Hallmark Movie Review: Just in Time for Christmas


Aired: 12/5/15 on Hallmark Channel

Just in Time for Christmas has little to do with Christmas.  Hallmark frequently does an alternate-reality plot lines, and Just in Time for Christmas is such a movie.  It required “Christmas magic” for the plot twist to occur, but the movie could just as easily have happened in July with regular magic.

Lindsay Rogers is having a great day – right up until it becomes a nightmare.  She is a professor at a local college in Washington State and her students love her.  On her way to the nicest restaurant in town (Gino’s) to meet her boyfriend, Lindsay returns a phone call from Stephanie Jackman, a dean at Yale University, who offers Lindsay a dream job of associate professor with tenure-track and publishication her book.  When she arrives at Gino’s she finds the restaurant is booked for only her and Jason (her boyfriend).  Lindsay is overwhelmed when Jason proposes, despite knowing that it was coming.  Thinking that she can’t have both the husband and the perfect job, she says no to Jason’s proposal.

Through the power of a carriage ride from Captain Kirk (an actual carriage not the USS Enterprise), Lindsay is transported three years into the future.  In the future, she is a best-selling author with $2 million in the bank [I wish – 99% of authors don’t make anywhere near that kind of scratch], and offered tenure at Yale.  But her life is empty without Jason – they broke up when she moved across the country.  All this is ironic because while her book is all about discovering what we really want in life, she didn’t know what she truly wanted when all these good things landed in her lap.  Another carriage ride takes her back to the present, when she can get the man and the job.

A little heavy handed with the sanctimonious “how-to-live-your-life” dialogues, but Just in Time for Christmas plays the alternate-reality card pretty well.  I thought it was a false dichotomy that she would have to choose between the man she loves and her dream job, but they addressed that in the alternate reality.  She didn’t ask him to move (for some reason – I mean, he wanted to marry you, I think he’d be willing to move for you) and they tried the long distance thing and that didn’t work out.

Just in Time for Christmas is one of the better alternate-reality movies that Hallmark has produced, but don’t look at the description of the movie because they lie to you.  It says that she gets to look at both potential futures before making a decision – she doesn’t – she only sees the one timeline.

Rating: 6.5

Ranking: 21t

21t. Christmas Under Wraps

  1. Eve’s Christmas (another alternate-reality storyline)

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