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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Holiday Flicks

It’s that time of the year.  You know, make a fire in the fireplace, hunker down with the dogs and hot cocoa, and watch a holiday film or two.  Here are some movies that we’ve come across that our family liked.

Our requirements are simple:  good scenery or story, sweet or sentimental, funny or poignant, not much in the way of cursing or copulation.  Good values or a moral to the story.

A TV movie from 2007, “Holiday in Handcuffs” stars Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez.  It’s the story of a struggling artist, working as waitress, who kidnaps one of her customers to bring home and meet her parents at Christmas.  Our kids enjoyed it because it’s goofy and heartwarming.  One scene that might be mildly concerning would be the waitress-friend who appears to have a semi-clothed male friend at her apartment.

Along the same lines was “Holiday Engagement”, even better, more funny and more endearing.  It’s Thanksgiving, Hillary is engaged to uber-lawyer Jason, whom the parents have never met.  She loses her part-time newspaper job, while simultaneously he dumps her, and the uninformed, overbearing mother (Shelley Long) pressures her to bring the fiance’ home for the holiday.  Hillary decides to hire another guy to impersonate Jason for the long weekend when the whole family will be gathering.  Lots of twists and turns. Everyone loved this one.

Each Christmas, we have to recommend “Special Delivery” as the slapstick adoption holiday movie with Andy Dick.  The Beck family anticipates that their Indonesian baby will be brought by courier in time for the holiday.  Then the courier messes-up big time, and things start to unravel.  Loads of funny scenes and a preteen crowd would be laughing, along with the adults.  Includes hockey and adoption in a feel-good theme.  We found the film only at this time of year, and only on Hulu.

In a departure from holiday movies, we recently viewed a TV film from 1996, “The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones:  Travels with Father” which takes the Jones family on a trip through Russia.  Young Indy decides to run away and runs into… Leo Tolstoy!… who is depicted as a cranky old man traversing the countryside.  After discussing life, having plenty of adventures including a gypsy caravan attacked by Cossacks, Tolstoy and Indy part ways and the boy travels on with his father to Greece, discussing Aristotelian logic, and other things along the way.  I winced at some of  young Indy’s backtalk, but the scenery and the themes made it worth it.

Most can be found on Netflix.  Happy viewing!



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