This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. We stand with the SAG-AFTRA. Without them, the movies and television shows we cover would not exist.
Please note that the interview clips in this review were done prior to the strike.
I consider myself a Christmas movie connoisseur. I know too much about them and I am proud of that. I am proud that while I may not love Christmas in real life, I do love Christmas movies.
I have struggled to put out a review for this movie – not because I didn’t loved it – because of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Like so many, we’ve wanted to show our support for the actors and writers on strike and also do our job. So I will apologize that this is late, but as I worked through what the strike meant for Fangirlish, I held off.
And now I feel comfortable putting out reviews.
Take Me Back for Christmas is a movie that deserves all of the praise and admiration. It deserves that praise because if we’re being honest, we’d rank it in the top ten Christmas movies that Hallmark has ever done.
Christmas in July normally consists of a new movie every Saturday in July and since that wasn’t happening, I felt slighted. I liked A Royal Christmas Crush, but wondered, what we (the collective Hallmark family) wasn’t getting. Yes, I am selfish and wanted more.
Until Take Me Back for Christmas.
It’s About This: Renée (Lengies) always dreamed of starting her own business but when her mom got sick, she and her husband Aaron (Sevier) moved back to the suburbs to care for her and were forced to put their dreams on hold. Now 10 years later, she is officially stuck in a rut with mounting bills and a dead-end job putting pressure on her normally happy marriage. After a particularly disheartening day working at a local gift shop, an elf running the Santa display offers to grant Renée a Christmas wish. Although skeptical, her exasperation gets the best of her, and she wishes for a different life…only to wake up in a New York City high rise as CEO of one of the most successful meal kit delivery companies in the world. To top it all off, her mom is still alive. It looks like her wish came true and her new reality is seemingly perfect, except for one thing – she is no longer married to Aaron. In a desperate attempt to win him back, Renée hires Aaron, now a successful chef, to develop a Christmas dinner meal kit benefiting local food banks. With her new plan in place, she and Aaron begin to fall in love all over again, bringing her one step closer to “having it all.” But as complications arise in this new reality and the clock ticks closer to Christmas Eve, Renée is forced to ask herself if going back is the key to moving forward in life and love.
Standout Performance: Vanessa Lengies. The depths that she goes to emotionally here brought tears to my eyes. She made you feel as though everything was happening to her personally and you forgot that this was an actress. You just feel everything that she does. She is just fantastic!
When I interviewed her and Corey, she was so kind and I was trying to pull my shit together cause I cried my eyes out. She was just so amazing in the movie and is an even better human.
Overall Thoughts: I don’t take it lightly to say that this is in my top 5 of all Hallmark Christmas movies. I say that because it did what Christmas movies are supposed to do – it reminds you that you are alive. But it also breaks your heart.
Watching this movie, I expected it to be all about the love story. I expected it to be about Renée trying to find her way back to Aaron and make him remember that he loves her.
I tend to not love movies that show what life would be like if you took a different path, but this one, I did. Why? Because it wasn’t about the path, it was about the fact that yes, choices can be made and things can change, but what matters is that you are remembering what is important.
You can have all of the money in the world or you can have none – what matters is your happiness. What matter choice you make, you need to live in the moment and respect all of the moments. The moments are what matter.
I wasn’t prepared for the ending. I thought it would be about saying goodbye to love that was and accepting the love that is, and knowing the difference. I thought I knew, but what it was about was having the courage to say goodbye and move forward.
Honestly, this movie was emotional and it was all heart. It’s definitely ranking in one of the best lists for us!
Where It Ranks On The Christmas Scale: 5/5. If this movie doesn’t remind you what Christmas is all about, you can legally change your name to Scrooge, cause you are one.
Holiday Cheer: It’s spreading all of the holiday cheer. What I loved about this movie was its unique It’s A Wonderful Life vibes. And I say unique, because normally I can see where a movie is going. But this one, I couldn’t. I was experiencing feelings that I didn’t know that I had after watching this movie. But for me this movie was everything I needed in a Christmas movie and I felt it all down to the depths of my soul.