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Guide to 2014 (TV) Holiday Movies Part 1

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Hallmark Channel has been busy creating holiday gems. They started early this year, their first premiere was on November 8th, which can only mean they’ve been getting our fan mail. We’ve got a little Lifetime as well.  Here’s what we’ve been watching…


One Starry ChristmasOne Starry Christmas

Watch the trailer: here

Santa: No
Holiday Romance: Yes
Christmas Proposal: Yes (and a Christmas decline)
Heartwarming Moments: Tried yes, achieved no
Valuable Lessons Learned: No

Good to watch: If you want burn off holiday cookies with line dancing.
Rating: 2 out of 5 candy canes

The Gist: Holly (Sara Carter) is an astronomer dating a lawyer, Adam (Paul Popowich), with a big job interview. So big he has to leave her alone for Christmas, but it will all be worth it once he get’s that six-figure salary (or minimum wage in NYC). Holly is too scared to fly to go with him, but she’s not too scared to take a bus from Chicago to New York (that is brave). On her journey she meets a cowboy, Luke (Damon Runyan), and when the bus breaks down he saves the day by renting a car (though a horse to NY would have been preferable). Holly takes him home to meet her family. Obviously Holly starts to fall for the cowboy because she studies stars and he sleeps under them. Adam is there the whole time and good news, he gets the job but he loses Holly.

The good the bad and the cameos:

  • It appears that they didn’t have the budget to film in New York so they spend a lot of time walking around Canada pretending they are in the big city. This movie really could have benefited from some of the product placement the other movies had.
  •  They invite Luke’s brother over for supper and he serenades them. This makes for the most uncomfortable dinner scene. When your having a meal and someone asks if you have a guitar you say no.
  • Luke wins over Adam’s new boss (awkward) and everyone else when he introduces some line dancing at their holiday party.

 The Nine Lives of ChristmasThe Nine Lives of Christmas

Watch the trailer: here

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

Good to watch: If you are thinking of adopting a pet for the holidays
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 candy canes

The Gist: Zachary (Brandon Routh – yes THAT one) is a sexy fireman that women throw themselves at. He’s dating a model, but he’s wary of commitment. Meanwhile, Marilee (Kimberly Sustad) is going to school and working – she doesn’t have time for a relationship. She just doesn’t so stop asking her about it. Her cat is fulfillment enough. Zachary is reverse adopted by Ambrose, a neighborhood cat. Thank goodness because he’s about to start running into Marilee in a series of random encounters and since she’s in veterinarian school she can help answer questions about Ambrose. They run into each other at the supermarket, a restaurant, when Zach’s model girlfriend gets Marilee fired for being sassy to her, then they don’t see each other for awhile, but post make-over Marilee finds Ambrose and returns him, then she gets kicked out of her apartment for having a cat and moves in with Zachary where they and their cats become best friends…and more!

The good the bad and the cameos:

  • They really dial up the bachelor and single lady stereotypes. The movie starts with Zach shooting a fireman calender and getting hit on by the photographer, whereas the first time he runs into Marilee she’s buying a bucket of ice cream and heading home to her cat.
  • This movie is where we first start to see the blatant product placement Hallmark has rolled out this year.
  • The cats, particularly Ambrose, were surprisingly delightful. It was far more satisfying when they ended up together.

NorthpoleNorthpole

Watch the trailer: here

Santa: Yes
Holiday Romance: Lil’ bit
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: Yes
Valuable Lessons Learned: Of course

Good to watch: If you are having SbtB withdrawals and need your Thiessen fix
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 candy canes

 The Gist: As the title suggests this movie is about the Northpole which is losing its power since it’s fueled by happiness from people around the world. But as people have gotten busier they’ve lost their joy and holiday spirit. Luckily, there’s an elf with a plan; Clementine (Bailee Madison) befriends a lonely boy, Kevin (Max Charles) who has moved with his mom (Tiffany Thiessen) to a new town and hasn’t made any friends yet. Clementine and Kevin start working on getting people into the holiday spirit, but when they find out the Christmas tree lighting has been canceled things seem bleak.  They get help from Kevin’s teacher, Ryan (Josh Hopkins)  — cue romantic subplot with Chelsea. Yet, when facts-first Chelsea is willing to believe Kevin, that Clementine really is an elf trying to save the Northpole, that my friends is the holiday spirit. They get the town together, light the tree, sing and save the Northpole! Though it must still be in peril since they announced Northpole 2 is already set to come out in 2015  – starring Lauri Loughlin this time around (no word yet on any cameos from Uncle Jesse).

The good the bad and the cameos:

  • Since Chelsea is a reporter she goes into investigation mode to solve the cancellation of the tree lighting ceremony mystery. Turns out to all be one big misunderstanding, good thing she uncovered the scoop.
  • We don’t spend a ton of time at the Northpole, but when we do Santa seems pretty whatevs about the fact that they’re losing their power. Maybe this was his grand escape plan from the Mrs.?
  • For whatever reason we keep seeing this one lady, Josephine, who’s always singing. A google search revealed she was from Season 12 of American Idol, now it’s clear why we didn’t recognize her.
  • The best product placement of all the movies. Baskin Robins is perfect with a snow theme.
  • During every commercial break Max Charles’ (who plays Kevin) little face greets you and tells you how you can get Northpole on DVD.

A Royal ChristmasA Royal Christmas

Watch the trailer: here

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

Good to watch: If you need a royal fix post Will and Kate’s American tour
Rating: 4 out of 5 candy canes

The Gist: A poor seamstress falls in love with a guy who is secretly a prince. He hid his identity so he could travel to America without his bodyguards. Prince Leopold (Stephen Hagan) or Leo as he is known in the America’s must confess his princely secret to Emily (Lacey Chabert) because he’s been called back to Cordinia for Christmas. So he brings Emily with him and introduces her to his mom Queen Isadora (Jane Seymour) who is not to pleased to have a poor commoner hanging around with her noble son. Queen Isadora gets Leo’s ex, Natasha (Katherine Flynn) to start hanging around so he can remember the type of lady he should be with.  It all comes down to a ball (as it should) and when Leo proposes Emily has to say no. She puts his country and duty ahead of their love. Could the Queen have been wrong, and judged her too harshly? A trip back to the America’s to get the girl!

The good the bad and the cameos:

  • Poor Emily, she wants so badly to make a good impression. What she lacks in a royal blood line she makes up for in heart: she befriends the staff, helps orphans, doesn’t slap the Queen when she says really bitchy things to her…a saint really.
  • When the Queen gives Emily a hideous dress to wear to the ball Emily transforms it a la Pretty in Pink (or What a Girl Wants for a more current reference). And because she doesn’t know how to act at the ball Emily enlists the help of Victor (Simon Dutton) the Queen’s right hand man a la Pretty Woman to help her learn proper ball etiquette.
  • Jane Seymour is born for these kinds of roles, somehow the more insulting she is the more likeable she becomes. She should guest on Downton.
  • Double product placement within the first five minutes of the movie. Someone had to pay for that castle location.

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas EverGrumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Watch the trailer: here

Santa: supernatural force that helps, but unspecified
Holiday Romance: minor sub-plot
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: No
Valuable Lessons Learned: No

Good to watch: If you want to feel bad about yourself
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 candy canes

The Gist: Grumpy cat (voiced by Aubrey Plaza) lives in a pet store since her grumpy personality keeps her from being adopted. When a 12-year old girl, Chrystal (Megan Charpentier) makes a wish for a friend she finds she can understand what Grumpy is saying. They work together to thwart the thieves who are trying to steal an exotic dog (the sale of which will save the pet store) and Grumpy remains as the name would suggest the entire time. Despite Grumpy’s protest a forever friendship is formed.

This movie is painfully self aware. They realized how silly it was to base a movie on a youtube cat, so it seems they thought if they could beat us to the punch and insult this movie before we could they’d win. But here’s the thing, if you keep insulting people for watching your movie, and telling them how stupid they are for engaging with it, it doesn’t make them want to watch, no matter how “clever” you think you’re being. Grumpy is an exact replica of Aubrey’s character April on Parks and Rec, so if you love that “I hate everything so I’m just going to mock the world” type thing you might enjoy this as well.

Grumpy cat insults

This about sums it up.

 

The Santa ConThe Santa Con

Network:Lifetime

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

Good to watch: If you want to remember the good times of TGIF
Rating: 3 out of 5 candy canes

 How this movie is not getting better billing is mind blowing with it’s stars of days past cast: Barry Watson (7th Heaven needs any positive press), Melissa Joan Hart (who also directs), Jaleel White, Scott Grimes, John Ratzenberger and Wendy Williams.

The Gist: Con-man Nick (Watson) has just been released from prison and is staying with his sister, Rose (Hart) who is skeptical and waiting for him to screw up again. She gets him a job as Santa (who wouldn’t hire an ex-con to be around kids) and as he’s counting down the moments until his Santa shift ends he absentmindedly promises a kid he’ll get the kids parents back together. Rose is pissed he would get a kids hopes up like that, has Nick screwed up so soon? After some soul-searching and a chat with Pastor Ruth (Williams) Nick decides he will fix it and get the parents back together. After all he is a con-man, manipulating people into doing things they don’t want to do is his thing. But he ends up conning himself into being a better person and learning to put other people first.

Also, every movie should end with Wendy Williams winking.

And...scene!

And…scene!

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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.

And Seen…Guide to (TV) Holiday Movies pt. 2

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The Christmas ConsultantThe Christmas Consultant
Watch the whole movie: here
Channel: Lifetime

Santa: No
Holiday Romance: No
Christmas Proposal: No
Heartwarming Moments: No
Valuable Lessons Learned: Sort of

Good to watch: If you’re looking for some spiffy holiday wardrobe ideas
Rating: 1 out of 5 candy canes

I am sorry to report that this movie is not “Hoff the Hook” (Hasselhoff’s own term. I don’t take credit for it, but I love it like a kitten in a basket).  When you hear David Hasselhoff and Christmas movie you think, where has this been my whole life?  But after you watch it you’ll wish they decided to do a Baywatch Christmas Special (next year?) instead.

In this The Hoff plays Owen, a Christmas consultant, who is hired to help a work-a-holic mom (Caroline Rhea) with her holiday festivities.  But Owen does more then just add wreaths and make a stiff glass of eggnog, he brings laughter back into their lives (no, wait that’s The Sound of Music) but somehow he does bring the family closer together. Well, all of them except the working mom who’s missing out on the fun.

This movie is full of awkward and uncomfortable moments such as a horrible caroling adventure – we get it David you like to sing, Germany loves you.  There’s a weird overuse of the soft focus lens (I call it the Cybil Shepard in Moonlighting lens). I thought the soft focus was for Caroline Rhea but noticed it was used more on David. Unfortunately, The Hoff plays a caricature of himself in this, but I don’t think he’s in on the joke.  I fell asleep three times trying to watch the ending of this movie.  I’m sure it ends with the mom learning to spend more time with her family, but I’m not really sure. I also realized I didn’t really care.
Naughty or NiceNaughty or Nice
Watch the trailer: here
Channel: Hallmark

Santa: Yes
Holiday Romance: Yes
Christmas Proposal: Yes
Heartwarming Moments: Yes
Valuable Lessons Learned: Yes

Good to watch:While wrapping gifts
Rating: 4 out of 5 candy canes

For something that sounds like a holiday lingerie line at Victoria’s Secret, this movie is surprisingly charming.  Plus this is the first one to have all five of the essential holiday movie elements! Poor Krissy Kringle. She has an unfortunate name, she happens to live on Candy Cane Lane and instead of getting a promotion she was fired from her job. Krissy is not feeling the Christmas spirit.  Adding to her bah-humbug-ness are the piles of letters she gets addressed to Santa (stupid name, stupid address).

This year Krissy stumbles upon something in her pile of letters: a book called Naughty or Nice. Krissy soon figures out if she says a persons name the book opens and shows her how that person is naughty (e.g. her plumber is lying to her and isn’t having car trouble he is just sitting lazily on his couch). Being able to call people on their lies and know their darkest secrets is pretty awesome.

Krissy starts her make-shift job as a holiday elf/gift wrapper and lets her elf co-worker in on her secret book. Together they catch people in lies and put them in their place.  They are like Bonnie and Clyde but instead of guns they use the truth as their weapons!  There was something so refreshing about having her friend be a platonic male friend instead of a gay guy or a quirky girl. But it’s not all fun and games.  Just like Spider-man, Krissy learns with great power comes great responsibility. She is not using the book for good. She’s using it to hurt people and to spy on them. She finds out that the reason she was fired was because the girl she was working with lied about her and threw her under the bus. She also finds out her boyfriend lied to her.  Darn you book!

But everything has a flip side. Krissy realizes if she turns the book over it’s the nice list and it shows the nice things people do.  Good people might do bad things now and again but it doesn’t make them a bad person. Lesson learned! Now she has to right wrongs, win her boyfriend back, get herself rehired and get this book back to Santa where it belongs!  One other fun thing: Krissy’s parents are played by Mr. and Mrs Keaton of Family Ties. It’s nice to see those two together again.
Hitched for the Holidays

Hitched for the Holidays
Watch the trailer: here
Channel: Hallmark

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

Good to watch:While avoiding your in-laws holiday party
Rating: 3 out of 5 candy canes

A popular holiday theme is hiring/bartering/blackmailing someone to play your boyfriend/girlfriend for the holiday season.  Be warned, if you do this you will end up falling in love even though it was just supposed to be a business arrangement.

In this Joey Lawrence plays Rob, a guy with commitment issues.  You can tell he likes options and freedom because anytime he orders food/drinks he gets a bunch of different items because he just can’t decide!  Then there is Julie (Emily Hampshire) a theater critic who is nice to everyone and likes to tell little white lies so she doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  She is able to keep her job for the newspaper (really?) even with her mundane overly nice reviews.

What do these two have in common? Pushy parents who want them to settle down.  Julie’s mother (Marilu Henner) is trying to set her up with every single guy she knows because Julie and her fiance broke up last New Year’s Eve.  While Rob’s grandmothers dying wish is to meet the woman her grandson will marry before death carries her away.   Both head to Ricky’s List (a.k.a. Hallmark Channels Craigslist) to find someone to pretend to be their boyfriend/girlfriend for the holidays.  Ricky’s List must be way better than Craigslist because instead of finding murders or rapists they just find each other.

They set out to meet each others parents and to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah.  Then something strange starts to happen, they start to like each other and start changing for the better.  Julie starts writing truthful reviews and Rob (who only freelances) is offered a full-time job and thinks about taking it.  Everything is going great! Until Rob finds out it was Julie who dumped her fiance last New Year’s Eve. Apparently that is his deal breaker.  Because the reason Rob won’t commit to anything is because he is afraid of being left alone.  Of course! The climactic end scene involves New Year’s Eve, making bold choices and Rob on a horse chasing down Julie’s cab through the streets of New York.  Hallmark sure knows how to close a movie.
Finding Mrs. ClausFinding Mrs. Claus
Watch the trailer: here
Channel: Lifetime

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

Good to watch: While snuggling by the fire sipping hot cocoa
Rating: 5 out of 5 candy canes

This might be my favorite role of Mira Sorvino’s since Romy and Michelle (sorry to the one fan of At First Sight). She is ADORABLE in this.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus are in a bit of a rut and he forgets their 500 year anniversary (but really it’s so hard to shop for  the half millennium anniversary gift).  Jessica Claus is feeling neglected (I think that’s an odd name choice for someone of yore so I’m just gonna stick with Mrs.). Since Santa is sleeping their anniversary away Mrs. Claus decides to go through his fan mail. Such a dedicated wife.  Lo and behold she finds a letter addressed to her. Suck it Santa, you’re not the only rock-star up in this Pole. The letter is from a girl named Hope asking for her single mom to be happy again (read: her mom needs a man because alone people are sad and true happiness comes from having a husband).

Mrs. Claus only has one choice, she must go to this town of Las Vegas and help this girl and her mom.  Hitch up the reindeer and add some magic dust so Mrs. Claus can go from frumpy to fabulous.

Mrs. Claus arrives and starts scouring Vegas for potential suitors for Hope’s mom, Noelle (Laura Vandervoort). Meanwhile, Santa is not coping well without his Mrs. by his side. He finally gets her whereabouts from an elf and together they head to Sin City to find his beloved.  He also adds some magic dust. He doesn’t come out as sassy as Mrs. Claus, but he’s pretty darn likeable with a very believable “ho ho ho” chortle.

Santa and the Mrs. keep missing each other the same way Noelle keeps missing the fact that her Mr. Perfect was right in front of her the whole time.  He’s Miles (Andrew Walker) the bartender she banters with and who already loves her daughter.  A few misunderstandings, a Christmas pageant and some more magic and everyone is back on track.  Noelle realizes Miles is for her and Mr. and Mrs. Claus renew their vows with an Elvis impersonator singing their song. I’m adding this movie into my holiday movie rotation.

Bride for ChristmasA Bride for Christmas
Watch the trailer: here
Channel: Hallmark

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

Good to watch: While kissing under the mistletoe
Rating: 2 out of 5 candy canes

More like “A horrible cliched wolf in rom-com’s clothing for Christmas”. In case it’s not clear I did not care for this movie. It gets 2 candy canes because I liked Arielle Kebbel in this (she was killed off Vampire Diaries way too soon) and there are some really cute dogs in the movie.

Ah, the classic tale of a Runaway Bride meets a Player.  The player, Aiden (Andrew Walker) makes a bet with his friends that he get a girl to marry him by Christmas.  He is willing to totally mess with a girl’s emotions for a window office. That’s not an OK thing to do.  Luckily, anytime you make a bet to get someone to marry you it seems you will have no choice but to fall in love with them for real.  He must have known that going in so that’s what makes it OK, right?  Aiden, finds Jessie, the runaway bride, at an art show and foolishly picks her as the girl he will get to marry him.  What he doesn’t know is that she just ran out on her last wedding, has been engaged three times, and has given up on wedded bliss all together.  But he has a window office in his sites, he will not be thwarted so easily.

Aiden hires Jessie to help him decorate his condo (she’s an interior designer so that part makes sense) and figures he can woo her via swatches and throw pillows.  Once Aiden spends some time with Jessie he’s able to find out what she does and follow her.  That’s how he starts volunteering at the dog shelter with her.  The difference between a stalker and a guy with “shared interests” is simply based on how attractive and financially secure he is.

My biggest issue with this is I just don’t buy their love.  The moment Jessie falls for Aiden is when a guy is trying to return the dog he adopted because the dog is too hyperactive.  Aiden steps in and yells at the guy and tells him he made a commitment to the dog as Jessie watches on lovestruck.  This is not an “I love you moment”, it’s a “let’s talk about your anger issues and work on persuasion techniques” moment. Aiden isn’t even able to convince the guy to keep the dog. But Jessie is wooed and kisses Aiden. It is right then she knows he’s the one.  So she takes that next logical step and proposes to him.  They have known each other for three weeks. She has broken off three engagements, one only three weeks ago. Who is letting her make these life choices?  Please someone step in a give this girl a therapist or at least a Magic 8-ball so she can make better decisions.

Of course Aiden has fallen in love with her too.  He even forfeited on the bet before she proposed to him because he liked her so much.  Aiden accepts her proposal and they are bound for wedded bliss. But Jessie’s ex-fiance overhears Aiden and his co-workers talking about the bet. He tells Jessie and she breaks off her fourth engagement.  That’s when Jessie’s over involved mom steps in. She plans a secret Christmas day wedding for Jessie with Aiden. Worst mother of the year award. Again, he made a bet.  Whether he forfeited on the bet or not, this is a serious character flaw.  Anyone who would play with human emotions like that is not someone you should be committing to. Or marrying on Christmas day after only knowing them for 4 weeks. How about an engagement period to see if this guy has any other shady flaws up his sleeves? Oh and Jessie just happens to wear a white dress to Christmas dinner. It’s after labor day Jessie, you’ve failed again.