Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

Posted December 20, 2017 / Features / 9 Comments

I wanted to include some movie reviews, recommendations, and general thoughts this year, since these are usually the biggest piece of my holiday cheer! I do love the holiday books, of course, but the movies are what REALLY gets me in the mood. I watch many of the same ones each year but always try to mix in some new favorites. In this little roundups, I’ll be sharing “reviews” of both new-to-me movies and repeat watch feels. They’ll be going in chronological order based on when I watched it this season!

Love You Like Christmas PosterLove You Like Christmas

Number of watches: First time
Source: Hallmark original movie
Rating: Worth it for cute Christmas Valley alone

I’m continuing to crank through these Hallmark movies but I hope to keep breaking it up with some others, so I don’t get sick of them lol. They all involve some high-powered executive of some time kind ending up in a small Christmas-loving town, who decides she loves it and wants to stay. This particular formula was a marketing executive from NYC getting stranded in Christmas Valley, Ohio as she was driving to Denver for a wedding. She falls in love with a local tree farmer (and his daughter) while helping them save their farm from the big and mean tree conglomerates nearby (lol). She essentially transforms the whole town with her marketing prowess and then has to decide whether or not she’s going back to NYC for her job. All in all, the formula worked here. Charming Christmas town, cute diner, great Christmas farm/bed and breakfast/etc., and somewhat annoying little girl on the side.

Home Alone PosterHome Alone

Number of watches: Around 10 times?
Source: Starz On Demand
Rating: Frustrating Christmas classic

I’m probably one of the few people out there who doesn’t LOVE this movie. I like it for sure and Kevin is adorable, but his family is the fucking worst. The whole first 15 minutes is frustrating because they’re all so complacent and clumsy and just don’t care about anything. It’s no surprise they left him behind. I like all the antics he gets into while he’s alone and there are some fairly decent Christmas feels. The traps he sets for the robbers are definitely the highlight because he is way too clever. I like the way his character develops though – he starts the movie as a helpless kid without knowing how to pack a suitcase, but ends the movie as a mini grown up. He does laundry, grocery shops, and obviously traps some robbers using crazy booby traps.

Rugrats: The Santa Experience

Number of watches: So many times lol
Source: Hulu
Rating: Perfect Christmas nostalgia

I feel like most people who didn’t watch Rugrats as kids wouldn’t care much about this, but I need to include it. Chris was in the mood to keep the nostalgia going and found one of my all-time favorite episodes from when I was a kid. I still have the orange VHS tape of their holiday specials somewhere at my parents’ house! In any case, this involves all of the kids and their parents heading to the mountains for the Christmas holiday. Chuckie is afraid of Santa, Angelica is afraid of getting coal, and the adults plan to hire a Santa to come by overnight. I just love the music and story; it makes me feel like I’m back to being a kid that is excited for Christmas. I’m a huge fan of the Rugrats Hanukkah episode(s?) too so I’d love to track those down at some point this month. Again, it’s tough to recommend this unless (a) you have little kids or (b) watched this show when you were younger… but of course I love it.

Christmas with the Kranks PosterChristmas with the Kranks

Number of watches: First time
Source: Hulu
Rating: Very bizarre and all over the place

We decided to watch this one on a whim because we’d never seen it. I like Tim Allen in THE SANTA CLAUSE and obviously like Jamie Lee Curtis in general, so why not? Well, Chris spent the rest of the night ranting about the movie and enjoying negative reviews, so clearly it didn’t get his stamp of approval. It’s a weird movie because they spend most of the time fighting their neighbors and friends because they don’t want to celebrate Christmas. Instead, they’re going to take a cruise while their daughter is away in Peru with the Peace Corps. When she suddenly decides to come home for the holiday as a surprise, they have very little time to get everything fully Christmassed. There were so many weird plot points and character quirks that were never really explained by the end of the movie. Why was Luther so adamant about the cruise? Why was he feuding with his neighbor? Why did everyone in the neighborhood suddenly love Blair at the end? There were SO many weird elements of this movie that never really came together in a way that made sense. It’s somewhat anti-Christmas for the first half (or more – not sure of the timing honestly) and then Christmas explodes at the end. I did laugh a handful of times but it wasn’t actively a funny movie I would recommend.

The Santa Clause PosterThe Santa Clause

Number of watches: Billionth time
Source: Freeform On Demand
Rating: All-time favorite Christmas movie

I’ve talked at length about how much I love this movie so I know I don’t necessarily need to do it again, but I’m going to anyways. This was always my favorite movie when I was a kid and even though it’s not perfect (or even super uplifting for a Christmas movie), it remains my favorite. I get all the feels the minute I hear some of the songs and the scenes. We started watching it on Freeform On Demand but had to switch to somewhere else because they cut out certain scenes for TV. Yes, the movie I’ve seen a billion times needed to include ALL of the (somewhat unimportant) scenes for me to be happy. I don’t feel bad about it. Anyways, Tim Allen is definitely at his prime here (especially compared to the previous movie I talked about…) and the jokes that went over my head as a kid are perfect now. I’ll always love this one regardless of how absurd or terrible it can be at times. No movie makes me feel more Christmassy.

Moonlight & Mistletoe PosterMoonlight & Mistletoe

Number of watches: First time
Source: Hallmark original movie
Rating: Cute, family-oriented rom-com with a great setting

I honestly really enjoyed this one! I can see why it’s one of the more popular Hallmark Christmas movies. It was made in 2008 so it’s definitely older (you can certainly tell by some of her outfits LOL), but it holds up really well otherwise. The premise is that Holly originally left Santaville, the year-round Christmas “theme park” in Vermont that her dad runs, to get away from the holidays. She returns home to help her dad after an accident and is tasked with saving the theme park from Big Bad Guys who want to ruin it. Obviously there are some good father-daughter feels and romance for the Queen of Christmas, Candace Cameron-Bure (I don’t even want to watch holiday movies without her involved at this point in my life.). Again, great setting and premise that follow the Hallmark movie formula perfect.

9 responses to “Holiday Movie Roundup: Reviews/Recs (2)

  1. Rugrats was my favorite childhood TV show so I would love to watch that Christmas special. I’m a huge Full House fan so I just set Moonlight and Mistletoe to record! Great list!

  2. The Home Alones, Santa Clause(s), and Christmas with the Cranks are staples for me! I haven’t seen the Holiday in years and my coworkers all RAVE about it, so I’ll be trying to find that tonight for me and Max to watch (his first time). I also can’t forget the trusty Yulelog/Fireplace they have on Netflix…currently have it on while blogging!

    Cristina (Girl in the Pages) recently posted: Far From the Tree by Robin Benway | Review
  3. Oh Home Alone! The best part for me is when he’s in the church with the guy who shovels the sidewalks. That man reminds me so much of my grandpa it’s hard not to get choked up. Of course as an adult understanding how sad his situation is only makes it worse! And you are 100% correct; his family is awful.

    Christmas with the Kranks is one of my faves but I can admit you’re right. There is a whole lot not explained. I wonder if it’s better explained in the book?

    The Santa Clause is a fantastic movie and I can’t imagine why there would be people out there who DON’T like it.

    Great list. Though we’re well into 2018 I want to go back and rewatch some of these. I totally skipped out on the Christmas vibe this year and that’s just sad. 🙁

    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter recently posted: Perfect by Cecelia Ahern *Stephanie’s Review*

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.