Top positive review
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A Christmas mix-up of crossed wires and crossed paths.
on October 2, 2012
Emily is a widow of almost 3 years and is still adjusting to holidays without Frank. Her daughter, Heather, is in Boston going to college and is asserting her independence, insisting that just this once she not come home for Christmas. She tells her Mom she is going to stay put for the holiday, when actually she is going to Arizona with her boyfriend. Emily gets the bright idea to take Christmas to Heather. She goes online and arranges a house swap with a Scrooge-ish college professor in Boston who is also a writer of novels. He happens to be under pressure of a deadline and needs somewhere quiet to get away and write. She ends up in his stark city apartment, with no daughter in town, and he gets her heavily holiday decorated Victorian style home in a friendly little town that won't leave him alone. If that isn't enough, throw in lots of Christmas cookies, a tripped security alarm, a man who is afraid of being sued for almost having Emily arrested, a friend who decides to drop in unannounced to surprise Emily, an expired driver's license, a bus that only leaves town once a week, a daughter who doesn't know what she wants, a few snowballs, and neighbor kids on sleds. The story is fun and interesting with a diversity of characters.
As for family friendliness, there were just a few moments here and there where I wasn't sure where they were going to take things--the daughter and her boyfriend spending the holiday alone in Arizona at his grandparents' vacant home, Emily lying in a passionate embrace on the sofa with a man she just met a couple of days before, Emily's friend asking her if she "got lucky", lots of kissing, and a couple of double entendre jokes that might go over some heads. You can decide if that makes it acceptable to you or not.