The Chicago Journal

Hallmark released two separate movies that are too alike

Hallmark is renowned for being equally predictable as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although being less extravagant.

Online humor says that the central figure in Hallmark films is typically a career-driven someone who visits an old town for the holidays.

They meet an old flame there and are compelled to choose between their careers and their newly discovered love for the simple life.

In the end, they leave their professions.

Recently, two Hallmark films were singled out because their storylines were nearly identical.

The Sister Swap movies

Last year, Hallmark released two films: Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday and Sister Swap: Christmas in the City.

Real-life sisters Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams played the same roles in the Christmas-themed tales of both films.

The Sister Swap movies, which contained some of the same dialogue and scenes but different perspectives and angles, were edited by the same person, Kristi Shimek.

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The plot descriptions for the Hallmark Christmas movies may be confusing to some due to how similar they are.

Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday’s plot summary is as follows:

“Jennifer and Meg Swift are two sisters wanting to find a new sense of purpose.”

“During the Christmas holidays, they decide to swap homes and end up discovering what they both truly need in life.”

If you open a different tab and search for Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, the same synopsis will pop up.


The 2021 Hallmark movies were discovered by Dan Harmon, the man behind Rick and Morty and Community.

He shared his discovery on Instagram and wrote:

“Okay. I don’t know how to start or finish discussing this so we should start discussing now and take our time,” wrote Harmon.

“There are two Hallmark movies called “Sister Swap.” One is called Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, the other is Sister Swap: Hometown Holiday.”

“So we thought oh cool it’s a franchise and there’s a sequel, which Sister Swap do we watch first? Well HERE’S THE THING. Both Sister Swaps are released in 2021.”

“They are not sequels.”

“Both Sister Swaps are the same story, about sisters – played by real sisters, who have to swap… cities.”

“It should be noted that the sisters AND the cities AND the MOVIES are, so far, indistinguishable. It’s not like one is a hillbilly and the other is a millionaire, that doesn’t matter, we don’t go to Hallmark for conflict.”

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“The crazy thing is that we also don’t go to Hallmark for experimentation on this level. Nothing in the description of the movie says “here’s the thing everybody.””

“The descriptions of each movie are honestly mostly excited that two real life sisters are playing sisters.”

“We found an article called “how to watch the Sister Swap movies” and got so excited and then it turned out to be instructions on how to find Hallmark on your streaming service.”

“I can’t keep talking about this, we just started watching, I can’t spend all night posting about it.”

“We keep going back and forth between the movies.”

“The same conversations are happening in each one but there’s no “Rashomon” or “Peep Show” angle, the dialogue in each version is identical but the scenes are cut differently because I assume they just had different editors.”

“In one of the movies, one of the sisters has a full flashback about her relationship with the other sister.”

“In the other sister’s movie, you don’t get a different version of the same flashback. You just don’t get a fucking flashback in that one.”

“In both movies, they spend 1 minute trying on hats but in ONE of the movies, they also try on glasses.”

“We’re freaking out and I can’t keep typing about it I will come back later i fucking love Christmas though.”

An explanation

More than 33,700 people liked Dan Harmon’s tweet, and in the comments, fans analyzed it and shared their own theories.

One user claimed that she and her partner had completely “fallen into the rabbit hole” after being inspired by his post to see the movies.

The movie’s lead actor, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, saw Harmon’s post and added, “HERE for this,” with laughing emojis.

Williams-Paisley explained:

“We wanted to do something outside the box for the genre but also stay in the genre, and my sister came up with this brilliant idea of two films that take place in the same time frame and sometimes overlap.”

“[And] it took us years to figure out the puzzle, and then, Hallmark finally let us DO IT.”

The explanation provides a unique viewpoint on the direction, and the Sister Swap movies’ unusual style will probably help them gain a huge cult following.


Hallmark is being mocked for releasing two nearly identical Christmas movies

10 Christmas movies worth watching with family

Christmas movies: Christmas is approaching, and people are going back to their homes to celebrate the season with their families and loved ones.

What better way to unwind than to watch Christmas movies, especially a long day of activities?

Here, we take a look at some of the top Christmas movies to enjoy with friends and family.

In no particular order

Klaus (2019)

The Netflix animated movie Klaus, which explores the origin of Santa Claus, is one of the more recent Christmas movies available.

Oscar-winning actor JK Simmons plays the jolly, toy-making titular character.

He has no interest in kids, though.

Jason Schwartzman voices a postal worker, and Rashida Jones voices a cynical teacher.

Because it boasts one of the most striking animations, Klaus was nominated for Best Animated Feature.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the third Vacation movie from the National Lampoon magazine, celebrates the Christmas season.

Chevy Chase, the legendary comedian, is back as Clark Griswold, who wants to enjoy the ideal Christmas with his wife and kids.

The holiday bonus Clark was expecting from his employers wasn’t granted to him, and his cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family decided to crash the celebration.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Is it still a selection of holiday films if it neglects this Muppets feature?

Michael Caine, a well-known actor, plays Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Gonzo the Great portrays Charles Dickens, while Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit.

Despite the inclusion of Muppets, this imaginative adaptation of a well-known Christmas story is one of the most faithful to the original.

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Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In the 1947 holiday film “Miracle on 34th Street,” starring Edmund Gwenn, Kris Kringle plays Santa Claus during a parade on Thanksgiving.

Kringle succeeds in portraying the jolly Christmas persona, and he continues to visit Macy’s while dressed as Santa Claus.

He begins shocking people by insisting that he is Santa.

The next step is for Kris Kringle to appear in court so that his authenticity and state of mind may be evaluated.

A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story, a film about the holiday, became surprisingly popular.

Little Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), the protagonist of the movie, spends his holiday running away from a bully (Zack Ward), and he dreams of owning a Red Ryer air rifle.

Short segments of Parker’s daydreams in A Christmas Story are about the Parker family in a series of vignettes.

Bad Santa (2003)

Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox play two con artists in the adult comedy Bad Santa.

As part of their most recent plot, they loot stores on Christmas Eve while posing as a mall Santa and his elf.

Thornton is a depressed alcoholic with erratic behavior; thus, security suspects him.

However, Thornton begins to question whether there is still hope after making friends with a young child.

Die Hard (1988)

It would be inappropriate to leave Die Hard off a list of Christmas movies, despite being an action movie.

When terrorists take over a skyscraper he is in, NYC police officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) experiences one of the worst Christmas Eves ever.

Especially since everything happened immediately following his reconciliation with his estranged wife.

Home Alone (1990)

The night before a family trip to Paris, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) finds himself in trouble in a movie that many millennials undoubtedly dreamed about.

As punishment, his mother has him spend the night in the attic.

Kevin, however, makes the most of his solitude after waking up; he feels his wish to be by himself has come true.

There is less enthusiasm when con artists (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) intend to rob the McCallister house.

Kevin must defend his house and keep the intruders out.

Elf (2003)

Early in the 2000s, Will Ferrell’s career as a well-known comedian was launched with the help of the Christmas movie Elf.

He portrays Buddy, a human who accidentally winds up at the North Pole as a baby.

Buddy, who is estranged, goes to New York searching for his cynical biological father, Walter Hobbs (James Caan).

Walter tries to connect with his long-lost son after the DNA test results show that they are relatives.

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

It’s a Wonderful Life is the perfect Christmas movie.

James Stewart, who played George Bailey in the movie, felt a special connection to the role because the movie was created right after World War II.

The film’s main character, Bailey, is so stressed out by his circumstances that he thinks of committing suicide on Christmas.

Bailey’s prayers are heard by guardian angels, who then send Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) to look after him.

In the film, George is portrayed as someone who is always prioritizing the needs of others over his own.

Clarence also gives George a glimpse of the world that might have been in his absence.

A timeless film like It’s a Wonderful Life never fails to move viewers to tears.


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