Chaos Attraction

Bad Christmas Movie Review II

2010-12-26, 9:50 a.m.

Christmas continued to be actually pleasant and awesome. Spent the morning eating pizza for breakfast, watched more movies, and then went out to SF (in the driving rain) to go out for Italian dinner. Which was pretty packed and busy (especially at the bar). There was a woman next to us dining alone (ate the most clams I ever saw in my life, impressive) who was pretty chatty. We drove around town for a bit. SF was fairly empty for SF, but there were still people out and about. Go figure. Then we went home and watched more movies.

Mom is all, "Are you ever going to want to spend a holiday with relatives again?" Nope. This is so much better, you have no idea.

And to make this entry longer, here's the other half of my Bad Christmas Movie Reviews!

The Man Who Saved Christmas: 2002 made for TV movie. Stars: Jason Alexander and Ed Asner. Happily, this is a rare role in which Jason Alexander does NOT play a douche. Amazing. He also gets a wife who's taller and hotter than he is.

Okay, so A.C. Gilbert is a toy inventor--he came up with the erector set-- and hes' got a dad who doesn't really approve of what he does and whines at him to become a doctor, a wife that's way prettier than he is, and a kid who, alas, takes after his grandfather and is no fun. (The wife constantly gets to nag AC about not being close with his son, but the kid isn't happy to play or ride a bike or play ball or toys or anything, so uh... what the hell do you DO with him? Teach him how to be an accountant?) Everything is Skittles and beer, AC's company has office day care and insurance and whopping benefits and a year's worth of maternity leave. Too good to be true even nowadays, much less WWI? So weird.

It's WWI, and AC gets recruited to turn his toy factory into a weapon factor. AC doesn't like the idea but does it anyway. His brother goes off to war and is missing, the employees' free daycare for the kids gets the boot because it's too dangerous to have them around guns, and then there's the "Campaign To End Christmas" that AC gets talked into approving even though he kinda hates the idea. Then his employees revolt. Then the neighborhood kids start beating up on little Al.

After having a really bad day, AC has a weird spiritual experience at the factory where he hears the voices of kids, the letters from his fans start blowing around, there's smoke and a recording of his dead brother... Turns out the entire family, No-Fun Al included, rigged it up. The inventinness is impressive. At that point, AC decides to go DC to un-cancel Christmas. He brings in a bunch of erector set kits to make the bigwigs play and makes a point of saying he wants the holiday back. It's pretty adorable. Also adorable is that Al takes up inventions like his dad. The Defense Council un-cancels Christmas. And then the war is over! (I think they fast-forwarded there. I'm pretty sure it lasted like 4 years.) And then his brother comes back from the war! Actually, it's all kind of sweet, historical fudgedness aside.

No memorable lines from this one, really. Sigh. My inner quote whore is sad. Instead, here's a biography of A.C. Gilbert here.

IMDB Fun Facts:
* No change in popularity this week.
* In real life, A.C. Gilbert was a major jock, had 3 kids, and the son wasn't even born until after the end of the war.

Borrowed Hearts: 1997 made for TV movie. Stars Eric McCormack with total Lothario hair, Hector Elizondo, Roma Downey.

Eric runs some kind of business or has something to do with some business that is of course selling everything off to Mexico and laying off the people. He's a total playboy and spent the last holiday macking on some chick and then getting all butthurt when he finds out she has kids, TEH HORRORZ. Or something.

Anyhoo, the Mexican dude apparently only insists on working with a real family man (okay, can someone who ever did business ever tell me if this would actually happen now? 'Cause even in bad romance novels from the 80's, I'd read shit plotlines like that and think, "Oh, COME ON."), so there's a requisite Fake Christmas Family. They're nasty actors who charge $100 for sex and $150 for spanking (I'M NOT KIDDING), so they get let go and COINCIDENTALLY some single mom employee of his ends up at his house and gets the job.

Naturally, Mr. Mexican Guy (oh, the bad Spanish all the white people are trotting out in this movie) decides to stay for two weeks rather than two days. And there's this whole angel crap thing that the daughter is on (she tells this whole "my parents were put together by an angel" story to Hector Elizondo) and she decides that Hector is an angel. Blah blah cute kid ensues.

And THEN the jerky ex-husband rolls in wanting a payoff from Eric, and the single mom finds out Eric is going to can everyone, so she (a) throws a giant office party, and (b) starts throwing it in his face about all the poor bastards who are going to get canned. Good for her, I say.

I have to admit that Eric's relationship with the kid gets darned cute, especially when he tells her a horrible story about his dad hating him because he couldn't catch a ball with a too-big glove as a kid, and the kid gets him a right-sized-fitting baseball glove. I think he about cried.

Exchange between the kid and some business jerk:
"What are you looking at?"
"You have hairs up your nose."
"You do too."
"Do not."
"Do too."
"Grow up!"
"You first!"

Fun IMDB facts:
* Up 37% in popularity this week.
* Some movie made in 2001, Second Honeymoon, is basically the same plot except in warmer weather and still starring Roma Downey.

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