Chaos Attraction

More Hallmark Movie Reviews: Parents, Cookies, Dead People

2016-12-30, 7:35 a.m.

Yesterday I got my hair done, picked up the car, got a Costco membership and bought The Princess Diarist. That’s kinda all I got for a journal entry, so I’m going to post the remaining Hallmark reviews I had on hand from Christmas Day.

Looks Like Christmas: It starts with an accident: Carol (Anne Heche) loses her Christmas tree in a driving accident while hauling her son to school. Terry Evans (Dylan Neal) is kind of responsible for this while he’s breezing through the light hauling his kid Amelia to school. Anne Heche is the campus “supermom who takes care of everything.” Or “You’re like a category 5 hurricane. With candy canes.” She plans the “Christmas spectacular” with “the same traditional” things, until Terry rolls in and objects to that. What about a talent show? Variety show? But what about tradition? Or new traditions? In five minutes they’re now co-chairs and Carol is weirded out at a dad on the PTA. Plus she ID’s his car as the one that cut her off.

“You must be Christmas Carol’s son,” says Amelia as she introduces herself to Bryan, Carol’s son, who lets her into a study group. You made enemies with the nicest mom, Amelia says to her dad after she hears about it at school.

Uh-oh, now they’re all Christmas tree shopping at the same time and Carol’s mad she can’t replace the last of the blue noble trees that she got this morning. Guess who got it. And flocked it. YOU FLOCKED MY NOBLE?! Amelia later points out that her dad is kind of a bull in a china shop. A cheerfully oblivious one. However, he did pick out a replacement tree for Carol and have it shipped over. The guy delivering it to her is all, “I tried to tell him you’re the kind of lady who picks out her own tree, but....” She leaves it outside and gave it to the school, apparently. They have an awkward moment when she comes over to mention that and give him some pumpkin bread or whatever.

“You need to run for mayor or get a new hobby,” Carol’s friends say to her. Oh, btw, she sells real estate, I was wondering when she had time for a job. Anyway, her friends are all NO RING, LET’S HOP ON HIS DICK, we will scope out all the details. Oh yeah, and Carol is trying to save the school library, which is going to be bulldozed. And they’re putting Terry in charge of doing it by Christmas. Seriously?!

Anyway, Terry comes over to pick up Amelia from study group and is all “It’s a shame you didn’t learn to get more involved” and “Sure could use a Christmas tree around here.” Since he was so late Amelia stayed for dinner, they made him takeout! As Terry starts to rant about the preservation society, Amelia tries to signal him and ...yeah, that goes well.

“You two cannot seem to get out of each other’s way.” Maybe it’s kismet, maybe it’s karma.

Also, wait, he’s holding auditions without you? They start arguing as all the kids watch them go about tradition. The principal calls them into his office and makes them compromise on a “Christmas past, present, future” theme, which sounds reasonable.

At the Christmas tree lighting, Carol’s having The Carol Show, but then the lights are broken. Amelia urges her dad to step in and he’s all, “Yeah, maybe this isn’t a good idea.” But Amelia wins the argument, Terry finds a loose wire and lights the tree, Carol admirably sucks it up and thanks him, so good for her. Though the next time they see each other, she admits she’s being mopey that he just stepped in and became hometown hero. He says he admires her Getting Shit Done skills and then invites her over to dinner. He’ll actually cook something. “Sloppy joe meets beef stroganoff.” Naturally Carol needs to step in. Actually at this point everyone starts hitting it off, which is nice, and they decide to do more work dinners. Then they go shopping so she can pick out another blue noble tree and he can pay for it.

Soon they start decorating trees together and agreeing on the show! Cats and dogs living together! What will this world offer up next! Except Terry shows up super late and misses the tree decorating, and Amelia is clearly embarrassed as shit that her dad is always the late one. Anyway, the two get closer anyway, have snowball fights...and then Terry delays the demolition of the library and comes up with some other plan. They’ll restore the library and incorporate it into the hotel for...some reason? Oh well, whatever on logic, it’s Hallmark, he gets away with it. They kiss, but now he might get promoted to California! And of course the Big Boss wants to meet during the Christmas spectacular! But Terry blows it off to watch the Spectacular with Carol and make out backstage.

One year later, their businesses seem to have teamed up to sell a house, while the kids are all “stop making out in front of us!”

I do like how this movie shows the kids interacting with their future stepparents and liking them and hanging out, particularly Amelia and Carol. It’s very nice.

Also, the school is “Brookswood Secondary,” which is what I’m guessing Canadians call middle school. It’s pretty obvious all the shows are filmed in Canada this year, probably to get the early snow.

Christmas Cookies: I actually can’t give much of a review to this because Mom’s friend called, Mom put her on LOUD speakerphone, and thus I couldn’t hear most of the show. But as far as I can tell from visuals only, this features the town of “Cookie Jar,” seriously, that’s the name, home of Aunt Sally’s Christmas Cookie Company. Quotes I heard before the friend called were, “No one ever wants to leave.” and “It’s pretty much the best place on earth.”

Except that Aunt Sally must have died because National Foods is now going to take over the business, and Our Heroine Hannah has been put in charge of this merger/takeover, so she has to go back to Cookie Jar (which she went to as a kid) and attempt to smooth things over with the nephew/owner, who wants to protect his employees and not have all operations move to Buffalo. The nephew comes up with some kind of secret plan that I think involved Canada for some reason, but it didn’t work out. Also Hannah and the nephew and some random kid (whose is she? I don’t know) go sledding and the romance appears to be going well until Hannah’s boyfriend shows up and proposes. Awkward!

Also, what’s with all these business guys wanting to do deals at Christmas to get out of their own holiday parties?

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got, between the loud speakerphone and interruptions.

I didn’t take notes on this one when I saw it a few weeks ago, but here goes:

A Heavenly Christmas features Kristin Davis as a hardworking businesswoman who foolishly wears heels, slips on ice, bonks her head, and presumably dies. Note one particular word in that sentence there. Shirley MacLaine declares her a Christmas Angel and sends her back down to Earth for a few weeks to go help out Eric McCormack, who gave up his music career after his sister died and he ended up raising his niece, who’s about to be shipped off to Florida with the grandparents for...whatever reason. She’s not supposed to have contact with people in her old life or check on her cat or anything, but on the good news side, she can eat whatever she wants! (But does she still have to poop? Also, does she look differently to anyone else a la Dead Like Me? Just wondering.)

(Note: the “sister” plot really just seems like it was going to be his wife and then someone decided to make a change at the last minute.)

Anyway, even though Kristin and Eric met once in a cab before she died and she really wasn’t paying much attention to him at the time, she wishes she’d met him before she died because she likes him. And the niece, who she bonds with. But Buzzkill Shirley is all, “Btw, they’re all going to forget who you were after Christmas is over,” which makes no sense because when they remember this year, they’ll have holes in their memories or something when they did something that only Kristin brought about, right? Like oh, arranging for Eric to get into some kind of show? With her old contacts from her old life? Ahem?

Anyhoo... eventually it’s revealed that this is the Christmas version of the movie Just Like Heaven and Kristin isn’t really dead, she just has a miraculous recovery from being in a coma for several weeks, and she’s not going to remember all of this fake angel crap, we’re told. And yet she wakes up, chills out about work, and goes to Eric’s show without knowing who he is, and he still plays a song he wrote for her even though neither of them can explain why the song is in existence. So...yeah. Odd. Performances by Kristin and Eric are great, but Shirley’s clearly sleepwalking for a Christmas bonus paycheck in this one.

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