When I Think of Christmas


Comedy / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Niall Matter Photo
Niall Matter as Josh
Mark Humphrey Photo
Mark Humphrey as George
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
782.04 MB
English 2.0
30 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 11 / 42
1.57 GB
English 5.1
30 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S 5 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by VetteRanger6 / 10

Didn't stand out for us

We've enjoyed Niall Matter since his days on Eureka, and he's been a solid presence in a number of Christmas films.

We found this film watchable, but it won't be on our repeat list. We have a couple the writers wanted us to believe both thought the other had left them. The reason they came up with seemed contrived and unbelievable, and they begin their reunion in their hometown each quite bitter at the other.

When Niall's character, who is putting together a Christmas show, runs out of piano players for rehearsals, she agrees to play the piano. Not just agrees, but volunteers with the slightest of suggestions from her mother. From there the supposed bitterness virtually melts away with very little effort. The relationship changes, in our opinion, lacked authenticity.

Our verdict is watchable, but we won't repeat the viewing.

Reviewed by rebekahrox5 / 10

I got distracted from the story.

This had some good things about it. I really like Niall Matter and I've seen Shenae Grimes in a few things a while back and also liked her very much. She plays a lawyer in the big city, who comes home for Christmas and to help her mother downsize and and move into a new condo. She comes across her old music partner (Niall Matter) and we learn that she used to be a talented musician and singer like her late father. He gives her the cold shoulder and there is a lot of anger behind his eyes. They have a fight and the truth comes out. She won a scholarship to Yale University and abandoned their dreams to go to Nashville together and try to make a go at music. She didn't discuss it with him and just left with no warning. Basically ghosted him after a long relationship. But after she got to Yale, she wrote him and tried to call him numerous times and he just ignored her. The best he could do on his own was being part of a band. He couldn't attain any degree of the success he dreamed of without her, although he did make a little name for himself. He has been blaming her all this time for his lack of success and for choosing Yale over him and leaving with no discussion. He is back in town directing the towns big amateur Christmas concert. They air it all out and forgive each other and start to work together.

To be frank I was so busy trying to figure out how old the Niall Matter character was supposed to be, that I kind of lost interest in all the ins and outs of the story. Shenae's character is definitely 28 years old. She got her scholarship as a senior in highschool and it's been 10 years. The 10 year gap between 18 and present day is confirmed several times. Given the situation and what we learned about their relationship, it would make sense that Niall was about the same age. They were a music duo and were singing together since she was about 15. They were young and in love and making plans to leave town together to make a go of it in Nashville. It is mentioned later in the movie that they were in 6th grade together. But later when it becomes obvious that his career is not going well Shenae asks him what happened. He says he got tired of just playing national venues as just part of a band and wanted to strike out on his own. At this point Shenae confirms that this *was* when he was 29. He says he put everything and every dollar into it, but just failed. He is still a performer, but he is not a success. He is beaten down and discouraged. (He even churlishly refused to join a singer during the tree lighting, when given a shout out, turning his back.) All this seems to imply that he has been struggling for a few years, at least. That puts him at about 31. It just didn't hang together chronologically or logically. My guess is that the part was written for them both to be 28 or so years old, but it was too much of a stretch when 42 year old Niall Matter was cast, no matter how attractive he looks. So they added some lines to age him up a bit. My head hurt trying to make it all make sense. I don't know, it just bothered me.**this last paragraph was edited after watching again because the time line really bothered me, and I did get it wrong, per Michael-by-sea. I see he rightly called me out on it. ***

They both behaved badly and they were whiny about it. For a 28 to 31 (or older) year old man, Niall was very immature and did not seem to have much gumption or a firm grasp of reality. Shenae blamed her mother for her very successful career in New York as a lawyer and made her feel guilty about guiding her to make the choice of the Yale scholarship rather than probably throwing her life away on a big gamble in music. They both just acted like babies. The mom actually apologized for guiding her teen age daughter to the wise choice. So that was just so wrong as well.

The performers at this all important concert were not good. The whole thing was like highschool amateur night. For all of the build up, Niall, Shenae and her mother were not great either. They all had very pleasant voices, but not professional quality by any means. I liked the Mom's new romance, but there was too much about her sad backstory.

The end didn't help. Shenae decides to try again with Niall, music, and maybe practice law on the side (?). Meanwhile Niall buys a plane ticket to New York to be near Shenae and her big career as a lawyer. The end is very vague as to what they end up doing and how.

Reviewed by MichaelByTheSea7 / 10

Worth watching for fans of Shenae Grimes-Beech and Niall Matter

I saw Shenae Grimes-Beech years ago in a couple of Hallmark movies called Christmas Incorporated (2015) and Date With Love (2016). She was new to me at the time and I really liked her. I looked forward to seeing her in a lot more Hallmark movies but this is her first one in 6 years (I think she took a break to have a couple of kids). She's enjoyable to watch and a talented actress.

Shenae plays Sara, a successful lawyer in Manhattan still agonizing about having dropped plans 10 years earlier to make music in Nashville with Josh, her high school boyfriend of 3 years. He was devastated and never forgave her (how dare she accept a full ride scholarship to Yale!).

Niall Matter, who plays Josh, is one of the better leading men in Hallmark movies (he was great earlier this year in Rip in Time) and his pleasant charisma smoothes over the rough edges of his rather selfish, short sighted, and unrealistic character (his motto: be true to your love of music, and need to be a star, no matter what the cost).

Josh ignored countless efforts by Sara to communicate with him over the years, rather rudely turned down a request to join some musicians on stage at a local performance called Santa Jam, and seems to live in some sort of fantasy world about how to pay the bills. But his icy attitude towards Sara eventually thaws as they spend some time together and I actually liked them as a couple.

By the way, there's an erroneous "Goofs" posted here as well as an incorrect comment by a reviewer about the characters' ages. The "Goofs" reference to the characters being 10 years apart, and the suggestion that there was a creepy age gap in high school, is factually incorrect. The movie makes clear that they were both around the same age in high school (give or take a couple of years) before Sara left for college. Specifically, Josh notes that they haven't seen each other for 10 years (since she left). Assuming she graduated and left him to go to college at 18, that puts her at around 28 (the 10 years could have been a guesstimate). He also tells her he was 29 a year before the year they were reunited. He said he was in a band, on a national tour, and then quit to spend all his money trying to support a solo career for a year when he was 29. After that year, he turned 30 and moved back to Oakcrest to help his uncle, which is when he was reunited with Sara. Although the characters are around the same age, the actors who play them are 9 years apart in age (Niall was born in 1980 & Shenae was born in 1989). Perhaps that's where the goofs post went wrong.

This movie was directed by Hallmark acting veteran Peter Benson who has a cringey cameo as a rapper. In fact, there's a rather surprising lack of talent available for the big holiday show that Josh was lured back from Nashville to produce. I don't enjoy watching bad musical acts audition and perform so this part of the movie annoyed me. But seriously, no one in their old high school had any talent? And how hard is it to remember the word "branches"? Help the poor girl out and have her repeat the word a few times.

I was also annoyed by Sara's whining about being pressured into her life choices. Her mother was more than sensible when she encouraged Sara to accept a scholarship to a prestigious Ivy League school given her life experiences and poverty after her husband died (kind of weird how Sara didn't know how her parents met). And Sara obviously had some kind of affinity for the law if she was somehow being considered for partner in her 20s (not likely). But I doubt she banked as much money as Josh seemed to think she did. Assuming no gap years, she spent 4 years at Yale and 3 years at law school, which left her 3 years to make money, while living in high priced Manhattan and paying off her law school debt, before coming back to Oakcrest). I doubt she had much of a safety net, if any.

I liked the moment when Sara finally validated her mother and took some accountability during an emotional scene. The guilt trip she previously laid on her was unfair. I liked the second cameo (outside mom's new condo). I liked the idea of giving mom a love interest. I liked the way in which Sara reluctantly helped out. But one of things that bothers me about some Hallmark movies, like this one, are the moments when characters are put in an "either or" "black or white" life choice situation without brainstorming all the possible alternatives and options. Life is full of lots of gray. And relationships require compromise. For example, one of the partners in my law firm plays in a band and is able to enjoy being a musician AND a lawyer. He's not an aberration.

The "conflict" created by "inviting the Nashville agent" (so what?) seemed really forced and Josh's line that "you shouldn't have to work to find happiness" may be the most naïve and unrealistic quote in the movie. Just ask Sara's mother, sympathetically played by Beth Broderick who has a nice moment describing the "mixed signals" between her head and her heart and gives a lovely solo performance (not sure where those strings came from though).

This movie probably doesn't deserve the 7 stars that I gave it. But I grade Hallmark on a curve and I really like Shenae Grimes-Beech. Plus Niall Matter was good as always.

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