30 December 2007 | Pro Jury
Basic TV stranded-in-wilderness snow storm movie
*** DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. ***
"Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" (2007) is a made-for-TV movie based upon an actual event. Interestingly, just after the original airing of "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" on the LIFETIME cable channel, American TV newscasts were following a new family lost for many days in a big snow storm in the northern California mountains.
Any half-serious TV couch potato will want to know one thing about this 2007 LIFETIME production: how does it compare with the 1994 made-for-TV movie "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story." Both LOST HOLIDAY and SNOWBOUND have pluses and minuses.
On the PLUS side for SNOWBOUND, after being lost, the husband and wife had natural and normal conversations centered around their survival.
Sad to say, the script is the biggest MINUS for LOST HOLIDAY. 3, 4, and 5 days out lost deep in the woods without shelter, the Shemwell's are talking 1000 words per minute about check books, trading cars, and high school proms or whatever. One pointless babble-fest took place while their snowmobile was running in neutral until its motor overheated and the snowmobile died. The Shemwell's endless babbling was off-topic and took away from the drama.
One other PLUS for SHOWBOUND was the family members waiting back home. They were more easy to accept and true-to-life.
Sorry to say, the matriarch of the Shemwell family was alarmingly over-confident right up until the exact instant when she gave up all hope. It was more weird than natural.
On the PLUS side for LOST HOLIDAY, the way the Shemwell's were lost was realistic -- they were lost snowmobiling deep in the woods.
SNOWBOUND was weakened because the Stolpa's were immensely stupid to leave the shelter and more traveled location of their snowbound car to walk off into the woods. It was easy for searchers to find their car, but less easy to find them.
That all being said, one thing LOST HOLIDAY had over SNOWBOUND (and every other cold weather movie) was the ultra sporty winter jackets worn by the Shamwell clan. I have never in my life seen such sporty winter jackets. I enjoyed the wardrobe in "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story."
By the way, if you feel confused because the Stolpa's and the Shemwells seem similar to each other as do the titles "Lost Holiday: The Jim & Suzanne Shemwell Story" and "Snowbound: The Jim and Jennifer Stolpa Story" -- you are completely correct!