Saturday, January 27, 2018

Tonight's Movie: A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013)

It's now closer to Lent than Christmas, but I was so busy in December that I've decided to keep right on enjoying some of the Christmas movies I didn't have time for last month!

Spurred on by my great enjoyment of A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER (2016) and CHRISTMAS UNDER WRAPS (2014), I decided to watch another Hallmark Channel Christmas film, A VERY MERRY MIX-UP (2013).

A VERY MERRY MIX-UP has some of the same warm overtones and plot devices as the Christmastime favorite WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (2009), while putting its unique spin on its story of a lonely woman falling in love with both a man and his family.

Brooklyn antique store owner Alice (Alicia Witt) has just become engaged to businessman Will (Scott Gibson), despite her unspoken uncertainty. Will sends her on a flight ahead of his to meet his family for Christmas, intending to follow as soon as he completes a big business deal.

A series of airport disasters knock Alice's phone out of commission and lead her to unexpectedly meet Matt (Mark Wiebe), who thinks Alice's fiance Will is his brother Billy (Justin Mader).

After a hospital detour due to another accident, Matt takes Alice home and she gets to know Matt and Billy's warm parents (Susan Hogan and Richard Fitzpatrick) and grandfather (Lawrence Dane). She relaxes as she feels accepted by and happy with her new fiance's family, though she's disconcerted by her attraction to Matt.

Alice has trouble connecting with Will but isn't too concerned as he's due to arrive soon. Then Billy gets home...and he's not Alice's Will! Alice is embarrassed to realize she's been having a wonderful time with total strangers.

Eventually Will arrives and locates Alice, and she goes home to meet his parents (Judah Katz and Mimi Kuzyk). As she gets to know his family and realizes the things which are really important to Will, all Alice's original uncertainties about their differences now come into sharp focus...but what to do? One guess.

This was quite an enjoyable film. Witt's Alice is just slightly ditzy, especially at the outset, but that impression of her character wanes as she fits in so beautifully with Matt's tradition-loving family. She joins in with cookie baking, game playing, and going for late night walks with gusto. Things at Will's house are decidedly different, though Alice does her best to connect with everyone.

Wiebe is charming as Matt, who feels a pull toward Alice from the first time he sees her in the airport, and all of the senior family members in both families are well played. I hadn't seen Kuzyk (HILL STREET BLUES) in anything in many years, and she was quite amusing as Will's "different" mother.

A VERY MERRY MIX-UP was directed by Jonathan Wright and filmed by Russ Goozee.

I'll be writing about some additional Hallmark films here in the future. I continue to believe that many Hallmark movies, with their enjoyable stories and attractive casts and settings, will also appeal to my fellow classic film fans, and I hope my readers will try some of them out in the future. Put this one on the list to look for on Hallmark Channel next Christmas season!

A VERY MERRY MIX-UP is available on a single-title DVD or as part of a four-film collection. It can also be purchased as a digital film from Amazon. A 30-second ad may be seen on YouTube.


Blogger Kristina said...

Really enjoyed this story too! Loved the bit where Alice takes the game she learned from Billy's family, and tries to play it at Will's--really highlighted the differences between them, and boy were they different! "Macrobiotic!"

11:03 AM  

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