Movie Review: Take Me Back for Christmas (2023)

Synopsis: Still mourning the loss of her mother, Renée's life is in a rut but she's reluctant to listen to her husband Aaron's suggestion they sell her mom's house, move back to New York and start a business and family together. When her car breaks down after work, she makes a Christmas wish for a new life and wakes up in a world where her mother is still alive, and she is the CEO of a successful company. There is just one problem, her and Aaron aren't married and haven't spoken in five years.

Who's in it? The movie stars Vanessa LengiesCorey SevierPaula BoudreauKimberly-Ann Truong and Miguel Rivas

Review: My wife had a bit of a bad day yesterday and didn't accomplish what she wanted to do. So, while I made dinner, I suggested she make herself a stiff drink and pick out a movie for us to watch. This was her choice and it ended up being the best part of her day.

The overall premise isn't anything overly unique. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one or two other Hallmark movies that had the same basic idea. That said, the movie had a lot going for it.

For one, I liked the fact the primary love story was between two people who were already married. Many movies in this genre focus only on the early days of relationships and usually begins with the protagonist ending a relationship first. Seeing one that reminds people real relationships have ups and downs and don't necessarily need to come to an end as a result is a refreshing change.

I also thought it was a nice touch that Renée (Lengies) and Aaron (Sevier) had been a failed couple in the alternate life rather than being complete strangers. It gave them a foundation that made their rekindled romance more believable than if they had just met. 

I think the thing that impressed me most about this film though was Renée's decision wasn't as easy as you would think. The alternate world made it impossible for her to have everything - her success made it impossible to be in a relationship with Aaron (with various twists that made sure of that). However, simply wishing herself back to her previous life meant her mother (Boudreau) would no longer be alive, essentially making her choose between having a spouse and a parent. 

Final Opinion: This is a surprisingly good movie that isn't as predictable as you would expect a film in this genre to be and has a plot that can generate an emotional roller coaster. I recommend it.

My Grade: A


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