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And Seen…Guide to (TV) Holiday Movies pt. 3

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The Mistle Tones

The Mistle-Tones

Watch the trailer: here
Channel: ABC Family

Santa: No
Holiday Romance: Yes
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: Some
Valuable Lessons Learned: No

Good to watch: While you warm up your vocal cords to go caroling
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 candy canes

This was my most anticipated movie of the holiday season thus far, it was my 12 Dates of Christmas of last year, but for all the hype it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  There are parts of it that are fantastic, but there are also some parts that fall short.

Recap:
Holly (Tia Mowry) wants to join the Snow Belles, a singing group her mom founded that is currently being run by Marci (Tori Spelling).  Holly is too good of a singer and Marci won’t let her join. So Holly starts her own group and challenges the Snow Belles to a sing-off and the winning group will get to perform in the Christmas Spectacular show.  Holly finds love and a new group of friends in the process.

Favorite moments:

  • Tia Mowry – she’s always been my favorite twin since the early Sister Sister years (are you not supposed to admit it if you have a favorite twin?). She’s lovely and likeable enough in this, though I think it would have been more fun to see her in the bitchy Tori Spelling role.
  • Holly’s boss/love interest is played by Jonathan Patrick Moore a.k.a Conner “I like to burn myself just to feel something” Lake from LA Complex. Also, if you are not watching LA Complex start immediately, it is the best bad show on.
  • Reginald VelJohnson plays Holly’s dad and it’s just not a Christmas movie without him (see Die Hard for reference).

Least Favorite Moments:

  • I realize I like Tori so much as Tori I don’t want to watch her play someone else. She gets too character-y and I just want her to be Tori, ya know?  Will the real Tori Spelling please stand up.
  • For something billed as an original musical, it’s just Christmas songs which they jazz up by adding a lot of “oh yeahs” but no new songs. It’s probably for the best.
  • Holly’s group doesn’t win, at least not in the way where they get to perform at The Christmas Spectacular. But Holly does win by remembering the true meaning of Christmas, so at least there’s that.

Cameo:
Marci and Vixen

By far my favorite part of this movie is Marci’s dog (who is Tori’s real life dog) and her head-wear.   The dog’s head-wear always matched Marci’s (I feel like this was Tori’s brilliant idea,  another reason to love her).

 

 

Holly's Holiday

Holly’s Holiday

Channel: Lifetime

Santa: No
Holiday Romance: Yes
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: No
Valuable Lessons Learned: Indeed

Good to watch:
Rating: 3 out of 5 candy canes

 

Recap:
Holly (Claire Coffee) is looking for the perfect life: job, apartment and of course fella. She already seems to have perfect hair (seriously it’s gorgeous) so she can cross that off her list. Even though it’s the holidays there’s a last minute pitch, so Holly is going to have to work round the clock with her partner Milo (Jedd Ward).  Milo wants to do work that’s edgy but Holly wants everything to be ideal. When Holly slips on the ice she is awoken by her dream man, Bo (Ryan McPartlin) who is a mannequin that has come to life. Bo is perfect and it’s only by dating the perfect guy that Holly realizes she’s been wrong. She doesn’t want perfection she wants messy (Milo) and someone who likes her for her (Milo) and someone who won’t re-alphabetize her apartment (still Milo)!  And when she wakes up from her mannequin dream (nightmare?) she tells Milo how she feels.

Favorite moments:

  • My request for more movies where mannequins come to life has finally been fulfilled.  Because it’s Lifetime it’s a guy mannequin that comes to life – they love to capitalize on women’s fantasies.
  • Bo is probably one of the best parts. His reaction to Holly breaking the wine glass and trying not to freak out is pretty hilarious.
  • Bo’s parents (who were also mannequins) act out some of their favorite poses from different sales and catalogs. All the poses are exactly the same. See how much fun mannequins are!
  • I think Bo’s loft might be the one in Bride for Christmas. As though there’s a bulk rate to film holiday movies in it.

Least favorite moments:

  • Holly has a best friend Deena (Gabrielle Dennis) who is dating a model.  Her model boyfriend is cheating on her but she would rather be with someone than alone so she stays with him. I realize it’s Lifetime but do we have to keep up this sad women pretense?  Can’t they Xena up a bit?  She does eventually dump him but it’s not until she catches him making out with another chick in front of her.
  • It’s always the first guy the girl talks to that she ends up with, mix it up make it the fourth guy.
  • It’s pretty clear as soon as Holly hits her head that it’s a dream sequence (which means Bo isn’t for real). But, the fact that they go into other people’s narratives wouldn’t really work since it would all have to be from Holly’s perspective since it’s her dream, right?  Am I over thinking it, Lifetime?

Cameo:
Drew Droege has a fun role as a photographer for their big photo shoot. If you aren’t familiar with the brilliance that is Drew here you go (Drew as Chloe Sevigny). You’re welcome.

Help for the HolidaysHelp for the Holidays

Watch the trailer: here
Channel: Hallmark

Santa: Yes
Holiday Romance: Yes
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: Not as many as you would think
Valuable Lessons Learned: Yes

Good to watch: While decorating your tree
Rating: 2 out of 5 candy canes

Recap:
Christine (Summer Glau) is an elf that is starting to wonder if there is anything more out there in the world. And lucky for her there is a family that has lost their Christmas spirit. So Santa sends Christine on a mission to make this family festive again. Christine meets the family and the mom (Eva La Rue) hires her as the nanny. Christine starts infusing Christmas spirit, but it just makes their mom feel guilty. Eventually the mom gets tired of Christine’s antics and fires her. But Santa gives Christine a choice, she doesn’t have to live in the north pole if she wants a different life/love.  And she does.  There’s some other stuff in there with the daughters dance recital and the son running away to find her, but I think it’s best to brush past it kind of the way they brush past the fact that Christine was an elf and lived in the North Pole but it’s just not something you want to discuss.

Favorite moments:

  • Christine gets a fun definition book to look up words and terms in, and a wallet that will always be filled with as much money as she needs. Yes please.
  • Dan Gauthier (or as I will always refer to him as Brad from Teen Witch) plays the husband.
  • The kids have a fun cool Uncle Dave (John Brotherton) who is the perfect love interest for an elf and makes the kids always being left alone less sad.
  • Any time Christine messes up Santa immediately appears. I don’t think we ever get to see the boss, micro-manager side of him so it’s refreshing to see him from his workers point of view.

Least favorite moments:

  • If they show you rules in a movie it’s a guarantee that they will be broken.  In this case the rules are 1) You cannot reveal yourself as an elf 2) You cannot get emotionally attached 3) If these are broken there will be consequences. The third one isn’t even a rule. Maybe you should stick with Naughty and Nice lists Santa, lists of rules don’t really seem to be your thing.
  • They rehearse and rehearse a dance for the daughter to do at the recital and all she ends up doing is a couple shuffles and a curtsy.  Everyone fawns all over her like it was the best thing ever. I would have loved an Abby Lee Miller critique at that point.
  • Christine has to look up “rain check” and “hot-dog” in her definition book, but somehow she knows how to drive? I feel like driving is not something elves instinctively know how to do. Make hot cocoa, yes. Sledding, most likely. Driving, not so much.

Cameo:
I think Christine was just as cute with the pointy ears as she was without them. In fact I think she could bring pointy ears into fashion if she wanted.
All About Christmas Eve

All About Christmas Eve

Channel: Lifetime

Santa: No
Holiday Romance: Yes/No
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: No
Valuable Lessons Learned: No

Good to watch: If you have to work over the holidays
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 candy canes

Let’s start with the title.  Maybe you think this movie would be a play on All About Eve with a Christmas twist? No.  Perhaps it’s about the night of Christmas Eve? No. About a girl named Eve and how she spends her Christmas but they just forgot to insert the ever important distinguishing comma in the title? That’s as close as we’re going to get.

Recap:
This movie takes us on two different paths of Eve (Haylie Duff) who either makes her flight to Los Angeles or doesn’t.  We get to watch both!  How fun. On one side Eve catches her plane, gets to LA, her boss is pleased with her and she gets to plan a huge party for tech guru Aidan (Chris Carmack). On the flip side, when she doesn’t catch the plane, Eve catches her boyfriend cheating on her, gets fired, starts bar-tending and goes back to being an artist.  All in all, even though what seemed to be the “bad” outcome of her missing the flight ends up being the good one. Eve goes back to being an artist, dumps her slacker boyfriend and as fate would have it still ends up with Aidan.

Favorite moments:

  • I’m not sure a Sliding Door’s style high concept movie is the best choice for a holiday flick, but I like that they are trying. Way to take some risks.
  • With this movie Lifetime taught me a valuable lesson: “Sometimes everything has to fall apart in order for you to put the pieces back together in the right way” – Julie Lofrano, eating cookie dough and watching a holiday movie marathon, 2012.

Least favorite moments:

  • Her boyfriend is played by Stephen Colletti of Laguna Beach fame.  You guys, when we hire these people as actors they don’t disappear into the night like we were hoping they would when their show went off the air. However, he is terrific and playing/being a douchebag.
  • Aidan’s company, which is supposed to be the next Facebook, is called Gobble. Is it a play on Google, a Thanksgiving reference why is this movie so challenged when it comes to naming things?
  • Something has gone wrong with Haylie’s face.  I want to start some type of intervention with the young starlets and their overuse of Botox/fillers when it’s not needed (see Lindsay Lohan as reference).

Cameo:
At the end Eve sees herself on the other side of a glass window and they do that whole mirror hand to hand thing where they move at the same time.  Who doesn’t enjoy ending a film with some good old fashioned pantomiming.

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