» » Holiday Engagement (2011)

Short summary

Afraid to tell her family she's been dumped, Hillary hires an actor to play her fiancé during a four-day Thanksgiving weekend at her parents' house.
Thirty-something Hillary Burns has spent her life trying to get the approval of her parents (most specifically her judgmental mother, Meredith Burns) thus far without success. Part of that approval for Hillary is to marry the right man. That's why Hillary is so happy she is engaged to successful lawyer Jason King, whom she will bring home to meet the family for the first time at their Thanksgiving get-together weekend in a week's time; however, Hillary's life starts to fall apart when simultaneously she loses her part-time newspaper writing job (when the newspaper itself folds) and Jason dumps her to focus on his career (which is seemingly more important to him than Hillary). On the advice of her best friend Sophie, Hillary - who feels she can't go home without Jason (especially as her two sisters' lives seem to meet their mother's approval) - decides reluctantly to go to an online dating site to find someone to pose as Jason for the upcoming family weekend. She finds David, an actor ...

Trailers "Holiday Engagement (2011)"

The young lady, who steals Hillary's wedding dress in the store, was played by Jennifer Elise Cox, who played Jan Brady, in the first two Brady Bunch movies that starred Shelley Long.

The character, Jason, always answers his phone as "Go for King". Jason's last name is King.

Bonnie Somerville, Sam Pancake, and Sam McMurray appeared on Friends (1994). Bonnie played Mona, Ross' girlfriend, McMurray played Doug, Chandler's boss, Pancake played a waiter.

Trisha Burns (Haylie Duff) has a sister named Hillary (Bonnie Somerville). In real-life, Haylie Duff has a younger sister whose name is also Hilary.

Bonnie Somerville and Sam Pancake appeared on Kitchen Confidential (2005).

Couple does not appear to wear seatbelts at the end of the movie.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Moralsa
    If you are avoiding this movie because you dislike the Duff sisters, fear not. Even though Haley Duff gets top billing, she doesn't get more than about 10 minutes of screen time, for much of which she's in the background, and maybe five lines of dialogue.

    This movie is only slightly more improbable than a lot of seasonal romantic comedies. The trope of bringing an imposter as your date to a a family event is not really grounded in reality anyway, so if you're willing to suspend disbelief that far, it's a nice enough diversion for a couple of hours around Thanksgiving.

    The cast is reasonably solid, if under-exercised, with some halfway decent comedy chops available (but not accessed) in Shelley Long and Sam McMurray. The two leads are cute and sad by turns, mostly at appropriate moments, and sing well together for one nice scene. Other supporting characters... well, they look their parts and speak their lines but don't expect to find gold in their emotional range.

    The script and performances didn't quite gel, leaving plenty of avenues for both comedy and heart under-utilized. Real dramatic situations were barely nodded at in passing while the most potentially humorous moments were signalled more by the characters' laughter than by any similar urge in the audience.

    If you combined 'The Family Stone' (where only Sarah Jessica Parker is lacking the necessary depth of character) with 'My Best Friend's Wedding' (where everything is deliberately shallow and the moments of heart stand out better for it), and made a college film class movie, this is about what you'd get.
  • comment
    • Author: Quinthy
    This was like reading a good G rated romance novel, but not too hokey. I liked how they did not make the characters all super cliché and cookie cutter. It was nice to see Shelly Long again in something, and I was not bored at all. Bonnie Somerville was good. She is one of those actors you keep trying to think what you have seen them in before. I really liked Jordon Bridges as the romance interest, and I did not realize until I was writing this review he is the brother on Rizzoli & Isles, a show that I watch. Wow. Totally did not but that together. They should make him more like the character he played in this movie. I would watch this movie again while wrapping presents to get in the mood for Christmas. I rarely watch a movie twice. Lighthearted and sweet fare.
  • comment
    • Author: Gavirus
    I'm gonna give this one 9 stars. This is a general feel good romance movie. Some people may find it cheesy. And, OK, so it may be predictable like several reviews have mentioned but if you want a romance movie that leaves your heart feeling lighter and happier at the end, then this is it. I loved this movie. Something about it reminds me of my own relationship with my spouse maybe because sometimes the person you think you are supposed to be with is not the person you would be happiest with. And the somewhat ordinary person causes you to be happier than you would have ever guessed. I was having kind of a lousy day and this movie cheered me up.
  • comment
    • Author: Owomed
    I just wanted a sweet holiday movie, but this one just isn't worth it. The leads are both easy on the eyes and appealing, but they have no particular chemistry. And the movie is just stuffed with ridiculous clichés and plot lines going nowhere. Several things are played, inappropriately, for laughs, including the father's legal trouble and Jason/David's religion (being Jewish). Shelley Long is fine, but I didn't even recognize her until halfway through the movie - her talents are wasted in such a subdued role. The movie had a lot of potential, but the writers couldn't be bothered. Clichés in holiday movies are expected and not unwelcome, but at least allow your characters to act like real people.
  • comment
    • Author: Ieslyaenn
    I watch many of the seasonal Hallmark movies. Since they are all pretty predictable, good acting is what I need to make me happy. The actor/actresses in this light movie were excellent. Good casting. I am now a fan of Bonnie Somerville, an really good actress. Actually her acting is so real she doesn't seem to be acting. I would try to watch her in other futures movies. So glad Shelley Long played her role. She looked so much better than in Modern Family. The movie needed some script tweaking but I left feeling good, so I will forgive that. Hey, it is a typical Hallmark movie (with very good actors). When I say typical Hallmark movie I mean: very similar plots; different setting; different actors. :-)
  • comment
    • Author: Wenaiand
    I knew how this movie was going to play out after the first line of dialogue. Pretty and perfectly nice woman is dumped by her rich, but good-for-nothing boyfriend and can't admit it to her overbearing mother. So what's a girl to do? Fall in love with her fake boyfriend, obviously.

    The movie tried really hard to be good, and I guess it could have been worse. But it was so carefully planned to be so fluffy, that every moment could be called ages before it happened.

    The script was just barely above being flat and the actors all gave it a valiant effort. But the message is force-fed and obvious. Twenty minutes in I was ready for it to be over. By the time it was half over, it was just excruciating.
  • comment
    • Author: Velellan
    Hillary (Bonnie Somerville) is finally looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner at her demanding mother Meredith's house (Shelley Long). You see, this thirty something, newspaper writer has finally found a great catch named Jason to bring home! Jason is an up and coming attorney, good-looking, and smart; Meredith should be happy. Yet, a couple of days before the occasion, Jason dumps Hillary! He has been offered a promotion in Pittsburgh, away from the East Coast where her family lives, and she has been dragging her feet about a move. Then, too, with Hillary talking about children while Jason is trying to concentrate on torts, the break-up seems inevitable. But, Holy Fiancé, Batman, what will Hill tell Mom? She won't! With a friend's help, Hillary HIRES an actor, David (Jordan Bridges) to play Jason's role, with the promise of airline tickets Hill won in a contest. Naturally, David has to cram to get the details right, for his last job was being a costumed cell phone! Yet, when they make it to Meredith's house, all goes initially well. David/Jason charms Meredith and gets along well with Dad and Hill's sisters (one is Hayley Duff). But, small quirks do burst forth. David and Hill never seem too "kissy kissy", causing some concern, and David makes a few small mistakes in his new role. To complicate things even more, the REAL Jason comes calling on the day of the actual holiday. What a fine mess you've got us into, Hill! This is an engaging romantic comedy that genre fans will like. Yes, its a tried and true plot but its still great fun. Somerville, Bridges and Long make a great trio, while the supporting actors are nice as well. The production also looks good, with nice sets, costumes, and art direction, along with a steady pace of direction. Nuf said, for fans, so if you are on of those, hustle to the place where you grab DVDs.
  • comment
    • Author: Eseve
    I've been watching all the Hallmark and Lifetime holiday movies that I can this year. I can't believe I sat through the entire two hours of this one.

    The beginning showed promise but it went down from there. The story did not work. It just didn't flow. There wasn't a feeling of connection between the characters as they were just stiff. The conclusion was rushed.

    I was happy to see Shelley Long and Sam McMurray but sad if this is the only work they can find. Jordan Bridges' character is the only one that is interesting.

    There are two similar movies that I would recommend over this one. One is 'Holiday in Handcuffs' with Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez. 'My Fake Fiancé' with Melissa Joan Hart and Joseph (Joey) Lawrence is another.
  • comment
    • Author: Cetnan
    Spoiler alert: The script is both formulaic and problematic. After knowing each other for three days, two under-/unemployed adults have an expected rom-com ending with the gushing support of the protagonist's family and friends. The film ends with a faitytale wedding day but I wonder about the day after: how will they buy food for their cute puppy, and will they finally learn each other's middle names?
  • comment
    • Author: Brakree
    If you look past the ridiculously stupid concept that only Hollywood could come up with, and past the outrageous-ness of the whole thing, it's not too bad of a movie.

    Shelley Long gave a really believable performance as the mother. When an actor is able to make you feel something (even if that feeling is intense irritability and frustration) they've done their job.

    The chemistry between Jordan Bridges and Bonnie Somerville is also quite believable. So much so I wish that they were a real couple!

    Overall, the plot, though sometimes slow, is very light and fun and even touching in some parts.
  • comment
    • Author: Agalen
    I enjoyed this movie, pretty much all Actors gave it their best! It didn't feel a full-on festive type Christmas movie though, felt more like it was about the main character and her road to figuring out what she wanted from life. Also, while both of the main cast, Bonnie Somerville and Jordan Bridges did really well in their roles (albeit Bonnie Somerville was a little wooden at times)I never felt a whole lot of chemistry between them...usually in movies like this you can pretty much predict that the two will fall in love throughout and get together in the end...and I don't mind those movies, most live for happy endings! I just didn't feel much chemistry between them at all and I've watched my fair share of chic flick/romcoms, even holiday romance ones, but this....felt more of a comedy type than romance. Was still enjoyable to watch though, so that's why it still gets a 6/10
  • comment
    • Author: Nalme
    This is definitely not one of the worst cheesy Christmas movies I've seen, nor the best. The characters start out weak, but I think as the movie goes on the characters get better. The two leads, Hillary and David grow to have very nice chemistry. There are a few cute scenes with the two of them. Some of the supportive characters are pretty bad and annoying. What really bugged me throughout the movie was the lighting. Everyone's faves are tinted green. At times I wondered if someone got punched in the face or maybe had terrible concealer on. All in all it wasn't the worst.
  • comment
    • Author: Agantrius
    This story is very predictable and unfortunately not that well done. There are however some good moments.

    Who did the lighting? It was horrendous. I don't know how many scenes there were where faces were poorly lit. In at least one, an entire face was difficult to see at all and in several scenes partial faces were badly shadowed. In one scene the youngest sister looked like her lip was bleeding or lipstick badly smudged.

    Shelly Long started out horrible. Part of this was intentional, but to me she overplayed it. And she looked bad. She got a little better as the film went on.

    There were some attempts at humor, many of which were ridiculous situations like Thanksgiving at the Mexican restaurant. To me most of them were barely funny and some were kind of funny.

    ***SPOILERS*** Bonnie Somerville and Jordan Bridges did not sell the story that justified Hillary ending up with David. Part of that was the story and that they didn't have enough screen time. David had barely admitted he was over Lindsay, and Hillary had barely decided she hated Jason and the next thing, Hillary and David are professing love for one another.

    I loved when Bonnie Somerville sang with Bridges. Bridges wasn't great but Somerville was. And it was romantic.

    The final montage at the church and after was nice and also romantic.
  • comment
    • Author: Leceri
    Okay before I get to the BIG bug bear of this film for me let me say that on the whole, this is a pretty good film with an above average cast and pretty decent direction. There are some good lines in there too so the writing isn't too bad either...

    ...or is it...

    Because here is the major weakness of the whole movie. There will be a couple of spoilers here as examples...

    Unable to tell her mother that her fiancé has dumped her Hillary Burns decides to get a "fake" Jason and puts an "add" on the net. She chooses a guy she ran into playing a big red cell phone - great credentials to play a fiancé! While they are there for the three days they become close and she gets carried away with the whole fiancé and wedding thing.

    She tells her parents they'll get married at Christmas and they even buy a wedding dress. When her Mum invites the vicar to chat to the couple to arrange the wedding, both Hillary and the Vicar learn the "fake" Jason is Jewish, to which she replies, "he'll convert" and the Vicar says he'll baptise him that weekend.

    All through this, though they've had a couple of "moments", the "fake" Jason keeps asking Hillary, "You do know this isn't real?"

    This to me says he isn't really committed, but of course this is a love story so they do end up married at Christmas.

    It's the speed of this entire situation and its outcome that smacks of ludicrousness and unbelievability. Had this series of events been handled a little more realistically then this film would've been so much better for it.
  • comment
    • Author: Cointrius
    19 November 2017. Somehow Holiday Engagement manages to avoid the blatant stereotypical, over the top performances of the typical romance comedies. Instead, the script allows the actors to make dumb fools of themselves in a more authentic way, putting themselves in situations that oftentimes, real people can laugh at afterwards. Like Sandra Bullock in The Proposal (2009), the dialogue is witty and intelligent, the storyline is consistent and thoughtfully believable. This a funny and enjoyable movie experience that is a notch above most Christmas romance comedies.
  • comment
    • Author: Goldenfang
    Super cute fun. A good movie to enjoy with the family.
  • comment
    • Author: catterpillar
    Spoilers: Not as bad as some films I've seen around the holidays, but definitely falls into the predictable, cheesy romantic movie category. My biggest gripe is that in the end of the movie, all I could think about was how these two individuals were going to live, as they both end the film without real jobs of any kind. The film was just too far distanced from the real world.
  • comment
    • Author: Chi
    I thought the movie was going to be just a sunday cheesy movie, but it is not cheesy at all! It's just a bad acting copy paste script movie! It has so many scenes ripped off from blockbusters. Don't waste your time and take 5 more minutes and search for a better option! You can always google Darjeeling Limited!
  • comment
    • Author: Malaunitly
    Okay, so I'm a Hallmark Christmas movie nut. Most holiday movies are corny, predictable & annoying. I thought this one was charming, funny & a little different from the usual.
  • comment
    • Author: Kea
    Holiday Engagement is a made for TV movie starring Bonnie Sonnerville,Shelley Long and Haylie Duff and tells the story of a young woman named Hilary who's fiance Jason dumps her out of the blue and has to hire an actor that saw her ad about a fake fiance to pose as Jason with romance blossoming.

    Overall the film is very predictable but I did enjoy it for a Christmas romantic comedy. The guy who played Jason I could have swore he was Skyped Astin from Pitch Perfect.

    If your looking for a nice rom com then check it out
  • comment
    • Author: Nuadabandis
    Late in the year, Hollywood and the major TV networks begin cranking out movies for the holiday season. But well before the end of the last century, all the Christmas plots imaginable had been done. Some real Christmas movies - but not very many, have been made since the late 20th century. They have themes of charity, giving, family reunions, love, reconciliations, and yes, sometimes romance. But by and large, the output that is labeled Christmas or holiday films in the 21st century is no more than comedy-romance or even drama that happens around the holidays.

    Such is this 2011 Hallmark channel film, "Holiday Engagement." It takes place around Thanksgiving and that makes it a holiday film. Just about every imaginable plot has been made into one of these films, which makes them commonplace. So, the only thing that sets one off usually is the characters as played by the cast.

    This film has some fine, better than normal performances by three of the cast. But it also has just enough of a different twist in the plot to hold one's interest. The lead, Hillary Burns (played by Bonnie Somerville) gets dumped by her fiancé just before going home for Thanksgiving. She hires an actor to play his part, rather than disappoint her mother. There's much more at play here in the family, and this is far out. But the leading cast make it work as a gentle comedy romance and mild family drama.

    Hillary's role is OK - her crying and sad scenes with her mother and before that are not very realistic. The six stars for this film are due mostly to her parents, with some extra credit for her hired fiancé. Shelley Long is very good as Hillary's mother, Meredith Burns; and Sam McMurray is very good as her father, Roy Burns. Finally, Jordan Bridges is very good as David, the actor whom she hires to stand in as her fiancé. He is the son of Beau Bridges and grandson of Lloyd Bridges.

    Of course, everyone knows where this story will go right away. As with all such the films, the fun (or lack thereof) is in the details of how the story gets to the end. This one is watchable but not special to run out and buy.

    The funniest line in the movie happens after Roy's effort to deep fat fry the turkey fails. The outdoor cooker he has rigged ejects the turkey. So, the family heads for a Mexican restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. Meredith hands her water glass to the waiter and says, "Oh, um, I asked for seltzer. This looks like tap water with cheese floating in it."
  • comment
    • Author: Doomwarden
    I actually created an account just to say this: Save yourself from the physical pain you'll experience after siting through this movie!
  • comment
    • Author: Marr
    When I heard the concept it I remembered me of a blockbuster film that came out several years before this one that did very well...but this one, with the weird set up, the overly judgmental mother and lack luster acting...

    This is becoming a staple of Hallmark films the past 5 years or so. For every good film there's like 10 bad ones, and this one was bad.

    In the end it wasn't even worth using as background noise because every time I would hope the scene I wanted was gonna get got worse. Only ONE good scene in the whole film, took near the end of the film... wasn't worth it.
  • comment
    • Author: thrust
    I didn't like the lead actors and that essentially ruins a movie for me. I normally like Jordan Bridges, but not in this movie. I also thought the humor was stupid and even a bit inappropriate at times, especially considering this movie is a Hallmark movie. The scenes where the guy is shirtless are a bit awkward to watch.
  • comment
    • Author: Уou ll never walk alone
    Jim Fall has created a winner with Holiday Engagement. From the casting to the story to the chemistry of the leads and the cast, this is a great holiday movie. The cast does a great job and both Bonnie Sommerville and Jordan Bridges have a connection that is warm and comfortable. Jim Fall's nuanced use of music and creativity in some of the scenes and story line are really exceptional and the dialogue is interesting. Wish we could see more of his films. This movie quickly became a holiday favorite for us. Naturally, these movies aren't designed for in-depth analysis of plots so those reviewers who have commented on those aspects appear to have unrealistic expectations.

    Watch Holiday Engagement for what it is. A sweet, charming, interesting little movie that will live up to its goal: to make you feel good.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Bonnie Somerville Bonnie Somerville - Hillary Burns
    Shelley Long Shelley Long - Meredith Burns
    Jordan Bridges Jordan Bridges - David
    Sam McMurray Sam McMurray - Roy Burns (as Sam Mcmurray)
    Haylie Duff Haylie Duff - Trish
    Carrie Wiita Carrie Wiita - Joy Burns
    Chris McKenna Chris McKenna - Jason King (as Chris Mckenna)
    Edi Patterson Edi Patterson - Sophie
    Christopher Goodman Christopher Goodman - Peter
    Jennifer Elise Cox Jennifer Elise Cox - Woman in Bridal Store
    Sam Pancake Sam Pancake - Julian
    Susie Castillo Susie Castillo - Lindsay
    Michael Monks Michael Monks - Father Macy
    Sam Horrigan Sam Horrigan - Surfer Dude
    Roy Jenkins Roy Jenkins - Boring Man
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