In general, I’m most tuned into Hallmark Channel from November through December (their Christmas campaign). But once in a while, I switch things up. My most recent “switch up” is with Lifetime TV and one of their 2018 original’s, Every Other Holiday.
Every Other Holiday (2018) Lifetime Review
Trying to find a new normal for her girls is the priority of the newly single, Tracy (Schuyler Fisk). In the aftermath of her divorce, things aren’t easy, but through it all, Tracy and her ex strive to ensure their girls are happy. This year, her daughters (Abby James Witherspoon, Skylar Olivia Flanagan) have one wish: to spend Christmas together. This means, their mother, grandparents, and father all under the same roof.
This prompts Tracy to call her mother (Dee Wallace), with whom she has a tentative relationship, and suggest the idea. Though reluctant to accept an ex-son-in-law into their home for Christmas, her mother and father (Glen Morshower) agree to the idea if it means their family will be whole. Together, Tracy, Rick (David Clayton Rogers) and their daughters travel to her parent’s home for a Christmas sure to be anything but normal.
When I was clicking through my DVR to find a Christmas movie to watch, I read the brief synopsis of this one and thought, it sounded really cute. I didn’t know much about it, including who played the characters, so I went in unsure of its likability. What I walk away with is a (much to my surprise!) really sweet story.
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What drew me in is the premise. It was different than the usual, and that’s always a plus. As I watched this film, what strikes me is how ordinary this film is. To say this is meant as a compliment. There is “realness” to these characters that we don’t see in most seasonal flicks. The characters look and seem like ordinary people we might know in our daily lives. They aren’t perfect – in fact, imperfection is rampant in their family, and because of this, we relate. Not just to personality traits but also their daily lives.
If there is one thing I don’t like, it’s how the mother is portrayed. It’s as if she’s a bit too self-righteous which then puts a bad light on her faith (which is nothing like her sometimes ill-represented comments). That said, there’s a scene between Rick and his ex-father-in-law as well as an end church scene that helps to rectify this. Plus, as is always the case, characters change and learn how to be better in the future.
Beyond this, I really liked this one. It’s full of sweet moments, and the young actresses who play Harper and Ava are adorable (and again, they are genuine). Plus, a little celebrity trivia for you, Abby is Reese Witherspoon’s niece. Everyone else is also fantastic. I love the “feelings” that linger between Tracy and Rick. Though I haven’t seen her in anything prior to this, Schuyler is fantastic in this struggling mom role. She plays it with authenticity, and vulnerability. It’s also great fun to see David (Revenge of the Bridesmaids, Jane By Design) in something again, and Glen who was in 24.
If you’re looking for something other than a Hallmark movie (gasp!), then you might enjoy Every Other Holiday (alternately known as A Holiday Wish Come True). It’s bright, cheery and best of all, romantic. It’s about a family with cracks, and the notion that the future will heal these. In conclusion, this one will be one of my favorite Christmas films of 2018!
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Photo: Lifetime TV