Christmas Wander (2017)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Vanessa Simoes and Jody Mitchell

Synopsis: Amelia is forced to interact with her father, Fred who abandoned her as a child and now has Alzheimer's.

Review: The beginning was really slow and the acting was subpar.  By the end, I was interested and liking the story.  It just shouldn’t take that long to get sucked into a story.  It also doesn’t feature Christmas other than ending on Christmas.  It’s okay but it’s hard to sit through the beginning to appreciate the end.

Scoring: 2

A Christmas Wedding (2006)
Rated: PG
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Eric Mabius, Dean Cain, and Reagan Pasternak
Synopsis: Emily and Ben met on Christmas day now plan to marry on this Christmas day almost two years later. Then Emily must attend work, and leaves the wedding plans up to Ben. Problems arise when procrastinator Ben tries to deal with bridesmaids dresses and dyed shoes, while perfectionist Emily is out of her mind with worry that her perfect day will be anything but. However, when a snow storm threatens to strand Emily at her work, she realizes that the only thing that matters is making it home to be with Ben and their Christmas wedding.
Review:  To me this movie seems very slow and a bit boring. Watching the groom flounder as he tries to plan the wedding and seeing the bride trying to get home isn’t enough to save the movie. 
Scoring: 2

A Christmas Wedding Date (2012)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Marla Sokoloff, Chris Carmack, Catherine Hicks, George Wendt, Vanessa Evigan, and David Deluise

Synopsis: After being fired, Rebecca goes back to her old home town to attend her friend's wedding on Christmas Eve and visit her mother. But when she tries to return home she finds she must relive Christmas Eve over and over until she gets it right.

Review:  Another movie based on Groundhog Day. It’s interesting  to see Rebecca learn about what’s important and find happiness but some of the repeated activities get tiresome.  

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Wedding Planner (2017)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Jocelyn Hudon, Stephen Huszar, Kelly Rutherford, and Joey Fatone

Synopsis: Wedding planner, Kelsey Wilson, is about to have her big break: planning her beloved cousin's lavish and exclusive wedding. Everything is going smoothly until Connor McClane, a devilishly handsome private investigator, shows up and turns Kelsey's world upside-down. Hired by a secret source, Connor quickly disrupts the upcoming nuptials. 

Review:  I really enjoyed it. It’s a true romantic comedy. It’s not really about planning a wedding, rather it’s about the people and the situations. I laughed, I was moved, and I was engrossed in the story.  They even managed a surprise at the end. I loved it muchly (you’ll get that if you watch it.)

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Wedding Runaway (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Candice Mausner, Harmon Walsh, Joseph Cannata , Sarah Mitich, and

Synopsis: Maggie Mason, a runaway bride, dos some soul-searching when she’s trapped in a snowed-in cabin with her grandmother and an old flame at Christmas.

Review: It’s a little cheesy and the story is a little superficial at points.  That being said, I love the relationship between the sisters.  Nana alone is worth watching the movie.  It’s light and subtley romantic but it’s fun.

Scoring: 3

A Christmas Wedding Tail (2011)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Jennie Garth, Nikki Cox, Brad Rowe, David O’Donnell, Catherine Hicks, and Tom Arnold
Synopsis: It's love at first sight when Rusty the Labrador and Cheri the Poodle meet one day while jogging in the park. Even better- their owners fall in love too! But love is more complicated for the people, Susan and Jake, who marry and attempt to join together their large family of five children. With kids fighting and a household in complete chaos, it's up to the dogs to keep the family together.
Review:  Very sweet story about two families attempting to blend with the help of their dogs. I liked the realism of the children’s issues as well as the parents’ trepidations. It was done in a way that wasn’t too serious and made me smile. Parents and children in blended families will relate to this story.
Scoring: 4

The Christmas Wife (1988)

Rated: NR

Genre: Drama

Starring: Jason Robards and Julie Harris

Synopsis: A widower not wanting to face his first Christmas alone responds to an ad for "social introductions".

Review:  This isn’t a feel-good love story. It addresses loss, grieving, and life. It’s definitely not for children. If you’re up for a drama you’ll like it. 

Scoring: 3

 

A Christmas Winter Song (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Musical

Starring: Ashanti and Stan Shaw

Synopsis: Clio, a Christmas shop owner, forms a special musical bond with Fred, a former jazz singer. Having just lost her own father, Clio help Fred reconnect with his own daughter and grandchildren, just in time for the town’s annual Christmas pageant. 

Review: What a special movie. The relationship between Fred and Clio is so beautiful. They help each other heal and move on. The music adds to the charm of the film. Very moving. 

Scoring: 4

A Christmas Wish (2011)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Kristy Swanson, Tess Harper, K.C. Clyde, and Edward Hermann 
Synopsis: The owner of a diner helps a homeless woman and her children during the holidays. 
Review:  Another annual must see for me. This is the story of a mother who will do anything for her children. She has true moral character and is inspiring. The children add a special dimension to the movie. The support of the town is moving. A strong Christian message. 
Scoring: 5

A Christmas Wish (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Hilario Burton, Tyler Hilton, and Pam Grier

Synopsis: Maddie slips in a wish for her sister Faith to experience true love for the first time. Next day Faith meets seemingly perfect Andrew, but is he really the one for her?

Review: Silly and charming, this movie has lots of Christmas magic. The characters are sweet and funny and some of the wish predicaments made me actually laugh out loud. The children and their love of art was icing on the cake. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Jill Wagner, Matthew Davis and Donna Mills

Synopsis: Weeks before Christmas, Abbey is hired to decorate the estate of businessman Nick. But to do her job well, she must figure out how to break down the wall between her and Nick, all while keeping the holiday spirit alive.

Review: This movie has all the pieces of a wonderful romance.  It has a love triangle, an adorable child, a single mom, and making life choices.  It’s sweet with a good ending.  If you like romance, this is for you.

Scoring: 3

Christmas With A Capital C (2011)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Ted McGinley and Daniel Baldwin

Synopsis: An attorney returns to his small home town in Alaska and quickly rocks the boat by getting an injunction against the nativity display tradition and attacking Christmas.

Review:  Another examination of Christian vs secular Christmas but it wasn't done well. The constant fighting and back and forth makes it awful to watch and it’s way too preachy. 

Scoring: 1

 

Christmas With A Prince (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb and Nick Hounslow

Synopsis: A busy doctor reluctantly agrees to allow an injured prince to convalescence secretly in her pediatric ward. 

Review:  This is not a movie about Christmas.  Rather, it’s one that takes place at Christmas. However, it’s darling. The children are precious and have so much personality. The love story almost seems secondary to the story of the children. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas With A Prince: Becoming Royal (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring:  Kaitlynn Leeb, Nick Hounslow, and Charles Shaughnessy

Synopsis: Dr, Tasha is off to St. Savarre to spend Christmas with Prince Alex.  He proposes and they immediately being making plans.  Princess Miranda, unhappy about the news, concocts a plan to halt the nuptials.

Review: As with the first movie, Christmas is merely the time of year it’s taking place.  There are no Christmas traditions.  Unlike the first movie, it isn’t filled with adorable children.  The love story picks up where the first movie left off but this would work as a stand-alone.  It’s a decent story but it felt a little superficial.  The evilness of Miranda felt the most real.  Still, if you like a simple and easy romance, you’ll like it.

Scoring: 3

Christmas With A View (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb, Scott Cavalheiro, Patrick Duffy, and Vivica A. Fox

Synopsis: Secret aspirations between a failed restaurateur and a celebrity chef threaten their blossoming Christmas romance.

Review:  A little syrupy with more than a few slow moments but overall, it’s a nice story. The leads have good chemistry and acted well together. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas With Holly (2012)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Sean Faris, Eloise Mumford
Synopsis: Mark Nagle leaves his job and home in Seattle when his orphaned niece Holly (six), who stopped communicating since her mother's death, isn't allowed to pass to the next grade. He moves back in with his single brothers Alex and Scott. Also new to the island town is Maggie Conway, who bought a toy shop and needs her sister Kate's support plus interns after firing the experienced manager to try a child-oriented concept. Holly and her toy store help bring Mark and Maggie together. 
Review:  Such a sweet story. Watching the differing personalities of the brothers as they care for Holly and how Maggie brings Holly out of her shell is lovely. 
Scoring: 4
Christmas With The Andersons  (2016)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: George Stults, Christy Carlson Romano, and Julie Brown
Synopsis: Mike and Caroline Anderson have always gone all out with parties and gifts for Christmas with their 10-year-old twins Brendan and Julia. But when Michael loses his job just before the holidays, it looks like Christmas is canceled -- until they receive a visit from wacky Aunt Katie, who helps them realize they can still pull off Christmas with no money, and rediscover what's most important.
Review:  At first the movie didn’t really have my attention. Rich people treating people as if they’re beneath them is very expected. They got my attention when the family hit hard times and had to come together as a family celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. 
Scoring: 3

Christmas With The Karountzoses (2015)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Robert Krantz

Synopsis: On Christmas Eve Michael Karountzos finds out he didn't get his anticipated promotion and must now deal with fourteen Greek relatives at his dinner table.

Review:  It felt like this movie was trying too hard to recapture the magic of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” while failing.  There were comedic moments, dramatic moments (like Michael reading a letter to his younger self), and religious moments, none of which worked cohesively together.  It wasn’t enjoyable.  Had it chosen a genre and stuck with it; it may have been successful.

Scoring: 1

Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey, Julie Gonzalo, Caroline Rhea, Felicity Huffman, 
Synopsis: With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.
Review:  This isn’t a favorite of mine because of the amount of animosity.  The beginning feels more like an anti-Christmas movie.  Everyone helping out at the end made up for it, a little. 
Scoring: 2
Christmas With Tucker (2013)
Rated: NR
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: James Brolin, Gage Munroe, and Jodie Bissett
Synopsis: A young boy learns to be a man after the death of his father and forms a special bond with a dog.
Review:  There are many places where this movie drags but seeing the relationship between Tucker and George as well as how good George is to his grandparents make it worth it. 
Scoring: 3

A Christmas Without Snow (1980)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Musical

Starring: Michael Learned, John Houseman, and James Cromwell

Synopsis: A divorced woman moves to San Francisco from Omaha after her divorce. Leaving her young son with his grandmother while trying to build her life again, she joins the choir of a local church. A tough, curmudgeonly, perfectionist choirmaster, is hired and attempts to whip the choir into shape for a Christmas concert. The choir group overcomes issues including ageism, racism, teen angst, small group divas, middle-aged relationships, single parenthood, the plight of struggling low income churches, and replacing the old with the new.

Review:  While I found the movie to be quite slow, I’m glad I stuck with it. The story, shown in 1980, still rings true today. There are so many situations that make the movie relatable.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Wonderland (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Emily Osment and Ryan Rottman

Synopsis: Heidi, an artist, left her small town to make it in New York but became a gallery curator. When she goes home to care for her niece and nephew, she must work with her ex to plan the high school dance. Then Heidi must decide which life to choose. 

Review:  An endearing story that has all the emotions of a Hallmark movie but a story that is fresh. The actors and scenery are wonderful. I truly enjoyed it. 

Scoring: 4