Annie Claus A Touching, Romantic Holiday Flick For Couples

Courtesy:  Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment/Sonar Entetainment/Hallmark Channel

Courtesy: Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment/Sonar Entetainment/Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Channel’s latest holiday movie, Annie Claus is Coming to Town is a good holiday romance movie for any young happy couples and hopeful happy couples to be.  The near ninety minute movie offers a new twist on the classic romance genre by giving it a holiday twist.  In this newest entry into the world of romance movies, audiences are introduced to young Annie Claus (played by Maria Thayer).  Annie’s story is set off when Mrs. Claus (Vicki Lawrence—Mama’s Family, The Carol Burnett Show) reveals that Santa is getting ready to retire and has to pass on the mantle of Santa to the next generation.  So being the next generation, Annie is sent out to try and find a love interest who could potentially become the next Santa.

As cheesy as it may be, it’s fitting that Annie ends up in a place that is the “polar” opposite (and yes that bad joke was fully intended) of the North Pole when she finds her way to sunny California.  Annie stays at the Candy Cane Inn (insert rim shot here), during her time in California. The inn is run by Lucy (Vivica A. Fox—Independence Day, Set It Off, Soul Food).  It doesn’t take long for the pair to become friends.  She also gets to know one of her soon to be love interests in Ted (Sam Page) when she takes a job at a small toy store that’s struggling to survive.  Of course, what story is complete without some conflict?  Another potential love interest comes into play.  But there’s a catch with this other man that at its roots hints back to certain other holiday movies.  Audiences will have to discover that catch on their own.  Of course, the second man who comes into the picture leads Annie to have to make a tough choice.  It’s a choice that could greatly impact the very fate of Christmas around the world.

Being that it’s a Hallmark Channel movie, audiences know that Annie Claus is Coming to Town will have a happy ending.  It’s that ending that makes it a good movie for any happy couple or hopeful happy couple to be during the holiday season.  It shows also the classic themes that love can be found in the most unlikely of places and that true love will always prevail.  One only needs to follow one’s own heart.  Annie Claus is Coming to Town is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via the Hallmark Channel online store at

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page,  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

The Christmas Pageant A Heartwarming Holiday Movie For The Whole Family


Courtesy:  Gaiam Vicendi Entertainment/Sonar Entertainment/Hallmark Channel

Courtesy: Gaiam Vicendi Entertainment/Sonar Entertainment/Hallmark Channel

Hallmark Channel’s recently released holiday film, The Christmas Pageant is an interesting piece for the holidays.  That’s because while its primary story is one of the holiday season, there’s actually a secondary storyline that is fitting not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year.  Given it’s a plotline that is nothing new to the movie industry.  But it’s still nice to get the occasional reminder that is this story’s secondary plot.  And mixed in with the movie’s primary plot, it makes for a heartwarming helping of a holiday movie for the whole family.

The story of The Christmas Pageant centers on the young, ambitious producer, Vera Parks (Melissa Gilbert—Little House on the Prairie).  Vera is an overachieving producer who is so caught up in what she does that it has caused some problems in her life in the recent year.  She has just lost her third job in one year, and is also divorced.  Despite having struck out three times, her manager (played by singer Steve Lawrence) manages to get her a gig at a small town Christmas pageant.  What she isn’t told is that she lands the job thanks in large part to her ex-fiancé Jack (Robert Mailhouse).  This leads to what will eventually be the secondary storyline of The Christmas Pageant as the job not only forces Vera to face her past life, but also to have to choose between the fast paced life to which she has become accustomed and the small town life into which she has been thrust.  Sound familiar?  Thought so.  But that can be forgiven, considering the story’s heartwarming nature, especially in the country’s current emotional climate.

During her time in the small town where she is producing the Christmas pageant, the secondary plot of whether Vera needs the small town or vice versa comes into play.  This is really a reminder to viewers, as it serves as another mirror to today’s world.  It’s especially evident when Vera is suddenly offered the chance to get back to her fast paced New York life when her manager gets her the chance to take on a famous actor in a major Broadway production.  The end result of this turn of events (which won’t be revealed here) tends to be even more of an indirect commentary on the line in the sand between small town life and the increasingly fast paced life which so many people live.  It is that choice that Vera is forced to make that helps make The Christmas Pageant a heartwarming and relatable story for viewers.  It is so relatable in that just as Vera allowed herself to inevitably get far too caught up in her busy lifestyle, so do we in our everyday lives.  It’s because of that that we need our own awakening to make us slow down and change things so as to better appreciate those around us and what we have.  In the same vein, The Christmas Pageant is an excellent excuse and means to take a break from our busy lives and just spend some quality time with family taking in a movie that has enough heart to make it a must see for the holidays.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page,  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at