Tag Archives: Kimberly Williams-Paisley

A Nashville Christmas Carol

Vivienne (Jessy Schram) is a busy television producer in the middle of putting on this year’s Christmas show. The opening act just happens to be a client of old friend, Gavin (Wes Brown), which may be a source of friction since they parted with hurt feelings on either side, each feeling rebuffed. But they’re adults, right? And professionals. They can do this.

Except just when Vivienne thinks she’s doing a good job, her boss shows up to tell her she’s not. Not her actual boss, who tells her she’s up for a promotion, but her dead boss (Wynonna Judd), who tells her her life is on a surprisingly dark path. Vivienne’s about to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (Kix Brooks) and the Ghost of Christmas Present (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) to show her what happens when you put ambition ahead of friendship. And maybe romance?

Sara Evans and Raelynn perform to give A Nashville Christmas Carol an authentic country flavour. The Dickens aspect is obviously a bit played out, but what the heck, it’s Nashville, and we’ve never seen the popular Christmas Carol story with these accents before. Probably.

Is it a great movie? No it is not. But you will not see a more gorgeous gown on the Hallmark channel this season than the one that Williams-Paisley wears in her ghostly apparition. And not only is it a nice message to put friendship first, it’s also an excellent reminder that the best relationships started out with solid friendship foundations.

The Christmas Chronicles 2

In the first The Christmas Chronicles, Kate and brother Teddy had recently lost their father. With their mom covering an overnight shift at the hospital, the kids are alone on Christmas Eve, and devise a trap to catch Santa on tape once and for all. But their trap works a little too well and they soon find themselves on his sleigh and on a pretty epic adventure.

Two years later, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) find themselves on the beaches of Mexico for Christmas, courtesy of mom’s (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) new boyfriend Bob. Kate isn’t thrilled to about a tropical Christmas but she’s even less enthused about her mom tarnishing dead dad’s memory with a new guy. That’s why she resolves to run away, which unfortunately plays right into the plans of disgraced elf Belsnickel (Julian Dennison), who uses Kate (and Bob’s son Jack) as bait to distract Santa while he makes off with the star that powers all of Santa’s Christmas magic. Big disaster. Huge. Now Santa (Kurt Russell) and Kate will be off on a sleigh-riding, time-traveling adventure while Jack (Jahzir Bruno) and Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn) defend Santa’s village from an onslaught of evil elves.

This movie is basically a nerf gun aimed right into the hearts of children and when it hits, it delivers a dose of holiday cheer and joy that’s undeniable. In sequel mode, this one has a little more razzle dazzle and a little less natural charm and sparkle than the first, but it’s still a good, clean, fun time for the whole family. Kurt Russell is a hot Santa who injects more than a little Elvis into the jolly old guy, donning sunglasses and swiveling his hips to belt out another show-stopping tune once again. And rather happily we see much more of Goldie Hawn, who brings her own twinkle to the mix, sweet but pro-active, not exactly the passive knitter in a rocking chair Mrs. Claus is often made out to be.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 is wonderfully, effortlessly cheerful. It has great acting and its attention to detail surpasses even the first, for a glossy look that feels, well, merry and bright. And if it is perhaps pandering and slightly disjointed, well, at least it knows its audience. The exploding gingerbread cookies, gravity gloves, dance breaks, flying jackotes ( jackal-coyote hybrids that look more like giant, extra-inbred pugs), and crossbow battles will all be very well-received by young audiences tuning in to get a second look at this Santa guy who’s so much cooler than the one at the mall. And who can blame them? He is pretty great and I count myself rather unashamedly among his fans.

The Christmas Train

Hollywood movie director Max Powers (Danny Glover) is taking a four day long train trip toward Los Angeles along with his trusty assistant Eleanor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), who he’s been encouraging to finally write a script of her own instead of always doctoring someone else’s, and what better inspiration than an old-timey mode of transportation full of characters just begging to be over-written.

Also on the train: Tom (Dermot Mulroney), a former war correspondent turned lifestyle journalist, a young couple looking to marry on the train despite his parents’ disapproval, a lonely older man, a thief, a chess snob, oh, and a zany woman named Agnes (Joan Cusack) who seems to be in everybody else’s business. Oh and lots of people besides of course, and our two writers mine them for all they’re worth, but wait! The writers are actually of interest themselves. Turns out, they’re former flames. Some have said they were each other’s true loves. And maybe things are sliding back in that direction – or they were until Tom’s fiancĂ©e boards the train about halfway through. Drama!!!

Of course, the Hallmark gods are smiling down on the train so the romance WILL BE nurtured, even if a snowstorm has to strand the train on the tracks until true love is confessed.

The Christmas Train is perhaps a smidge more tolerable than the usual schmaltz, so I’m thankful for that, and any reason to see Dermot Mulroney’s dimples is a good one.