|[Snowy nights - perfect for movie watching]|
Christmas time is just another reason to pop on some flicks. Those ones that are so engrained as tradition that if you didn't watch them while decorating the tree or sipping hot cocoa it would be as if something was missing.
It's definitely to each their own when it comes to the immense and vastly assorted Christmas canon, but for me it's really about the real classics - those filmed fifty years before I was alive, in black and white, with classy broads waving cigarettes while covered in their glamorous fur's.
Give me snow falling atop the Holiday Inn, or one of Father O'Malleys churches, or the March family homestead, or on the heads of Ebenzer and Tiny Tim, any holiday season.
Those oldies are Christmas to me, but being a modern movie watcher means a little Love Actually, While You Were Sleeping, Prancer, and the 1994 version of Little Women are all thrown in for good measure.
I try to expand from the usuals and find at least one new treasure each year. Normally it is nothing too slapsticky or "dumb", but for some reason this year, I have fully embraced the ridiculous amount of cheese playing on TV. Sometimes it just feels good to laugh at a crappy movie - I bet you may find one, or five, playing on TV right this second.
Lifetime, ABC Family, and Hallmark have been playing Christmas movies 24/7 since at least early November. At first that little bit of Scrooge inside me exclaimed, "too soon!", but I have since caved big time.
Are these good? Why, no. Are they worth watching? Oh, why yes!
It appears that all holiday themed made for TV movies have a simple formula: A pair of C List Actors + HYJYNX! = L.O.V.E. Don't forget a dash of a holiday pun for the title, and BOOM, you've got yourself a movie! The location will change, the actors will be different, but boy are they all the same story.
Here is just a sampling of a few that have been playing on repeat the last two months:
Doesn't every town have an accepella singing competition at the mall that is the highlight of the entire holiday season? I thought so.
This story finds Tia Mowry audtioning for The Snow Bells, the same singing group her deceased mother joined. Cue Tori Spelling, the reigning queen of the group, who turns down the talented Tia in a fit of jealousy .
With nowhere else to turn, Tia recruits a rag-tag group from her office, even her boss who is a secret Karaoke enthusiast, to form (yes, you guessed it) The Mistle-Tones! When word gets around to Tori that Tia's group is totally killing their version of "Winter Wonderland", and that The Mistle-Tones have enough talent to beat The Snow Belles, she extends Tia the offer of a lifetime - to join The Snow Belles just like her mother. Will she turn her back on her new friends or follow the light with Tori?
This one gets the honor of best pun in a title, but be sure to tune in for a spot on lip-sync performance from Ms. Spelling and a cameo from Carl Winslow!
I need my Tori Spelling fix each Christmas, and The Mistle-Tones is filling the void since Hallmark decided to only show the truly riveting, A Carol Christmas, at 4:00 AM! For shame.
12 Trees Of Christmas
One quiant NYC borough library is about to be closed by an evil, manly contractor, so what's a dedicated librarian to do? She organizes a Christmas Tree decorating contest to give the library publicity of course!
At first the librarian and contractor butt heads, but...are those sparks flying in between the tension? Stick with this boring story and questionable acting for a true shining star to make a cameo - Scary Spice shows up in this mess! Why she is in this movie is questionable, however, does it really matter?
Having not actually watched this one, but couldn't ignore the brilliant title, I just want the wonderful synopsis to speak for itself:
"Holidaze stars Jennie Garth (90210, What I Like about You) as Melody, a successful and adventurous business woman who begrudgingly returns to her hometown for work. While there she takes a tumble and wakes up in an alternate reality where she never left town and married her childhood sweetheart, Carter McClure, played by Cameron Mathison (All My Children, Good Morning America). Could this experience change Melody’s decision to leave home?"
So much hyjynx!
First of all, Erik Von Detton did it better in 1996 with his 90's Leo hair.
For this version, I should have known just by the boring title that it should be avoided. We find ourselves with a teenager named Ben who is reliving the same Christmas Day over and over again, because he's ungrateful for his family? Not entirely sure here.
The problem is this kid has the most monotonous Christmas Day of all time - nothing that exciting or terrible even happens (unless you count your parents awkwardly salsa-ing down a hallway). When the premise is a kid's Christmas will play over and over, make it interesting at least.
Eventually, nearly 45 minutes later, Ben understands he doesn't have to do the same thing every time he wakes up and it's Christmas again, and he stops moping around, but that was about the time I checked out. I'm sure there is a happy ending.
Let It Snow
When DJ Tanner and Mr. Seaver show up in a TV movie together, just sit down and give it a try.
There's a little role reversial here, as the woman (DJ) plays the capitalist homewrecker trying to shut down a popular mountain inn, and some handsome dude plays the sensible son of the inn owners. With snowball fights, cookie making, and sledding he tries to instill holiday cheer in DJ's black heart so that she will want to keep the inn open with all the down home charm.
Turns out her father (Alan Thicke) is the president of their company, and he is the real Humbug. Will the inn be saved? Will love bloom? Will DJ ever leave the mountains? So many questions, and thankfully, as one would expect, they are all answered.
A Snow Globe Christmas
What's with all the alternate universe movies? I've been cynical about the rest of these, but this is one I didn't finish, but definitely could have if I didn't have something better to do. Hence, it's not terrible.
This one finds a "cynical, overworked TV executive" in a perfect wonderland life after getting hit on the head with a snow globe. I know, hilarious, these just write themselves!
In this world she is a nice homebody with two kids and an adorable husband (played by Murray from Clueless). They even produce the town Christmas play together! No joke Donald Faison makes this movie actually cute.
Her bad tendencies were starting to kick in about the time I stopped watching. My theory is, influenced by her upstanding fake husband, she changes her ways, and stays in the snow globe kind of like Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville.
Scratch that. Instead, she wakes up in her dreary office, storms out onto the streets with new vigor for life, and meet -cutes with the real version of Donald Faison in the streets of NYC. Credits roll. Curtains close. Fin. Masterpiece.
I'm living for these movies - just the plot descriptions have been making Christmas 2013 a while lot more hilarious! What have been some of your favorites? There's only about 100 more to choose from.