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Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
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Reviews & Ratings for
An American Girl Holiday (TV) More at IMDbPro »Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (original title)

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Terrific family entertainment!

8/10
Author: krzykra from Dallas, Tx
21 September 2005

Obviously, the target audience for a movie like this is young girls who love the American Girls Collection. But within that, it is a thoroughly enjoyable treat, made specifically for kids but not at all the sort of movie that will drive grown-ups crazy.

The story is sweet and simple, but heartwarming, about a rich little girl named Samantha growing up in 1904. The script takes the various adventures from the Samantha books in the American Girls Collection, from Samantha's friendship with servant girl Nellie to the wedding of Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia to Samantha's speaking contest at her school in New York City, and blends them together in a very satisfying way- sure to please any girl who has the doll or has read the books! And perhaps what makes this "kid's movie" more appealing to the entire family is the inclusion of the historic happenings of 1904 America, when the motor car was an exciting new invention and the Suffrage movement had begun. This is, of course, the basis of the American Girls Collection and it's a wonderful way to bone up on your history and be entertained at the same time (hey, I didn't know that's when showers were invented!).

AnnaSophia Robb, who plays the title role, is quite a familiar face to family audiences, having starred as Opal in Because of Winn-Dixie and as the infamous gum-chewing, girl-turned-blueberry Violet Beauregarde in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. AnnaSophia is a very talented young actress, and she plays the role of Samantha with a nice combination of sweetness and spunk (and she's cute without being cutesy, which is always a relief for the grown-ups). In fact, most of the cast is stellar, and Jordan Bridges (son of Beau Bridges) plays fun-loving Uncle Gard with a blend of charm and realism. Surprisingly enough, Mia Farrow, who plays Samantha's proper Grandmary and is undoubtedly the most famous performer in the lineup, is a trifle stilted and seems to be upstaged by the rest of the troop.

The fact that there are only two or three males in the entire show indicates that this is not really a boy's movie (I'm a grown-up boy, so I have permission to watch these kinds of movies and not be embarrassed anymore). Still, this is terrific family entertainment, for girls who love the American Girls, and for anyone who loves to walk away from a movie feeling good!

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Touched my heart!

9/10
Author: sarahbelle77
26 November 2004

This is the kind of movie that leaves you with a magical, wonderful, warm feeling. It was full of warmth, kindness, giving, bravery, joy,loyalty, beauty... The scenery was beautiful as well and complimented the wonderful storyline, which takes place in the early 1900s. Samantha is shipped off to New York, where she misses her home town and friends. In New York, however, she shows great strength and bravery as we are taken along her adventure. Children and adults alike can enjoy this movie, and Samantha, for the most part, is a wonderful role-model for young girls. I wish more movies were made of this high quality! This movie was an absolute delight, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

One of those warm, sweet Victorian stories.

9/10
Author: Linda (lindaz)
30 July 2006

Nellie is one of the children of the hired help. Samantha is a lonely little, rich girl. They befriend each other and are a comfort to one another.

Historically interesting as well. Brings out the way life was for children regarding child-labor in factories. They were more like slaves than employees.

This film really drew me in, mainly because I love films regarding the Victorian time period. But the movie is mainly about the relationship that Samantha has with her grandmother and uncle and Nellie. Everything appears to take a turn for the worse when her uncle introduces his fiancé. Samantha fears that she will now be more alone than ever, but the kindness of her uncle's new wife wins her heart.

Everything in this movie turned out the way that I would have wanted it to. Love conquered all.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Cute Movie about a Sweet Kid

8/10
Author: jwhale9382 from Maryland
28 November 2004

I was surprised when I heard this was being made into a movie. My sister read the American Girls books when she was a kid, and I never expected them to make a movie out of them. But all things considered, I thought the WB did a good job.

First of all, Annasophia Robb is a cute little kid, and at twelve years old, she has the potential to be a talented actress. She did a great job in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and looked as if she had fun while doing it. In the movie, Annasophia plays Samantha Parkington, a ten-year-old girl living in New York in 1904. The acts of the film are divided into the four seasons. In the spring, she makes friends with the servant girls living next door. In the summer, she meets her uncle's new wife. In the fall, she moves in with her aunt and uncle in the city, and then helps her three friends escape from an orphan home. In the winter, everyone lives happily ever after.

The orphanage reminded me of a federal prison, and the warden, er, manager reminded me of Carol Burnett in Annie. I also liked the movie's message about helping the needy. That's what made it a family movie.

So maybe it wasn't Emmy worthy, but if you have kids, or you just like cute movies, you'll like this movie.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Samantha Parkington Comes to life!!! A Heartwarming and touching film!

8/10
Author: hollywood actress
1 August 2005

A couple hours ago I watched this movie that i rented from Blockbuster "Samantha: An American Girl Holiday" I thought AnnaSophia Robb did an excellent job as Samantha Parkington and no one i know could have done a better job. I know it was her first major movie and in some parts you could tell she was a little nervous but she played it well and so did Mia Farrow as Grandmary. The whole cast did well! Anyway the movie is about a girl named Samantha(Annasophia Robb) around 10 years old living in 1904, who has to move in with her Grandmary(Mia Farrow) because of the loss of her parents. Her Grandmary teaches Samantha how to become a proper lady. One day a girl named Nellie(Kelsey Lewis) moves in next door to work as a servant. She lives with her father and her to sisters. Soon something happens to her father and she has to be sent to an orphange. Can Samantha get her out? Watch the movie to find out! Great for all ages! May be harder for younger children to understand. Excellent classic!

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Superb acting, beautiful costumes, well cast--this movie was excellent!

10/10
Author: Garbo1990 from Reeseville, Wisconsin, USA
29 November 2004

I saw this movie and it put such a wonderful feeling in me that I could not stop smiling--seriously, I was smiling like an idiot. I think the acting was superb, and I can be a very harsh judge, because I am serious about acting and I know a lot about it. The actors all did an excellent job. It was a very sweet movie, and I actually taped it on the telly after watching it the first time. The costumes were amazing, and the casting fit perfectly in my mind. Mia Farrow was great as Grandmary, Anna Sophia Robb did a great job as Samantha, and all the other actors were great. But my favorite was Rebecca Mader, who played the role of Aunt Cornelia. She was very lovely and did great. It was the best movie I've seen come out in months, and it really teaches you a lesson and gives you hope to go on and live your dreams. I absolutely loved it!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sweet, Lovely Film

10/10
Author: MagicStarfire from United States
3 December 2006

10 stars

I greatly enjoyed this sweet, gentle film set in 1904, about two young girls who become friends, and the troubles that befall them and how they deal with those problems.

The young actresses playing these roles did very well and made the characters seem real, and made me care about them. All the little girls were adorable.

Samantha is well off financially and lives with her grandmother (played by Mia Farrow - a treat to see her), but Samantha is an orphan and has lost both her parents in a boating accident.

Grandmother's beautiful, old mansion is out in the countryside and Samantha is a little bit lonely, when an Irish lass, Nellie, her father, and Nellie's two younger sisters arrive, to work at the neighbor's home next door.

Nellie's mother is deceased, and her family is poor, so they all have to work, despite being only children. (The film also deals with child labor.) Nellie and Samantha become fast friends, and Samantha is quite resourceful in helping her friends.

I really liked this movie and highly recommend it. Young girls will love it, and it has enough story interest that an adult will not be bored watching it either.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie!!

Author: northerngirl1211
24 November 2004

This movie was terrific! I am 13 and I have two American Girl dolls myself. I have read all of Samantha's books and I found the movie really good! Some scenes sounded like soap opera, and some of the acting was a little off, but otherwise it was great! It must have been really hard for Nellie and her sisters. I would have done the same thing if I were in Samantha's place! I don't know what some thought of this movie, but it was great for me! It was so cool and I LOVED the scenery. The Aunt Cornelia and Uncle Gard sounded so fake sometimes. It was kinda obvious. I can't wait to see the movie again! I was mad when commercial brakes came on because I wanted to watch it! But, it was good anyway!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Solid Film for a Family Audience!

8/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
23 May 2010

The story about Samantha Parkington, a privileged girl, who lives with her grandmother played by the wonderful Mia Farrow in Mount Bedford, New York along the Hudson River in the Hudson River Valley about a couple of hours north of New York City. In the beginning, Samantha is playing with Eddie Ryland, her neighbor and nemesis who enjoys bullying people into giving him money. Samantha befriends Eddie's new maids, young sisters--Nellie, Bridget, and Jenny whose mother died. Their father moved them to the country. Instead of working in terrible factories, they work in the Ryland estate in the Hudson River Valley. While Nellie is working there, Samantha and her become close friends despite their obvious differences. When Samantha's Uncle Gardner comes home, he announces his engagement to Cornelia Pitt, a woman's right to vote activist, and he plans to bring Samantha to live with them in New York City. Wherever Samantha goes, adventure follows. I don't know how similar this is to the books but it's an okay film. The acting is okay. The child actors are wonderful in their roles. The film reminds of an old Shirley Temple movie. It's for a family audience!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One person can make a difference, even a child.

10/10
Author: sandrasguy from United States
19 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a heartwarming, make you sad, happy, angry movie. Samantha, an orphan, lives with her grandmother. Samantha is taught to be a proper Victorian era lady, but Samantha is also a 10 year old girl who loves her uncle dearly. Samantha's life goes spinning in unexpected directions when she befriends the three girls living next door. The thing is, the three girls (10, 8, and 3) are maids. It is 1904 and there is no such thing as child labor laws. Samantha takes it upon herself (at risk) to teach the oldest girl how to read. The two girls become inseparable, but then another crisis arrives. Samantha's very much beloved uncle is going to marry.

Samantha is unhappy about the upcoming marriage, but eventually comes around. Then, after the uncle returns from his honeymoon, Samantha goes to live with the uncle, and her new aunt. Soon after, the father of her three friends dies and the girls are sent to an orphanage. The head of the orphanage is a corrupt spinster who operates the orphanage like a prison. Samantha rescues her three friends and hides them in her attic. The oldest girl goes to get a job, then the middle child gets deathly ill. Samantha gets an eyeful when she goes to the factory to get her friend and she sees children younger than herself maimed by machines. Samantha then causes a stir at school when she makes it her mission in life to get children out of factories and treated better in orphanages.

AnnaSophia Robb is believable in her role and carries the movie well. If you have a heart, you will get a lump in your throat several times during this wonderful family movie. Hug your children, hold them tight, and love this movie.

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