Christmas List movie review (2016)

The Hallmark Channel has really outdone themselves this time.  And by that, I mean this movie has the exact same beats as every one of their Christmas Rom Coms:

  1. underappreciated woman has boyfriend who doesn’t understand her and/or takes her for granted
  2. woman meets a guy who gets her
  3. at end of the movie, woman stays with original guy because “he had first dibs”

OK, I might have made that last one up.

Nevertheless, warm up your clarinet and “just let it happen” as we dig into Christmas List together.

“I want to watch!”

I know you do, you freaky little kid. You’re gross.  We’ll get back to him. 

The writer forces Alicia Witt to play Isobel Gray like she’s a space alien.
I think the idea is that since Isobel has never experienced the simple joys of Christmas, everything is amazing to her, so her reactions sell her character’s motivation but also make it seem like she’s five or nuts or from Mars.  In any case, it’s not great writing.

“I’m done being unreasonable.”
The characters in this movie aren’t exactly well-rounded, but Wanda Cannon has the hardest row to hoe as Ellen Gray.  The mom character is simply an engine that drives the movie when other plot devices are not available.  She’s annoying when necessary and then just hops on a plane at a moment’s notice once she’s done serving her purpose.

[SHUDDER] That kid freaks me out.
There’s child actors and there’s this kid.  Even normal lines sound weird coming out of his mouth, but sometimes, they’d write weird stuff for him, like the aforementioned “I want to watch!” What a terrifying way to end a movie.  Once Alicia Witt told him to warm up his clarinet, it was all over.

“You barely know me but thanks for trusting me enough to take you to this deserted mountainside.”
Be careful out there, ladies.  I’m not sure this is a good practice.  I know he seems like a nice guy, but he may have a fridge full of heads.  I mean, look what happened to Ryan Reynolds!

And so on.  This movie doesn’t have anything new or unique to say, but it is in fact a movie.  It’s not missing any pieces and it’s paced well enough and besides one terrifying kid and underwhelming dialogue, the acting pushes this movie along well enough.  I can’t necessarily recommend it, but there are certainly worse TV Christmas movies out there.

Much worse.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on December 10, 2016, in christmas blog posts, movie review, tv review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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