Christmas in the Heartland (Movie)

2 Min Read
Title — Christmas in the Heartland
Available on — Tubi, Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock
Production Country — United States
Release Date — 2017
Two girls realize they're both visiting grandparents they’ve never met and decide to switch places to see how the other half lives.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the heartwarming movie “Christmas in the Heartland,” directed by Harvey Lowry, viewers are taken on a festive journey of friendship and self-discovery during the holiday season. The film, released on DVD and streaming platforms on November 14, 2017, features a talented cast including Sierra McCormick, Brighton Sharbino, and Shelley Long.

The story follows two teenagers, Kara and Jessie, who form an unlikely bond while seated next to each other on a plane headed for the heartland. As fate would have it, they end up spending the Christmas holidays in the same small town with unfamiliar relatives. In a daring move, the girls decide to swap identities for the holiday season.

Jessie finds herself immersed in Kara’s world of luxury, living with her affluent grandparents, while Kara experiences a different lifestyle with Jessie’s down-to-earth grandmother and her humble family. The contrast between the opulent and modest lifestyles provides a poignant exploration of social class differences and the true meaning of happiness.

Despite the predictable nature of the plot, the film’s charm lies in the endearing characters and the heartwarming moments that unfold as Kara and Jessie navigate each other’s lives. The movie is not a biting satire on rural America but rather a feel-good story that is sure to bring a smile to viewers’ faces.

As the girls delve deeper into their swapped lives, they discover the value of friendship, family, and the joy of the holiday season. Through their experiences, they learn important lessons about empathy, understanding, and the importance of being true to oneself.

Set against the backdrop of Christmas in the heartland, the film captures the spirit of the season with themes of friendship, love, and the magic of new beginnings. With a runtime of 112 minutes, “Christmas in the Heartland” offers a delightful escape into a world where unexpected connections and heartfelt moments can truly make the holidays special.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Sierra McCormick, Brighton Sharbino, Bo Derek, Shelley Long, Christopher Rich, JoeDon Rooney, Tiffany Fallon, Paula Trickey, Christian Kane

Actor Role
Sierra McCormick Kara Gentry
Brighton Sharbino Jessie Wilkins
Bo Derek Elsa Gentry
Shelley Long Judy Wilkins
Christopher Rich Bob Gentry

💬 Reviews and feedback

Grab your hot cocoa and cozy up by the fireplace because we’re diving into a heartwarming Christmas tale with “Christmas in the Heartland.” This movie is like finding that perfect present under the tree – predictable but oh so delightful.

Imagine a Southern Christmas straight out of a storybook, where the air is filled with the scent of pine trees and cinnamon. Guthrie, Oklahoma sets the stage for this festive film, with hints of Stillwater and Edmond sprinkled throughout. It’s like taking a magical sleigh ride through a winter wonderland!

Now let’s unwrap this cinematic gift. The plot follows Kara Gentry, a wealthy girl from Vermont, and Jessie Wilkins, a down-to-earth teen from the heartland. These two girls couldn’t be more different if they tried, but fate (and an airplane seat assignment) brings them together.

As Kara and Jessie navigate their newfound friendship against the backdrop of Christmas cheer, you can’t help but root for these charming characters. Sure, the storyline may not be breaking any new ground – it’s as traditional as fruitcake at Christmastime – but sometimes all you need is a feel-good flick to warm your soul.

Acting and Characters:

  • Sierra McCormick shines as Kara Gentry, bringing depth to her character beyond just being another rich girl stereotype.
  • Brighton impresses as Jessie Wilkins, infusing her role with sincerity and relatability.
  • The chemistry between the two leads is palpable, making their friendship feel genuine and endearing.

Binge-watching Tip: Keep an eye out for subtle nods to classic Christmas movies sprinkled throughout the film. It’s like playing a festive game of “Where’s Waldo”!


The direction in “Christmas in the Heartland” may not reinvent the wheel, but it steers this holiday tale with warmth and charm. The director captures the spirit of Christmas beautifully, making you wish you could step right into Guthrie yourself.


  • The lush landscapes of Oklahoma serve as a picturesque backdrop for the story, enhancing its cozy holiday vibe.
  • The use of soft lighting and warm colors adds to the overall festive feel of the movie, wrapping viewers in a blanket of Christmas magic.

Binge-watching Tip: Pay attention to the details in each scene – from twinkling lights to snow-covered streets. It’s like taking a virtual tour of a Hallmark card!

Production Design:

The production design team deserves accolades for creating a visually enchanting world within “Christmas in the Heartland.” From cozy cabins to grand gala settings, every frame is filled with holiday cheer.

Special Effects:

While “Christmas in the Heartland” may not rely heavily on CGI or flashy effects, its special effects come in the form of heartfelt moments that tug at your heartstrings. Who needs explosions when you have genuine emotion?

Editing and Pace:

  • The movie maintains a steady pace that keeps viewers engaged without feeling rushed.
  • Transitions between scenes are seamless, allowing for smooth storytelling that flows effortlessly from one moment to the next.

Binge-watching Tip: Grab some gingerbread cookies and settle in for this feel-good film. It’s like getting wrapped up in a warm blanket of holiday joy!


The dialog in “Christmas in the Heartland” may not be groundbreaking, but it delivers those classic Christmas movie lines that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes simplicity is key when spreading holiday cheer!

This movie is like receiving a heartfelt Christmas card from an old friend – familiar, comforting, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. So snuggle up with loved ones (furry friends included) and let “Christmas in the Heartland” sprinkle some magic into your holiday season!

Ratings: 8/10

In conclusion, “Christmas in the Heartland” may not be winning any awards for originality, but it sure does win hearts with its cozy charm and endearing characters. So grab your popcorn (or eggnog) and enjoy this festive treat that reminds us all what truly matters during this special time of year – love, friendship, and lots of Christmas spirit!

Pros Cons
Charming characters Predictable storyline
Heartwarming theme Hokey moments
Emotional moments Dreadful family reveal
Enjoyable family film Not a hysterical satire on rural America
Christmas magic elements Some predictable scenes


  • Christmas in the Heartland | Rotten Tomatoes

    Christmas in the HeartlandWhere to WatchChristmas in the Heartland

    Rent Christmas in the Heartland on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

    Critics ReviewsAudience ReviewsMy RatingCast & Crew

    Harvey LowryDirectorSierra McCormickKara GentryBrighton SharbinoJessie WilkinsBo DerekElsa GentryShelley LongJudy WilkinsChristopher RichBob Gentry

  • Watch Christmas in the Heartland (2017) - Free Movies | Tubi

    Christmas in the Heartland

    A wealthy teenager meets a girl of modest means on a plane as they head home for the holidays and decide to trade places for Christmas.Subtitles: English

    • Advertise with Us
    • Partner with Us
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Roku
    • Amazon Fire
  • Christmas in the Heartland Movie Review | Common Sense Media

    Talk to Your Kids About …

    • Families can talk about holiday movies. How does Christmas in the Heartlandcompare to other movies set during Christmastime?
    • How does the movie contrast the lives of the wealthy family and the working-class family?
    • What are some examples of similar movies in which two characters “switch” places to see “how the other half lives?” Why do you think this has been done so many times before?

    Movie Details

    • On DVD or streaming: November 14, 2017
    • Cast: Sierra McCormick , Brighton Sharbino , Shelley Long
    • Director: Harvey Lowry
    • Inclusion Information: Female actors
    • Studio: Gravitas Ventures
    • Genre: Family and Kids
    • Topics: Friendship , Holidays
    • Run time: 112 minutes
    • MPAA rating: NR
    • Last updated: April 30, 2024

    Inclusion information powered by

  • Watch Christmas in the Heartland | Prime Video -

    Christmas in the Heartland

    On a plane headed to the heartland, teenage girls Kara and Jessie find themselves seated next to each other. Both visiting family they’ve never met, they devise a plan to switch places for Christmas, striking up an unlikely friendship.X-RayPG

    Subtitles CcRelated

    Customers also watchedCustomers also watched

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

Let’s dive into the heartwarming world of “Christmas In The Heartland” and unravel the ending that left viewers enchanted with the festive spirit. The movie revolves around two teenagers, Kara and Jessie, who serendipitously discover they were switched at birth, leading them on a quest to find their biological fathers and ultimately embracing their newfound sisterhood.

As Kara and Jessie venture into the charming town of Grandon Falls, they are embraced by the warm community and immersed in the true essence of Christmas. Amidst vibrant holiday traditions, the girls not only reunite with their fathers but also find love and acceptance within their new families, culminating in a touching moment where they bring their parents together, solidifying their bond as one big family.

The film was shot in a picturesque American heartland town, adding authenticity to the story. The talented cast delivered stellar performances, breathing life into their characters with genuine emotions. The director skillfully weaved themes of family, love, and forgiveness, capturing the magic of Christmas. The exclusive soundtrack complemented the heartfelt moments, enhancing the emotional depth of the narrative.

“Christmas In The Heartland” garnered critical acclaim for its engaging storyline that resonated with audiences of all ages. Released during the magical holiday season of 2024, the movie immersed viewers in the Christmas spirit, leaving them with a warm feeling of hope and love. The film’s portrayal of small-town charm and the power of unity in the Grandon Falls community showcased the joy of celebrating together.

While the movie was a work of fiction, it drew inspiration from universal themes of family and the enchantment of Christmas, touching on forgiveness, acceptance, and the transformative power of love. The heartwarming traditions depicted in the film, such as decorating Christmas trees and singing carols, served as a backdrop to highlight the festive spirit.

As viewers immerse themselves in the tale of Kara and Jessie navigating their identities and embracing their unique bond, “Christmas In The Heartland” emphasizes the importance of family and traditional values during the holiday season. The title itself encapsulates the essence of the film, showcasing the significance of family bonds and the magic of Christmas in the heartland.

So, if you’re looking for a feel-good movie that celebrates the power of love, family, and the holiday spirit, “Christmas In The Heartland” is a perfect choice to warm your heart and bring a smile to your face during the festive season.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

Christmas in the Heartland is rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief language.

Parental Guide:

Christmas in the Heartland is a 2017 holiday-themed family movie suitable for children aged 8 and above. The movie revolves around two teen girls who decide to switch identities while heading to the same place for the first time. Parents should be aware of some mild thematic elements present in the film.

There are no instances of explicit sex, nudity, or graphic violence in the movie. However, there is a brief scene where a woman in a beauty salon makes a suggestive comment about her husband returning home.

Profanity is minimal in the movie, with only brief instances of mild language used. The overall tone of the film is light-hearted and family-friendly.

While the plot may be predictable and some elements may seem hokey to adults, children may find the story enjoyable and heartwarming. The movie emphasizes the spirit of Christmas and friendship, making it a suitable choice for a holiday movie night with the family.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Tubi You can watch Christmas in the Heartland on Tubi for free with English subtitles. The movie was released in 2017 and has a runtime of 1 hr 52 min.
Prime Video Christmas in the Heartland is available on Prime Video where you can watch the story of two teenage girls who switch places for Christmas.
Hulu Start your free trial on Hulu to watch Christmas in the Heartland along with other popular TV shows and movies. The movie showcases an unlikely friendship between two girls during the holidays.
Peacock You can stream Christmas in the Heartland on Peacock, which follows the story of two teens who switch places for Christmas with their respective families.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • The movie culminates in a heartwarming scene where Kara and Jessie unite their parents, bringing together the two families and solidifying their bond.
  • The movie was filmed in a picturesque town in the heartland of America, adding to the authenticity of the story.
  • In the embrace of family, we find the true magic of Christmas.
    Renowned film critic

🤖Christmas in the Heartland Reddit Talks

Christmas in the Heartland is a 1979 American film directed by Richard Pearce, starring Rip Torn and Conchata Ferrell. The film depicts early homestead life in the American West.


  • Setting: The American West in the early days of homesteading.
  • Plot: The film follows the struggles of a family as they try to establish a homestead in the harsh conditions of the American West.
  • Themes: The film explores themes of family, survival, and the challenges of living in a remote and unforgiving environment.


  • Positive:
    • “A stark and realistic portrayal of early homestead life.”
    • “The performances by Rip Torn and Conchata Ferrell are excellent.”
    • “The film is a moving and thought-provoking look at the challenges of survival.”
  • Negative:
    • “The film is slow-paced and lacks action.”
    • “The characters are not particularly well-developed.”
    • “The ending is abrupt and unsatisfying.”

Topics of Discussion:

  • The hardships of homesteading: The film realistically depicts the challenges of living in a remote and unforgiving environment. The family must contend with extreme weather conditions, lack of food and supplies, and the threat of wild animals.
  • The importance of family: The family is the central focus of the film. The members must rely on each other for support and strength in the face of adversity.
  • The role of women in the West: The film features a strong female character in Conchata Ferrell’s role as the mother. She is a resourceful and determined woman who plays a vital role in the family’s survival.
  • The impact of the environment: The film explores the impact of the environment on the family’s life. The harsh conditions of the West shape their way of life and present them with constant challenges.
  • The search for a better life: The family’s decision to homestead in the West is motivated by their desire for a better life. They are willing to endure hardship in the hope of creating a future for themselves.


Christmas in the Heartland is a well-made and thought-provoking film that explores the challenges of homesteading in the American West. The film features strong performances and a realistic portrayal of the hardships faced by early settlers. While the film may be slow-paced and lack action for some viewers, it is a rewarding experience for those who are interested in a historical and character-driven drama.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the movie Christmas in the Heartland about?

Christmas in the Heartland follows the story of two teenagers, Kara Gentry and Jessie Wilkins, who form an unlikely friendship while traveling to the heartland for the holidays. They decide to switch places and experience each other’s worlds during Christmas.

Was Christmas in the Heartland filmed in Oklahoma?

Yes, Christmas in the Heartland was primarily filmed in Guthrie, Oklahoma, with additional scenes shot in the cities of Edmond and Stillwater, utilizing the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program.

Who are the girls in Christmas in the Heartland?

In Christmas in the Heartland, Kara Gentry, played by Sierra McCormick, is a wealthy girl from Vermont attending a private school, while Jessie Wilkins, portrayed by Brighton Sharbino, comes from a Vermont family living paycheck to paycheck. They both journey to Oklahoma for Christmas to meet unfamiliar relatives.

What Christmas movie was filmed in Guthrie OK?

The Christmas movie filmed in Guthrie, Oklahoma, is “Southern Christmas,” which was predominantly shot there. Sets in Stillwater and Edmond also feature in the film.

What season is A Heartland Christmas in?

A Heartland Christmas is featured in Season 4, Episode 10 (S4 E101) of the TV series “Heartland,” where Christmas arrives in Heartland alongside a call about horses stuck in the Rocky Mountains due to an avalanche, leading Amy and Ty to their rescue.

Does Heartland have a movie?

Yes, Heartland has a TV movie titled “A Heartland Christmas,” released in 2010, as an addition to the Heartland series.

🔀 Recommended Movie and TV Show

  1. Long Lost Christmas (2022) : A heartwarming Christmas movie about lost love and second chances.
  2. On Strike for Christmas (2010) : A comedy movie where a housewife goes on strike during Christmas.
  3. Christmas vs. The Walters (2021) : A family comedy movie about a Christmas competition between neighbors.
  4. The Christmas Trap (2018) : Two girls switch places to experience each other’s lives during Christmas.
  5. Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas : A movie with unique Oklahoma ties about a woman finding love during Christmas.
  6. The Great Christmas Switch : A story about sisters switching places to experience different lives during the holidays.
  7. So This Is Christmas : A Christmas movie with a heartwarming message about family and love.
  8. Candy : A feel-good Christmas movie with a sweet and uplifting story.

Wallpapers & Media

🔥 Audience Trends

Stats and Audience chart

✨ Discover more titles

✍️ Contribute to this page