Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tonight's Movie: A Christmas to Remember (2016)

Hallmark Channel Christmas movies have become a ratings juggernaut and an annual TV tradition, with a whopping three dozen new Christmas films debuting this year on Hallmark Channel and its sister channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Last year's A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER (2016) is a great example of why the movies are so popular.  It's from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel, starring Cameron Mathison and Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino.

Sorvino plays Jennifer Wade, a high-strung New York-based cooking and lifestyle TV host who accepts a friend's (Brenda Crichlow) offer of a place to stay for a Christmas vacation in Colorado.

Shortly after arriving in Colorado Jennifer crashes her rental car off the road in a snowstorm; she struggles back to the highway where she's picked up by a handsome widowed veterinarian, John Blake (Mathison).

Jennifer has lost her memory, and the snow soon covers up the car so no one has any idea of her identity. While she recovers and the sheriff tracks down her identity, Jennifer ends up spending several days with John and his three young children. One of the amusing plot points is that Jennifer is instinctively a great cook but she has no idea why!

Jennifer connects strongly with John and his entire family as she gradually recovers her memory, and it's a safe bet no one is going to want her to leave once she remembers who she is.

The movie starts off on a somewhat false note, with Sorvino's character briefly too manic and unlikeable, although I assume this is to provide a contrast with the beneficial effects of Christmas in Colorado with the Blakes.

Once Jennifer -- dubbed Maggie until she remembers her name -- is staying with the Blakes, the movie fires successfully on all cylinders. It's a cozy "feel good" film filled with likeable characters, and Sorvino brings some genuine poignance to the role as she regains touching memories of childhood Christmases with her mother.

Mathison (of Hallmark's MURDER, SHE BAKED mystery series) is also appealing as a man who's experienced fairly recent loss and is attempting to move forward for his children. Particular kudos go to Wendy Abbott as the grandmother who welcomes Jennifer with open arms.

It all builds to an ending which is pretty much perfect. If you're going to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie, you can't go wrong with this one.

It's also available as a "manufactured on demand" DVD or as a digital purchase.

A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER was directed by David Weaver. It was filmed by Paul Mitchnick on location, with British Columbia standing in for Colorado.

The supporting cast includes Ona Grauer and Steve Bacic, who appears in Hallmark's GARAGE SALE MYSTERIES.

A preview is currently available on YouTube.


Blogger Kristina said...

Liked this one a lot too, as you know :) Mathison has a James Stewart-ish charm, the kids in this were cute, and that cabin I want to live in! All fun. I watched so many of these in the past few weeks and still so many left on the dvr, I'll be Christmassing all year long, it looks like.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Kristina! It was great we each got to enjoy this one this Christmas season. I hope I can catch up with your Hallmark viewing at some point but it's gonna take a while! LOL. A number of them look especially good.

Best wishes,

9:54 PM  

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