Until Hallmark channel paid notice, authors whose works have morals, rarely got much exposure in the world of film. A pair of movies, already a success and to their credit based on Debbie Macomber’s novels have already been made prompting Hallmark to again bring another of her novels to their holiday line-up.
Trading Christmas (2011) Hallmark TV Film Review
Christmas re-opens many happy and not-so-happy memories for Emily (Faith Ford). A widow with a college age daughter, both she and Heather still enjoy every special holiday tradition three years later. Or that is what Emily thought. Emily’s spirits are high with the impending arrival of her daughter as she decorates the house and purchases the supplies they’ll need for holiday baking but instead of welcoming Heather home, the girl confesses that she would rather make her own plans… just this once.
Impulsively she agrees to a house swap to be with her daughter. This leads her to house swath with a Boston college professor, Charles (Tom Cavanaugh). A man who is currently in desperate need of peace and quiet to finish his current novel. To further complicate matters, Emily’s friend Faith (Gabrielle Miller) decides to pay her a surprise visit only to be surprised to find a stranger – Charles, in her best friend’s house!
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Despite my hysterical giggles and admittance that Christmas movies seem no better than recycled plots and sub-par acting, each year, I eagerly watch them. Usually each year, I am rewarded. No shortage on Christmas cheer is skimped on in this sweet, heartwarming tale. From Emily’s over-decked-out house (talk about overkill!) to the city streets, everything sparkles with hometown memories. It promotes family but also explores the idea that there is a time for change and even when it hurts, there is healing in it.
Borrowing a page (or maybe, an entire playbook?) from the charming Nancy Meyers film, The Holiday, this script is not nearly as witty. The characters are fun-loving, most especially Faith whose a wonderful source of comedy; she refuses to take “no” for an answer and her determination to make the best out of an… awkward situation is endearing.
There’s sweetness to the story that is MIA in too many films. Everyone learns what they need to and some of the protagonists even realize that letting go of one’s past can sometimes be a painful but rewarding experience. It’s one in which everyone winds up getting a happy ending. And keep in mind, where families cannot indulge in the charms of The Holiday, they certainly can in this scenario.
Content: Aside from a handful of kisses between unmarried couples [a couple of which are “passion” fueled] and implications that a college girl may be sharing a room with her boyfriend [they stay in the same house], there is little to no content.