Christmas in Compton (2012)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Keith David, Eric Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph
Synopsis: Big Earl, the owner of a Christmas tree lot in Compton, California runs into some trouble when his son Derrick crosses the line to prove to his father that he is a success.
Review: There are parts of the plot that are quite far-fetched but I like the overall message of the value of community. It’s not the highest quality film I’ve seen and it felt a little long. I did enjoy it, though. As with many movies, the little girl was a highlight.
Christmas In Connecticut (1992)
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Dylan Cannon, Kris Kristofferson, and Tony Curtis
Synopsis: Elizabeth is the star of a successful cooking show and author of several cookbooks. Alexander, her manager, sees a heroic forest ranger named Jefferson on the television news, saying he has lost his cabin in a fire and wishes he could get a home-cooked Christmas dinner. Alexander arranges for Elizabeth to do a special live show on Christmas, where she will cook a Christmas dinner for Jefferson. In reality, Elizabeth can't cook and trying to keep Jefferson and the viewing public from finding out may be a little difficult, especially on a live show.
Review: As with many remakes, the original is so much better. The original is more of a love story with humor and this is slapstick. It’s funny and silly but it doesn't take itself seriously and is still entertaining.
Christmas In Evergreen: Letters To Santa (2018)
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Jill Wagner, Mark Deklin, Holly Robinson Peete, Ashley Williams and Barbara Niven
Synopsis: Lisa's trip home to Evergreen for the holidays finds her shepherding an effort to save the town's beloved general store, fulfilling the wishes of a Christmas past and finding a romance full of Christmas magic.
Review: I actually liked this better than the first Evergreen movie. There’s something special about this movie. It’s got love, friendship, family, healing, and magic. I loved everything about it.
Christmas In Evergreen: Tidings of Joy (2019)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Paul Greene, Maggie Lawson, Barbara Niven, Holly Robinson-Peete, Jill Wagner, and Ashley Williams
Synopsis: A skeptical writer shows up in Evergreen to get the scoop on the town's famed passion for Christmas during a search for a long-lost time capsule.
Review: I admit I was skeptical that the third Evergreen movie could live up to the first two. It was the best yet. All the Christmas traditions, scenery, and joy are there like the first two. The addition of the time capsule kept me riveted to the TV. The relationships between all the town people are heartwarming. This is one to watch.
Christmas In Hollywood (2014)
Genres: Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jiang Zi Long
Synopsis: Charlie, a young boy from China travels all the way from Shanghai to find his father’s restaurant in Hollywood is in trouble. He must convince 3 people to believe in the Spirit of Christmas in order to save his family's dream.
Review: I understand that Long is a child actor but he’s a horrible actor which makes his character hard to warm up to. His uncle speaking as a pirate was grating. Believing in Christmas and magic is great but this is not the vehicle for conveying the message in a good way. The not so subtle nod to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is as over the top as the rest of the film.
Christmas in Louisiana (2019)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Jana Kramer, Barry Bostwick, Dee Wallace, Moira Kelly, and Brian McNamara
Synopsis: A woman returns home to celebrate the anniversary of the town’s Sugarcane Christmas Festival.
Review: The movie is fairly upbeat and filled with Christmas. I just had trouble buying into the premise. Senior year a boy breaks up with a girl in front of the whole town, she holds a grudge for 15 years, then all is forgiven in a day and they’re celebrating the festival together. It took away from what the movie could’ve been. Even with that, the movie is still wonderful. Old love, new love, and rediscovered love all together wrapped in Christmas.
Christmas In Love (2018)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Brooke D’Orsay and Daniel Lissing
Synopsis: Ellie works at a local bakery but her love is crafting. Nick, the new CEO, arrives filled with modernization ideas destined to lay off many employees. When Nick finally tells the employees his future ideas for the company, Ellie must decide if she should trust him, but more importantly, whether to take a leap of faith in making her own dreams come true.
Review: I know this includes a small town and a bakery as so many Christmas movies seem to but this one is different. It’s layered and moves at a steady pace. It’s full of Christmas tradition and small-town charm.
Christmas In Mississippi (2017)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Jana Kramer, Wes Brown, Faith Ford, Barry Bostwick, Richard Karn, and Gary Grubbs
Synopsis: Photographer Holly returns to her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi for Christmas. The town is resurrecting their traditional holiday light show for the first time since a terrible hurricane struck five years earlier. Holly volunteers to pitch in, but soon has second thoughts when she discovers the festival is run by her high school sweetheart, Mike. With the help of her match-making mom, Caroline and Mr. Kriss, the kind man who will play Santa in the town's celebration, Holly begins to fall in love with her hometown, and Mike, all over again.
Review: I found the storyline about the hurricane to be distracting and overkill. Other than that, I really liked it. Kramer and a Brown had strong chemistry, the story slowly unfolds, and it weaves in Christmas magic.
Christmas In Montana (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Kellie Martin and Colin Ferguson
Synopsis: Before the holidays, Sara goes to Montana to help resistant Travis save his ranch.
Review: This movie was a heartfelt Drama with real emotion yet it didn’t feel dark. It didn’t get too much into the ranching and was more about the relationships. The main characters were learning to deal with loss which is something many people can relate to. There was tons of Christmas and community. I especially loved the bonfire sing along.
A Christmas In New York (2016)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Jamie Ray Newman
Synopsis: Several guests come to terms with love and its countless complications over the course of one night in an upscale Manhattan hotel.
Review: The stories were interesting and diverse but poorly done. This was a true missed storytelling opportunity. The majority of the movie is depressing and moves like molasses. Very hard to sit through.
Christmas in New York (2005)
Genres: Animated, Fantasy
Starring: Stefano Crescentini
Synopsis: A jungle boy of the fifth oracle travels to New York, with his talking dogs Winner and Fox, to find Father Christmas (Santa Claus) and helps many people along the way.
Review: I like animated movies but this was just painful to sit through. The voice overs were horrible. They even had humans making the animal noises, and badly. The lack of story didn’t help.
Christmas in Paris (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Rebecca Dalton, Karl E. Landler, and Daphne Zuniga
Synopsis: Lucas, a wealthy French entrepreneur, heads to Montana for a very attractive business proposal. While there, he meets Robin and whisks her away to Paris for a whirlwind Christmas adventure.
Review: It’s a sweet enough story but very little seems to highlight Paris. I also found Lucas’ accent difficult to understand. I had to use closed captioning to follow the story. The love story is okay but the story with Lucas and his father provides the most interesting part of the story. It’s okay but I don’t plan on watching it again.
Christmas In Rome (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert and Sam Page
Synopsis: Angela, an American tour guide in Rome, agrees to teach a culture-shocked businessman named Oliver about the heart of Rome at Christmas.
Review: The first half of the movie is primarily learning about Rome and just a little about Christmas In Rome. In the second half we get to the romance and relationships and a little more Christmas. It’s sweet but I wish the first half was more like the second. If you want to learn about Rome you’ll really like it.
A Christmas In Royal Fashion (2018)
Starring: Cindy Busby
Synopsis: A handsome prince hopes to convince an American fashion company to bring more business to his kingdom. He hosts a Christmas fashion show, where he meets an intriguing young assistant.
Review: You’ve got the prince who falls for the commoner, mistaken identity, and a sweet child in the hospital. It’s the perfect recipe for romance. Yes, it’s not full of surprises but it’s got likable characters and is an easy watch.
A Christmas In Tennessee (2018)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Rachel Boston, Andrew Walker, and Caroline Rhea
Synopsis: A baker unites the people of her small mountain town to resist a real estate developer’s plan to build a ski resort.
Review: Boston and Walker, pros at TV Christmas movies, do their magic again. A sweet love story that’s not totally predictable and fun to watch. I especially liked the Christmas magic. I won’t give any spoilers but there are a couple of magical visitors.
Christmas In The Clouds (2001)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Timothy Vahle, Sam Vlahos, and Mariana Tosca
Synopsis: A classic comedy of mistaken identity and romance set during the holiday season at a ski resort that is owned and operated by a Native American Nation. Shot on location at The Sundance Resort in Utah, this is the first contemporary romantic comedy to feature an almost entirely American Indian cast. The film was featured at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
Review: I’m not sure why this won awards. Apparently, critics think it’s good. I was halfway through and still bored. It shouldn’t take that long to become engaged with a film. The only part I liked was the beautiful scenery shots. If it sounds good to you, give it a shot.
Christmas In The Heartland (2017)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Sierra McCormick, Shelley Long, Christian Kane, Brighton Sharbino, and Bo Derek
Synopsis: Teenagers Kara and Jessie strike up an unlikely friendship while sitting next to each other on a plane that's bound for the heartland. Forced to spend the holidays in the same small town with relatives that they've never met, the girls devise a plan to switch places for Christmas. Jessie soon finds herself living lavishly with Kara's wealthy grandparents, while Kara starts to bond with Jessie's fun, quirky grandmother and the most genuine, modest family that she's ever known.
Review: While it’s a take on The Parent Trap meets The Prince And The Pauper, it doesn’t do either justice. I liked the beginning and seeing the girls evolve but the ending ruined it. In this day and age, it’s hard to buy a story where neither family knew what the girls looked like, their family never called to speak to them, and so on. It makes it even harder to buy into the premise.
Christmas In The Smokies (2015)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Sarah Lancaster and Jill Wagner
Synopsis: Clinging to the only life she's ever known, a headstrong woman (along with her loving parents) finds herself on the verge of losing her family's berry farm in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, to an impending retail expansion. Over one eventful holiday season, she tries every avenue possible to save the farm. But, when the local town leaders notify her that they will have to seize the property after the holidays, her last hope to unite the town, is to throw a Christmas concert on the farm, headlined by her former love, a ne'er-do-well country music superstar. As the day of the concert approaches, they all must learn the value of family, faith and community-before time runs out.
Review: A sweet, if not predictable, movie. I saw the ending from the beginning but I didn’t mind. There is a religious tone so if you don’t like that I wouldn’t watch. If you want a typical and charming love/family story at Christmas, you’ll enjoy it.
Christmas in Wonderland (2007)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Chris Kattan, Tim Curry, and Patrick Swayze
Synopsis: Three children and their father move from Los Angeles to Edmonton, Alberta. When they go shopping at West Edmonton Mall, they find counterfeit cash, inadvertently help catch crooks, and make a discovery about Santa.
Review: This movie is really meant for children. It’s overly silly and outrageous. For adults, if you love slapstick, you may like it. The craziness should have
children in stitches. I do like the overall message of family being the most important part of Christmas.
Christmas Inheritance (2017)
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, and Andie McDowell
Synopsis: Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father's gift business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad's former partner in Snow Falls, the hometown she never knew. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she's forced to work for her keep, and in the process, finds romance and discovers the true gift of Christmas.
Review: A predictable movie but still nice. We get to see a wealthy woman as she rediscovers the value rather than the price of things. In order to enjoy it you have to be able to ignore major plot holes. It’s okay but I probably wouldn’t watch twice.
Christmas Is Here Again (2007)
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Musical
Starring: Jay Leno, Ed Asner, Kathy Bates, Brad Garrett, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, and Norm Macdonald
Synopsis: An elf and three animals help an orphan find Santa’s toy sack.
Review: This movie has a Wizard of Oz type of plot with animation similar to many of the modern children’s shows and a cast of who’s who. I still didn’t enjoy it. It’s not that I thought it was bad, it was just grating. I think children and some adults will love it. It merges the religious and secular Christmases.