Chaos Attraction

Hallmark Movie Reviews: Irritating Family Edition

2014-12-29, 10:35 p.m.

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So apparently the notifylist stopped working and nobody said anything about it to me and I can't find anything about it. Grrr. Have now replaced with TinyLetter.


What a day. It's been draining.

Mom had the following:
(a) drop off her car for...whatever.
(b) doctor's appointment.

I had the following:
(c) eye doctor's appointment
(d) drop off my car to be looked at for the leak again.

Unfortunately, (c) and (d) ended up overlapping because I was at the eye doctor's for over two hours. I don't know what was going on for most of the first hour, but the appointment was at 9:10 and I actually saw the doctor an hour later...then he insisted I get a bunch of other tests. Which I gather pretty much came out okay, more or less, or at least no bigger disasters have occurred. They finally forced me to do the OptoMap, which delighted them, but then I got told a lot more than I wanted to know and see more than I ever wanted to see. Squick. I still had to get new glasses, though, so there was that. The new frames are "sable plum" (pink/purple, I think) with swirly sides, which is cool.

In other news, WHO THE FUCK KNOWS what is wrong with my car. I never made it there because the eye doctor appointment took so long that Mom actually got there around 10 and I passed her my car keys at 10:30 so she could get there by the 11 a.m. appointment. (Though on the good news side, Mom is not diabetic yet, but got told to exercise. Which is a problem since she has a foot injury and at the same time got told to stay off the foot. Um...how's this going to work here? ) In the end, now he thinks it's the sunroof not being fixed right....or the lack of rearview mirror...or the weatherproofing... NOBODY HAS ANY IDEA, apparently. So Mom got sent home with the car to bring it back tomorrow. The sunroof is missing some crucial item that can no longer be gotten ahold of.... I don't know if that's something to be ticked at my mechanic about if he could not get the part, or whatever...I don't know any more. I'm dumb and confused.

We pretty much spent the rest of the day at home, not doing much. Right now Mom has been annoyed/ticked at me for various reasons like "But whyyyyyyyyyyyyy won't you curl and style your hair?" (I don't like DOING IT, OKAY? is not an acceptable answer) and whyyyyyyyyyyy won't you pick out a spiffy new hair style over the Internet? Meanwhile I keep thinking of the line from The Mirror Has Two Faces about why she doesn't use makeup. "What's the point? I look like me, only in color." Or in the case of hair styles, my hair pretty much goes back to its default in a few months, so why should I get excited about another "new" cut? Whoop-de-doo. Everything in my life always boils down to same old shit except with more stress anyway. I'm far more worried about the car than what style to get.


Because today has been well, today, here you go with more Hallmark reviewing to finish out the season.

First, a link: The return of the Christmas movie chart!

Mrs. Miracle:
My mom is the expert on Debbie Macomber, not me. I've read about maybe a book and a half of that author's and think some stuff she writes is a little weird, but...don't tell my mom that one. Anyhoo, Mrs. Miracle to me was kind of like "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Christmas Edition." Doris Roberts (of Remington Steele, seriously that lady hasn't really aged in ages) is playing Evelyn Merkel (or "Miracle"), new nanny to the twin brats in town. Poor James Van Der Beek, and their teacher, and everyone else ever, is run ragged by those kids. Mrs. M, however, is very strategic in handling them: catches their snowballs, gets them to compete in cleaning up the dishes, and within five minutes of meeting the kids asks them to dig up marbles, Play-Doh, soap and baking soda. This was apparently used to...make some sort of volcano on the dinner table. Points for inventiveness for that one!

After the Christmas play director has a little accident, the teacher's cute sister Reba is recruited to direct it. Mrs. M says she can't pick the kids up at rehearsal because she's waiting on the plumber, can Dad do it? Ahem, the plumber just finished up, but whatever.

Does everybody fall down in the decorations in this room? Seriously, I think there's been three pratfalls within the first half hour.

Dad gets all touchy about anything to do with the kids' mom, doesn't want them to see pictures or mess with the piano. Makes me think she might have been a mean cheater, but this is Debbie Macomber, so probably not.

Florida is in the southern part of the South, says the travel agent! (Elsa's day job.) Good to know! He asks her out. The date seems to go well. He doesn't really want to talk about why he stopped playing the piano--okay, so it's because his wife died.

The employment agency called--they couldn't find anyone to be the guy's nanny. Wait, what? Mrs. M explains that she was outsourced from another agency, basically.

Elsa is very estranged from her sister Vicki because Vicki stole Elsa's fiance years ago (even though they have since then broken up and Vicki had a kid with another dude). They accidentally run into each other at the mall and Vicki is pleading and Elsa is totally cold and mad.

Mrs. M arranges for the pianist to be the millionth customer and win a trip to Fiji--will James Van Der Beek play? No, he will not!

Elsa makes up with her sister.

Dad pulls the mom stuff out of the attic. And plays at the pageant.

Little angel boys fighting each other with flimsy swords is never not amusing.

AFter the pageant, Mrs. M leaves, outta nowhere, without submitting a reference or anything and having already brought her suitcase to the show. WHAT? And Dad's not even like, pissed at this?

Mrs. M. fades away.

Yeah, I couldn't come up with much to say on this one. It's not quite as wackadoodle as other Hallmarks, though Doris Roberts gives it her all.

Holiday Engagement:

Holiday Engagement starts out right before Thanksgiving. The movie starts out with an LA girl (Hilary Burns) winning a radio contest to Playa del Carmen for her and her fiance. He is decidedly unimpressed--"we have palm trees and sand HERE." Her mom is expecting him to come to Thanksgiving, but he is making bailing noises.

Our girl and her photographer friend are going off to photograph the homeless. Girl gloats that for once she can take a man home for the holidays and not get razzed by Mom about being a spinster. They walk up to a guy dancing in a cellphone suit to interview him--he says he's an actor. Then they get a call saying that the newspaper they work for has just shut down and are totally distracted, obviously. Her fiance doesn't give a shit and is all "You know you don't have to work when we're married, right? You'll just throw parties in Pittsburg." Wait, what? IS THAT AN EXPECTED PROMOTION I HEAR ON A HALLMARK SHOW?! That can't end well, right? She doesn't want to move.

Poor Hilary is pondering wedding plans while her fiance ignores the shit out of her. Yup, eight minutes in he's dumping her. He wants an appendage, dammit, "not someone who's dragged down by saving dogs and cats." Seriously?! Now Mom's going to gloat at me. But on the other hand, she won the radio contest! And Mom is calling. Her best friend is all "Hey, why don't you look for a fake fiance on the Internet and I'll give you a free trip as payment!" Best friend is all, we can totally get a background check on him, I know a cop. "I just hope we won't be disappointed again," Mom says over the machine.

Cut to poor Hilary, too busy crying on her video. However, she gets a lot of responses. There's a surfer, a guy mentioning his IBS, a guy who REALLY needs to get to Mexico and then shooting occurs?! She gets a video call from her cell phone actor pal ("hey, I know you"). He also got fired! They book the gig. He's fine with a background check. "Do you have any clothes that aren't coffee stained or a giant cell phone?"

The new and improved "Jason" can dress up, but can he pull off playing a lawyer? He doesn't think so. He can memorize her entire Facebook family though.

Nice house! Here comes Mom (Shelley Long), already bitchy about not seeing Jason's Tesla. Mom wants to show off The Bling Ring but Hilary doesn't have one! David/Jason saves the day by telling a dramatic story about Hilary "losing a few pounds" and losing the ring down the toilet, finishing by saying he saved it, but it's home to get resized. Hilary and one sister hide out to smoke, where Hilary says the wrong name of her fiance and the sister goes on about her fiance doing "the foot thing." I'm not asking.

David sleeps in the nude. No problem, I'll just ask Dad for pajamas! Nope, Dad also sleeps in the nude, more than I needed to know!

Mom gives Hilary crap about wanting a man who will pay for everything, and wanting a date, and how the first sister eloped and the second has been engaged for two years and YOU'RE MY ONLY HOPE, also you're unemployed again....and Hilary blurts out "December 21" RUH-ROH. Meanwhile, Dad needs legal counsel. Also ruh-roh. Oh, gross, the foot thing.

Oh yeah, and there's also an exploding turkey. Who wants Mexican food?! Meanwhile, the other sister's husband Awkward. Also, he makes a comment about the food being a knife in his colon. David/Jason also blows it by saying he's not into golf. Whoops.
In (separate) beds that night, David explains the story of his yo-yoing ex that he wanted to use the tickets for. "She's materialistic and sentimental." It could work!

David also read her animal shelter article AND got the dog she was hugging in the photo (Skittles). They grumble about how they love print and it is NOT dead and how their careers are dead.
D/J and Mom start bonding in the middle of the night. Hmmmmm. She can see the love with them. Oh boy.

DRESS SHOPPING!!!!!! Oy. Mom WANTS to see them groping each other in public, apparently. And overshares about her sex life. Mom is never wrong! Meanwhile, who's this creepy girl wanting to steal the dress off of Hilary? She seems quite insane. And crashes into a rack. That was...weird and disturbing.

Hey, Dad still needs legal advice! Because he's probably going to jail!

Oh look, here's a priest already. "I think we all know the birds and the bees." OH YOU DO, MR. PRIEST? Jason's Jewish, ruh-roh. We can baptize him! And this is where D/J objects. And when Hilary figures out that she's trying to please her mother only to set her up for a big fall. And that Jason isn't coming back and he's happy to be rid of her. The engagement is off! But how will he leave? On the train at 11:30, hopefully after everyone's gone to bed.

Hilary catches the sister making out with some waiter from the diner that she used to date before the podiatrist that Mom set her up with. Ouch.

D/J is back! He gave that girl his tickets and she took them to use with someone else! Ouch! I'm not sure how this happened because my mom came in to yell at me at this point. Joy.

Older sis with the baby is all "I grabbed that man and I kept him, I just have to put up with him being gone all the time so I can get the money and have 1.5 kids."

David tries to get across the message to Lindsay (the ex) that no, those tickets weren't for you and whoever, so Hilary comes in and acts all showoff bride in front of Lindsay's face. They smooch like hell. Oops, about those tickets....never mind, I'm keeping them! High-fives for obnoxiousness!!!!! "I just had no idea what Hilary was capable of." Hah. Then they sing "Gloria" together in front of the parents. And then ACTUAL JASON SHOWS THE FUCK UP AT HER PARENTS' DOOR OH SHIT. "Happy holidays, everybody!"

In other news, the other sister yells out that she and foot guy are breaking up! "Sorry, dude." Foot guy has NO REACTION WHATSOEVER. Dad wants to know if D/J will respect confidentiality. Also, Joy's available now!

Hey, didn't you just dump me? THERE IS NO PITTSBURGH. PITTSBURGH WENT TO SOMEONE'S NEPHEW. See, there's YET ANOTHER "I thought I was going to get a promotion!" FOILED AGAIN! Except for a dude this time! Now we can be together! Meanwhile, Mom gives David the frosty shoulder and kicks him out. "Don't hurt Hilary's chances." David points out that Jason dumped her in the first place, and Hilary is a good person, and have you ever asked her what she wants?

Meanwhile, Jason won't even make out with Hilary. Dad wants to know if Real Jason has any actual talents besides lawyering. Nope, he does not. Mom goes to read Hilary's articles. "You've always been a gifted writer, and all those things David yelled at me." She apologizes.

Hah, Hilary just ran off in Jason's car. The family throws all of his shit, including the plant he brought, at him. Well, the plant is dropped. They'll call you a cab.

Hilary knew where to find David (via background check) and even brought his suitcase. "Congratulations. Jason seems like a total jerk." Nope, she wants another groom. They make out. They get married. In that dress. With what money, though, I wonder. Did either of them get jobs? I hope. They have a dog, though!

I probably would have had better commentary had my audience not gotten snotty at me at various points throughout the movie. I still don't know what the hell Hilary's dad did that requires legal aid, or why David came back, and a few other details. Sorry, folks! It was okay, for a fake fiance movie! Shelley Long was sufficiently a mom who would get on your nerves!


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