Sister Swap: Christmas in the City
The last movie of the weekend was part 2 of the Sister Swap series. I knew I would like the whole story line once I saw both parts. I actually really liked the concept of these two movies and it was fun to see similar scenes from Meg’s perspective throughout. Let’s dive in.
I still don’t understand why, but Meg loads up her tuba and heads to SLC to play in a brass band on the street. She stops to get some fun Christmas hats and runs into Joe. We know from the last movie that Joe works for Jen at her restaurant. They have an awkward exchange that includes Meg knocking over a few breakable items.
Then she plays the tuba with the brass band. I still don’t know if that is something she always does, if she just decided to hop in with them at the last minute or if she specifically joined that year for something fun to do. She hadn’t played since high school so, again, I DON’T KNOW. But luckily, she did bring some fun Christmas hats for Jen and Jen’s son, Simon.
Back at Jen’s restaurant, Umber & Sprig, Meg re-meets Joe. Meg makes joke after joke and Joe doesn’t understand any of them. It’s too bad. Later, Meg and Jen walk and talk about Meg’s future plans to go to Paris indefinitely. We saw this same walk and talk in the last movie as well. Meg and Jen break off and Meg continues walking with Alex, another employee at the restaurant. They stop at a tapas food cart I would very much like to experience for myself. Alex has eyes for the cart owner and Meg reveals that she has no chill.
That night, the sisters have a hilarious exchange where Meg wonders if she should stay in SLC a little bit longer while Jen heads to their hometown of Hazelwood. She tells Meg she will need to borrow some clothes if she stays. Jen laughs because Meg is currently wearing one of her sweaters. This was so amusing because it is something both my sister and I would do.
So Meg decides to stay and Jen and Simon head out. Meg finds Joe in the SLC Christmas Market? Looking at some garland for the restaurant or for the big party. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Umber & Sprigs will get to host a big party and a magazine will award $25,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. So I think he’s getting garland for that. Anyway, he almost gets a big old strand of mistletoe. I’ve never seen mistletoe like that but I suppose that’s how it comes. Anyway, they head to the restaurant with their plain garland.
At the restaurant, the gang is decorating cookies because during the holidays, every patron gets a free cookie with their order. That’s cute. Meg is super helpful and I think super annoying to Joe. She is PERKY that’s for dang sure. She’s also a very SILLY GOOSE. She has tons of fun ideas that sort of clash with the very fancy party Joe wants to plan. She wants a cookie decorating station (LOVE) and a photo booth (NEUTRAL). Joe decides to take her to the food bank to help put things in perspective (I think.) To show her what they’re trying to raise money for.
At the food bank, the manager tells them all about what she could do with the prize money. She would like to make the food bank more of a grocery store experience where people could select items instead of being given a big, prepackaged box of food. Anyway, it’s very admirable and definitely gives Meg perspective. But she still wants to do all her fun activities.
Back at the restaurant, Meg also meets one of Jen’s regular customers. He often eats alone and Meg can’t help but stop and chat. She learns he has a daughter but that they don’t really see each other. Joe is like, Meg can you get back to doing whatever it is that you’re doing?
Shortly thereafter, Meg talks to Jen about staying in SLC to help with the party. Jen agrees and Meg goes to share the happy news with Joe. He’s as thrilled as Joe can be. There is lots of work to do! They head to a tree lot to look for Christmas trees. Then they make wreaths with the scraps. They both ask an employee for help in finding the chonkiest tree on the lot as a surprise for each other. I am not sure what the intention is of surprising each other with a tree when they went to the tree lot to get a tree. But here we are.
They also make sure to spend lots of time at the food bank. They even invite that lonely patron who’s name I can’t remember. While the restaurant boxes up the food bank items, Meg learns more about this man and his daughter. She decides to meddle. Then they learn the restaurant’s chef is officially leaving and it seems like she’s leaving immediately. Wouldn’t there be a transition period in a job like that? I guess not. Anyway, now Joe and Meg need to head to another chef he knows to see if she would consider working for them. They show up without an appointment during the lunch rush. So, Joe and Meg decide to take a carriage ride while they wait. They have a MOMENT or two. Unfortunately, it was all for nothing because Jesse doesn’t want the job. So now they’re back to square one. But at least they got that carriage ride!
Then they realize they’ve each selected trees for each other and now have two trees. They decide to take one of the trees to Hazelwood for the Madison theatre. They have another MOMENT while they decorate the tree. Then yet ANOTHER moment outside right before the tree lighting. Jen sees them and gets their attention and spoils it. We see this scene before where they nervously try to explain everything they’re up to and tell her they still don’t have a chef. So Jen panics and decides to go back with them to SLC to find one. The next morning, Joe learns for the first time that Meg plans to go to Paris indefinitely after the holidays and seems a bit miffed. Meg tells him she’s not really sure about any of it right now.
We see that whole thing play out in the last movie too. Now we know more about the Tapas cart guy, Martin. Anyway, they decide to hire him and Meg and Joe have a moment where they wonder if there’s anything between them. Her plans still seem so up in the air that it’s hard for them to know!
Meg goes back to Hazelwood for the big movie night and we see the scenes we saw last movie again, where they decide to go into business together. Meg heads back to SLC after the movie.
I am not sure if this happens before or after the Hazelwood movie night, but at some point, a lot of the restaurant employees all go ice skating together. Alex and Martin are there and talk about whether it would be awkward for them to work together and be dating. They ultimately decide they can figure it out. I think this is a mistake but nobody in these movies ever listen to me. Meg and Joe have ANOTHER moment where they don’t kiss under a giant garland of mistletoe because Meg still isn’t sure what she wants to do.
On the morning of the big party, Meg wakes up to a big snowstorm and the news anchors are encouraging people to stay home! But it’s the night of the big party! Somehow, this snow doesn’t stop her from going to the food bank where Joe is already at work. At the food bank, the cookie decorating station and photo booth are all set up. But I thought the party was supposed to be at the restaurant? What is the point of having it here? Is there another party at the food bank? Joe also tells Meg that he is taking a full time job at the food bank. It is his passion and he says its “more hours” but does that mean more pay? Surely it cannot? Anyway, that’s not always the point, is it? This works out really well for Meg though, because she and Jen basically agreed the night before that she would take over Joe’s job at the restaurant.
Then Joe gets a call informing them that the parties have all been cancelled and they are just going to split the winnings amongst the 3 contestants. It’s not enough for all the plans the food bank has, but it’s better than nothing. Then Alex and Martin arrive with all the food. I am not sure why. Maybe to feed all the volunteers and have a mini party? BUT THEN, Meg has a different idea and I think they agree to have all 3 restaurants host a combined party in a new location that everyone seemingly is able to attend. Meg seems to have no trouble getting around as she’s changed her clothes and everything. And Jen, Simon and their parents even made it. Apparently the news anchors were being a little dramatic when they told everyone to stay inside and make brownies.
I think the party is going really well. Our lonely patron stands up and makes a speech, announcing he will provide the remaining funds for the food bank-whatever they need to accomplish their grocery store idea. He also reconnects with his daughter. So everyone wins there. And finally, Joe and Meg have their moment and they KISS. And I think there is more merriment after that because I feel like Meg has to tell her sister that she kissed him. And that’s the end of that.
Like I said, I really applaud Hallmark for doing two movies like this. My preference would have been to have them play back to back rather than one weekend after another because well, I watched four movies between them and I can’t be bothered to remember a movie a week later. I love the Williams sisters and I loved seeing them together. Petition for more silly sister moments in these movies going forward! I think the downside of stretching out this story is that both movies were just the teesny bit slow at times. I did accidentally fall asleep watching this one and had to go back and see what I missed. Hence forgetting the order of things! Give me break. Anyway, what did you think of this one?