Christmas at Cartwright's (TV Movie 2014) Poster

(2014 TV Movie)

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Another fine Hallmark Christmas movie
utgard1410 November 2015
Enjoyable Hallmark movie starring Alicia Witt as an unemployed single mom who, through a series of events, gets a job as a department store Santa without anyone at the store actually knowing she's not a 'he.' Helping her along the way is angel (I think?) Wallace Shawn. Other characters include the adorable daughter struggling at school, the wealthy (but bland) love interest, and the villainous woman who causes problems for our heroine every five minutes. It's hardly a Miracle on 34th Street but it'll get the job done.

Alicia Witt is immensely likable and carries the movie on her shoulders. Wallace Shawn is fun whenever he's around. Gabrielle Miller makes for an easy-to-hate villainess. T.J. McGibbon plays the daughter and steals every scene she's in. Gabriel Hogan is the weakest part of the cast as the completely forgettable love interest. He's the usual Hallmark clichéd rich guy that every woman is apparently aspiring to marry. He's also unexciting in every possible way. I think Alicia's character can do better but I didn't write the movie. It's worth a look if you enjoy these sorts of things. It won't rock your world or anything but it's a good way to pass the time.
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wonderful movie, lovable cast
rireland-198-26539728 December 2014
This is a great film. I especially liked the actress playing Nicky. She seemed believable yet magical. Angel stories are always great and this one did not disappoint. The little girl was cute without being precocious. I liked how everyone at Cartwright' s loved Santa Nick, except the evil Fiona. It was fun to see Gabrielle Miller play a baddie after seeing her as the nice, but insecure Lacey on Corner Gas. Hallmark has the best films! I also applaud Patricia Heaton for producing this sweet movie. The store sets were really beautiful.The only thing that puzzled me was 2 stories that Bill told to Nicky. One concerned questioning his father about Santa and in the other he mentions being raised by a single mom...what happened to his dad? That was the only inconsistency I spotted. But otherwise I recommend this film.
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Another Christmas Winner!
jwayne_2412 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Once again, Alicia Witt makes a great Hallmark Christmas film, this time playing Nicky, a single mom who loses her job right before Christmas. By a stroke of magic, she becomes the Santa at Cartwright's department store, thanks to Harry, the Christmas consultant, who may or may not be who he seems.

Nicky also begins to fall for Bill, head of the men's department, but he doesn't know she is Santa. He asks her out, but she gets nervous and leaves halfway through. Eventually, through the scheming of Fiona, special events head who likes Bill, Nicky is exposed and fired.

Thanks to a little bit of faith, "Christmas magic", and forgiveness, Nicky gets an even better job at Cartwright's and a second chance with Bill. What's more, her daughter, through a lot of practice, has improved her reading and reads the Night Before Christmas to Bill and Nicky to end the movie.

Thoroughly enjoyable and a movie to definitely re-watch this season!
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Miss Noel (tv)
leplatypus25 December 2015
I didn't planned it but it's great to write this review on Christmas day!

So far i failed all my Christmas time : All along December month, i would like to decorate my home, have a advent calendar, share sweets with my friends, write greetings cards, read moving stories about this holiday and watch the best movies about it near a warm fire and sipping infusion! At the end, i usually have fun just for Christmas day. This year it's a bit the same … until checking TV programs and noticing that there are a lot of Christmas TV movies.. When i see this one had Alicia, i was just really motivated to see it ! Alicia is among the rare artist I knew as a kid (see Dune, Twin Peaks) and now she is a lovely, fun, caring young woman who plays with the best (Pacino, Bullock). In a way, you can feel that it's movie for TV as the action happens in sets : there's not a lot of outdoor sequence in lovely Chicago so we have a Christmas movie nearly without snow.. But except this, this a wonderful, family movie : Alicia is really good being a single mother and showing courage and efforts to support her family ! She is kind, polite, generous, wonderfully dressed and always smiling even if things turn bad. Sure the story can be guessed since the start but that's what I want : Christmas magic, romance, happiness and not more politics, violence, money, guns, nudity, hysteric, crazy people… Her daughter is totally sweet and as i have always like malls, this movie was really a great gift for me !
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Okay Time Killer
Christmas-Reviewer31 October 2016

"Christmas at Cartwright's" is a 2014 American-Canadian romance television film directed by Graeme Campbell and starring Alicia Witt, Gabriel Hogan and Wallace Shawn Written by Margaret Oberman, the film is about a single mom who gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to pay her rent.

Now I don't mind if a film goes into uncharted territory but this film doesn't. The filmmakers think the fact the idea that "Santa" is being played by a woman is "Shocking".

I think the filmmakers should of re-thought this project. I think the film should of focused on "Santa" giving advise to the men who work at the store. Complications happen when her ex-husband starts working at the store along side her new boyfriend. Disguised as "Santa" she sees both of these men in a new light. She learns why her ex-husband left her and why he is behind in child support. She sees that her current boyfriend isn't perfect but also see's that a female co-worker is out to steal her boyfriend. That would of made a more interesting film.
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How Did She Get Paid???
archiecm8 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I really did enjoy this movie but I yelled at it for the first half of it. She needed rent money so she took this job (a man's job) wearing a Santa suit disguise. She doesn't know she's in the hands of an angel (Wallace Shawn) and thinks she's fooling him and the kids and the Department store staff. Fine. But how's she going to get paid? The check can't be made out to a woman for a man's position can it? Later, I realized her name is Nicki so I suppose she can get a check in her real name since that is a boys and girls name. (There's Nicholas and there's Nicole). If I'd remembered her name I wouldn't have needed to yell, "How did she get paid?" a dozen times. The point is she was good with kids and the angel thought she needed a break. So he helps her read the minds of the kids and she's a smash success. I enjoyed that part. Her lying to the male love interest was irritating. Lies get discovered. Also, why not just be who you are? If he has a problem with her being a good Santa and with her needing to pay the bills then he's the wrong guy for her. I had to stop the DVD when she failed the honesty test on their first date. Again I screamed. My dog hates screaming and bounds off the bed and scrambles underneath whenever he hears me yell and that seems to happen two or three times a night. Sorry Biscuit but she really really disappointed me. She got the guy back in the end but I'm not sure she deserved him. Guess that's it.
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Jackbv12318 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
There were so many heartwarming moments. There was much laughter.

This movie was at least as much if not more about Nicky and her daughter Becky, and about her as Santa, as it was a romance. As for the romance, the formula device chosen was what I call the hanging lie. Nicky is a woman acting as Santa. She keeps this from her potential boyfriend who also happens to be an executive in the store where she plays Santa.

I agree with another review that a woman playing Santa is not at all shocking. From the point where she becomes Santa, I kept thinking that the store can't possibly fire her because of the publicity they would get for refusing to allow a woman the equal rights of being a Santa, especially after she demonstrated she could do it and do it well. I believe that the movie actually underplayed this angle, because in the real world the publicity would have been national and she would have been besieged with reporters, especially the national morning shows. But the way they played it was more entertaining.

T.J. McGibbon as Becky was a darling and helped make this even more heartwarming, but she played a 30 year old in an 8 year old body - she was just too smart. But still, she was probably the real star of this show.

Alicia Witt was charming in this role, but I don't believe she got to play to her strengths. For one thing, the Santa outfit hid her face which can be so expressive.

Gabriel Hogan played well opposite Witt. What little time they had together on screen, there seemed to be chemistry. However, after the lie was revealed, Hogan became uncertain. It's true that Bill was angry, but Hogan seemed to have trouble figuring out how to gradually forgive Nicky - something was off.

Wallace Shawn was typical Wallace Shawn as the angel, meaning he was great. If the name doesn't ring a bell, look at his page. I'm sure you've seen him.

As in Hallmark movies, especially Christmas ones, this movie is way over the top in terms of everything working out. It seemed like too much, too fast. But that just means it's a Hallmark Christmas movie. You can count on them not to have sad endings.
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What Went Wrong?
rich-49427 July 2018
Alicia Witt is one of my favorite Hallmark actresses. Add in Wallace Shawn, and I was ready for a delightful ride. Unfortunately, this movie never got out of the garage. Usually engaging, Alicia Witt seemed to struggle with this part. Wallace Shawn did not have his heart in his performance. Maybe it was the writing. Or maybe this was just not a good vehicle for Alicia Witt. I do not know that I will ever figure out what ruined this movie for me. The basic idea is ingenious and could have been a source of a lot of lighthearted fun. Instead, everything seemed forced and two-dimensional.
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