Christmas Movie Review 2016 – Days 3 & 4: Holiday Switch & A Dream Of Christmas

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.


A Dream of Christmas where Penny is the heroine.


Holiday Switch where Paula is the heroine.

There were a number of similarities and differences:

The similarities:

  • 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.”
  • theres-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.

The Differences:

  • 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. ♥♥♥


Christmas Movie Review – Day 24

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the Day 24 selection for my Christmas Movie Review is… yes, A Christmas Story – 1983, MGM. Those who know me well will wonder what took me so long to review this movie.

Day 24 - A christmas story

The answer is simple. I want to end my 25 day Countdown to Christmas with positive reviews – no big surprises – but movies you can count on to bring a smile and a little “believing to see” the miracles around. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 22

Though I thought twice about reviewing a movie that no doubt has been reviewed too many times to count, I couldn’t help myself.  Elf – 2003, New Line Cinema, is my selection for Day 22 of my Christmas Movie Review.

Day 22 - Elf

In fact, I resisted watching Elf until last summer (I know, crazy.) when a friend loaned me her DVD.  It is one those movies that make you wonder why you held out so long.  You may think my review is a foregone conclusion, but I do have a caveat. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 16

Aha. I’m going a little off script on the Day 16 selection for my Christmas Movie Review (in case you’re pre-screening for minors) with Holiday in Handcuffs – 2007, ABC Family.

Day 16 - Holiday-In-Handcuffs

This movie skips the traditional decorating the tree and baking Christmas cookies scenes in favor of spiking the eggnog for Grandma, ironically played by June Lockhart – everyone’s favorite TV mom from Lassie.  Combine the language and creepy old man at the gas station, and I don’t see watching this selection with wee ones who soak up every word. You won’t find a real Santa in sight.  Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 15

Ice Sculpture Christmas – 2015, Hallmark, is my Day 15 selection for my Christmas Movie Review.  Though it might seem predictable (and it ultimately is), there are a few moments that break the mold (ha) along the way.

Day 15 - ice-sculpture-christmas

Break out (I’m on a roll.) moments include:

  • Ice sculpting facts and techniques that made the movie more real, and piqued my interest in the art. It actually gave me a new respect for the skill involved, and no, I’m not jumping into a new hobby.

Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 11

On Day 11 of my Christmas Movie Review, the calendar shows that it is exactly two weeks before Christmas, which means shopping opportunities are growing limited.  So, in keeping with that… here are my thoughts on 12 Gifts of Christmas, 2015, Hallmark.

Day 11 - 12 Days of Christmas

I thought about saving this for Day 12, but it didn’t go with my two week shopping theme.

Cute guy, Marc, is so busy with his career that he doesn’t do well at Christmastime (or any other family time for that matter), so under a frantic corporate deadline, he hires a personal shopper who turns out to be none other than the cute girl, Anna, who took pity on him when she overheard him struggling to pick out a cookie at the local bakery  for his secretary’s birthday. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 8

I’m on a magic sleigh ride!  For Day 8 of my Christmas Movie Review, the fun continues with Northpole: Open For Christmas, 2015 – Hallmark, which is a sequel to Northpole, 2014 (seen, but not reviewed).

Day 8 - Northpole, Open for Christmas

Warning: Again, I will be using the word “magic” repetitively.

Some of the devices are familiar:  Snow globes with special powers, quirky elves, a really cool workshop where toys are made, and Santa’s magical sleigh.  Oh, and magic snow. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 7

The Day 7 selection for my Christmas Movie Review embraces all that makes me fall in love again with the magic of Christmas – The Santa Clause, 1994, because it’s timeless.  Thank you, Walt Disney.

Day 7 - The Santa Clause

The basic premise is that the main character, Tim Allen, finds himself in a position where he cannot refuse becoming Santa when he inadvertently agrees to a magical contract. Continue reading