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Hallmark presents the most uniquely confusing Christmas movies

Hallmark has a reputation for being as predictable as the MCU, albeit in a more discreet manner.

Online jokes claim that the central figure in Hallmark films is typically a career-driven individual who visits an old town for the holidays, crosses paths with an old flame, and finds themselves divided between their work and their newly discovered love for the simple life.

Finally, they give up their careers and get into the Christmas spirit.

Recently, two Hallmark films were picked out for having essentially identical plots.

The Sister Swap movies

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

In both films, which had Christmas-themed stories, real-life sisters Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams portrayed the same characters.

The Sister Swap movies, which featured some of the same dialogue and scenes but were shot from various angles, were also edited by the same person, Kristi Shimek.

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Finding the plot summaries of the Hallmark Christmas movies can be confusing for some people.

Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday’s plot summary states:

“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.”

The same synopsis will appear if you open a different tab and search for Sister Swap: Christmas in the City.


The Community and Rick and Morty creator, Dan Harmon, discovered the same Hallmark films.

He shared his finding 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 post, and in the comments, moviegoers analyzed it and offered their own theories.

One commenter claimed that she and her partner had completely fallen down the rabbit hole after being inspired to watch the flicks by his article.

The film’s leading lady, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, noticed Harmon’s post and commented, “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 presents a unique viewpoint on the direction, and the Sister Swap movies’ unique approach will probably help them gain a huge cult fanbase.


Hallmark is being mocked for releasing two nearly identical Christmas movies