in love with on a trip to Norway, and they had a child out of wedlock. He never knew about the child when she (J.J’s grandmother) returned to America. *END of SPOILER*)

    I also thought it was interesting to see Henrik limping and coming to terms with his sport’s injury and how that affected the people in Norway and himself. The movie is rather complex, at times, but it’s also entertaining and heartfelt. I adored the knitting of socks story, and how Henrik’s grandmother and (SPOILER: J.J.’s newly found grandfather) lightly argue over where J.J. will live. They both want to keep her – which is sooo sweet!!!

    My Norwegian Holiday is a journey worth taking, but it’s probably best suited for a mature audience. ~Net

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  88. Coupled Up for Christmas – This is such a fun movie with the typical fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope. Peter Brooks (Marcus Rosner) and Tiffany Williams (Sara Canning) are great together and such a delight to watch, especially when they get tripped up trying to prove they are actually involved. Caution: there is some lying in the movie as the two are trying to pull of their fake dating; otherwise, the movie is completely cute and family-friendly. Both Marcus and Sara play off each other well, and it was obvious the two were having lots of fun while filming this movie. For me, it’s a keeper! ~Net


    Time for Her to Come for Christmas – I absolutely loved this heartwarming, emotionally moving Hallmark Christmas movie! I always find it interesting to see how they incorporate the “Time to Come for Christmas” song into each of these films. The record exchange in this movie was such a fun way to do it.

    I was intrigued from the very start, when Carly travels to a small-town when she is hired to help the local church choir prepare for their Christmas performance. The way Carly interacts and connects with each member in the choir is absolutely beautiful. I was especially touched by George, an older gentleman who joined the choir because his late wife loved it, and being there, made him feel close to her. Those sweet moments and details in the movie made it exceptional - as they stirred my emotions and warmed my heart. I was moved to tears numerous times.

    By the way, as others have mentioned, I also would’ve loved to have heard the choir sing more songs at the end, including a standard, religious Christmas Carol. The music throughout, however, is lovely and uplifting.

    Time for Her is another keeper for me – from this wonderful series! ~Net

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  89. Bringing Back Christmas – I streamed this movie through the TBN+ app at Christmastime. It’s obvious that the main actors in this movie have a desire to share the love of Jesus, but some of the comedy was too much for me.

    The intro is kind of silly and drawn-out, when a man, Daniel, is called into his boss’ office. (By the way, the boss is played by Dean Cain, who is only in this scene.) From there, Daniel is let go from his job. A mail courier/angel named Cal, played by Leigh Allyn Baker, also follows Daniel into the office, intrudes into their conversation, and advocates for more severance pay.

    When Daniel is feeling depressed later at home, Cal (the angel) visits him again and takes him back in time to the arrival of the birth of Jesus – so he can see the difficulties Mary and Joseph endured. There are some beautiful scenes and moments leading up to Jesus’ birth, but there are also, in my opinion, many silly jokes and poor attempts at comedy: for example, Mary and Joseph’s parents argue over who gets to name their firstborn, Mary and Joseph disagree over a new area rug for their home, Joseph struggles to help Mary (when she is expecting) down from the donkey, one of the innkeepers asks if they have a reservation, and other illogical happenings and modern dialogue that did not take place in the Bible.

    There’s also a scene near the end that shows a frustrated and humiliated Joseph leaving Mary alone for a short time in the stable, just before Jesus’ birth, as he sulks over the fact that they have to stay in poor conditions. I thought this made Joseph look like a weak man, when in truth he was a strong and incredibly giving man, who endured much to become Mary’s husband and Jesus’ earthly father.

    The basic movie concept is to show us the troubles Mary and Joseph endured during the arrival of Jesus, so we would know how God understands our problems today. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this movie due to the silly comedy and Biblical inaccuracies. ~Net

    Christmas Casanova – (streamed through Xumo Play) This movie was a little hard for me to get into in the beginning, but it ended up being a rather sweet standard romantic comedy. The main girl, Elise, and guy, Daniyal, are working/scheming together to get him together with his childhood friend, Tanya, who is now dating someone else. In the meantime, of course, Elise and Daniyal start falling for each other. Their chemistry together was undeniably strong and Elise was very sweet in the way she talked about her late mother and how she still connects to her with baking, etc. during the holidays. I’m sure this part of the story will touch many hearts, as it did mine. ~Net

    Planes, Trains, and Christmas Trees – This is a nice family-friendly romantic-comedy from Lifetime. The beginning is a little odd, though, since Kayley (the female lead) is quickly convinced to travel with a complete stranger, Brett, a man she has never met. The two try to get on a plane, but their travel plans are delayed, then they attempt to get train tickets, but that, too, is cancelled, due to weather. Eventually, Brett invites Kayley to join him at his Uncle’s home, and they get roped into helping with the Christmas town festival. It seems they don’t try very hard to make it to NYC, even though she has a job there and his son is waiting there for him to spend Christmas. Overall, it was a pleasant watch, but somewhat forgettable amongst all of the other Christmas movies. ~Net

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  90. Mistletoe Connection – This was such a delightful romantic comedy from PixL and UPtv! I really enjoyed the opening scene meet-cute with Kate Snow (played by Jessica Sipos) and her opposite, Mark Goodwin (played by Markian Tarasiuk). Mark’s a little down because he’s broken up with his girlfriend, but he admits they weren’t compatible because she didn’t love Christmas, and then he meets Kate, all dressed up in an adorable elf costume, and he’s immediately smitten by her obvious love of Christmas! The two have such sweet chemistry together all throughout the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this lighthearted, family-friendly Christmas film; the conclusion left me feeling truly good inside! ~Net

    Letters to Santa – Oh boy, this one was tough. The disagreeing couple in the first hour or so was difficult and frustrating to watch. I just wanted the couple to sit down and talk with each other. The children are absolutely adorable – the brightest part of the movie, along with their grandmother and aunt who were playing Santa to the children, granting their wishes as they wrote to Santa Claus and left their letters in the mailbox. I loved that part of the movie, but the constant arguing parents was too much, in my mind, for a Christmas movie. It simply was not enjoyable to watch, especially in the beginning. It’s a definite one-time only watch for me. ~Net

    A Not So Royal Christmas – I was kind of expecting more with this movie, but I still enjoyed the fun chemistry between Will Kemp and Brooke D’Orsay. The pretending to be someone else was kind of strange; did no one know the real Adam before? Other than that, it was an entertaining story, and Will Kemp was adorably nerdy in this role with his disheveled clothes and mischievous grin. And then, in contrast, he looked handsomely regal at the Christmas Ball in his royal suit, while Brooke was stunning in her green evening dress. Overall, the ending was somewhat cheesy, but the happy resolution will be pleasing to most viewers. Will and Brooke are two of my favorite Hallmark stars, so I enjoyed seeing the pairing of these two in this Christmas movie. ~Net

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