Chaos Attraction

Hallmark Movie Reviews: Last Year's Wrapup Edition

2014-12-18, 11:41 a.m.

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Well, I bailed out of my plans for last night and sat around on the couch watching Person of Interest and attempting to figure out a knitting project, so I have nothing to say today. So here's more Hallmark reviews! These are the last ones left over from last year's viewing cycle.


Annie Claus is Coming to Town:

So Annie Claus, daughter of Santa, is on a sabbatical from the family business to figure out if she wants to stick with it or find true love or not. She is totally a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who twinkles her way into an unpaid(!) job at the local failing toy store, which she dresses up and stuff like that to make it an ACTUAL Wonderland. She also meets a hot, gorgeous lawyer who works with orphanages and crap like that....well, yes, this does feel like the beginning of Frozen, doesn't it?

Turns out the guy who will get Annie's job back home if she quits has hired a hot actor to pitch his woo. I feel terrible rooting for the actor scam artist (though Peter Krause is well, hot) over the poor toy store owner, but mainly because the toy store owner has all the charisma of your average carpet and is boring as shit to watch and I don't super care about making his life awesome. Everyone else in this movie has far more personality.

I do think this is kind of a problem with the Hallmark movies: after awhile the dudes are fairly interchangeable, or sometimes repeated. A lot of Cardboard Kevins at times, but this one was the boringest.

A Very Merry Mixup:

Okay, this one was my very favorite of all of the bunch of 2013.

Alice is dating Will Mitchum, a busy bank/real-estate-y type dude she met on mates.com. Despite there being some uh....obvious issues with the dude, when he puts on a big show of a proposal, she goes for it. Alice owns an antique store, which she tells Will she has no intention of getting rid of. Will, well.... doesn't agree with that. He suggests that they skip off to his parents's house in Smalltownville. When Alice says she wants to make cookies at his parents' house, Will says his mother is macrobiotic. Does this bode well? Probably not.

Then the chain of disasters start for Alice:
1. Will runs off to do some kind of business deal and sends her off alone on the plane.
2. The airplane lost luggage, including Alice's and this other guy named Matt. Matt gets a crush at first sight, but is one of those semi-awkward dudes.
3. Matt accidentally smacks coffee into Alice, ruining her lone outfit before she meets the in-laws. Upon realizing they're going to the same town, he offers to drive her to the mall.
4. Alice's phone shorts out due to the coffee, losing the address to the parents' house.
5. She calls Will, it goes straight to voice mail.
6. After Alice mentions Will's last name name of Mitchum, Matt realizes she's engaged to his brother Billy (Alice is all, "Well, I guess he goes by Will now.") Will never mentioned he had a brother, or a fiancee, but at least the latter was supposed to be a surprise unveiling.
7. As Matt is driving her, he asks to see the ring. Mistake! She tries to show him her too big ring, it slips off, he tries to grab it, hits a tree.
8. They survive with scrapes and bruises, and are kept overnight to check for internal bleeding. Matt tells a memorable story about his ex-fiancee who wouldn't even get wet in the rain for him so he could avoid being soaked at a business meeting. GEEZ WOMAN.

So Will/Billy doesn't even show up or bother to find out what happened to his fiancee-- he leaves her a voice mail (which she won't get) and totally hangs up on the message FROM THE HOSPITAL when he sees business bait. Oh, and he plans on selling Alice's store out from under her (something she said at the start she'd never sell) so someone can raze it for condos. "She'll do whatever I tell her to do." O RLY?!

Meanwhile, the Mitchums come to get the kids. Alice hits it off with the rest of the Mitchums just fine and everything is all sentimental Christmas stuff. Alice brings macrobiotic Christmas cookie recipes and his mom is all, "What's macrobiotic?" Everyone is confused as to why Will/Billy would say that.

Will finally gets around to checking his voice mail. Oops. Didn't notice the hospital call! My bad!

Oh, THEN IT JUST GETS WEIRDER when Billy Mitchum shows up at the house and Alice is all, "Who is this guy?!?!" Somehow there are enough Mitchums in the same small town to have MIXED THEM UP ENTIRELY. She is somehow at the wrong house entirely and everyone is all shocked. I'm thinking if this is a small enough town, all the Mitchums should know each other and this should not actually happen, somehow. (Note: it's revealed later that there are four Mitchum families in town. Lucky for everyone else the others are out of town or this would be an even more confusing movie.)

Will shows up and offers to pay the Mitchums he isn't related to for their expenses. Hm, yeah. The mom gives Alice an ton of cookies. She'll need 'em. When they arrive at Mitchums 2, Will's mother is "cleaning her chakras" and you're not allowed to touch her whatsoever. Or anything else at the house, for that matter. And then Will's mom is all "There are no accidents, everything happens for a reason." HMMMMMM. Meanwhile, the son is a clone of the dad, hitting the cell phone. Then Will starts in on how he's a salesman and Alice is a collector--"a buyer"-- and she holds on to things too tightly and maybe if she'd been a Webelo she would have her store in the black, but she should sell... Alice slams the door on him, then later sneaks out with Matt to go look at trees, which Will won't do.

Trapped at the wrong Mitchum house, Alice forces everyone to play a Christmas game (same one she did at the other house), whether they want to or not, in the voice of death. Hah. You force 'em, girl. This game is not nearly as nice and flattering as was done at the other house. Even worse, Will takes that as the time to tell Alice he's pretty much already sold her business for multi-millions. Alice is very tactful about quietly walking out of the room instead of having a rage meltdown. Then Will gifts her with a new lease at a better location. Okay, if she wanted to sell, that would be an awesome gift. But..... She's outta there! Buh-bye! No sale for you! She leaves Mitchum 2's house without anyone even noticing. Of course. Then there's a dramatic running scene, and she reunites with Matt and all is well.

I think this movie was the best of the lot. Whopping cute chemistry, Alicia Witt rocks it, and Matt is not a cardboard Kevin. Huzzah!


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