Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story (TV Movie 2007) Poster

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6/10
Basic TV stranded-in-wilderness snow storm movie
Pro Jury30 December 2007
*** DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. ***

"Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" (2007) is a made-for-TV movie based upon an actual event. Interestingly, just after the original airing of "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" on the LIFETIME cable channel, American TV newscasts were following a new family lost for many days in a big snow storm in the northern California mountains.

Any half-serious TV couch potato will want to know one thing about this 2007 LIFETIME production: how does it compare with the 1994 made-for-TV movie "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story." Both LOST HOLIDAY and SNOWBOUND have pluses and minuses.

On the PLUS side for SNOWBOUND, after being lost, the husband and wife had natural and normal conversations centered around their survival.

Sad to say, the script is the biggest MINUS for LOST HOLIDAY. 3, 4, and 5 days out lost deep in the woods without shelter, the Shemwell's are talking 1000 words per minute about check books, trading cars, and high school proms or whatever. One pointless babble-fest took place while their snowmobile was running in neutral until its motor overheated and the snowmobile died. The Shemwell's endless babbling was off-topic and took away from the drama.

One other PLUS for SHOWBOUND was the family members waiting back home. They were more easy to accept and true-to-life.

Sorry to say, the matriarch of the Shemwell family was alarmingly over-confident right up until the exact instant when she gave up all hope. It was more weird than natural.

On the PLUS side for LOST HOLIDAY, the way the Shemwell's were lost was realistic -- they were lost snowmobiling deep in the woods.

SNOWBOUND was weakened because the Stolpa's were immensely stupid to leave the shelter and more traveled location of their snowbound car to walk off into the woods. It was easy for searchers to find their car, but less easy to find them.

That all being said, one thing LOST HOLIDAY had over SNOWBOUND (and every other cold weather movie) was the ultra sporty winter jackets worn by the Shamwell clan. I have never in my life seen such sporty winter jackets. I enjoyed the wardrobe in "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story."

By the way, if you feel confused because the Stolpa's and the Shemwells seem similar to each other as do the titles "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" and "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" -- you are completely correct!
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Excuse me, where did you go to survival school?
patchworkworld24 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
After the first few minutes I had to wonder how the people this movie was based on managed to get out of their situation. He's a dowhateverIfeellike regardlessoftheconsequences idiot, and she's the ultraplanmaking and makesureitallworksperfectly person --clearly in reaction to his lacks constantly creating messes he blows off and she has to clean up for the kids' sakes. Typically, when they go off snowmobiling and run into trouble, the two start having clashes over their different approaches to problems...in which, frankly, Mr Happygolucky keeps turning out a complete freaking idiot who constantly makes bad choices based on following utter impulse full speed ahead. At one point they have an argument because she's exhausted from staying up all night keeping the fire going while he fell asleep regardlessoftheconsequences as usual. His view? "I didn't ask you to do that! You did it because you didn't trust me to do it!" And she was right on, wasn't she? A real eye roller of a moment. They keep happening...and what can you say about a moron so into FREEEEDDDDDDUUUMMMMM that he feeds his kids cold formula rather than take the time to warm it up? She must have dealt with colic every day!! Other awesomely stupid moments...1) "when lost in the mountains, go UP, not down." (Uuuuhmmmmmm.....follow rivers if you can, and go down because down is where people are, I was taught. The only reason I can see for going up at all in the mountains in the winter is if you expect to get above the treeline to be spotted by searchers SOON. If not soon, going up can be fatal when you freeze outside of shelter in the snowstorm...) 2) Sitting around a fire, no shelter in sight, in a snowstorm...without gloves or mittens On the other hand, 1A) When NOT lost, abandon your snowmobile when the snow you went over an hour ago is now too soft to support it and you are within waking distance of your car. DON'T go down to some unknown area on the off change you'll connect up with a road. 3) Idiot boy chomping down ALL of the food they had with them (described as "plenty" by one of the searchers) in one day because "I figured we'd be found by now". (His next comment was that her thinking ahead was bad because it was really eliminating freedom...) 4)Screeching "We're here!!!!" while search craft fly overhead (for those who don't know, no one in the plane or helo can hear you...you MUST make a visual signal large enough to be seen against the background) 5) "Wen you fall asleep in the snow, you don;t wake up" PLEASE DON"T Believe THIS! It could kill you. The reality is that if you drive yourself to exhaustion because you're afraid of not waking up, when you finally do fall asleep it WILL kill you, but if you rest when you need to the cold will wake you before too long if you do nod off. 6) When searching on the ground for amateurs, turn off your engines now and then and yell...and LISTEN. Sound carries much farther than you can see.
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