You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lost Holiday: The Jim and Suzanne Shemwell Story

The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of "people stranded in snow" projects, from "Hey, I'm Alive" more than 30 years ago to "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS.

With:
Suzanne - Jami Gertz Jim - Dylan Walsh Miranda - Julia Maxwell Taryn - Brooklyn Proulx Keith - Alexander Aresnault Blake - Aaron Pearl Mary Ann - Judith Buchan Sheriff Tierney - Joe Norman Shaw

The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple lost in the mountains (of Idaho, as played by Alberta, Canada). Reasonably well produced, this overtly spiritual pic nevertheless proves a rather tedious slog, inasmuch as if the Shemwells croaked, it’d be kind of a bummer addition to the cable net’s slate of Christmas movies.

Suzanne Shemwell (Jami Gertz) is estranged from her husband Jim (Dylan Walsh) when the movie opens, in part because he’s a free spirit and she’s a control freak. So when he pops in on the family and persuades her to take a break by going snowmobiling in the mountains, it feels like more of an opportunity for renewed bickering than bonding.

A broken bike and unexpected storm, however, leave the two marooned in the wilderness, as their family desperately tries to maintain hope, rallying the town in an effort to locate them. Gradually, the chances of their survival begin to fade, prompting grandma (Judith Buchan) to reassure their little girl with “God will provide” messages.

Perhaps inevitably, writer-director Gregory Goodell races through the backstory in order to quickly place his protagonists knee-deep in trouble, where they can start hashing out a relationship we initially don’t know much about.

“This is why we can’t live together!” Suzanne snaps at one point, which seems convenient, since odds are they’re both going to wind up resembling Jack Nicholson at the end of “The Shining.”

Walsh has an innate likeability that helps warm this undercooked stew, while Gertz comes across as predictably shrewish until the snow begins melting her hardened heart. (Hey, it’s a Lifetime movie, dammit — that analogy actually fits.) Before it’s over, the stars will get to wear unflattering makeup reflecting their plight and build up their calves trudging through snow, which tends to approximate the movie’s pace in dragging out the rescue efforts.

“Lost Holiday,” a co-production with France’s TF1, is one of several holiday-themed movies scheduled as part of Lifetime’s run-up to Christmas. Think of it as the local radio station that begins playing nothing but syrupy yuletide songs starting around Thanksgiving, only here, with pictures!

Lost Holiday: The Jim and Suzanne Shemwell Story

Lifetime, Sat. Dec. 8, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Alberta by TF1 Intl. and Nomadic Pictures in association with Lifetime Pictures. Producers, Chad Oakes, Mike Frisley; writer-director, Gregory Goodell.

Crew: Camera, Craig Wrobleski; editor, Bridget Durnford; music, Ron Ramin; production designer, Trevor Smith; casting, Jackie Lind. RUNNING TIME: 120 MIN.

Cast: Suzanne - Jami Gertz Jim - Dylan Walsh Miranda - Julia Maxwell Taryn - Brooklyn Proulx Keith - Alexander Aresnault Blake - Aaron Pearl Mary Ann - Judith Buchan Sheriff Tierney - Joe Norman Shaw

More TV

  • First Look: 'Victoria' Star Jenna Coleman

    First Look: 'Victoria' Star Jenna Coleman in BBC’s 'The Cry'

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • Benicio del Toro Predator

    Benicio del Toro Joins 'Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo' as Exec Producer (EXCLUSIVE)

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes -

    Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of Feb. 19, 2018

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • GOOD GIRLS -- Pilot -- Pictured:

    'Good Girls' Creator Jenna Bans on How Donald Trump's Election Fueled Her

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • Berlin: The Rules for International TV

    Berlin: The Rules for International TV Drama May Be Changing

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • TV Divorce

    The TV Divorce: For Couples Who Can't Agree on What to Watch

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

  • February 19, 2018 - Pyeongchang, GANGWON,

    TV Ratings: Winter Olympics Lose Steam Over Weekend

    The TV movie has a surprisingly rich history of “people stranded in snow” projects, from “Hey, I’m Alive” more than 30 years ago to “Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story” in 1994, when this sort of fact-based trifle still aired on CBS. Today it’s Lifetime territory, and this telepic focuses on another hapless couple […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content