Showing posts from November, 2019

REVIEW: The Hallmark Sequel "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up" Is as Silly as the First One

Emily and Jared are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together as a couple, and they prepare to work with their neighbors on Evergreen Lane to make this year's Christmas celebrations the best yet.  When a house on the block goes up for sale, the soon-to-be-neighbors are holiday royalty, but they are so competitive that they nearly ruin Christmas for everyone. Starring:   Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ellen Travolta, Melissa Peterman, Seth Morris, and Jennifer Aspen Image:  Hallmark Media Haul Out the Holly:  Lit Up Has a Moral When the residents of Evergreen Lane learn that their new neighbors are the Jolly Johnsons--famous holiday reality stars--they are thrilled to welcome them to the block.  Everyone assumes the Johnsons will fit right in since they share their same affinity for elf culture. Emily, Jared, and the rest of the holiday crew quickly realize that the Johnsons aren't interested in joining in on the fun--they plan to take over. Image:  Tw

A Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas QUIZ!

Starring:  Rachael Leigh Cook and Benjamin Ayres  Released:  2019 Summary:  A hotel manager returns to her Virginia hometown to help her sister plan a Christmas wedding at the inn her family once owned and must work with the current owner. Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC Where Have We Seen Them Before? When you watch a Hallmark Christmas movie, there's often the nagging feeling you've seen the actors in other shows, but you can't pinpoint which ones.   Many of them are on the Hallmark payroll and rotate through the heart-happy Hallmark movie circuit, which usually accounts for their foggy familiarity.   Rachael Leigh Cook's career in film, television, voice characterizations, and video games is expansive, but I remember her most from her recurring role in the hilarious detective show that aired on the USA Network:  Psych.   Any Psych fans out there?   Cook played Abigail, Shawn Spencer's girlfriend before he finally connected w

Scavenger Hunt: A Poll, a Quiz, & Red Lipstick

Starring:   Kim Shaw and Kevin McGarry   Released:   2019 Summary:     A woman heads back home to partner up with her ex-boyfriend in her hometown's annual Christmas scavenger hunt. Image:  Crown Media Unique Story Line Hallmark Christmas movies often center on a woman leaving the city to visit her hometown during the Christmas season.   This movie shakes things up with a unique story twist.  The small town of Deerfield hosts an annual scavenger hunt to raise money for a charitable event.  Each team receives clues, which they decipher, complete, and then photo to prove it's been accomplished.   The viewer vicariously participates in the scavenger hunt, which is so much fun.  Did you figure out the answers to all the rhymed clues? image polls Don't Jump to Conclusions Why did Belinda and Dustin break up initially?  Dustin planned to follow her to the same college, but when his dad was unexpectedly unemployed, he got a job to help his family and ski

Nostalgic Christmas--Are the Carved Santas Cool or Creepy? Take the Poll!

Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC Summary:    A woman visits the small town in Maine where she grew up to help her dad prepare to sell his  toy store and retire from his wood-carving career. Released:  2019 Starring:  Brooke D'Orsay and Trevor Donovan A Weird Thing to Have in Common In several Hallmark movies, couples share something in common.  They are both writers, news anchors, or photographers. In this movie, our love birds have something un common in common--wood! Ann Garrison loves to carve like her father, and Keith McClain manages the town mill. As Bill Garrison and Mrs. Wentzel prepare to retire, both the toy store and the mill go on the market. Spoiler alert (if you haven't seen the movie):  Ann takes over her father's business, and Keith will run the mill after Mrs. Wentzel donates it to the town. Does that really happen, by the way?  Have you ever known a business person who donates a lucrative business?  Doesn't Mrs. Wentzel nee

What Do You Think of Hallmark's "Picture a Perfect Christmas?"

Did you watch  Picture a Perfect Christmas ?  I enjoyed this movie, as always, but it's my least favorite of the 2019 season. Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC It almost seems sinful to criticize a Hallmark Christmas movie, but I'm going to do it. We turn a blind eye to all the plot holes, unlikely coincidences, and faulty time lines in these movies because we love it when loose ends are tied up in a shiny, red bow.   No one ends up with a broken heart.  Everything works out in the end.  It's a comforting formula.  If only life were really like that! With so many glaring issues with this movie, my rose-colored glasses couldn't filter them all.  Did anyone else notice? survey tools Learn How to Take a Picture Merritt Patterson is a lovely leading lady, but since the entire "focus" is on her photography career, wouldn't you think someone would have shown her how to competently handle a camera?  It would have helped her be a m

Best Gifts for Hallmark Christmas Movie Lovers

Image:  Etsy Many Hallmark Christmas movie fans have at least one thing in common--we love watching these festive movies all year! From October through New Year's Eve, Hallmarkies overdose on Christmas cheer.  When the Hallmark Channel returns to their regular programming, until their Christmas in July celebration, we are forced into detox and suffer withdrawal.  One or two movies per week isn't enough! Smokers kicking the habit might rely on Nicorette gum, but how can we cope?  Munching on stale candy canes until next season won't help. There is a solution.  We can invest in products that will keep us on Christmas life support, even when temperatures climb into the 80's. Stock up on these gifts, or put them at the top of your wish list, and enjoy them year-round! Christmas Books Made Into Hallmark Movies Tons of Christmas books have been adapted for the Hallmark Christmas line-up.  Create your own holiday library so you can lose yourself in the warm fuzz

Hallmark's Two Turtle Doves: Saddest Movie Moment & QUIZ!

Starring:   Nikki DeLoach and Michael Rady Released:  2019 Summary:   A neuroscientist searches for a beloved family heirloom in a small Christmas town, and she realizes Christmas miracles really do happen. Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC Missing Ornament--We've All Been There Try as you might to pack away your Christmas decorations in an organized fashion each year, it never fails that something falls off the radar.   Where is that stocking?  You've scoured all the boxes--where's the tree skirt?   In Hallmark movies, the missing decoration always turns up eventually. In past movies, star and angel tree toppers have been misplaced, but the lost ornament in question in this movie is the pair of turtle doves, hence the title,  Two Turtle Doves. Legend has it that two turtle doves make people fall in love.  I wonder what power the eight maids a milking ornament has?  The power to make everyone hungry for cookies? Sharon Harper's (Nikki

What's Your Take on Candy Canes? Hallmark's Merry & Bright

Starring:  Jodie Sweetin and Andrew Walker Released:  2019 Summary:  A company's CEO meets a man during the Christmas season who she assumes is the one her mother wants to set her up with, but he turns out to be from a corporate recovery firm. Image:  Crown Media, United States LLC Where is the Candy Cane Capital of the World? Merry & Bright  takes place in the fictional town of Britewell, Ohio.  Being an Ohio resident myself, I am delighted our state earns a place in the Hallmark Christmas hall of fame, even though the movie was actually filmed in Winnipeg.   Spangler Candy is a company located in northwestern Ohio, in the city of Bryan , a city once considered the candy cane capital of the world--until half of the production moved to Mexico.   Cate Merriweather tells the story of how the Merry & Bright company was birthed.  Cate's grandmother was inspired by a story of a German choirmaster who needed something to keep the children singer

Are You Too Busy? A Lesson From Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses

Starring:  Jill Wagner and Matthew Davis Released:  2019 Summary:  A few weeks before Christmas, a woman decides to pursue her passion for interior design and gets hired to decorate the estate of a local businessman. Image: Crown Media, United States LLC Are You Too Busy? The older we get, the faster life seems to move.  Americans are hard-working people, but sometimes, we bite off more than we can chew.  We spread ourselves too thin with over-commitment.  If you spend more time juggling activities than savoring life's best moments, it might be time to give your schedule a maintenance check or tune-up.     In Hallmark's Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses, Nick Sinclair almost misses a chance at love because he is too deeply engrossed in his work--building upon his father's business legacy.   Is your job devouring you?  For some, growing a career takes preeminence over dating.  For others, focusing on the office to create financial security for

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