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Haylie Duff stars as Sandy Love, host of the Dr. Love in the Morning radio show in this Christmas romantic comedy. At another radio station, host Pepper Sterling (Tilky Jones) has gotten into some hot water with an important exec and has been shipped off to the small town of Idyllwild, Colorado to become Sandy’s new co-host. The two butt heads right away, Sandy being a sentimental romantic and Pepper being a natural born cynic. With only a couple weeks until Christmas the two try to tolerate each other as the holidays grow closer.
When it comes to made-for-TV movies, this one really isn’t all that bad. Haylie Duff is actually quite charming in this movie and although I wasn’t completely sold by Tilky Jones’ performance or their chemistry, this movie was still better than other Christmas movies in the made-for-tv category. Some of the radio bits were clever and there was one where Pepper plays Santa when a little girl calls in that is truly heart warming. Overall, there are a lot of cheesy moments that might have your eyes rolling (one in particular that involves mistletoe) and there are quite a few plot holes and moments that don’t really make sense but it does still have some decent moments and Haylie Duff is endearing.
Kayla (Karissa Staples) has lost the spark with her famous choreographer fiancé Carlton (David O’Donnell) and has resigned herself to a loveless marriage when she runs into Dusitn (Brant Daugherty) and the two exchange an electric kiss in an elevator. Kayla now has to reevaluate everything and decide what she really wants for herself just in time for the holidays.
I really loved Karissa Staples in this movie. She was adorable and down to earth and she’s easily the highest point. That being said, her fiancé Carlton is so over-the-top and ridiculous that it’s hard to take her seriously because she’s with him. She explains that things were different when they started dating but it’s hard to believe. It also makes it hard to believe that there is any question when Kayla has the option to turn to Dustin, the handsome chef who she shared a steamy kiss with. So, I wish that Carlton’s character wasn’t so much of a fool, it would have made the stakes higher and would have made me care more about Dustin and Kayla’s fate. On the other hand, this isn’t a great drama we’re talking about, it isn’t an Oscar contender or romantic epic, it’s a made-for-TV Christmas movie so I may be asking too much.
Susan (Jennifer Finnigan) is an aspiring newspaper writer who has been tasked with writing a great article for the Christmas day paper to prove she’s got what it takes to become one of the newspaper’s full time writers. Susan hasn’t been in the Christmas spirit since she was dumped on Christmas a couple years earlier and she’s finding it hard to get inspired but decides to uncover the history of a family Christmas angel and the reason behind why her grandfather made it in the first place. Along the way she meets Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) who makes it his personal mission to reignite her Christmas spirit.
This one is probably the best of the bunch. Finnigan and Scarfe are cute together and they have good chemistry. The storyline is an interesting mystery of sorts too. It isn’t too tricky to unravel as the story progresses but it’s actually an interesting concept with some unique twists and turns. When everything is sorted out at the end it’s a little much for me but, as I mentioned, this is one of the better ones and it’s worth the watch.
Directed by the one and only Jason Priestly, Dear Santa follows Crystal (Amy Acker) as she tries to leave her frivolous party girl ways behind and start a real, meaningful life (not to mention, if she doesn’t her rich family is going to cut her off financially). When she comes across a letter to Santa from a little girl (Emma Duke) asking for a new wife for her widowed father Derek (David Haydn-Jones) she decides that this is the perfect opportunity to “accidentally” run into him at the local soup kitchen.
The plot is pretty straight forward with this one. There are no twists and turns, it won’t really surprise you in any way. The characters are cute though. You find yourself caring for them, even though Crystal seems pretty irredeemable and a little stalker-ish at the beginning, it is pretty warm and fuzzy at the end. Does that make up for the shaky plot points and completely unlikeable (again) romantic rival? Maybe, maybe not. You decide.
When Sarah (Lindsey Gort) gets hit by a bus while trying to get a dog back to its owner just before Christmas, she finds herself in the lobby to Heaven and she isn’t on the list to get in. To prove that she’s worthy of going to Heaven, Sarah is sent back to Earth to help someone in need, her ex-boyfriend Jordan (Derek Theler).
Right off the bat, I did really like Derek Theler in this movie. Unfortunately that’s about all I liked. I wasn’t a fan of Sarah; she wasn’t particularly likable and she didn’t seem very invested. The other thing that really bothered me (stop reading if you don’t want spoilers) is that the whole movie is all for naught when, at the end of the movie, Sarah gets sent back to before she died at the beginning of the movie so she can live out her life. All the good that she did with Jordan, like helping him get his bar and then reconciling his and Amanda’s relationship, never happens. So why do we care about any of the movie when the end completely negates it? Because Sarah goes back in time the rest of the movie never happens and is totally meaningless.
What are some Christmas movies that you would put on this list?