Christmas at Cartwright's & Best Christmas Party
(Alicia Witt, Gabriel Hogan, Wallace Shawn / Torrey DeVitto, Steve Lund, Linda Thorson / DVD / NR / 2015 / Cinedigm Entertainment)
Overview: Two new Hallmark Channel Christmas TV movie releases, 'Christmas at Cartwright's,' and 'Best Christmas Party Ever' - both also part of their Countdown to Christmas selection - are here and ready to be enjoyed!
DVD Verdict: In the first of two new Hallmark Channel Christmas TV movie releases, 'Christmas at Cartwright's,' which is also part of their Countdown to Christmas selection, with the holiday season at hand, single mom Nicky Talbot (the always lovely Alicia Witt) is unemployed and struggling to afford a nice Christmas with her 8-year-old daughter.
Hearing that Cartwright's Department Store is hiring temporary holiday help, Nicky rushes in to apply, but is rejected by Senior VP Fiona Aldrich (Gabrielle Miller), who considers Nicky a threat to the relationship she hopes to have with Bill (Gabriel Hogan), a charming and handsome store manager.
In a whimsical turn of events, Harry Osbourne (Wallace Shawn), claiming to be a consultant from corporate headquarters, encourages Nicky to dress up and begin working as Cartwright's store Santa Claus. With the magical help of Harry, Nicky keeps the job, but nobody knows Cartwright's Santa Claus is a woman!
So, will she be able to keep her job if her secret gets out? And what if the secret gets out and Bill finds out? One thing that's for sure is that her young daughter, through a lot of practice, has improved her reading and reads the Night Before Christmas to Nicky and her come-the-end beau, to end the movie!
In the second TV movie, 'Best Christmas Party Ever,' with the holiday season at hand, young party planner Jennie Stanton (Torrey DeVitto) learns that her boss, Petra (Linda Thorson), will be retiring after Christmas and hopes she will be left in charge of Petra's Parties, New York's premiere event planning service.
Jennie's hopes fade when Petra's charming and handsome nephew, Nick (Steve Lund), arrives on the scene and Petra announces that he will take over the business. When an opportunity to plan a toy store s Christmas Eve party arises, Jennie runs with it, arranging a warm and traditional affair in the same vein as the Christmas parties that inspired her as a child.
Ergo, as Christmas Eve approaches, will Jennie finally open her heart to find love for the holiday? And, further from that, can the "Christmas Spirit" come to the fore in time to ensure a happy ending - for ALL concerned? I have to add that everybody looks so great here in 'Best Christmas Party Ever,' and I mean everybody! Trust me, there were no "bad guy" caricatures, and the plot was coherent, reasonably believable, and the ending made it all a ** SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT ** satisfying fairy tale; so to speak. These are both Widescreen Presentations (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.