I’m always fascinated when I notice that two similar movies are playing back-to-back on competing channels. As I finished watching A Dream of Christmas (Hallmark, 2016), I discovered Holiday Switch (Lifetime, 2007; written by Gale (Gayl) Decoursey) had just started, so… it was fun to contrast and compare, and wonder how many ways can A Christmas Carol be redone? Granted, there were not ghosts of Christmas Past, but the depressing Christmas Futures were convincing.
There were a number of similarities and differences:
- Both protagonists are female.
- Both women suffer a blow to the head and pass out.
- Both women are frustrated with their current lives, and wish they’d made different choices.
- Neither movie includes any pets.
- Both heroines give up really good guys and end up with knuckleheads.
- Both see remembrances/touchstones of their former lives, but can’t seem to get their guy to relate, yet… in the end, the touchstone is what provokes a flicker of memory and cements them back together.
- Both of their former husbands have moved on and have new partners.
- Both remind me of The Wizard of Oz when they came back to themselves. Paula even says “There’s no place like home.”
- Both wake up in new beds after their wishes come true.
- Both learn to appreciate what they had before their lives changed.
- Both begin to “stalk” their former husbands.
- Paula hears a voice calling her; Penny’s wish is granted by an angel.
- Paula wishes to be married to a different guy; Penny wants to be single.
- Paula enters her new world through a clothes dryer; Penny wakes up in a new apartment.
- Paula falls asleep, and wakes up where she passed out; Penny hits her head again before waking up.
- Paula’s children now belong to the new wife; Penny’s sister’s children don’t exist.
Aside from personal details, there are far more similarities than differences, so it’s difficult to watch one movie and then watch the second without noting which movie does something specific best.
For instance, I thought Holiday Switch portrayed Paula’s life to be so unbelievably wretched – very poor, lying to creditors, truly messy home – that she was more believable in her wish that she’d married the other guy.
However, I thought the connection between Penny and her guy was steamier, with the attraction more intense in A Dream of Christmas.
I think they’re both worth seeing and give them each 3 of 5 Visions of Sugar Plums. ♥♥♥
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