As a movie enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting films to watch. Recently, I came across ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’, a heartwarming romantic comedy that has been making waves in the film industry. Directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino and written by Lauren Swickard, this movie is a sequel to the 2020 hit ‘A California Christmas’.

‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ features an incredible cast of talented actors who bring their characters to life with ease. The lead roles are played by Lauren Swickard and Josh Swickard, who also happen to be married in real life. Their chemistry on-screen is palpable, making them a joy to watch.

It’s no secret that the cast plays a crucial role in making any movie successful. In this article, we will take a closer look at the cast of ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ and how they contributed to the overall success of the movie.

Lauren & Josh Swickard are back with

Description of the Lead Actors – Lauren Swickard and Josh Swickard

Lauren Swickard and Josh Swickard are the lead actors in the romantic comedy ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’. Lauren plays the role of Callie, a successful businesswoman who is tasked with convincing a farmer to sell his land. Josh plays the role of Joseph, the farmer who is not willing to sell his land easily.

Lauren Swickard

  • Lauren was born on July 28, 1993, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • She started her acting career in 2016 and has appeared in several movies and TV shows since then.
  • Aside from acting, Lauren is also a writer and producer. She wrote and produced ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ along with her husband Josh.

Josh Swickard

  • Josh was born on July 4, 1992, in Quincy, Illinois.
  • He is best known for his role as Harrison Chase on the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ which he has been playing since 2018.
  • In addition to acting, Josh is also a model. He won the ‘Male Model Search’ competition at the International Modeling and Talent Association convention in New York City in January 2015.

The chemistry between Lauren and Josh on-screen is undeniable. Their real-life relationship adds an extra layer of authenticity to their performances. They have great chemistry both on-screen and off-screen which makes their characters’ love story even more believable.

Prior to starring together in ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’, Lauren and Josh had worked together on the set of ‘General Hospital’. They got married in July 2019 and have been working together ever since. Their previous experience working together definitely helped them bring their A-game to the movie.

Overall, Lauren Swickard and Josh Swickard are talented actors who bring a lot of heart and authenticity to their roles in ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’. Their chemistry on-screen is undeniable, and their previous experience working together definitely shows in their performances.

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Interesting fact: – Always check the weather forecast before heading to the filming location to ensure safety from extreme weather conditions.

In addition to the lead actors, ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ features a talented supporting cast that adds depth and complexity to the movie’s plot. One such actor is Ali Afshar, who plays the role of Ramin in the film. His character is an important part of the story as he helps Josh Swickard’s character navigate his way through unfamiliar territory.

Another notable supporting cast member is David Del Rio, who portrays a character named Hector. Del Rio’s performance brings humor and heart to the film, making him a fan favorite among viewers.

Description of Their Roles in the Movie and How They Contribute to the Plot

Ali Afshar’s character Ramin serves as a guide for Josh Swickard’s character throughout much of the movie. He helps Swickard’s character understand the culture and customs of California while also providing valuable advice on how to win over Lauren Swickard’s character. David Del Rio’s Hector provides comic relief throughout ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’.

His witty one-liners and humorous antics help break up some of the more serious moments in the film, making it an enjoyable watch for audiences of all ages.

Previous Works and Achievements of Each Actor/Actress

Ali Afshar has had a successful career in both acting and motorsports. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows including ‘American Wrestler: The Wizard’, ‘The Baytown Outlaws’, and ‘Chicago P. D. ‘. In addition to his work on screen, Afshar is also an accomplished race car driver with multiple championships under his belt. David Del Rio has also had a successful career in entertainment, appearing in popular television shows like ‘Grease Live!’ and ‘The Troop’.

He has also lent his voice talents to several animated series including ‘The Penguins of Madagascar’ and ‘Elena of Avalor’. Both actors bring a wealth of talent and experience to their roles in ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’, making them valuable members of the film’s supporting cast.

Interesting fact: – Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the terrain and weather conditions of the filming location to prevent accidents or injuries.

The creative team behind ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ consists of director Shaun Paul Piccinino, writer Lauren Swickard, and producer Ali Afshar. Each member brought their unique perspective and expertise to the project, resulting in a heartwarming holiday movie that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.

Their Vision for the Movie and How They Brought It to Life

From the beginning, Piccinino, Swickard, and Afshar knew they wanted to create a romantic comedy that would stand out from other holiday movies. They envisioned a story set in Los Angeles that would showcase the city’s diverse culture and stunning landscapes. With this vision in mind, they worked tirelessly to bring their ideas to life. Piccinino’s direction was instrumental in capturing the essence of Los Angeles on film.

He used his extensive experience as a director to create visually stunning scenes that perfectly complemented Swickard’s script. Meanwhile, Afshar’s production skills ensured that everything ran smoothly behind-the-scenes.

Challenges Faced During Production and How They Were Overcome

Despite their best efforts, the production team faced several challenges during filming. One major obstacle was finding suitable locations for certain scenes. However, with Piccinino’s knowledge of Los Angeles and Afshar’s connections in the industry, they were able to secure some incredible locations that added depth and authenticity to the movie.

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Another challenge was working within a tight budget. To overcome this obstacle, everyone involved had to be creative with their resources. For example, instead of using expensive equipment for certain shots, they opted for handheld cameras or drones. Overall, it was clear that each member of the creative team was committed to making ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ a success.

Their hard work and dedication paid off, resulting in a movie that has become a beloved holiday classic.

Interesting fact: – Follow all safety guidelines provided by the production team and avoid going beyond designated areas without permission.

Filming Locations

One of the most important aspects of any movie is the location where it was filmed. ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ was no exception, with several stunning locations used to bring the story to life.


The movie takes place in California, and many of the filming locations were chosen for their picturesque beauty and ability to capture the essence of the state. From sprawling vineyards to bustling city streets, each location adds something unique to the overall feel of the movie.

Contribution to Overall Feel

The filming locations used in ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ play a crucial role in creating the atmosphere and mood of the movie. For example, scenes shot at a winery give off a romantic and dreamy vibe, while those set on busy city streets create a sense of urgency and excitement. The contrast between these different locations helps keep viewers engaged and invested in the story.

Interesting Facts

  • The opening scene was filmed at Griffith Observatory, which has been featured in numerous movies over the years.
  • The beach scenes were shot at El Matador State Beach, known for its dramatic cliffs and rock formations.
  • The mansion used as a filming location is actually owned by one of the producers of the movie.
  • Some scenes were filmed during actual events, such as a parade that takes place annually in downtown Los Angeles.

Comparison Table

Location Atmosphere/Mood Created Interesting Fact
Vineyard Romantic, dreamy The vineyard is actually a working winery that produces award-winning wines.
City Streets Urgent, exciting The scenes were filmed during the annual LA Marathon, adding to the sense of hustle and bustle.
Mansion Luxurious, opulent The mansion is located in Beverly Hills and has been used as a filming location for several other movies and TV shows.
Beach Serene, peaceful El Matador State Beach is a popular spot for photographers and has been featured in many other movies and TV shows.

Interesting fact: – Stay hydrated and take regular breaks to prevent exhaustion or dehydration during long hours of filming.


One of the most important aspects of any movie is its soundtrack, and ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ is no exception. The soundtrack for this movie perfectly complements the emotions portrayed in different scenes, making it a truly immersive experience for viewers.

The soundtrack features a mix of country and pop songs that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. One standout track is ‘Christmas Without You’ by Lauren Swickard, who also stars in the movie as Callie. This emotional ballad perfectly captures the heartache that Callie feels when she realizes she might lose her family’s farm.

Another great song on the soundtrack is ‘City Lights’ by Josh Swickard, who plays Joseph in the movie. This upbeat track perfectly captures the energy and excitement of Los Angeles, where much of the movie takes place.

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The soundtrack also features songs from other talented artists such as Brett Young, Carly Pearce, and Mitchell Tenpenny. Each song adds something special to the overall feel of the movie.

How Music Enhances Emotions Portrayed in Different Scenes

The right music can make or break a scene in a movie, and ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ uses music to enhance every emotion portrayed on-screen. Whether it’s a romantic moment between Callie and Joseph or a tense confrontation between characters, the music always adds an extra layer of depth to each scene.

For example, during one particularly emotional scene towards the end of the movie, ‘Christmas Without You’ plays softly in the background as Callie reflects on everything she stands to lose if things don’t work out with Joseph. The song perfectly captures her feelings of sadness and uncertainty.

In contrast, during more lighthearted scenes such as when Joseph takes Callie on a tour of Los Angeles, the music is more upbeat and energetic. This helps to convey the excitement and wonder that Callie feels as she experiences the city for the first time.

Names of Artists Featured on the Soundtrack

Here is a list of all the artists featured on the ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ soundtrack:

Artist Song
Lauren Swickard Christmas Without You
Josh Swickard City Lights
Brett Young O Holy Night
Carly Pearce & Charles Kelley I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Mitchell Tenpenny & Seaforth Away In A Manger (Forever Amen)

If you’re a fan of country or pop music, then you’re sure to love this soundtrack. Each song perfectly captures the emotions portrayed in different scenes throughout the movie, making it an essential part of the overall viewing experience.

Interesting fact: – Be aware of your surroundings at all times and report any potential hazards or safety concerns to the production team immediately.


Since its release, ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. While some have praised the movie for its heartwarming story and charming cast, others have criticized it for being too predictable and cliché.

  • Critics have given the movie an average rating of 5. 8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes
  • Audience reactions on social media have been largely positive, with many praising the chemistry between the lead actors
  • However, some viewers have criticized the movie for perpetuating unrealistic expectations about love and relationships

In terms of box office performance, ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ has been a moderate success. The movie was released on Netflix in December 2021 and quickly became one of the most-watched titles on the platform.

  • The movie debuted at #3 on Netflix’s Top 10 list in the US
  • It has since remained in the Top 10 for several weeks, indicating sustained popularity among viewers
  • While exact figures are not publicly available, industry analysts estimate that ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ has generated millions of views on Netflix worldwide

Overall, while ‘A California Christmas: City Lights’ may not be a critical darling or a record-breaking blockbuster, it has clearly struck a chord with audiences around the world. Whether you’re looking for a cozy holiday romance or just a feel-good movie to watch with your loved ones, this film is definitely worth checking out.