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Emily Springer is disappointed her daughter Heather won t make the cross-country trip from Harvard to visit at Christmas. Emily decides to surprise Heather and trades houses with Charles Brewster, a college professor who lives in Boston. Emily is the one who is surprised when she finds out her daughter left for Florida with her boyfriend and has only Charles brother for company. In this holiday tale about twists of fate, Emily and Charles find love at the most unexpected time and have the best Christmas season ever.
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Top customer reviews
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.
It begins with a widow who loves Christmas -- loves it so much she makes gingerbread from scratch and is looking forward to her daughter coming home to help. When the daughter begs off, she decides to go to Boston to see her there for Christmas. She does a house swap with an author who is behind on his deadline for his latest novel and needs to get away to some place quiet, some place that he can concentrate on his work. Both of them are in for a surprise: the daughter is gone for the holiday and the quiet, country home that the author needs to be by himself and work is in fact near a Christmas crazy town with neighbors who drop by all the time.
The story begins in earnest when those other two characters drop by and meet our first two main characters, who are not quite getting what they'd hoped for.
It's a very nice, family-friendly tale -- well acted, written and happily played out. If you like a nice Christmas romance or two, this one gives you a couple of them for the price of one and a third that you'll see as the story winds up.
Emily, a widow, is disappointed when her daughter Heather won't come home to Oregon for Christmas (Emily actually makes her daughter feel really guilty for it). So Emily decides to surprise Heather and trades houses with Charles, a college professor who lives in Boston and who is desperate to break his writer's block on his latest overdue novel and to escape Christmas. Emily is the one who is surprised when she finds out her daughter left for Florida with her boyfriend and has only Charles' brother, Ray, for company. Ray kindly offers to show Emily around Boston (feeling guilty that he almost got her arrested) and they start falling for each other. However, Emily has to try to let go of the guilt she feels from the memory of her husband, and Ray also has to learn to let love in, because has never really had a meaningful relationship because he always traveled for his job, and both he and his brother have never really known what love and family is. Emily's friend, Faith, feeling sorry that Emily will be alone for Christmas, flies to Oregon to spend the holidays' with her, only to find Charles staying at the house. Faith is forced to stay in the house with Charles since there is no way for her to get back home, and also runs interference between Charles and the very friendly neighbors and their children. Seeing Charles' manuscript lying around, she reads it and then offers suggestions to fix it (much to his horror - the female character in is book is based on an old girlfriend that he hates); however, as he starts to come around to realizing that Faith's ideas are justified and will make the book better, he is flowing with ideas and excitedly changes his whole book. So, as she comes to find out why he hates Christmas and as he comes to find out why she hates men (both because of past relationships) they start to let go of their past and wonder if they each could be the others future. Also, to throw one last thing into the mix, Heather, feeling guilty, thinking that her mother is alone in Boston, flies home to be with her, only to find that she's not alone, but is finally moving on with her life.
Overall, I liked the movie and will watch it again.