Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Diane has been watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. Diane claims the predictable plots, the romance, and the guaranteed Happy Endings soothe her. Then last week, Diane told me about a cute Hallmark Christmas movie: A Very Merry Mix-Up. “You would like it, there’s a pretty redhead who stars in it,” Diane explained.

So when I visited the North Tonawanda Public Library a few days ago, I picked up A Very Merry Mix-Up. Diane was delighted when I brought it home and we watched it together. Alicia Witt (remember she played Cybill Shepherd’s daughter in the TV show Cybill) stars as Alice, who owns a struggling antique store in Brooklyn (down the street from the Meyersons).

Alice has a wealthy boy friend, Will (Scott Gibson), who is a real estate wheeler-dealer. Will proposes to Alice and then surprises her further by inviting her to meet his parents for Christmas. Alice agrees. She flies to a nearby city while Will stays in New York City to close a Big Deal. Then, things start to go terribly wrong for Alice. Her luggage is lost. Her phone is broken. She has coffee poured on her.

But, Alice meets Matt (Mark Wiebe) who is a furniture maker. Matt makes Alice laugh. More confusion and misdirection result. And, eventually, Alice has to make a Big Decision as Christmas morning approaches. A Very Merry Mix-Up is not Shakespeare, but it will make you laugh and maybe, just maybe, make your eyes a little misty. Do you watch Hallmark movies? GRADE: A

42 thoughts on “A VERY MERRY MIX-UP [DVD]

  1. Cap'n Bob Napier

    Linda watches Hallmark movies, which I consider grounds for divorce or commitment in an asylum! Sappy, banal, sludge!

  2. Deb

    I don’t watch Hallmark movies, but I freely admit to reading plenty of romance novels—although I like the dark & angsty variety as opposed to the lighter, sweeter Hallmark fare. I suspect part of it is the promise of an HEA (Happily Ever After) or even an HFN (Happy for Now).

    1. george Post author

      Deb, the predictability and promise of a Happy Ending, key ingredients to Hallmark’s success with these movies, prove irresistible to a certain audience.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Jackie does, sometimes, including Christmas ones. But I doubt she saw this one (Brooklyn!) and I am sure it was filmed in Toronto rather than Brooklyn.

    I do like Alicia Witt. ( Don’t know the men. ) It looks like she has been in a bunch of these Hallmark (& Lifetime) Christmas movies, and I know Jackie has seen at least a couple of them (CHRISTMAS AT CARTWRIGHT’S was one).

    But no, to be clear I do NOT watch them with her.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, you’re right about many of these Hallmark movies being filmed in Canada (perhaps near that primitive religious commune where Zena Witz hung out).

  4. Patti Abbott

    No. I wish I could just sit back and enjoy them instead of finding them vaguely right wing in their evocation of a Wasp, happy America. I probably would have a lower blood pressure if I could. Maybe I wouldn’t need sleeping pills either.
    As close as I get is a movie like Pillow Talk.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, I have a copy of PILLOW TALK around here somewhere. It would be fun to watch it again! I do drink a glass of red wine before I go to bed and it puts me to sleep in minutes.

  5. Michael Padgett

    I’ve noticed that an addiction to Hallmark movies is accompanied by an addiction to Lifetime movies. Since I don’t watch either of them I’m not sure how similar they are. Is Diane into Lifetime?

  6. Jerry House

    Not my cuppa. I place them just a tad lower than the Lifetime Original Movies. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      If you pay attention to the titles, the Lifetime movies have gone dark lately. They are all THE RAPIST NEXT DOOR or MY PSYCHO MOTHER IN LAW or the like.

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        Here you go, all on Lifetime Movie Club:

        A Daughter’s Revenge
        A Daughter’s Deception
        A Daughter’s Plan to Kill (can’t tell you if this is a trilogy)
        A Mother’s Worst Fear
        A Sister’s Secret
        A Sister’s Revenge
        A Student’s Obsession
        Babysitter’s Nightmare
        Amish Abduction (a favorite title)
        Baby Monitor Murders
        Boyfriend Killer
        Dating a Sociopath
        Deadly Influencer (very topical!)
        Deadly Sorority (plus 5 more Deadly titles)
        Fiance Killer
        Killer Under the Bed
        Killer Twin
        Murder In-Law (see, I told you!)
        My Mother’s Split Personalities
        Nanny Killer
        the Psycho series (Ex-Girlfriend, Mother in Law, Nurse, and my personal favorite – Psycho Party Planner)
        Stalked By My Patient (also By My Ex, By a Reality Star)
        The Doctor Will Kill You Now (another favorite title)
        Twisted Nanny

        Believe me, there are dozens more. No, I’ve never seen one. I’d take any Hallmark movie instead.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, thanks for the list. Like you, I’d take a Hallmark movie any day rather that sit through one of these Lifetime horrors!

      3. george Post author

        Jeff, the Lifetime movies I see advertised seem very much darker than the Hallmark movies. Which kind of defeats the purpose if you’re like Diane and only want a Happy Ending.

      4. Deb

        Jeff—I don’t see my favorite Lifetime movie title, “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” A Tori Spelling Classic!

      5. wolf

        Jeff, that list of movie titles sounds really crazy to me!
        Since I don’t watch tv I can’t even say whether they are available in Europe/synchronized into German or Hungarian. But I’m happy that my wife thinks the same – we’d rather watch a rock concert at full volume. 🙂

      6. Todd Mason

        Lifetime movies trend toward he supermarket gothic formula–as Joanna Russ put it, Someone’s Trying to Kill Me and I Think It’s My Husband. Sub GASLIGHT.

        Deb–MOTHER MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER? was actually an ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK back when Lifetime ran medical equipment programming and surgical instruction video–no kidding—on Sundays (a legacy of its original nature of being a medical channel) (which is scarier, that, or Pat Robertson keeping a clause that each purchaser of the CBN Family Channel has had to keep a clearance for THE 700 CLUB on the schedule?). But I believe Lifetime has commissioned sequels.

  7. Steve Oerkfitz

    I’d rather eat ground glass. When I was dating I had several deal breakers. Country music, a fondness for The Brady Bunch, Celine Dion and Kenny G cd’s, and Hallmark movies. If I saw a liking for any of these that and was the end of that.

      1. george Post author

        Deb, you are remarkably accommodating! I’m with you on smoking and the Trumpenkult. I would add drug abuse and book burning.

    1. wolf

      Steve, same here!
      A bit OT:
      When I took that lady home that was supposed to be”the ideal partner for me” I also was skeptical so at her home while she got a glass of water for me I looked at her book shelves – and saw Asimov and other SF authors and D H Lawrence!
      Suddenly …
      So the next day she came to my house and …

  8. Fred Blosser

    One of the two, either Hallmark or Lifetime, or maybe both, seems to have an endless series of Royal Wedding movies. The broadcast networks’ line-up of junk like Love Island and Ellen’s World of Games is hardly much better, and arguably even worse.

    1. george Post author

      Fred, I know Hallmark movies series includes at least a dozen Royal Wedding offerings. I can’t speak to Lifetime’s offerings since I never watch that channel.

  9. Carl V. Anderson

    I’ve seen several other people mentioning that they’ve watched Christmas movies during the pandemic for very similar, or exactly the same, reasons as your wife.

    This one looks fun, I’ll put it on our list for movies to watch come November, when we start our early Christmas season celebration.

  10. Jeff Meyerson

    Note to Deb: Believe it or not, Lifetime did make a remake – with added vampires! – of that Tori Spelling classic in 2016, under the same title. Tori appears in a different role, as does Ivan Sergei from the original. The story was “conceived” by star James Franco. I’m sure it can’t compete with the original for camp value alone.

  11. Elgin Bleecker

    George – Peter O’Toole (yes, Lawrence of Arabia himself, only older) co-starred in a movie I caught on Hallmark called “Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage.” He played the painter’s mentor.

  12. Todd Mason

    Alicia Witt was briefly in TWIN PEAKS (a child prodigy a the keyboards, she plays behind the closing credits of one episode), was a co-star of CYBIL as cited (a decent series till they let Cybil Shepard decide she could write it–a common failure point for sitcoms in those years), LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT for a season, and JUSTIFIED for a season, to cite what sticks in memory. So, I will give any project she’s in at least a cursory look.


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