Hitched For The Holidays
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When commitment-phobe Rob Marino (Joey Lawrence) breaks up with his girlfriend before Thanksgiving, he is criticized by his big Italian family about his inability to keep a relationship through the holidays. Wanting to prove them wrong and fulfill his dying grandmother's (Paula Shaw) wish to see him happy in love, Rob goes online and finds Julie (Emily Hampshire), another single New Yorker who's meddling Jewish mom (Marilu Henner), has driven her to seek a temporary boyfriend.
Rob and Julie agree to pose as a couple through the holidays to get their families off their backs. But things get complicated when Rob's Catholic clan and Julie's Jewish family get involved. With Christmas coming and Hanukkah around the corner, they double their efforts to keep the charade going, only to discover their fake feelings may be a little too real.
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That being said, this Hallmark version is garbage. The rendered resolution is quite poor. The packaging is cheap as is the printing on the DVD itself. The laser coating and artwork dye actually flake off at several places on the disc. You would think that someone cooked this "bootleg" in their basement. The disc image itself shows on my computer as "HM9352DVD01". That's right, no actual DVD title. I have never seen this before from a supposedly professional authoring studio. So I heartily recommend the movie, but detest this shoddily made product. Perhaps this is one of the few instances where it's best to only buy the digital download.
This is family centered humor and situations, playing on generational conflicts and the difficulty of randomly finding true respect and love in the dating life.
Two thirty-somethings trying to reduce friction with family set about to perform well rather than to do well. Both sets of parents have their suspicions, best represented by the hilarious lighting of candles scene, but the appeasers try to continue their facade until cornered. Meanwhile they are the last to know that they have come to admire and enjoy each other. Not a new theme or movie idea, but a very likeable setting for this incarnation.
Actors were well selected for this lighthearted slice of life, and the story becomes more plausible because all the lies have to be revealed. What makes this especially appealing are the scenes where misunderstandings are cleared up with honest confrontation, and mutual openness to making things absolutely right. Instead of just assuming things will work out and writing our own script to complete those thoughts, the writers included the path to real reconciliation. Which is, after all, what Christmas is.