Chabert's Wondering What If
When Hannah Dunbar (Lacey Chabert) left her home town she told boyfriend Ben (Tyron Leitso) it would only be for a few weeks and it would give him chance to focus on the book he is writing. 10 Years later and having never gone back has just got the big promotion to be a big time News reporter in NYC. But something her colleague said to her about being career focused hit a nerve, a nerve which a friendly Santa picks up on and the morning after Hannah wakes up with a dog breathing in her face and two daughters bouncing on her bed. Completely confused Hannah finds herself in an alternate version of her life living in the suburbs and married to Ben. With her head spinning she tries desperately to make sense of things and become the mother which everyone else thinks she is.
Is it really 15 years since "The Family Man" where Nicolas Cage played the businessman who wakes up at Christmas to find himself transported to another reality where he never left his girlfriend. I guess so and I guess at a push for all sense and purpose remaking that movie with a few changes is acceptable although of course anyone who enjoyed "The Family Man" will watch "Family for Christmas" with an edge of disappointment that at times it seems to clone scenes such as when Hannah having woken up in this different version of her life drives to the city where she works and none of the security know who she is.
Now I should mention a major point as "Family for Christmas" is a Hallmark Channel movie and so this movie trades on two things with the first being the light hearted humour of Hannah being a fish out of water in this alternate version of her life. We get Hannah being shy around Ben, not knowing how to cook the family favourites, not knowing the neighbours or where the school is and so on whilst her competitive city attitude is different to the one everyone thinks Hannah is as the mum and home maker. All of which is fun but nothing special which is the same of the second part which is Hannah falling in love with this different version of her life but finding it all very confusing especially when things transpire to give her an opportunity to be a news reporter for Channel 8 again.
As such there are no real surprises in "Family for Christmas" but a lot of simple Christmas fun and at the centre of all of this is Lacey Chabert. Now whilst the set decorators do a beautiful job of creating lavishly decorated rooms full of Christmassy stuff and the supporting cast are okay this movie owes a lot of thanks to Chabert as her cuteness, her beauty and her general charm makes you fall in love with her character without having to do a lot other than being nice.
What this all boils down to is that "Family for Christmas" is some simple Christmas entertainment for those who like Lacey Chabert and Hallmark Christmas movies. It is all extremely familiar with a storyline very similar to "A Family Man" but sometimes familiar and simple done right can still entertain as does this.