Dashing Home for Christmas

Happy Ending? I Hope So…

I loved the romance and humor in this. First of all the two leads were in each others company almost non-stop throughout the movie which led to lots of interaction and realistic relationship building. I loved their chemistry. They had two very distinct and quirky personalities which at the same time were polar opposites from each other. So the journey from indifference to friendship and then love was interesting and full of twists and turns.

I have to say the male lead was certainly not the typical leading man type. Dorky, with glasses, but handsome underneath it all.

He over shared with all and sundry and was pretty irritating to his co-star and the viewer as well. But as we and she come to see, it is because of his warm, kind and generous heart. I generally prefer the non-traditional underdog type hero to the too handsome to be real types anyway. If this is not your jam, you probably will not like this.

The “girl”, on the other hand was not interested in anything but her own business, and would not get off her phone. She was snotty and entitled, but yet she loved her family and wanted nothing else but to get home to them before her sister had her baby. She was an exotic beauty, as opposed to the hero’s looks.

So it was an interesting matchup and romance. Very much out of the typical box. My only doubt is if they can sustain the relationship past the “honeymoon period,” they were so different. So in the interest of happy endings, it’s probably a good thing it ended when it did.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

November 23, 2020

Merry In-Laws

Enjoyably Screwball

A young mother from a scientific background who abjures anything fantastical gets herself engaged to Santa Claus’s son. And she doesn’t even like Video Games. This was cute, funny, and a nice romance. It was interesting to see Lucas Bryant in a more light-hearted role. Lately he has been playing the sullen, strong, silent types. Shelley Long was way over the top in my opinion, but I couldn’t help laughing. Also there were a few truly badly behaved, even hateful characters (her father) in this one which added some tension to the comedy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November 20, 2020

A Christmas Kiss

A Bravura performance by Evil Elizabeth

Very good romance with two appealing leads who had a nice chemistry. The supporting cast of friends and mentors contributed greatly. I also like the plot which goes somewhat off the beaten path of the last 2 years. The star of the show, though, was Elizabeth Rohm, as Wendy’s boss, Priscilla Hall. She is so ruthless, so manipulative, and so harsh behind her phony loving face she shows to Adam, who she is trying to trap while he and sweet Wendy are falling in love. She made such an impression with her portrayal, that they made a Christmas Kiss II, featuring her character. When was the last time Hallmark (or whatever) made a sequel to a movie featuring the bad guy rather than the two lovers? Never! It’s been a long time since I saw CKII, but I think she somewhat redeems herself in that one. Just FYI. Sit back and enjoy!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November 20, 2020

The Christmas Temp

Cute Story and Cute Leads

Two charming leads with great chemistry put this one in “rewatchable” status. I had just been thinking that Robin Dunne had a real Tom Hanks vibe going on when lo and behold he started to play Christmas songs on the giant piano keys. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The plot was interesting and amusing as the struggling female love interest worked to decorate our hero’s boutique hotel lobby for Christmas. His job and a possible promotion was on the line, and her art career would get a much needed jump start. I was a little underwhelmed by her final product, but everyone in the movie seemed to like it, so it must have been me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November15, 2020

Christmas on the Vine

Too Template-y

Yeh… This was just too by the book for me. Too many cliché set pieces: flirty sledding, flirty snowball fight, save the small family business from the big meanies, cookie baking, wreath making, and the Christmas festival (which also had to be saved). I think even Winter Storm Meghan has an impact! The only good things were Juliana Guill and the quality of the production values. Julianna plays a marketing expert who is sent to save a small local winery from bankruptcy and the evil conglomerate which is buying up all of the land and has it’s eyes on the little vineyard that could. Meredith Baxter Birney makes you hate her as the head of the evil winery. I didn’t like the male lead and didn’t think he had good chemistry with Julianna. Plus his character was stupid: resentful and fighting good advice and counsel almost every step of the way. The end came out of no where and was too abrupt.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

November 15, 2020

Grounded for Christmas

Winter Storm Meghan is Back and Better Than Ever!

One of my favorite romantic plot devices is the bringing a fake boyfriend home for whatever reason. This one did a great job thanks mostly to the great chemistry between the two likable leads. Cheryl Ladd as the warm and loving mom was a welcome addition. I have seen her also play a cold ruthless boss this Christmas movie season. She was equally believable in both roles. So that must mean she is a very good actress. And she still looks beautiful. The ex-boyfriend was really creepy, by the way. It was hard to swallow how Nina could ever had had her heart broken by him. Very cute and romantic ending.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

November 15, 2020

A Christmas Movie Christmas

A Christmas Hoot!

Two sisters wake up in a Christmas Movie. One sister loves them, one doesn’t. There was a lot to like in this movie. It joyfully includes every cliché in the Hallmark repertoire including the “token adorable child’s” surprise reunion with her home for Christmas deployed military parent. I won’t list them all because I might forget one. But trust me, nothing was missing. I love the reviews complaining that it was too predictable and had too many clichés. Oblivious much?

Unfortunately it kind of lost it’s way towards the end. Not sure why. Maybe it got kind of old, or maybe it started taking itself a little too seriously? Also, even alternate reality themed shows usually try to reground and explain the path forward after the heroine has returned to the real world. But in this one, the dream love interests just showed up again after the girls woke up. I don’t know, maybe that was part of the joke?

Kudos to Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty for writing and starring in their own movie. I hope they do it again. Kudos to the Gran Gran actress; I really enjoyed her performance. Did not enjoy the casting of Ryan Merriman, he looked like he had let himself go, a bit. Also did not enjoy Lana Mckissack. Personally, I did not find her appealing. Just my opinion, and why I didn’t give this a higher rating. I wish I had known this was filmed in Frankenmuth Michigan when I watched this. We used to visit every year in my childhood.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

November 11, 2020

The Christmas Yule Blog

Not Much to This One

There are no real subplots to keep interest going. A very slight secondary romance, between a pretty girl and a rather plump short chef. It was not a good match even though I like unlikely pairings. It’s basically a travelogue exploring the Christmas traditions of a small New Mexican town. The acting was very weak, though Sara Canning had flashes of adequacy. Her love interest, a doleful widower (of course) with a young son, looked more like her father. He was very weather-beaten and too thin and had a terrible wardrobe. Like Hollywood’s idea of what a Mexican-American man should be dressed like.

The flirty food fight was present and accounted for but thank goodness, the flirty snow ball fight was avoided but only because it was New Mexico. Very annoying Santa Claus imposter added to the overall fail. However, one star for the attempt at diversity with a Latino lead, however lame

Rating: 2 out of 5.

November 10, 2020

Christmas 9 to 5

A Fresh Addition to the Sea of Christmas Movies

Nice cast led by the full of energy Tiya Sicar, a very well-reviewed actress and great talent. she plays a tough crime reporter working undercover in a Department Store to discover the true meaning of Christmas. I suspect that this will be the first and last Christmas movie she will be involved with. She was paired with Joe Dinicol who brings a dorky charm to his role. The mother was delightful (as yet uncredited on IMDb) and had one of the funniest lines I remember in a Lifetime Christmas movie: “I saw a wreath in Cosmetics that looked like a crown of thorns!” I had to rewind the DVR to make sure I heard that correctly. Hilarious! The plot was something different and had a nice twist at the end. The big mystery is how a black woman and a white man could have had an Indian daughter. I’m not sure whether ignoring ethnicity is a good thing or a bad thing. What ever, It’s better than #Hallmarksowhite of days gone by, for sure.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

November 9, 2020

A Ring for Christmas

What Did I Just See?

When I saw that the writer of this mess was the female lead, the mystery was compounded. The acting of virtually everyone in this show was really really bad. Angie’s former teacher, in a dialogue with her, did not even make eye contact with her but was looking over her shoulder to read her lines. I kid you not. Check it out. The school scenes were painful to watch. The writer obviously has never met a real child in her life. The leads were badly cast. The “hot jock/coach” was not only not hot, he was not even fit looking. The female lead did not look the part of the spoiled rich beauty. I’m not saying she was unattractive, but she should have been glammed up and had conventionally pretty features. (Because let’s face it, work would have been done.) The script did not make sense. Why would a loving mother abruptly “just cut her daughter off” from her allowance? Angie was kind and generous-hearted and very intelligent. She had some large bills, but no foundation was laid for such an action. She should have insisted her daughter get a job and become self supporting, yes, but get a job first. And put her on a budget. Put a limit on her credit cards.

The whole thing was very disjointed like it was put together with scotch tape. The characters were not consistent. Their personalities did not match their actions. it had a whole “Hey gang, let’s put on a show!” feel.

The writer/actress, Liliana Tandon, has an impressive resume. What happened here? Why would she write herself such a dumb part in such a amateurish movie. How did it get green-lighted? The preview made this look funny and entertaining. I hate-watched the last hour and a half. Very disappointed.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

November 9, 2020