A California Christmas Poster

A California Christmas (2020)

Comedy | Romance 
Rayting:   5.7/10 6502 votes
Country: USA
Language: English

With his carefree lifestyle on the line, a wealthy charmer poses as a ranch hand to get a hardworking farmer to sell her family's land before Christmas.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

toddsgraham 14 December 2020

I thought this was a decent movie. Like most films in this genre, the story draws on several clichés to move the narrative forward. The writer also draws on a very popular plot device, which is the use of deception and mistaken identity. This year alone, we have seen make-believe relationships (in Holidate, Midnight at the Magnolia, and Happiest Season), princess switches (in The Princess Switch: Switched Again), and fake bed and breakfast staff (in Five Star Christmas). In this film, we have a wealthy Casanova posing as a ranch hand (played by Josh Swickard) to get a financially struggling farmer to sell her family's land before Christmas (played by Lauren Swickard). The storyline is predictable, of course, as is much of this genre of film (i.e., the romance Christmas movie). Yet, I found myself pulled in by it. The story has a comforting familiarity (again, why particular plot devices are repeatedly used in this genre), some scenic Californian landscape, a struggling family farm, and the appeal of watching the chemistry develop (between the two attractive leads) on screen. I admit it worked on me. I found the movie engaging; I did not, e.g., grab for my iPad during the film (which often happens while watching romance Christmas movies). What makes this work on screen, of course, is the acting. The acting overall was great. What stood out for me was the performance of Lauren Swickard (playing Callie). She had a strong, yet tender, vibe to her performance, which worked well, I felt. Josh Swickard also had a strong performance. The strength of this film was their chemistry (which makes sense, given they are married in real life). We could see this develop and grow on screen as the story/movie progressed, which was, again, one of the appealing aspects of the movie, I thought. The supporting cast had a good performance. David Del Rio (playing Manny) and Ali Afshar's (playing Leo) performances made me laugh a little, and Amanda Detmer had a convincing performance as a terminally ill mother. Finally, I thought the music and music editing was good. A couple good songs in this one. There was one element that was a bit lacking: the Christmas in A California Christmas. This is not a very Christmassy movie, I am afraid.

rory-igo 16 December 2020

The real Manny is the star of the movie... he needs his own spinoff.

CHTO76 15 December 2020

If you by some miracle have binge-watched every TV Christmas movie made for the year 2020, you will undoubtedly stumble upon A California Christmas.

While the cheesy title and cover-art suggest that it shouldn't be anything more than your typical Hallmark / Lifetime affair, this movie nevertheless managed to hold my attention throughout it's entire 2-hour run.

The story itself is nothing new (rich bad boy falls in love with farm girl etc.), but there is a substantial budget thrown into the production of this movie, so it is very visually pleasing. It is a little too long for my taste, and there were a few cringe-worthy montages to remind us that this movie may have been targeted for a much younger audience.

The best part of the movie is without a doubt the story between the mother and the daughters, but the movie took too long to get there. Netflix obviously tried to bank on the natural good looks of the two leads (there are plenty of suggestive, drawn out scenes in the beginning of the movie to convince the audience just how attractive the actors are), but I personally don't find either of them particularly memorable.

As a warning to parents hoping to add this movie to their viewing list this coming Christmas: this movie is not intended for children. On top of the suggestive scenes already mentioned above, there are also a handful of love scenes with one in particular that are best saved for after the children have gone to bed.

matchincaddies 20 December 2020

Is number one here in sweden on netflix and such nice warm film like the weather also, has warmed up our cold Christmas! very nice and fun. american 'cow farms' different then europe

jagfannn 15 December 2020

The first 1/3 of this movie is terrible so be forewarned. If you can stick it out however, it gets much much better. It may not top any lists but it has heart in the second half. Not much Christmas though

piacentinidionne 16 December 2020

This was a believable film with some nice moments and good acting from the leads. It definitely isn't a Christmas film though.

JaeBianca 20 December 2020

If one is looking for originality or strong holiday themes, look elsewhere. I tuned in because I like Josh Swickard. To his credit, he has admitted that the script was written by his wife/co-star in a couple of weeks. And, was filmed on her family's property during General Hospital's Covid-hiatus. With that caveat, I think that California Christmas is very watchable. It does not suffer the stiff blandness of a Hallmark movie. Josh, David del Rio and Ali Ashfar provided a good amount of comic relief. Lauren Swickard successfully threaded the fine line of being a fiercely independent woman who can ask for help when she needs it, as well as acknowledge appreciation for help she might not have initially wanted. Amanda Detmer also rose above what could have been considered an overly sentimental character.

MIssM19 14 December 2020

Joseph needs to convince the owner of this ranch to sell the property so that his company can develop a distribution center. Callie, the owner, doesn't want anything to do with that. So, in order to get close to her and convince her, Joseph poses a "ranch boy" (I think).

We all know how this is gonna to turn out since reading the premise. It's predictable. But it was a sweet movie. Reading the title you expect it to be all happy, Chrismassy, and joyful movie. It wasn't anything like that. Christmas isn't a big part of it, this could have happened in any time of they year and it's actually not relevant when it takes place. There are sad moments that are part of Callie's history, maybe unnecesary but still adds to the plot. My only major complaint, probably, is that we needed a few more laughs.

I like when actors are involved in the production so kudos to Lauren (and Josh) for writing, producing and acting in this. If you are fan of romance/"chick-flick" movies, you'll probably like it.

AsburyRoad 22 December 2020

Lebanon sensation with at 1 and top global too. very fun. Much to see more, as well both mannys!!

jusurf-14848 20 December 2020

Both actors played remarkably well with good connections, chemistry couple. Hope, inspiring, with a strong, courageous independent women who deals with loss but in a certain way try to calm herself and puts her effort for a joyful journey along with mother. The actors were amazing despite they are real couple in life. They were astonishing beautiful and lovely, sincere people.. Really good movie with a bit of Christmas but great romantic along with humour, adventure movie.Surely recommend

laserwiz77 22 December 2020

This was a sweet unassuming movie that had a decent story, solid acting (the two leads are married in real life). In spite of some corny antics by the supporting cast I found it to be better than the critics have said. Some people complain that it isn't a Christmas movie but I don't agree. Check it out.

samratsingraur 14 December 2020

A classic cheesy romantic movie turned to be actually good. California Christmas is a heartwarming movie with a lighthearted plot. The lead actors (married in real life) did their job perfectly and they sure have an amazing on screen chemistry. Whole Christmas vibe keeps you delighted all the way through. Anyhow, it sure is a predictable one but is definitely enjoyable in it's own way.

Movie Scene

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