The Haynes Sisters from “White Christmas” may need to make way for a new cinematic sisterhood for the holidays: the Williams sisters.
Two new movies starring real-life siblings Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams will debut on the Hallmark Channel this holiday season.
Originally titled “Christmas at the Madison” with a “Part 1” and “Part 2,” the paired Hallmark Christmas movies were first announced in 2018. The films are now named “Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday” and “Sister Swap: Christmas in the City,” and were both filmed in Salt Lake City.
Kimberly and Ashley play sisters, Jennifer and Meg Swift, with Kimberly starring in one movie and Ashley in the other; each supports the other in the interconnected film. A few scenes will overlap between the two movies, but each has a different though connected premise. While you don’t need to watch both films to understand them as standalone stories, it’ll make them both all the better.
Also starring are Keith Robinson (“A Christmas Love Story”), Mark Deklin (“Grace and Frankie,” “Designated Survivor”), Susan Yeagley (“Parks and Recreation”), and Kevin Nealon (“Man with a Plan,” “Weeds”).
Kimberly is best known for starring in “Father of the Bride,” “Father of the Bride: Part II” and “According to Jim.” Ashley had a recurring guest role on “How I Met Your Mother” and played Jeannie Gaffigan on the “The Jim Gaffigan Show.” Both sisters have previously appeared in several Hallmark movies solo but never together.
Twitter user @SleepyKittyPaw wrote that she hoped the new films would “be as adorable” as the Williams sisters are in real life, retweeting a video of the Williams’ sisters announcing their two new movies.
Please let SISTER SWAP: A HOMETOWN HOLIDAY and SISTER SWAP: CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY be as adorable as Ashley Williams and Kimberly Williams-Paisley are in real life. https://t.co/OKWn6ug0a9 pic.twitter.com/fWxSUox6lW
— Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing! (@SleepyKittyPaw) August 26, 2021
The fictional Swift sisters “couldn’t be closer despite living hours apart,” according to the Hallmark release on the “Sister Swap” films.
“Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenage son Simon (Jacob Buster) … Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery,” the statement reads.
Jennifer and her son come back to Hazelwood before the holidays and grow nostalgic over the old Madison theater that the Swift sisters’ late uncle used to run. Meg heads to the city to help Jennifer with a charity competition.
Ashley Williams said on her Instagram announcement of the two movies that they were “gonna BLOW YOUR MINDS. I have never seen a concept like this on this channel.” Making it even more of a family affair is the fact that Ashley’s husband, Neal Dodson, executive produced. No word on if Kimberly’s husband, country musician Brad Paisley, might contribute music to the movies.
“It’s such a gift to work with someone who knows me as well as Ashley does,” Kimberly Williams-Paisley told People magazine. “The feeling of safety and comfort coupled with the delight of getting to work together really translates into magic on camera. It was immensely fun to play with her in these movies.”
Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” movie marathon started Oct. 22, and both Sister Swap movies are available to stream now.