Window Wonderland (Hallmark, 2013)
You don’t meet a lot of men in the ladies restroom.
Starring: Chyler Leigh, Paul Campbell, Naomi Judd, Cameron Mathison
Plot Synopsis: Rival male and female decorators become determined to outshine each other by competing to create the best Christmas display at a famous New York City Department Store. In their attempts to outdo each other, their windows get progressively out-of-control, culminating in disaster, until they remember the real meaning of Christmas and find love and themselves in the process. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: I can’t believe that window designer is a real paying career. I can’t believe that a man would be able to live in a department store for weeks illegally and get away with it. I can’t believe that someone thought Window Wonderland  was a good idea for a title.
Whatever, it doesn’t matter. This movie is basically just a delightful checklist of about 100 rom-com tropes. Hate/love! Trapped overnight! Outside observers shipping it! So on and so forth. It probably was designed at a script level to get me on its side. And then they added cute sweaters on the male lead. Every once in a while Hallmark gets me.
As of this moment, it’s probably my favorite new Christmas movie I’ve seen thus far. (I may have been swayed by the sweaters? Nah, it was good.)
Watch If: You like to fry your turkey in Dunkin Donut batter, if you the best part of your relationship is the bickering, or if you get tripped up trying to figure out what Mrs. Claus’s first name is.
Skip If: The suggestion of going to Aspen in January makes you shiver, if you don’t know the difference between being a fake and looking better without make up, or if you don’t believe that the best time to hit on a girl is when you are hiding from security guards.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Window Wonderland (Hallmark, 2013)

You don’t meet a lot of men in the ladies restroom.

Starring: Chyler Leigh, Paul Campbell, Naomi Judd, Cameron Mathison

Plot Synopsis: Rival male and female decorators become determined to outshine each other by competing to create the best Christmas display at a famous New York City Department Store. In their attempts to outdo each other, their windows get progressively out-of-control, culminating in disaster, until they remember the real meaning of Christmas and find love and themselves in the process. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: I can’t believe that window designer is a real paying career. I can’t believe that a man would be able to live in a department store for weeks illegally and get away with it. I can’t believe that someone thought Window Wonderland  was a good idea for a title.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter. This movie is basically just a delightful checklist of about 100 rom-com tropes. Hate/love! Trapped overnight! Outside observers shipping it! So on and so forth. It probably was designed at a script level to get me on its side. And then they added cute sweaters on the male lead. Every once in a while Hallmark gets me.

As of this moment, it’s probably my favorite new Christmas movie I’ve seen thus far. (I may have been swayed by the sweaters? Nah, it was good.)

Watch If: You like to fry your turkey in Dunkin Donut batter, if you the best part of your relationship is the bickering, or if you get tripped up trying to figure out what Mrs. Claus’s first name is.

Skip If: The suggestion of going to Aspen in January makes you shiver, if you don’t know the difference between being a fake and looking better without make up, or if you don’t believe that the best time to hit on a girl is when you are hiding from security guards.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 



Christmas with Holly (ABC, 2012)

Wouldn’t you want to hold Stanley the Starfish? He’s super spongy!!!

Starring: Sean Faris, Eloise Mumford, Lucy & Josie Gallina, Don Bottomley
Plot Synopsis: Traumatized by her mother’s death, a 6-year-old girl stops talking but is cared for by her three uncles. The story unfolds as all of them find the importance of family. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: Every male character in this movie needed a haircut, and yes, that’s a very superficial concern of mine, but this is my blog, my concerns are my concerns.
Aside from that, this film is amazingly not as maudlin as you think it would be considering it is a Hallmark Hall of Fame joint. In fact, it’s a fairly cute movie and I enjoyed watching it a fair amount. It played with every single trope, you know and love from these movies, but it still felt fairly fresh to me as someone who has seen these movies a fair amount (as this blog can attest to.)
Man, though, if only all those men would get haircuts.
Watch If: You are very concerned about painting your walls with the perfect shade of white, if you know the difference between a dollhouse and a faerie house, or if you decide whether or not you are in a relationship via a step by step checklist.
Skip If: If you can’t smile and still be serious, if you are a first grader who can color in the lines, or if you LOVE high fiber cereal.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Christmas with Holly (ABC, 2012)

Wouldn’t you want to hold Stanley the Starfish? He’s super spongy!!!

Starring: Sean Faris, Eloise Mumford, Lucy & Josie Gallina, Don Bottomley

Plot SynopsisTraumatized by her mother’s death, a 6-year-old girl stops talking but is cared for by her three uncles. The story unfolds as all of them find the importance of family. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: Every male character in this movie needed a haircut, and yes, that’s a very superficial concern of mine, but this is my blog, my concerns are my concerns.

Aside from that, this film is amazingly not as maudlin as you think it would be considering it is a Hallmark Hall of Fame joint. In fact, it’s a fairly cute movie and I enjoyed watching it a fair amount. It played with every single trope, you know and love from these movies, but it still felt fairly fresh to me as someone who has seen these movies a fair amount (as this blog can attest to.)

Man, though, if only all those men would get haircuts.

Watch If: You are very concerned about painting your walls with the perfect shade of white, if you know the difference between a dollhouse and a faerie house, or if you decide whether or not you are in a relationship via a step by step checklist.

Skip If: If you can’t smile and still be serious, if you are a first grader who can color in the lines, or if you LOVE high fiber cereal.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 



A Country Christmas Story (Lifetime, 2013)
Being poor is a lot easier when you’re rich.
Starring: Dolly Parton, Megyn Price, Camille Sanders, Desiree Ross
Plot Synopsis: A Country Christmas Story tells the story of Grace, an aspiring young singer who wants to go to Nashville to make it big. Will she make her dreams come true in Dollywood? (x)
In My Humble Opinion: This is an interesting movie because it focuses on a lot of issues surrounding both class and race. The lead girl is biracial, and poor, and a lot of her journey is about both of those things. In particular there are a lot of monologues about whether or not, country music has room for other races (knowing what kind of movie this is, you know where they will come down on that). While in the end, the whole exploration is almost a little too pat, the fact that a television Christmas movie wants to bring up these kind of discussions at all is great.  Also congrats to this film for handling the single parent plotline in a way that truly underlines how it isn’t all sunshine and roses and new parents for the kids that are the product of these types of families. It’s nice to see a different kind of perspective in this kind of movie, and I wish more movies would have the gumption to try this sort of thing.
The other thing to recommend that movie is the music, which thankfully, doesn’t overtake the plot in a way that kind of scared me from the plot synopsis but in general is very nice to listen to as it graces the scenes throughout the movie. All in all, this movie wasn’t what I expected it to be and I appreciated that!
However, this movie was originally called “A Dollywood Christmas”, so I’m sure some people will expect to see a lot of Dolly Parton in this. And while she does appear, her role is quite minor, and not of real import to the story. So be warned.
Watch If: If you think you can only watch a web video once, if you hate when shows run longer than hee-haw, or if you know that a trick question is called a trick question in both Tennessee and Texas.
Skip If: You’d rather go to computer class than guitar class, if people accuse you of upsetting someone when you just went out to get sandwiches, or if you don’t think you should have to apologize for wanting stability.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

A Country Christmas Story (Lifetime, 2013)

Being poor is a lot easier when you’re rich.

Starring: Dolly Parton, Megyn Price, Camille Sanders, Desiree Ross

Plot Synopsis: A Country Christmas Story tells the story of Grace, an aspiring young singer who wants to go to Nashville to make it big. Will she make her dreams come true in Dollywood? (x)

In My Humble Opinion: This is an interesting movie because it focuses on a lot of issues surrounding both class and race. The lead girl is biracial, and poor, and a lot of her journey is about both of those things. In particular there are a lot of monologues about whether or not, country music has room for other races (knowing what kind of movie this is, you know where they will come down on that). While in the end, the whole exploration is almost a little too pat, the fact that a television Christmas movie wants to bring up these kind of discussions at all is great.  Also congrats to this film for handling the single parent plotline in a way that truly underlines how it isn’t all sunshine and roses and new parents for the kids that are the product of these types of families. It’s nice to see a different kind of perspective in this kind of movie, and I wish more movies would have the gumption to try this sort of thing.

The other thing to recommend that movie is the music, which thankfully, doesn’t overtake the plot in a way that kind of scared me from the plot synopsis but in general is very nice to listen to as it graces the scenes throughout the movie. All in all, this movie wasn’t what I expected it to be and I appreciated that!

However, this movie was originally called “A Dollywood Christmas”, so I’m sure some people will expect to see a lot of Dolly Parton in this. And while she does appear, her role is quite minor, and not of real import to the story. So be warned.

Watch If: If you think you can only watch a web video once, if you hate when shows run longer than hee-haw, or if you know that a trick question is called a trick question in both Tennessee and Texas.

Skip If: You’d rather go to computer class than guitar class, if people accuse you of upsetting someone when you just went out to get sandwiches, or if you don’t think you should have to apologize for wanting stability.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 



'Twas the Night (Disney Channel, 2001)

Well next year the reindeer are lining up for flu shots like the rest of us!!!

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Josh Zuckerman, Brenda Grate, Jefferson Mappin
Plot Synpopsis: A mischievous 14-year-old boy and his irresponsible uncle almost ruin Christmas when they decide to take Santa’s new high-tech sleigh for a joyride. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: I watched this movie on the day Breaking Bad ended, and if it did anything, it affirmed by belief that Bryan Cranston probably can do no wrong acting wise. How weird is it that these kind of movies were the best gigs he could get for so long? Aside from that though, this movie is probably the perfect kids Christmas movie. It’s childlike in tone and message and humor, but not the point where if you are over the age of 5 you are wondering why you are forcing yourself through it (I’m looking at you Dog Who Saved Christmas, never forget the pain of that).
Watch If: You care more for the safety of your laptop than you do the sanctity of your life, if you have confused Santa for a squirrel, or if you find sending your Christmas letters through e-mail very convenient.
Skip If: You have come down with the reindeer flu before, you are on the naughty list FOR LIFE, or if you have given Santa a concussion before.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

'Twas the Night (Disney Channel, 2001)

Well next year the reindeer are lining up for flu shots like the rest of us!!!

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Josh Zuckerman, Brenda Grate, Jefferson Mappin

Plot Synpopsis: A mischievous 14-year-old boy and his irresponsible uncle almost ruin Christmas when they decide to take Santa’s new high-tech sleigh for a joyride. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: I watched this movie on the day Breaking Bad ended, and if it did anything, it affirmed by belief that Bryan Cranston probably can do no wrong acting wise. How weird is it that these kind of movies were the best gigs he could get for so long? Aside from that though, this movie is probably the perfect kids Christmas movie. It’s childlike in tone and message and humor, but not the point where if you are over the age of 5 you are wondering why you are forcing yourself through it (I’m looking at you Dog Who Saved Christmas, never forget the pain of that).

Watch If: You care more for the safety of your laptop than you do the sanctity of your life, if you have confused Santa for a squirrel, or if you find sending your Christmas letters through e-mail very convenient.

Skip If: You have come down with the reindeer flu before, you are on the naughty list FOR LIFE, or if you have given Santa a concussion before.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 



A Song for the Season/A Holiday Romance (CBS, 1999)



She doesn’t tutor on the horn, pardon my pun.



Starring:Gerald McRaney, Naomi Judd, Alison Pill, Andy Griffith
Plot Synopsis: A disgruntled school administrator comes to town to do the dirty deed of closing a school. But little does he know what he’s up against till he encounters the quirky, lovable music teacher, who not only gives him a run for his money, but also has him falling head over heels in love with her! A fun-loving holiday flick for the entire family. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: I’m closing out this years reviews, by once again looking at a CBS film that is meant to tug your heartstrings. A film that is sentimental and schmaltzy in droves, yet still manages to be kind of charming and cute. It’s a film that seems to overwhelmingly know that it its meant to be inspirational and heartwarming and goes for it with a gusto that still manages to not feel all that false. Under no circumstances should this film succeed at all, as it should feel unbearable and false, and yet it does not which is amazing to behold. That said, there is some sketchy acting, Alison Pill is a little rough around the edges as a kid hurt by her mom’s death, and Andy Griffith mainly seems to shout his lines in a weird “I’m so confused but folksy!” way.
Also why does CBS keep finding it necessary to have two titles for a film? Makes it annoying to write it up. At least both titles make sense this time, which was not the case with A Holiday for Love/Christmas in my Hometown.
Watch If: You merged with your school instrument becoming one as a kid, you relate dating to active duty, or if you prefer to study with sunglasses.
Skip If: You think relationships can be just as fine as marriage, if you get angry when people skip out on your deserts, or if you don’t appreciate a random doo-wop performance when you go to the gas station.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

A Song for the Season/A Holiday Romance (CBS, 1999)

She doesn’t tutor on the horn, pardon my pun.

Starring:Gerald McRaney, Naomi Judd, Alison Pill, Andy Griffith

Plot SynopsisA disgruntled school administrator comes to town to do the dirty deed of closing a school. But little does he know what he’s up against till he encounters the quirky, lovable music teacher, who not only gives him a run for his money, but also has him falling head over heels in love with her! A fun-loving holiday flick for the entire family. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: I’m closing out this years reviews, by once again looking at a CBS film that is meant to tug your heartstrings. A film that is sentimental and schmaltzy in droves, yet still manages to be kind of charming and cute. It’s a film that seems to overwhelmingly know that it its meant to be inspirational and heartwarming and goes for it with a gusto that still manages to not feel all that false. Under no circumstances should this film succeed at all, as it should feel unbearable and false, and yet it does not which is amazing to behold. That said, there is some sketchy acting, Alison Pill is a little rough around the edges as a kid hurt by her mom’s death, and Andy Griffith mainly seems to shout his lines in a weird “I’m so confused but folksy!” way.

Also why does CBS keep finding it necessary to have two titles for a film? Makes it annoying to write it up. At least both titles make sense this time, which was not the case with A Holiday for Love/Christmas in my Hometown.

Watch If: You merged with your school instrument becoming one as a kid, you relate dating to active duty, or if you prefer to study with sunglasses.

Skip If: You think relationships can be just as fine as marriage, if you get angry when people skip out on your deserts, or if you don’t appreciate a random doo-wop performance when you go to the gas station.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 



A Christmas Wedding Date (ION, 2012)



Skate to be great!



Starring: Marla Sokoloff, George Wendt, Chris Carmack, Catherine Hicks
Plot Synopsis: After being fired from her high-powered job, Rebecca heads back home to see her mom, Shirley, and attend her friends’ small-town wedding on Christmas Eve. Initially convinced that the trip is a terrible mistake, especially her botched romantic conversation with former beau, Chad, Rebecca soon learns that, indeed, you can go home again, and, again — until you get it right. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: Marla Sokoloff tends to annoy me in TV movies, as she plays the wide-eyed, sad faced believer in true love who gets everything she wants through persistence. Her skillset doesn’t seem to lie in getting us to like these sappy, wide-eyed optimists, as much as producers seem to believe so. Instead, where Marla Sokoloff truly succeeds is when she gets to be a little bitchy. On the whole, her most likable roles and the ones where she seems to come alive, are ones where she gets to be cynical and sarcastic and kind of a mean girl. A Christmas Wedding Date, yet another Groundhog’s Day on Christmas tale, seems to recognize this and as a result, it becomes pretty enjoyable even if you keep living out the same plot over and over and over again. On the whole, this film seems to have a kind of manic energy that I tend to really enjoy in these films, and if you ever come across it, I’d recommend seeing an iteration of the Christmas Wedding Date a time or two. It’s probably my favorite new TV Christmas movie of the year.
Watch If: You think marriage is a gift you give yourself, if you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint by not touching people, or if sing to people to get them to turn around and talk to you.
Skip If: You are a single lady who does not have a cat, if you know Girl Scout cookie sales take place in February and March not during the holidays, or if you are a person who has had the high school taken out of you.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

A Christmas Wedding Date (ION, 2012)

Skate to be great!

Starring: Marla Sokoloff, George Wendt, Chris Carmack, Catherine Hicks

Plot SynopsisAfter being fired from her high-powered job, Rebecca heads back home to see her mom, Shirley, and attend her friends’ small-town wedding on Christmas Eve. Initially convinced that the trip is a terrible mistake, especially her botched romantic conversation with former beau, Chad, Rebecca soon learns that, indeed, you can go home again, and, again — until you get it right. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: Marla Sokoloff tends to annoy me in TV movies, as she plays the wide-eyed, sad faced believer in true love who gets everything she wants through persistence. Her skillset doesn’t seem to lie in getting us to like these sappy, wide-eyed optimists, as much as producers seem to believe so. Instead, where Marla Sokoloff truly succeeds is when she gets to be a little bitchy. On the whole, her most likable roles and the ones where she seems to come alive, are ones where she gets to be cynical and sarcastic and kind of a mean girl. A Christmas Wedding Date, yet another Groundhog’s Day on Christmas tale, seems to recognize this and as a result, it becomes pretty enjoyable even if you keep living out the same plot over and over and over again. On the whole, this film seems to have a kind of manic energy that I tend to really enjoy in these films, and if you ever come across it, I’d recommend seeing an iteration of the Christmas Wedding Date a time or two. It’s probably my favorite new TV Christmas movie of the year.

Watch If: You think marriage is a gift you give yourself, if you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint by not touching people, or if sing to people to get them to turn around and talk to you.

Skip If: You are a single lady who does not have a cat, if you know Girl Scout cookie sales take place in February and March not during the holidays, or if you are a person who has had the high school taken out of you.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 



The Mistle-tones (ABC Family, 2012)

First of all, Marcy is a frigid bi-yotch!!!

Starring: Tia Mowry, Tori Spelling, Jonathon Patrick Moore, Reginald VelJohnson
Plot Synopsis: Holly, blessed with an amazing singing voice, is all set to audition for the newly vacated spot in a legendary local Christmas group which was founded by her late mother years ago. Shocked and upset when the slot goes to the barely talented best friend of the group’s leader, Marci, Holly sets out to create her own musical group, The Mistle-Tones. After challenging their rivals to a sing-off on Christmas Eve, Holly finds herself on a journey to the real meaning of Christmas—with some new friends and a new love thrown in for good measure… (x) 
In My Humble Opinion: This movie worked for me as kind of like a campy, Christmas-y version of Glee with more adults. You can’t take a single part of this movie seriously, but its fun to snark about, and it has a charming energy that you kind of get swept up in anyway. Get some alcohol, get some friends, go crazy, in my opinion.
Watch If: The best kind of Christmas gift is a highly productive fiscal year, you enjoy screaming competitions, or if the most important manager duties for a mall is playing Santa.
Skip If: If your peppermint barking up the wrong tree, if you are a fa-la-la-ing fruitcake, or if you were once blackmailed with a karaoke performance of “Burnin’ Love”.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The Mistle-tones (ABC Family, 2012)

First of all, Marcy is a frigid bi-yotch!!!

Starring: Tia Mowry, Tori Spelling, Jonathon Patrick Moore, Reginald VelJohnson

Plot Synopsis: Holly, blessed with an amazing singing voice, is all set to audition for the newly vacated spot in a legendary local Christmas group which was founded by her late mother years ago. Shocked and upset when the slot goes to the barely talented best friend of the group’s leader, Marci, Holly sets out to create her own musical group, The Mistle-Tones. After challenging their rivals to a sing-off on Christmas Eve, Holly finds herself on a journey to the real meaning of Christmas—with some new friends and a new love thrown in for good measure… (x

In My Humble Opinion: This movie worked for me as kind of like a campy, Christmas-y version of Glee with more adults. You can’t take a single part of this movie seriously, but its fun to snark about, and it has a charming energy that you kind of get swept up in anyway. Get some alcohol, get some friends, go crazy, in my opinion.

Watch If: The best kind of Christmas gift is a highly productive fiscal year, you enjoy screaming competitions, or if the most important manager duties for a mall is playing Santa.

Skip If: If your peppermint barking up the wrong tree, if you are a fa-la-la-ing fruitcake, or if you were once blackmailed with a karaoke performance of “Burnin’ Love”.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ ★ 



Secret Santa (NBC, 2003)

Let me give you a little newsflash. You have to have a soul before you can mate it!

Starring: Jennie Garth, Charles Robinson, Steven Eckholdt, Barbara Billingsly
Plot Synopsis: A reporter who has been passed over for years is given the opportunity to report on an elusive secret Santa in a small town after her boyfriend dumps her. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: If it’s a bit overly treacly, I can’t say that I wasn’t pleasantly surprised overall. A solid cast, a solid script, and a really nice sense of pacing and humor help make this film come together as one of the upper echelon movies in the Made-for-TV Christmas pantheon.
Watch If: If the right answer is that you ran off with a Chippendale dancer, if you want an alternate alternator, or if you are too pretty to be a newspaper journalist.
Skip If: If Santa did not give you the BB gun you wanted when you were ten and you have lingering issues, if your life is a dumpster, or if all you really wanted was a decent trip to Hawaii for the holidays.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Secret Santa (NBC, 2003)

Let me give you a little newsflash. You have to have a soul before you can mate it!

StarringJennie Garth, Charles Robinson, Steven Eckholdt, Barbara Billingsly

Plot SynopsisA reporter who has been passed over for years is given the opportunity to report on an elusive secret Santa in a small town after her boyfriend dumps her. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: If it’s a bit overly treacly, I can’t say that I wasn’t pleasantly surprised overall. A solid cast, a solid script, and a really nice sense of pacing and humor help make this film come together as one of the upper echelon movies in the Made-for-TV Christmas pantheon.

Watch If: If the right answer is that you ran off with a Chippendale dancer, if you want an alternate alternator, or if you are too pretty to be a newspaper journalist.

Skip If: If Santa did not give you the BB gun you wanted when you were ten and you have lingering issues, if your life is a dumpster, or if all you really wanted was a decent trip to Hawaii for the holidays.

Final Rating★ ★ ★ 


posted 1 year ago with 1 note
#secret santa #nbc #review #4 stars

Picking Up & Dropping Off (ABC Family, 2003)

"The one time I’m early, my kid is late."

Starring: Amanda Detmer, Scott Wolf, Rachelle Lefevre, Eddie McClintock
Plot Synopsis: A divorced father and a divorced mother start to meet at Denver airport when picking up and sending off their children. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: This film isn’t really a Christmas movie, even though it’s included as part of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas line up a majority of the time (then again, nowadays, 99% of the stuff that makes it into ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas line up has nothing to do with Christmas). That being said, this film is the kind of low-key, charming stuff that probably would never win any awards, but which hits right into my sweet spot of fabulous fluff. A fine TV movie to watch, no matter the season, really.
Watch If: You love a little history, if you feel compelled to organize the sugar packets, or if one time you peed next to Bea Arthur.
Skip If: You dislike it when your friends compare dating to shampoo directions, you hate people who waste perfectly good coupons by throwing them up in the air and then rolling around in them, or if you hate to see a pair of good hockey tickets get squandered.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Picking Up & Dropping Off (ABC Family, 2003)

"The one time I’m early, my kid is late."

Starring: Amanda Detmer, Scott Wolf, Rachelle Lefevre, Eddie McClintock

Plot Synopsis: A divorced father and a divorced mother start to meet at Denver airport when picking up and sending off their children. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: This film isn’t really a Christmas movie, even though it’s included as part of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas line up a majority of the time (then again, nowadays, 99% of the stuff that makes it into ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas line up has nothing to do with Christmas). That being said, this film is the kind of low-key, charming stuff that probably would never win any awards, but which hits right into my sweet spot of fabulous fluff. A fine TV movie to watch, no matter the season, really.

Watch If: You love a little history, if you feel compelled to organize the sugar packets, or if one time you peed next to Bea Arthur.

Skip If: You dislike it when your friends compare dating to shampoo directions, you hate people who waste perfectly good coupons by throwing them up in the air and then rolling around in them, or if you hate to see a pair of good hockey tickets get squandered.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆



The Christmas Clause (ION, 2008)

Sophie: Do you think I can do it?Morris: You are ruthless, cruel, and have fantastic teeth… I know you can.

Starring: Lea Thompson, Andrew Airlie, Richard Ian Cox, Rachel Hayward
Plot Synopsis: With the pressures of a working mom, Sophie asks Santa for a different life. Freedom has its price as she realizes the sweet life is not so sweet. Now she must race against time to find the true meaning of family and love before Christmas Day. (x)
In My Humble Opinion: I went into the film expecting an extremely offensive feminist disaster of epic proportions, and even though this film isn’t perfect in any way, I enjoyed it much more than I expected.
I think what saves this film from being an offensive disaster is that the establish right away that even though the character makes a wish to save her life she regrets it two seconds in. This film does not follow the normal formula where things go great for 30 minutes before we learn family matters after all, it is just the story of a woman who takes her need for a good night’s worth of sleep too far and regrets it immediately. This film is less a story of a women learning a “lesson” about what matters in life, but is rather a story of a woman trying to fix a mistake. Making that calculation, and making it more comic and less preachy makes this film not unbearable. In fact, I would say this film made me less depressed about the female condition than I Don’t Know How She Does It did, and since one was a major studio production and one was probably made on a budget of $2 million, I think that says something positive.
And I think what also saves the film is that Lea Thompson really commits to a thankless role. This entire movie rests on her shoulders, and she gives it her all. You can tell she’s having fun, and that makes it fun. Usually, when you watch this movie you get a bunch of actors who are half-assing for a paycheck and look kind of miserable doing so. Watching Lea Thompson gamely give a Toni Matthews face, or look like crap during the “bad day portion of the movie” and fall and hijink like it matters was just really refreshing. I’m not usually a Lea Thompson fan, but this made me appreciate her a whole heckuva lot more.
So ION’s vault from 2008 gives us another pleasant surprise. It makes you wish they put more of an effort in 2011.
Watch If: You refuse to go to Starbucks because they call a small coffee a tall, you enjoy a good food fight, or if you want to make the workplace a great place for working mothers to be!
Skip If: You hate to see a low-carb diet ruin, you don’t wanna see a yoga class get ruined by bickering, or if you think that Christmas brings out the best in everyone, not the worst.
Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The Christmas Clause (ION, 2008)

Sophie: Do you think I can do it?
Morris: You are ruthless, cruel, and have fantastic teeth… I know you can.

Starring: Lea Thompson, Andrew Airlie, Richard Ian Cox, Rachel Hayward

Plot Synopsis: With the pressures of a working mom, Sophie asks Santa for a different life. Freedom has its price as she realizes the sweet life is not so sweet. Now she must race against time to find the true meaning of family and love before Christmas Day. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: I went into the film expecting an extremely offensive feminist disaster of epic proportions, and even though this film isn’t perfect in any way, I enjoyed it much more than I expected.

I think what saves this film from being an offensive disaster is that the establish right away that even though the character makes a wish to save her life she regrets it two seconds in. This film does not follow the normal formula where things go great for 30 minutes before we learn family matters after all, it is just the story of a woman who takes her need for a good night’s worth of sleep too far and regrets it immediately. This film is less a story of a women learning a “lesson” about what matters in life, but is rather a story of a woman trying to fix a mistake. Making that calculation, and making it more comic and less preachy makes this film not unbearable. In fact, I would say this film made me less depressed about the female condition than I Don’t Know How She Does It did, and since one was a major studio production and one was probably made on a budget of $2 million, I think that says something positive.

And I think what also saves the film is that Lea Thompson really commits to a thankless role. This entire movie rests on her shoulders, and she gives it her all. You can tell she’s having fun, and that makes it fun. Usually, when you watch this movie you get a bunch of actors who are half-assing for a paycheck and look kind of miserable doing so. Watching Lea Thompson gamely give a Toni Matthews face, or look like crap during the “bad day portion of the movie” and fall and hijink like it matters was just really refreshing. I’m not usually a Lea Thompson fan, but this made me appreciate her a whole heckuva lot more.

So ION’s vault from 2008 gives us another pleasant surprise. It makes you wish they put more of an effort in 2011.

Watch If: You refuse to go to Starbucks because they call a small coffee a tall, you enjoy a good food fight, or if you want to make the workplace a great place for working mothers to be!

Skip If: You hate to see a low-carb diet ruin, you don’t wanna see a yoga class get ruined by bickering, or if you think that Christmas brings out the best in everyone, not the worst.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆