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Hallmark has made two different Christmas movies from the same film footage

Ali Condon

| Last updated 

Hallmark has made two different Christmas movies from the same film footage

Featured Image Credit: Hallmark

No matter how cheesy they may be, Hallmark movies are an essential part of the Christmas season for a lot of people.

Seriously, some people devour these films like they're the hottest new Netflix series - and it looks like the production company are struggling to keep up with the demand.


That's what Rick & Morty star and creator Dan Harmon realised when he sat down to watch the films Sister Swap: Christmas in the City, and Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday, only to realise that they were pretty much the exact same movie.

Both Christmas films star actresses and real-life sisters Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams as twin sisters Jennifer and Meg Swift, who supposedly live very different lives (one lives in a small town and one lives in a big city, though it's sometimes hard to see the difference).

In each film, the sisters decide to switch places and are eventually led to find true love.

Sounds like a sweet movie, right?

That's what director Sean McNamara must have thought too, since he decided to make two near-identical films out of it.

Christmas in the City and A Hometown Holiday are marketed as two different movies, and were released on the Hallmark Channel about a week apart from each other.

But if you sat down to watch them both, you'd have a hard time trying to tell them apart.

This is insane and I love it. Credit: Hallmark
This is insane and I love it. Credit: Hallmark

After watching both films in the lead up to the holidays, Harmon almost lost his mind, and decided to share his discovery with fans immediately.

Taking to Instagram, he urged his followers to watch both Sister Swap movies to see if they could figure out what was going on.

"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 life 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.

"The crazy thing is that we also don’t go to Hallmark for experimentation on this level."

He continued: "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.

"We’re freaking out and I can’t keep typing about it I will come back later I f**king love Christmas though."

These sisters essentially filmed the same movie twice. Credit: Hallmark
These sisters essentially filmed the same movie twice. Credit: Hallmark

Since Dan blew this up, people have been binging the two Sister Swap movies to try and make sense of this bizarre choice, and Dan still posts regularly about the insane Hallmark decision.

It wasn't long before some of the cast and crew caught wind of Dan's Sister Swap meltdown, and offered some context in the comments.

Kimberly 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."

Later, producer Neal Dodson - who just so happens to be married to one of the sisters in real life - added: "We had one editor and edited them in tandem. They share 9 scenes, with different edits to those scenes that favour whichever sister’s movie it is."

No matter how many members of cast and crew chime in to try and explain this, it will forever be wild to me.

That being said, both moves have just shot to the top of my Christmas watchlist, so mission accomplished, I suppose.

Topics: Entertainment, TV And Film, Christmas

Ali Condon
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