Chaos Attraction

Hallmark Movie Reviews: Dancing and Singing Edition

2014-12-09, 4:07 p.m.


Today has been a Roadkill Day. Or at least a Roadkill Morning.
(a) I did something incredibly stupid, which I don't want to get into on the Internet, but I did it to myself and can't really rectify the situation for over a week. I am seriously considering changing my weekend plans because of it--well, that and the impending awful weather making it terrible to travel.
(b) I got in trouble once again for not being what people want me to be. I've been told to be myself, but not be myself.... I'm supposed to be cheerful and perky, but not too perky... whatever I do in public, it's wrong, basically. I can't provide anyone with "genuinely happy to be here and help and is naturally cheerful," unfortunately, because that isn't in me. Being naturally me is too negative. Being fake happy is too fake. Be yourself, but don't be yourself....I DON'T FUCKING KNOW. Let's just say it was a good thing I had a therapy phone call after all of this went down. Too bad I couldn't find some private location without people swarming about and staring at me the whole time.

I am going to restrain myself from continuing on this topic today, because it's only gonna go downhill from here on in if I do. So instead, here's more Hallmark movie reviewing.

Previous reviews here.

Here's two more movies from last year's crop:

The Christmas Dance:

I actually liked this one quite a lot, Andrew McCarthy is knocking it out of the park. He's a wheeler-dealer business guy who starts taking dance lessons to show off at the holiday party. His dance instructor is devastated that her studio is being torn down after the holidays--and Jack feels like shit when he finds out his company is doing the deal. (Or something like that, whatever it is, he's kinda responsible. I am not smart on business deals.)

He is dating the boss's daughter, Demi, who is actually NOT A TOTAL ASSHOLE. I actually thought she was pretty sweet and friendly and not bratty at all. Which is refreshing, because the jerk disposable fiancé thing is so fucking tired. Other than her being a little rich girl, I mean...there's not a lot wrong with her other than Jack's mother (who shows up unexpectedly for a visit) prefers the dance instructor. Okay, so Demi thinks the mom is a hoot and tweets what she says and invites her to the party by hopping on the phone in the middle of dinner and then takes her shopping for an expensive dress, and picks out a weird tree, but she's not a bad egg. This sort of leads to the problematic issue that comes up in movies like Sleepless in Seattle and Sweet Home Alabama, i.e. the disposable one isn't awful (and in the case of the latter movie, I much preferred Patrick Dempsey to the schmuck husband. The only thing wrong with Dempsey's character is his mother is difficult!). I can see "two rights make a wrong" is kinda where they are trying to go here. You know, thrown in with a dash of You've Got Mail super awkward business destroying.

The climax is when Christine the dance instructor gets invited to the party to teach people how to waltz, and she spots Jack trying to hide in the back. She drags him out on the floor--and they do well, of course, but she's all, "I just found out this is the company, what are you doing here?" and finishes up by throwing a drink in his face with the line, "It's very important to cool off after dancing." Likewise Demi is a bit put out to find out that his dance lessons were her big present, rather than a ring, and Jack starts babbling that he can't be what she wants....drink in the face #2!

Happily, Jack finds a lease agreement (on the back of a photo!) between Christine's dad and the building owner agreeing that the dad was paying off the building over the course of 30 years with the rent....and it's been 35 years. Hooray!

Catch a Christmas Star:

Nikki and Chris were childhood sweethearts at age 15. He was a sports jock, she was a singing star. However, his sports career tanked and her singing career took off, and he felt like he was holding her back So he broke up with her, married some other girl from high school, had two kids and then the wife died. Now he coaches at school and she's a star who is kinda in trouble with her label until her Christmas album takes off. This may be in part because of reuniting with the fellow.

You see, Chris's kid is a fan of Nikki's and after she finally hears about how they used to date, she and her brother sneak off to meet Nikki and introduce themselves and say who their dad is. Nikki brings them home and is pretty damn happy to reunite with the dude again. Of course, paparazzi and a meddling label who want her to date some actor dude kick in, and no sooner have they hooked up then they are breaking up....It was a fast-paced movie, but perhaps TOO fast. It does use "high school sweethearts" as quite the shortcut to emotion. But Shannon Elizabeth as Nikki is cute as a button and actually comes off as a sane star who tells off her label when they want her to break up with the dude and lie about him on TV, so that's nice.

Oh, and the gay best friend/lone member of her entourage? Wow, that guy is rather a hoot.

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