Sister Swap: Christmas in the City (2021 Hallmark)

Sister Swap: Christmas in the City (2021 Hallmark)

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Cast: Ashley Williams, Keith D. Robinson, Kimberly Williams-Paisley

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Synopsis (via Hallmark)

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.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

The movie is a pair with the other Sister Swap movie from Meg’s perspective.

Meg runs some Christmas. Errands and stops at the family bakery to pick up some cupcakes on her way into “the city” to visit her sister Jennifer and nephew, Simon. Before she goes, she stops by the family’s theater, The Madison Theater, and remembers the hours she spent there with her Uncle Dave. 

Meg stops at a hat store in Salt Lake City and picks up matching hats for her sister. She almost breaks a figurine and runs into a handsome man named Joe. She runs into him again at Jennifer’s restaurant. They don’t seem to get one another.

Meg and Jennifer walk around town, and Meg decides to stay in town for a little while. She walks around with Alex, who has a crush on a food vendor downtown named Martin. (We are in the city, of course, there are gays!)

At the restaurant, everyone talks about the big Christmas party. Meg wants to add more life to the restaurant and bonds with the customers. The small-town charm isn’t working for Joe, who wants something more refined. He wants the restaurant to win a local contest that includes $25,000 in prize money.

Joe takes Meg to a local food bank to show Meg how he likes to help people. The prize money could help the food bank too. Meg is excited to help win the contest. She shops with Joe for Christmas decorations and makes fun of him for not being fun. 

Victoria gets her dream job and has to leave before the big party. Meg and Joe have no idea what they will do without a head chef. Jennifer hears about the problems and is concerned, but Meg convinces her sister that everything is under control. 

Michelin Chef Jesse Collins shows up for an interview for the new chef position. (He declines the job.)Then they throw a party for Victoria to send her off in style, which is nice. 

Meg and Joe head up to visit a chief friend of his. While they wait for her to finish up with work, Meg and Joe go on a horse-drawn carriage ride and talk about their life plans. Then THAT chef turns them down too. Meg and Joe stop in Hazle woods to check on the movie theater and see the Christmas tree lighting. They almost kiss.

Everyone ice skates for the mistletoe skate and kisses under some mistletoe back in the city. IDK why.

Meg decides not to go to Paris and help her sister run the restaurant and movie theater. Meg tells Joe that she is staying, and he tells her that it is good news. The bad news is, bad weather cancels the Christmas party. The restaurant brings all the prepared food to the food bank. Then they take it away and host a Christmas food contest??????

This movie has lost me, but it is almost over. Jennifer and her family all make it to the event. The restaurants donate all the food. Everyone dances, and they promise more movies are to come. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Joe, Brett, Connie, Victoria, Martin, Alex, Frank, Marianne, Jesse

Interesting concept, not sure the execution was done well enough. Great actors, but this script was subpar from the first movie.

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Christmas Trees represent the Christmas vibes. *** I’ve updated the rating system. Wine is my overall enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

 I will use the following tags for those who want to know if they should watch or skip: Pour it Up (Would Recommend) or Put A Cork In It (Would Not Recommend). 

Overall rating

Christmas Feels

🎄🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees) 

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Hallmark Crown Media

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