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Holiday TV Movies & (Non-Rankin Bass) Holiday Specials

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3 minutes ago, absnow54 said:

Didn’t Chad Michael Murray’s Hallmark Christmas movie have a same sex couple in it last year? Road to Christmas? I could have sworn one of the brothers had a husband, or maybe he was still a boyfriend. 

I think they were intentionally vague about it, but that was the subtext that most of us picked up on. 

Edited by Jenniferbug

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24 minutes ago, Jenniferbug said:
28 minutes ago, absnow54 said:

Didn’t Chad Michael Murray’s Hallmark Christmas movie have a same sex couple in it last year? Road to Christmas? I could have sworn one of the brothers had a husband, or maybe he was still a boyfriend. 

I think they were intentionally vague about it, but that was the subtext that most of us picked up on. 

Yeah. They were business partners. I think the actors played it like they were a couple but nothing in the movie confirmed it. 

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I watched "Christmas In Rome" tonight. It was pretty typical, but at least it was filmed in Rome (the outdoor things anyway), rather than on a soundstage.

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I liked Hip Hop Holiday on BET, the cast was great, especially the leads (but Jesus save us from the awful pink wigs sported by Leesa J - even though they were eventually kind of a character in the story). The script was fairly formulaic (successful woman gets put in her place for being ambitious instead of needing a man), but was set in today's modern world instead of the 'it's 2019 but really 1950'  vibe I get from most of the Hallmark offerings. There was a lesbian couple that was presented as totally usual, no big deal. That was nice.

I think Hallmark may have bitten itself in the ass with its onslaught of carbon-copy Christmas movies.

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After an overload of fake snow and small town Christmas I’m looking forward to Same Time, Next Christmas with it’s tropical setting. Plus Charles Michael Davis is very easy on the eyes. 

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I absolutely loved Check Inn To Christmas. It had pretty much everything that makes me love these movies:

-Great chemistry between leads who can act! Wes Brown and Rachel Boston were so flirty and cute together that I couldn’t stop smiling. They were nice to each other and not rude and snippy despite their families feuding.

-No stupid misunderstanding. 
 -I liked the supporting cast.

-No silly ex or current bf/gf drama.Both were single and drama free (and both sets of parents were alive!).

- There was a kiss in the middle of the movie! I couldn’t believe it because I was expecting an interrupted kiss but they went for it and it was super cute.

I didn’t mind that she stayed in the town instead of going back to the city because she didn’t end up running the inn and was still a lawyer. I would have been mad if she gave up everything to go into the family business. It has been my favorite movie so far and one of the few that have not been deleted from the DVR. I hope that Wes and Rachel do another movie together because they sparkled together.

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I finally got a chance to watch Random Acts of Christmas. I liked it. No, it isn't one of the standouts of the season, but it wasn't bad at all. They could have dialed the "wide-eyed-adorable-kidness" down a little with her son, but that comes with the territory, I guess. Oh, and there's no way anything but a supersonic plane could have skywritten that "Merry Christmas" in the sky so fast at the end, but I bought it, because I got swept up in the Secret Santa fun and in the leads' growing relationship. It was just the warm and fuzzy I needed this morning.

And I continue to be utterly fascinated by how good-looking Kevin McGarry is. 

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Hallmark needs to stop misappropriating Jane Austen titles (Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen) - they usually half-ass the names and, in this case, the character of the two sisters was exactly the opposite of the original. Also, what's up with all the makeup? 

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When Kimberly Sustaud’s character announced her name was Marianne, I was like “That can’t be right...” I liked the cast though, so I just accepted the mischaracterizations and moved on. 

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I watched Christmas at the Plaza which was pretty bland. I liked Elizabeth Henstridge in Agents of Shield, but this movie took all the charisma and spark out of her. I wish her character ditched her boyfriend more quickly.

Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy was pretty decent. There were a lot of plot lines going on. The main character stayed in the city, so that was a win.

Christmas in Rome was okay. Nice scenery. It was pleasant, but nothing to write home about for me.

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21 minutes ago, Misslindsey said:

Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy was pretty decent. There were a lot of plot lines going on. The main character stayed in the city, so that was a win.

The part at the beginning with Ashley Williams and Jill Wagner welcoming Maggie Lawson's character to Evergreen was sooooo Stepford, I expected them to start chanting, "One of us, one of us." Then Holly Robinson Peete showed up and I was out.

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1 hour ago, Misslindsey said:

I watched Christmas at the Plaza which was pretty bland. I liked Elizabeth Henstridge in Agents of Shield, but this movie took all the charisma and spark out of her. I wish her character ditched her boyfriend more quickly.

This movie confused me right off the bat when she gets her first phone call from her boyfriend and he tells her they're flying "into JFK on Christmas Eve." I thought maybe this was a different Plaza and not the one in NYC and it took me a long time to figure out that he meant "out of JFK" because his parents were in Florida.

I think what makes some of these movies good is that the writer(s) have a story to tell and it's well-written with a decent cast and director. The movies that are written to the "Hallmark formula" are never going to be good no matter how charming the cast is.

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I am frustrated that they made Erin Krakow the lead in Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen and then surrounded her with actors I really like. Under the best of circumstances I find her boring but here her character is also obnoxious and incompetent. 

I’m 15 minutes and ready to bail. Does her Kimberly Sustad have a big enough role to make it worth watching?

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12 minutes ago, Dani said:

I am frustrated that they made Erin Krakow the lead in Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen and then surrounded her with actors I really like. Under the best of circumstances I find her boring but here her character is also obnoxious and incompetent. 

I’m 15 minutes and ready to bail. Does her Kimberly Sustad have a big enough role to make it worth watching?

She’s barely in it. 

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5 hours ago, Dani said:

I’m 15 minutes and ready to bail. Does her Kimberly Sustad have a big enough role to make it worth watching?

She's the best part about the movie and I liked her story with "Brandon" (Or was it Brendan?) But goodness it's frustrating how they don't even try with this Austen "adaptations." 

Edited by Irlandesa
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On 11/30/2019 at 8:57 AM, DanaMB said:

UpTV Christmas Cupcakes- I thought I was going to enjoy this one, but when I looked up and realized only an hour had passed, I knew that was a bad sign. I still have over 30 minutes left and I’m so tempted to just stop. I hate to do that, though, because I like to finish. However, I did not finish Rock N Roll Christmas (also UpTV) so it’s not unheard of. I couldn’t believe the daughter in that one was the lead in A Gift Wrapped Christmas. I feel like she wasn’t as charming and charismatic. Plus, she looked different. 
 

Write Before Christmas (Hallmark)had THREE kisses between the leads. I’m shocked I tell you. One was supposedly fake, but still.  Are we heading into PG territory?!? 😂

The daughter in Rock N Roll Christmas was not the lead in A Gift Wrapped Christmas. She was the lead's sister. That's why she wasn't as charming and charismatic as you remembered - you were thinking of another actress, lol. I similarly did not finish the movie and deleted it from my DVR, which is rare for me.

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4 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

She's the best part about the movie and I liked her story with "Brandon" (Or was it Brendan?) But goodness it's frustrating how they don't even try with this Austen "adaptations." 

I really like Kimberly Sustad and she's usually so charming but this wasn't her best role and she was wearing so much makeup I could barely look at her.

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On 11/30/2019 at 5:47 PM, In2You said:

I watched Christmas 9 to 5 with my sister and the entire time we were wondering two things: How the lead was played by an obviously Indian woman but the mom and dad were black and white. And how they expected us to buy the love interest as anything more than the gay best friend. 

Yes because all brown people are interchangeable. Couldn’t they have given her at least ONE Indian parent???🙄

22 hours ago, Dani said:

After an overload of fake snow and small town Christmas I’m looking forward to Same Time, Next Christmas with it’s tropical setting. Plus Charles Michael Davis is very easy on the eyes. 

I love Lea Michelle and Charles Michael Davis, Ive been looking forward to this. 

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Ok Christmas Town...she gets stuck in the town because the train is stuck. Takes   a job in the local cafe 5 minutes after walking in even though she’s just spending the night...Really?

I liked the foster care storyline but not a fan of promoting the Salvation Army.  They are a church vs a charity.  Did they pay for product placement like Balsam Hill?

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17 minutes ago, scenicbyway said:

Ok Christmas Town...she gets stuck in the town because the train is stuck. Takes   a job in the local cafe 5 minutes after walking in even though she’s just spending the night...Really?

Plus, she's moving and takes the train?  Who takes the train to move?  Especially in the same state? I had to give up half way through.  So boring. 

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42 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

Plus, she's moving and takes the train?  Who takes the train to move?  Especially in the same state? I had to give up half way through.  So boring. 

Exactly!  And why did she leave the giant trunk in her apartment?  Where did that end up?  The movers had already been there.

I also find it unbelievable that she wouldn’t have been adopted. And why didn’t the dad send the broken wing with the angel to be fixed?  Ugh!

Edited by scenicbyway
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They end these movies so abruptly that I'm left with so many questions.  Like, where is Candace going to live once she adopts the boy?   Can she afford the adoption fees?   Are she and Mutt (he's on Schitt's Creek) going to get married?   I know we're supposed to assume she gets to live in that nice big house with the fence like she always wanted, but nothing was really decided by the end.     

Oh, and did that little attic room she stayed in have a bathroom?  A shower?   All I could think about was how is she getting cleaned up?   I know, it's just a movie.

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16 minutes ago, Suzysite said:

They end these movies so abruptly that I'm left with so many questions.  Like, where is Candace going to live once she adopts the boy?   Can she afford the adoption fees?   Are she and Mutt (he's on Schitt's Creek) going to get married?   I know we're supposed to assume she gets to live in that nice big house with the fence like she always wanted, but nothing was really decided by the end.     

Oh, and did that little attic room she stayed in have a bathroom?  A shower?   All I could think about was how is she getting cleaned up?   I know, it's just a movie.

Well, and how did she adopt a kid without a permanent address?  Wouldn’t there have been a home inspection?  She was living in a one room attic!  No kitchen, maybe a bathroom?

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I watched "A Christmas Princess" last night.

I appreciate the interracial couple, but otherwise, it was rather bland.

I also watched the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol". It's very good, but I don't get why it's considered the best version. Maybe because I grew up with the 1984 and 1999 versions.

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Watching Her Magical Christmas - only a few minutes in and I like it so far but Jessica Lowndes delivery always bugs me. Even back in her 90210 days. She does bitchy well but I can never buy her as the super sweet lead in these movies.

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Okay, I might be pre-disposed to like it because Erica Durance is one of my girlcrushes (and the only crush other than me I don't mind my husband having), but I really enjoyed Christmas Chalet on UP (it helps that I also like Robin Dunne a lot; he's in nowhere near enough movies, IMO). It was blessedly un-fluffy, the grandma was a hoot, the daughter was an appropriately alternating sullen and winning teenager, and the story was adult enough--there was even a kiss before the end! I can envision watching this one again. 

Edited by kirinan
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I enjoyed Christmas Chalet too! Did they ever reveal the wishes they put into the ornaments? I thought for sure he was going to write one of his series books about his weekend with the reservation mixup and and then the inevitable anger that would ensue. I’m glad they avoided that.

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18 hours ago, VMepicgrl said:

The daughter in Rock N Roll Christmas was not the lead in A Gift Wrapped Christmas. She was the lead's sister. That's why she wasn't as charming and charismatic as you remembered - you were thinking of another actress, lol. I similarly did not finish the movie and deleted it from my DVR, which is rare for me.

Oh lord. Lol.

Thank you for the correction! That makes much more sense. 

Edited by DanaMB

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1 hour ago, chitowngirl said:

I enjoyed Christmas Chalet too! Did they ever reveal the wishes they put into the ornaments? I thought for sure he was going to write one of his series books about his weekend with the reservation mixup and and then the inevitable anger that would ensue. I’m glad they avoided that.

No, they just kind of dropped that thread of the wishes. It didn't feel like a huge hole to me, but it would have been nice to know. 

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I’m liking A Christmas Princess so far. What I don’t understand is why she didn’t automatically jump to the chance at catering the big event since her restaurant was failing. Is her business sense that bad, or was she just being “difficult” so it can cause angst with the leads? I do like the chemistry between the two and the lead actor was very attractive, but I don’t like how snippy she is towards him.

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Anyone watch Freeform’s Turkey Drop? I just started it, but I’m having trouble connecting. FF had one of my favorite Christmas movies last year (No Sleep ‘Til Christmas) so I was hoping for another winner. 

The lead female character is just annoying me with all her shenanigans to keep her bf. 

Edited by DanaMB
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1 hour ago, kirinan said:

No, they just kind of dropped that thread of the wishes. It didn't feel like a huge hole to me, but it would have been nice to know. 

Especially since he made an extra wish! What was the point if we’re not going to see any of the wishes?

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11 hours ago, Suzysite said:

They end these movies so abruptly that I'm left with so many questions.  Like, where is Candace going to live once she adopts the boy?   Can she afford the adoption fees?   Are she and Mutt (he's on Schitt's Creek) going to get married?   I know we're supposed to assume she gets to live in that nice big house with the fence like she always wanted, but nothing was really decided by the end.     

Oh, and did that little attic room she stayed in have a bathroom?  A shower?   All I could think about was how is she getting cleaned up?   I know, it's just a movie.

I have found my people!!! 😀

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Just watched my recording of Christmas Jars (BYUtv) and enjoyed it more than any of the Hallmark or Lifetime new movies. I only rolled my eyes once. And even though it’s on BYU, there’s no Mormon themes at all. The acting was really subtle and the story line was pretty realistic, even the big reveal at the end actually could happen. 

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BYUtv also has a Christmas musical/variety special, for those who like that sort of thing, called Christmas Under the Stars, this year featuring John Legend (they were thrilled to land him). It premiered December 1 but will be re-airing a number of times. They also stream everything for free on their website (both live and on-demand). I haven't watched my recording yet, but I can't imagine John Legend will disappoint.

ETA: I believe the Christmas Jars movie is based on a true story (not sure how loosely or not).

Edited by redpencil
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I don't get BYUtv.  On one hand, it means there are holiday movies I won't get to see.  But on the other hand, it's a relief I won't have to try to squeeze a few more movies into my 'give it a try' pile.

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15 minutes ago, redpencil said:

ETA: I believe the Christmas Jars movie is based on a true story (not sure how loosely or not).

Sort of. The story is fiction but it was inspired by an author’s real life tradition. It’s also a book. 

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11 hours ago, Chas411 said:

Watching Her Magical Christmas - only a few minutes in and I like it so far but Jessica Lowndes delivery always bugs me. Even back in her 90210 days. She does bitchy well but I can never buy her as the super sweet lead in these movies.

This is probably why I avoid Jessica Lowndes movies. Something about her acting does not work for me. Like you said, she does bitchy well. I also, do not buy her as a likable lead in these types of movies. She always seems smug or something. I cannot quite put my finger on it. 

I will also be avoiding the Kristin Chenoweth/Scott Wolf movie. I think Kristin is talented. I saw her in Wicked many years ago, but I find something about her look is just so harsh. She looks so overly tan, botoxed, and blonde. 

Edited by Misslindsey
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2 hours ago, Misslindsey said:

will also be avoiding the Kristin Chenoweth/Scott Wolf movie. I think Kristin is talented. I saw her in Wicked many years ago, but I find something about her look is just so harsh. She looks so overly tan, botoxed, and blonde. 

You hit it right on the head. And I don't particularly like her voice either.

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3 hours ago, Misslindsey said:

This is probably why I avoid Jessica Lowndes movies. Something about her acting does not work for me. Like you said, she does bitchy well. I also, do not buy her as a likable lead in these types of movies. She always seems smug or something. I cannot quite put my finger on it. 

Agreed. I don’t know what it is about her exactly. Having said that I actually quite enjoyed this movie. It held my interest. There was a bit of drama with the ex coming back. They didn’t have it black and white with her boss or the ex being absolute villains with no good side. Lowndes didn’t try shoe horn in a song. Overall it was one of the better ones. I watched Christmas in the Bayou a few days before it and that was awful so this was a welcome surprise.

Only thing I found distracting with Lowndes face. She’s a beautiful girl naturally but it looks like she’s possibly had a bit of work done around her jaw which I think is crazy given she’s only about 31 and stunning.

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I didn't hate Check Inn to Christmas. Didn't love it either. Too many tropes (i'm really tired of evil real estate developers threatening the small-town way of life), but the lead couple was very likeable, as was the supporting cast.

I'd say it was a case of a by-the-book Hallmark story with a better-than-average execution & cast, which saved it from blending in with the rest of them. Nothing outstanding, though.

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On 12/1/2019 at 2:30 PM, StrictTime said:

Watched Staging Christmas on Lifetime last night. Anyone else totally creeped out by the lead actor?

George Stults? He did seem stiff for the role. Punky had the raspy voice thing going on. 

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I wanted to live A Christmas Princess, but lord was it bad.   Her business is failing,  but she doesn't want business? The queen's accent was horrible.  The acting all around was bad.  

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On 11/28/2019 at 3:03 AM, Irlandesa said:

On the other hand, The Christmas Club was charming as fuck. I think it might be my fave of this season. Cameron Mathieson and Elizabeth Mitchell played really well off of one another and both of the actors and the script understood the art of flirting.  I found myself smiling a lot throughout the movie because the dialogue actually felt kind of fun and witty.

There were two moments of "tension" in the movie.  The first ended up leaning into a flirtatious contention and the second led to some mature conversations where both parties shared their perspectives. Even the traditional "one person has to move" storyline wasn't about him giving up a job or even a big city as Minneapolis has a major airport which will let him continue to do what he does--just with a different city home base.

The movie even recognized Hanukkah.  Of course the fact that it was the one main black female character cracked me up because of course Hallmark would double up with the diversity. 

I'm just watching it now - it's definitely better than the average this year.

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I caught a movie on Showtime called A Very British Christmas. I was a bit iffy going in but it grew on me. The lead actress is likeable the lead guy is hot and can act and his family is adorable. I thought it would have a magical element considering the town buildup and it seems a bit low budget considering there's hardly anyone in the town but them, but it's a pleasant movie with enjoyable leads that don't feel like they're phoning it in. Plus the scenery is gorgeous. It has the Hallmark tropes without being too sacchrine and super over the top like Hallmark. 

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BYUtv also has a Christmas musical/variety special, for those who like that sort of thing, called Christmas Under the Stars, this year featuring John Legend (they were thrilled to land him). It premiered December 1 but will be re-airing a number of times. They also stream everything for free on their website (both live and on-demand). I haven't watched my recording yet, but I can't imagine John Legend will disappoint.

Following up on my post from yesterday to say I watched it tonight, and as expected it was great. It's basically entirely music, with John giving very short intros to some of the songs.

Also, in addition to the Christmas Jars movie, BYUtv has another movie called A Very Corgi Christmas coming up this Thursday. For all the dog lovers (I know how Corgi people are, especially).

I'm sure all their Christmas stuff will re-air multiple times this month.

Edited by redpencil
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