Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5

 

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Da Kath and Kim Code (2005)

Rated: TV-14

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Jane Turner and Gina Riley

Synopsis: This is a 2005 Australian comedy telemovie of the television series Kath & Kim.  Here Kath and Kel's union is tested by Michael Bublé, daughter Kim tries pole dancing, pal Sharon finds love online, and a stalker lurks amid Yuletide cheer.

Review: I’ve never seen the television series and I have a feeling that I might have enjoyed it more if I had.  I felt a little lost.  It was funny, odd, and contained a group of completely unique individuals.  The DaVinci code part of the plot seemed unnecessary and disjointed from the rest of it.  If you want a sweet Christmas movie, this isn’t it.  If you just want some silly fun, this will work.

Scoring: 2

A Dad for Christmas (2006)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Louise Fletcher and Kristopher Turner

Synopsis:  19-year-old father goes to the hospital to see his new son where he discovers his young girlfriend has already made arrangements for a couple to the adopt their baby boy. Matt has no family and falls in love with him.  With the adoption imminent and no means to stop it - Matt takes Luke out of the hospital to his grandmother's house. The three form an off-kilter family unit. But can Matt and Luke win against the odds and stay together as a family...?

Review:  A heavy drama, the love of Matt for his son and his determination to care for him is moving. It’s a beautiful story between father and son. 

Scoring: 3

 

Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, and John Cena

Synopsis: Having finally gotten used to each other's existence, Brad and Dusty must now deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.

Review: In my opinion, the sequel was funnier than the first.  The additions of Gibson and Lithgow were brilliant.  They were like their sons but with magnifying glasses.  It’s good for a laugh and a look at the modern-day family.

Scoring: 3

Date By Christmas Eve (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Vanessa Lengies and Evan Williams,

Synopsis: When Chelsea, the good-hearted brand strategist for a popular dating app, The Nice List, discovers the app has granted her magical powers, she uses her newfound ability to make all of the naughty people in her life learn how to be good again.

Review: Predictable, a little boring, and sort of ho hum.  Yet I couldn’t stop watching and waiting to see how it ended.  Would I watch it a second time?  Maybe not.  But if you want an easy and silly movie this is for you.

Scoring: 2

Dear Santa (2011)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Amy Acker and David Haydn-Jones
Synopsis: A young woman who comes from a life of privilege falls for the owner of a soup kitchen after discovering a Dear Santa letter written by his seven-year-old daughter.
Review:  I love this movie. Having a leading man who serves the needy and seeing a socialite find joy so immediately in doing the same make you remember there are good people out there. Watching how they get to their happy ending, with a push from Christmas magic, friends, and an adorable girl, is a special time. 
Scoring: 4

Dear Santa, I Need A Date (2019)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Ray J. Norwood and Anne-Marie Johnson

Synopsis: Two successful and ambitious siblings make a bet to see who can find a date by Christmas.

Review: There are a lot of really funny moments, most of which are with the parents, who are desperate for grandchildren.  The son’s dates are also pretty funny.  It’s an engaging story and it’s easy to follow but it’s not gripping.  It’s a relaxing watch.

Scoring: 3

Dear Secret Santa (2013)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Tatyana Ali, Bill Cobbs, Jordan Sparks, Della Reese, and Ernie Hudson
Synopsis: Beverly Hills banker/workaholic Jennifer comes home to her small Northern California town just before Christmas when her dad, Ted, takes a bad fall while putting up decorations. While home, Jenny begins getting romantic Christmas cards from an unknown admirer, who turns out to be her old neighbor and the unrealized love of her life, Jack. There's just one problem- Jack died in a car accident three years ago.
Review:  This is a similar premise to The Lake House. It started slowly but I got into the story as it progressed. I like the characters and the way they address issues, like caring for an older parent, seriously but lightly.  Overall, I found it to be a darling story.
Scoring: 3
Debbie Macomber's Call Me Mrs. Miracle (2010)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Doris Roberts, Jewel Staite, Eric Johnson, and Lauren Holly
Synopsis: Emily Merkle, aka Mrs. Miracle  is back to ensure that this Christmas is the most magical and meaningful of all. When Mrs. Miracle appears as a seasonal employee in the toy department at the financially troubled Finley's Department Store, neither the store's owners, nor the customers, have any idea of the events that are about to unfold. Just when it seemed Christmas might not come at all this year, Finley's favorite employee proves they don't call her Mrs. Miracle for nothing!
Review:  This movie is just as delightful as the first Mrs. Miracle. It is complete with a Scrooge-like father, an idealistic son, and an aunt caring for her nephew while her brother serves in the army for a heartstring tug. We watch as the magic does it's work and helps sort out all the characters' problems.  Doris Roberts is magical, as always, as Mrs. Miracle.
Scoring: 4

Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through The Snow (2015)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Meghan Ory and Andrew Walker 

Synopsis: Stranded at an airport at Christmastime, Ashley Harrison accepts a ride from Dash Sutherland, who has just rented the last car in town. As the pair heads north, their adventures include car trouble, adopting a puppy and being secretly tailed by federal agents, who believe Ashley is up to no good. With a hint of romance gradually filling the air will these two fall in love or will their journey bring about an unexpected road bump to romance?

Review:  Such a sweet story with the juxtaposition of a naive and open to life Ashley and savvy and closed off Dash. Opposites attract and, in this case, slowly bring out the best in each other.

Scoring: 3

 

Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle (2009)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Erin Karpluk, James Van Der Beek, and Doris Roberts
Synopsis: Overwhelmed widower Seth Webster is searching for a housekeeper to help him with his unruly six-year-old twin sons. "Mrs. Miracle" mysteriously appears and quickly becomes an irreplaceable nanny, chef, friend... and matchmaker.
Review:  I love how Mrs. Miracle takes these two boys and doesn’t see trouble but sees amazing children and she helps Seth as a parent.   The addition of Reba into their lives completes the picture.
Scoring: 4
Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas  (2011)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Tony Cavanagh, Faith Ford, and Gabrielle Murray
Synopsis: Emily, a widow and teacher in Washington state, decides to do a home swap with writer Charles from Boston. Emily is getting away because her daughter, in college in Boston, isn’t coming home for Christmas and she wants to surprise her and Charles hopes a new space will help his writer’s block.   Emily’s best friend flies to Washington to be with her and finds Charles. Emily finds out her daughter went away for Christmas and she meets Charles’ brother Ray. 
Review:  The story of the widowed teacher and the single man is a romantic story of learning to be open and love again.  The story of the writer and the best friend is a comedic story of a loner writer who is rigid in his habits and the outgoing party planner who challenges him.  This back and forth of the comedy and romance kept me interested.  I love watching people be brave and go outside their comfort zones, especially at Christmastime.
Scoring: 4
A December Bride (2016)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Daniel Lissing, Jessica Lowndes, and April Telek
Synopsis: Layla accompanies Seth to her cousin’s wedding, and everyone is surprised when she announces they’re engaged. They’re forced to keep up the pretense, and as they spend more time together, they find themselves feeling something real. 
Review:  I enjoyed Layla’s developing relationship with Seth. My problem was I couldn’t get past her family. Her fiancé leaves her for her cousin that’s more like a sister. The family pressures her to go to the cousin’s wedding and to forgive. I just kept wanting to yell at them that what her cousin did to her was horrible. Why are they acting like it’s nothing?  It just made the movie unpleasant for me. 
Scoring: 2
Deck The Halls (2005)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Gabrielle Carteris, Steve Bacic, and Steven Culp
Synopsis: Holly returns to her hometown with her eight-year-old son, Ben, to work for her father’s toy business. Soon after, Ben watches a man move in next door with a sleigh, red suit, and lots of Christmas goodies. Ben begins to believe that their new neighbor is Santa Claus and devises a plan to set his mom up with Santa Claus. 
Review:  A heartwarming, albeit slow, movie. We get to see the magic of Christmas through a child’s eye. 
Scoring: 2
 
Deck The Halls (2006)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Danny Devito, Matthew Broderick, Kristin Chenoweth, and Kristin Davis
Synopsis: This holiday comedy is centered around two neighbors in a small New England town who go to war when one of them decides to decorate his house with a so many Christmas lights that they are visible from space. The neighborhood is turned upside down as the families try to discover the true meaning of Christmas.
Review:  This movie is filled with silliness and slapstick comedy. The characters are mostly relatable but their antics are often fit for a National Lampoon Movie. 
Scoring: 3

Deck The Halls (2011)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Drama

Starring: Eric Johnson, Larry Miller, Kathy Najimy, and Scottie Thompson

Synopsis: Detective Regan Reilly and cleaning-woman-turned-private-eye Alvirah Meehan, investigate the kidnapping of Regan's father and a young female driver just before the holidays. The race is on to rescue the pair and get them home in time for Christmas.

Review:  Is it cheesy?  Yes. Did I like it?  Yes. Najimy is her usual funny and wonderful self. There’s lots of action and it kept my interest. 

Scoring: 3

Defending Santa (2013)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Dean Cain and Jodie Sweetin
Synopsis: While responding to the report of a broken-down vehicle on Christmas Eve, Scott Hanson, a ski resort town sheriff, stumbles upon a sleeping Santa in the snowy woods. With his sleigh ride in doubt after spending nearly a year in a coma, Santa is put on trial to defend his identity. As the small town learns to "believe," Sheriff Hanson, a dad and widower, also begins to fall for Santa's court-appointed defense attorney, Sarah.
Review:  I consider this to be a watered-down version of Miracle on 34th Street.   The premise is the same but is not as moving. It’s still good to watch. 
Scoring: 3
 
A Dennis The Menace Christmas  (2007)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Robert Wagner, Louise Fletcher, and George Newbern
Synopsis: This is a Dennis The Menace version of A Christmas Carol where Mr. Wilson plays his own version of Scrooge. While Dennis has problems of his own with the neighborhood bully, he does his best to try and give Mr. Wilson the Christmas Spirit. Dennis causes his usual damage and Mr. Wilson ends up breaking Dennis' spirit. An Angel of Christmas Past, Present, and Future steps in to help save Christmas for the Mitchells, the Wilsons, and everyone else.
Review:  If you like Dennis The Menace you’ll like this movie. To me the personalities of the characters are all extreme. I think it’s a movie more for children or to watch as a family. 
Scoring: 2

Desperately Seeking Santa (2011)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Laura Vandervoort and Nick Zano 

Synopsis: Jennifer, a young, ambitious executive running promotions at a failing Boston mall comes up with a genius promotional gimmick to save her workplace and position herself for advancement: hold a "Hunky Santa" contest to replace the old Mall Santa. David, a local man trying to save his family's pizzeria, ultimately wins the contest and sparks fly between him and Jennifer. However, complications ensue when it comes to light that the company Jennifer works for is the same one trying to run David's family out of business.

Review:  This is a fun movie with a nice love story. It’s silly but serious. The shoppers reactions to the hunky Santa are so funny.  David trying to save his family's restaurant while Jennifer tries to save the mall add some drama to the story.  It’s a fun easy view sure to make you smile.

Scoring: 3