Alex: Okay, I take back what I said yesterday about movies which start as snappy titles first, then someone writes a a whole film around them. As much as I want to see what the writer scientists at Hallmark could do with something like “Let it Bro!” or “Seasons Cheatings!”, it’s probably not such a good idea to approach things from that angle. The problem we keep running into (twice now, I mean) is that these things don’t seem to have enough meat on the bone. They have a concept and a conflict but the rest of movie just feels like we’re killing time.
In Fir Crazy, the concept revolves around Elise, who gets fired from her job as a marketing exec at an athletic shoe company, right before the holidays. Then her boyfriend dumps her later that night. I’m not sure exactly why he does this. I guess he’s says he’s busy. Spoiler Alert (not for the movie but for him and his parents): he might very well be gay. Then to make matters worse, her mom calls and says that dad dropped a 40-pound turkey on his foot and is out of commission indefinitely. Out of commission when it comes to running the family business, which is selling Christmas trees in Manhattan, so they need Elise’s help. Now personally, I feel like her parents could handle a Christmas tree lot, even with dad’s broken foot but why the hell not step in here, Elise? What else do you have to do over the next month or so? But she doesn’t see it that way. Working at her family’s Christmas tree lot is apparently awful. She was forced into doing it while she was a kid and it’s why she now hates the holiday season.
It turns out that the space they always occupy is right in front of a store which sells fancy Christmas ornaments, lights, and other holiday accoutrements. Seems like a pretty good match. Yet somehow, their Scrooge-like owner doesn’t see things that way either. He feels like people selling Christmas trees in front of his store is bad for business and seems to hate Christmas himself. Then why does he have a store that sells Christmas items? And why would a tree lot in front be bad for business? Already I’m having a very hard time understanding anyone’s motivations for anything. Fir crazy!
Hey, did you happen to catch Monday Night Football last night? As a huge 49ers fan myself, I am of course very happy to get a win but there is no way I am going to get excited about this team making any kind of a playoff run until they beat someone decent. Like take down Seattle next week and maybe we’ll talk. You know what I am really fired up about though? Thanksgiving. What a great holiday Thanksgiving is. Food, family, football – the 4 F’s, I call it (even though that’s only 3 F’s). I also can’t wait to get my hands on one of those Stuffies. Have you seen those things? I see the commercials for them at least 50 times during one of these Hallmark movies and countless more in my dreams each night. They are these plush animal toys you can store things in by stuffing them down the animal’s throat. Seems like a winner to me. One day I bet we’ll store all our stuff in Stuffies. It will be hard to imagine a world where there was any other type of storage option.
You see what I did there? And no, I am not using that phrase the way people do these to days to sound clever and funny. I mean did you notice how I just talked about a bunch of topics seemingly unrelated to my review of the film? Well that’s kind of what Fir Crazy does too. To kill time, like I said. There just isn’t a full movie there so they’ve got to find some way to fill up space. Sometimes they do it with scenes that go on too long, sometimes it’s by scenes that don’t need to be there at all, sometimes even both. Maybe the writers believe that they are creating some atmosphere or building a world but it’s really just yip yap. Take these ancillary characters (please!), who go on and on about their ornaments and how they fell in love, even though (and I’m sorry to go here again, I don’t mean it as any kind of negative judgment, it’s just the truth) the dude is totally gay:
Of course Elise does meet a guy of her own, a straight one probably, and they fall in love, thank God, as nothing is worse than being alone on Christmas. But there is nothing to their relationship. No conflict that really prevents them from getting together, other than Elise’s passive “I am staying away from relationships for a while” BS, nor is there any reason they should get together. Like, why do they even like each other? Does she just remind him a little bit of Julia Sweeney from the good ol’ days of SNL in the early 90s? Or does she like the way he has kind of a strange, thin nose and ears combo, leading me to believe there is just generally something wrong with his cartilage? You may think I’m joking but either of those two scenarios are as plausible as anything because the movie doesn’t tell us otherwise.
But at least there is the Scrooge guy who wants to shut down the Christmas tree lot because he thinks its inexplicably bad for his Christmas business. That’s got to generate some plot, right? It does but not nearly enough. And this guy’s turnaround is so abrupt and immediate and unrealistic that it also fails to mean anything. Apparently, you don’t need 3 ghosts to show you glimpses of your past, present, and future to turn over a new leaf during the holidays. You can simply be reminded of your wife’s death and you’ll instantly become Kris F-ing Kringle.
I however, could have used a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future telling me to stay away from this movie as well as advising me to put all my money into Stuffies. I don’t mean buy their stock or anything, just literally shove it all down one of those plush animal’s throats. Because that’s way more fun that putting it in a boring, old wallet. Speaking of boring, it is also such a shame that Fir Crazy came right on the heels of the equally lackluster, Window Wonderland. Tough weekend for the Hallmark Channel. They were definitely the Denver Broncos to Lifetime’s New England Patriots from Sunday’s game. Yep, I just killed some more time again. Which brings me to my rating. Given all the poor seconds so needlessly slain in battle, I honestly don’t think it’s fair to give Fir Crazy an Eggnog or even an Egg in this case, so instead I am going to go with…