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Holiday Movie Roundup

Happy Christmas Eve!

As I’ve noted in a couple earlier posts, I’ve been actively watching whatever cheesy flicks the good people at Hallmark, Lifetime, and ABC Family have made available. Like the nerd that I am sometimes, I’ve been keeping a log of what I’ve seen. I know I’ve described some of these, so I’ll gloss over those and get to the good ones. Also, I’ve thrown some classics in as well. The chances are pretty good that some of these will be airing in the next 24. Happy hunting!

1. Christmas Song:  This was a romantic comedy I caught on Hallmark back in November. I think I’ve gone over this one already, but I’ll recap. Two private schools have recently merged to form one. Now there are two music teachers and two competing programs. The principal tells the two teachers that whoever wins the upcoming local music contest gets to keep their job. She lets that bomb drop right before Christmas too which is just rude. So while the two teachers (with student assistance) compete, they also sort of fall in love. My eyes rolled a lot while watching this. The students were so stereotyped. The popular mean girl, the shy good girl, the popular jock, the nerdy guy, etc…   Natasha Henstridge and Gabe Hogan (who I know as the pen-trache UPS guy from Wonderfalls)

2. A Season for Miracles: This was also a Hallmark movie. This one made me cry a little. A down on her luck lady hides in a small town while trying to maintain custody of her niece and nephew. The small town embraces them and it’s a new start for everyone. Carla Gugino and Laura Dern star in this.

3. Crazy for Christmas:   This was pretty crappy. A single mom (with the world’s cutest kid) works as a chauffeur on Christmas Eve. She’s tasked with driving an eccentric millionaire (billionaire?) around town all day. I’m going to spoil this one for you because I need you to know how stupid and crazy this one was. Last chance to avert your eyes for a spoiler… Turns out the crazy, rich man is chauffeur lady’s long-lost father. Yeah…  (Lifetime Network)

4. Annie Claus is Coming to Town: I’ve gone over this one before too. Santa’s daughter goes to Los Angeles to find herself before deciding to carry on the family business. She finds employment and love in a local toy store (big surprise) and makes a few friends along the way. It was silly but entertaining. (Hallmark)

5. Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle: I think this movie is a sequel or companion piece to the one I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.  In this one, Mrs. Miracle works at the toy counter in a department store. Business isn’t the best, and the owner’s son has chosen stock the toy department with old-fashioned items rather than the super popular robot toy that everyone else has. I guess it’s like selling a deck of cards when everyone else is selling X-boxes. Anyways, Mrs. Miracle steps in to matchmake (that’s her primary function), sell the shit out old-fashioned toys, save the store, and save Christmas in general. I actually enjoyed this one and would totally watch it again.  (Hallmark)

6. A Holiday Heist: I’ve left this as the last of the made-for-TV movies because this was absolutely terrible. It made Christmas Song seem normal. A group of college students spend their Christmas break working in a school’s fine art gallery. They are a hodge-podge of character types so at times it’s sort of a B-movie Breakfast Club set. When the students decide to have Christmas dinner at the gallery (food and drink near the art?????) they get locked in. As it happens, the dumbest, most incompetent, stupid burglars break in to steal some art. Lacey Chabert stars as one of the students. It’s terrible. (ION)


And now for some classic movies I’ve recently watched.

1. Bundle of Joy:   (1956) This movie stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Reynolds is an employee of a department store who finds an abandoned baby. Though she denies being the child’s mother, everyone else (family services, her employer, etc) assume she is. The movie is a musical, but it really feels like the musical numbers were just vehicles for the studio to showcase Fisher. He’s got most of the songs, and he’s looking directly into the camera for many of them. I couldn’t finish watching this one.

2. All Mine to Give: (1957) I caught this one yesterday. At first, I thought it was going to be a heartwarming pioneer family movie, but no. Not. At. All. Instead I was crazy depressed after watching it. This movie is about a pioneer family in Wisconsin. Both parents die, and the oldest boy (who can’t be older than 12 or 13) works to find homes for his five siblings in time for Christmas. It was bleak and depressing and very sad. Worst of all, I think it’s based on a true story. *sniffle*

3.  The Man Who Came to Dinner:  (1942) I love this movie and that’s why I’ve saved it for last. I haven’t seen it in a few years, but every time I watch it, I’m delighted by the insanely good writing and Monty Woolley’s performance.  Based on a stage production of the same name, this cinematic gem is the story of a famous radio personality named Sheridan Whiteside who is invited to dinner at a home in a small Ohio town. He slips on the icy front steps and becomes a most unwelcome houseguest of the Stanley family. Starring Billie Burke, Bette Davis, Jimmy Durante and the amazing Monty Woolley as Whiteside, this is a definite favorite. I caught this yesterday too.

Anyways, that’s all for today. I’ll be back later this week for a review of the worst Christmas disaster movie ever and hopefully something else too. Happy Christmas!