'Sister Swap: Christmas in the City' is the second of a two-part Christmas movie. The two storylines of the films run parallel, each from the perspective of one of the two sisters. Moreover, the sisters are played by the William sisters, who are sisters in real-life. It is an innovative concept, as I noted in my review of the first film. However, the first movie is a disappointment. That is, it isn't very good: the story and acting. 'Christmas in the City' is better, but in the end, it is a mediocre Christmas movie at best. In this story, we follow Meg (played by Ashley Williams) who is planning on going to France, a trip she originally planned with her late Uncle Dave (played by Kevin Nealon). However, before heading abroad, she visits her sister Jennifer (played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley) in the city where she ends up staying and helping with the restaurant's upcoming Christmas competition and party. Will Meg's big ideas help Jennifer's restaurant win the competition? While in the city, she also meets Joe (played by Keith Robinson) who is the new general manager at Jennifer's restaurant. As the two increasingly spend more time together preparing for the upcoming competition/party, sparks begin to fly as they begin to discover the feelings they have for each other. Will Meg find love this Christmas? The story in this one is more coherent than the first. We also learn about elements of the story alluded to in the first in this storyline. Indeed, I enjoyed the intersection of the storylines in this one, as we find out the other side of the story (a little bit of mystery solved in this one). However, Meg's purpose in the city, at the restaurant seemed unnecessary. I understand what the writers were trying to do; that is, using the events at the restaurant as a backdrop while Meg worked out her issues concerning her Uncle Dave, her trip to France, and her future. But this backdrop and even the romance seemed forced. On a more positive note, like in the first movie, the writers do a good job of developing the dialogue between the sisters, which is one of the strengths of both movies. The acting in this one is pretty good. Williams has a corky vibe to her performance. Indeed, she has a lot of energy as Meg who is incredibly chatty, cheery, and wants to help. At times, I found it a bit tiring to watch, if I am being honest. Unfortunately, the chemistry between Williams and Robinson is not very good. Simply put: their performances in this respect are not convincing, I'm afraid. They come across more as friends than anything else. The movie does have plenty of Christmas spirit and festive cheer from cookie decorating and other family traditions to everything else you would expect in a Hallmark movie. All in all, 'Christmas in the City', though better than the first, is an unremarkable Christmas movie. That said, hard-core fans of Hallmark Christmas movies (or the Williams sisters) are likely to enjoy both 'Sister Swap' stories.
Sister Swap: Christmas in the City
Comedy / Romance
Sister Swap: Christmas in the City
Comedy / Romance
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In these interconnected movies, Jennifer and Meg Swift are sisters who couldn't be closer despite living hours apart. Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon. Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery. This Christmas is the family's first since the passing of Uncle Dave who owned the town's beloved theater, The Madison, where many memories were made over the years. When Jennifer and Simon return home for the holiday, they become wistful for one more Christmas at The Madison, despite that it's for sale and in need of repairs. Meanwhile, Meg is helping Jennifer's restaurant staff in Salt Lake prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants with the winner earning money for the charity of its choice. With the sisters switching cities leading up to the holiday, they find a new sense of purpose and discover what they both truly need in life and in love.
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Better than the first...
It might be helpful to read my review of Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday. This movie runs parallel to the other one, with the ending of this one continuing a little farther in time. This movie steals several scenes from the other one, but many of them are shot from a different perspective and may not include the exact same lines.
I love Ashley Williams and she is her typical energetic self in this movie. And quirky. And a little crazy. But so much fun.
While A Hometown Holiday focused on family relationships with the romance almost taking a secondary role, this movie is primarily a romance movie. Willaims and Keith D. Robinson have chemistry, but Williams steals the focus.
Joe starts out as very prim and proper or as Meg says "Victorian". Then suddenly, he's not. Echoes of his stiffness peaks out from time to time, but very quickly his personality changes completely.
The inevitable conflict is inconsistent as well as inconsequential. The movie and actors don't "sell it" due to saying or doing one thing and then the opposite.
I enjoyed this movie due mostly to Williams' energy, despite serious flaws in the story. If you aren't already a fan of Williams, this movie may not appeal to you.
It's the companion movie to Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday. Jennifer (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and Meg Swift (Ashley Williams) are sisters and best friends. This movie follows Meg and her misadventures. She stays in the city and starts getting involved in planning the restaurant party.
I do like this story better. It's simplistic which is perfect for Hallmark. I like the Rashomon element of rewatching the same scenes from the other point of view. This probably needs a better Joe. He's very much a stiff suit playing a stiff suit. The best way to do that is to put a comedian in the role. In the end, I like this slightly better than the other movie. I am still going to wait for the Williams sisters to solve murders while they giggle.