In contrast to my craving for horror in October, I love a bit of holiday schmaltz at Christmas time. And Hallmark always delivers! Some of it is too sentimental and predictable even for my tastes, but this year I've encountered some very satisfying and poignant stories. Click the link to learn more AND to find out when this movie might repeat on the Hallmark channel so that you can watch!
A Christmas Wish (2011) -- this one features Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as a struggling divorcée (!!!) who, despite being a hard worker and loving mother, can't seem to catch a break. Great cast in this one.
A Princess for Christmas (2011) -- oh, this looked like it would be so cheesy, but I had to watch for Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser in Outlander). I was pleasantly surprised! Even Sir Roger Moore did a nice job. I actually preferred this foray into fairy-tale-romance-in-a-castle to the newer A Royal Christmas.
Angels Sing (2013) -- the rare Hallmark movie without a budding romance at its center, this one really pulled at my heartstrings. Exceptional cast! (Was this even made for Hallmark? I can't tell.)
Nine Lives of Christmas (2014) -- Simply adorable! Charming and sympathetic romantic leads + CATS = Happy Sonia.
The Christmas Shepherd (2014) -- This one had a slow start, but it's one of the best Hallmark movies I've seen. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the ones with animals. Highly recommended.
And for something a little different:
Fans of Martin Freeman and/or Christmas pageant stories really need to see Nativity! (2009). I purchased it from Amazon.co.uk last year but never got around to watching and sort of forgot I had it. Oh, what fun! It's quite silly at times, and the actual pageant might seem a bit irreverant to some, but overall it has such a big heart and the finale (set among the ruins of the old Coventry cathedral!) is so satisfying. Check out the trailer, but keep in mind that it does tend to focus on the silliest bits:
For those not in the UK, this movie is available for download from Amazon ($2.99 to rent!) or on disc from Netflix. Not available on Hulu, sadly.
(I think I'll skip Natvity 2: Danger in the Manger with David Tennant, and you couldn't pay me to watch Nativity 3: Dude Where's My Donkey? with Martin Clunes. *shudder*)
What about you? Any fun Christmas movie discoveries this year?
[Cross-posted at Livejournal]
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