I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy just doesn’t work. Also, that week of Thanksgiving and even after Thanksgiving, which I guess is like two weeks, is really a busy week/two weeks. Cooking all the food, shopping for gifts, getting a Christmas tree, decorating the inside and outside of our house, football, fooseball and then if that wasn’t enough, Hallmark/Lifetime/Ion/Up didn’t do us any timesaving favors by unleashing a storm of must-watch movies that I must watch. Especially Hallmark. I already talked about their unprecedented Thanksgiving week run and I could make comparisons to stuffing ourselves on these movies like so much food over the holidays but I honestly don’t think there’s time. I’m gonna have to go through these real quick today, which may make my former “Quick Takes” look like “Regular Gonzales.” Of course that statement doesn’t make any sense unless I made some reference to making Speedy Gonzales look like Regular Gonzales and even if I had, might not have made sense anyway.
This was actually on the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving week. So why didn’t I mention it earlier? And why am I mentioning it now? I don’t remember or know but it’s too late to turn back: Girl was in a Lifetime movie with Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig (for real). Guy reminds me a tiny bit of Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones. Not sure why they hang out with another guy who looks like Corky from Life Goes On. Even more amazing is that there are neither bad nor dead people in this film. I still don’t know how they managed to pull this off. Nor fully understand what the main girl does for a living exactly. She’s okay enough and I’ve always liked the Kingslayer (well, since he met Brienne) but still, this movie is just missing something. Let’s call it – Christmas. The Doors had no bass player, the gypsies have no homes, and this film has no Christmas. Sure, there are events that take place around Christmas but so does Die Hard 1 and to a lesser extent, Die Hard 2. Are those Christmas movies? No and thus, by the transitive Reginald Veljohnson property, Merry Matrimony doesn’t deserve actual eggnogs, per se, but at least some Eggnog Flavoring.
Once Upon a Holiday
Remember the show, My Two Dads? Man, that premise was crazy. This one isn’t quite as crazy though. Remember the movie, Aladdin? Well, Once Upon a Holiday is kind of like that. Main girl is a princess who is seemingly tired of being treated like a princess so she runs off and tries to pretend like she’s a real person instead. Luckily, like all other people from her made up Northeastern European nation, she has no accent. She meets a guy who restores appartments, which is pretty much like building furniture with his bare hands and who used to be a hotshot real estate agent after graduatimg at the top in his real estate class, which isn’t a thing. Despite her ruse, she still kind of acts like a princess and there is literally no chemistry nor even botany between them. But the movie says they love each other yet they are still way too coy about their feelings for no reason I or any person out of middle school can understand. It’s okay to tell the old guy who runs the local magic shop that you like a girl, dude. He’s not going to spill the beans to all the other kids and make fun of you for it. Although later, that magic shop guy makes another guy disappear inside his box of mystery. And I don’t think he ever reappears. But that just wasn’t enough for me somehow. 2 Eggnogs.
12 Gifts of Christmas
Once again, the couple have no previous attachments (eschewing the standard dick boyfriend/girlfriend convention) yet they still can’t just come out and say they like each other quickly enough. Lady is too put together for character. I totally bought her in Snow Bride as a tabloid reporter or even as a TV news anchor of indiscernable ethnicity but as a bumbling creative type, not so much. Guy looks like Sam Bradford or a deer. The problem is that they have no real problems or obstacles standing in their way. And without conflict in a story, I start to think about insignificant things. Even more than usual. Like why Donna Mills has all of these lotions and why they are in this particular shot? Seems like too many.
Or what happened to the missing dry erase marker here?
Or even things that have nothing to do with anything. Like you know how people can throw their voice to make it sound like it’s coming from somewhere else? How do they do that? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. In any case, I suppose I should mention that the movie does attempt to manufacture some conflict but calling that a conflict is an insult to the very notion of conflict, like Sam Bradford’s recurring knee injuries. He’s had at least 3 of them that I can remember and that’s probably one more Eggnog than I could give this film.
A Crown For Christmas
As promised, Winnie Cooper is back. But you know what else is back? This premise. We’ve seen it in A Princess For Christmas, A Royal Christmas, and to a lesser extent, Die Hard 2. Maybe we’ve just hit the limit of how many Christmas stories there can be. Kind of like how we used to hear about aliens abducting people all the time and performing rectal probes on them but now we never hear about it, even with all kinds of social media and other internet exposure. And since I know aliens totally exist and still come to Earth just as often, I have to assume they have simply reached the limits of what rectal probing can teach them so they don’t do it anymore. I do feel bad about associating such a graphic, unpleasant thing with a movie that was perfectly pleasant and featured likable people. Winnie was sweet and believable, the Prince King felt like a Prince King, his main Butler buttled perfectly and overall, there was nothing really wrong with the execution here. Speaking of such, it featured at least 4 pre-deads BUT instead of just making them dead to make them dead or to make me care about the characters more, their departed actually factored into the story in a more significant way. The King’s daughter had lost her mother and since both of Winnie’s parents were also deceased, this allowed them bond in a way that former Governesses had previously not been able to. The weird thing is that the King had also lost his father, hence him being King, but there was no mention of his mother, who I assume couldn’t be alive anymore. And how come Royals never want to be Royals in these things? At least, the good guy Royals don’t. They never seem to enjoy their royalty, which begs the question of why anybody would actually want a Crown for Christmas? Hopefully they are at least happy with the 3 Eggnogs I give them.
A Christmas Detour
Speaking of royalty, this movie featured last year’s Christmas Queen herself, Candace Cameron Bure. And she’s still got that Queen-like swagger but if I’m being honest here, as I sometimes am, I feel like the movie kind of lets her down. Not only does her character appear a little bit simple-minded by her obsession with marrying a guy who is clearly not right for her but an important fidelity line is crossed for me. Just because you’re engaged to a seemingly shallow, boring guy who cares about money and can’t stand up to his parents and never makes you laugh (again though, this is on you, CCB, not him), and just because you meet a new guy who is seemingly Mr. Right (although he really isn’t at all, he’s a total dick at first), does not mean it’s okay to do any of the things she does with this new guy, especially kiss him under the mistletoe, while you’re still actively planning to wed Mr. Wrong. I’m starting to wonder if mistletoe is even real or just made up for these movies. Yes, I realize that this plant and tradition of kissing has been around much longer than movies but I wouldn’t put it past the Hallmark Corporation to have gone back in time and changed all this. Well, maybe the plant creation part I’d put past them but the tradition, no way. I wonder why they didn’t change other stuff in history though? Or maybe they did and we just don’t know. I used to say that time travel, backwards time travel I mean, was completely impossible because not one person has seemingly done it and proven they’ve done it. And given what I really hope and pray is a pretty lengthy timeline for our species, it seems like somebody would have been/would be able to do it at some point during the future. Although maybe they have done it but others (aka Hallmark), have prevented the truth from getting out by sending back Terminator robots to kill these time travellers before they could spill the beans to the rest of us. And if they could pull that off, they could totally have invented a plant like mistletoe so I retract my earlier statement about that being out of their impressive reach. Still, still, I don’t think any of this excuses Candace Cameron Bure’s character’s behavior and merits more than 3 Eggnogs. Hallmark on the other hand deserves a tip of the cap and the first image that came up in a Google search of “Tip of the Cap” for figuring out time travel, plant creation, and for introducing the world to Rainbow Brite.
A Gift Wrapped Christmas
So here’s something I’ve always wondered: if you truly could go back in time, wouldn’t you just get younger? And not only you but everybody. And everything. The whole world. You would literally be turning the clock back and since it’s not a relative clock, unless you’re in space or something, we all get younger. But in the movies, they do something else. The person who goes “back” in time really just teleports their current/future self to a previous time but what does that mean to their past self? Could there be two of you at once in that scenario? No way and once again, by the transitive Reginald Veljohnson principle, I maintain that time travel backwards is impossible and retract my earlier statement/retraction as well as my cap-tip to Hallmark for pulling it off. What does all this have to do with this movie, Gift Wrapped For Christmas? Absolutely nothing. In fact, this didn’t even air on Hallmark but the Lifetime Network last Saturday. And you know what? It was great! Best movie we’ve seen so far this season and major kudos to Lifetime for digging themselves out of Turkey Hollow and my recent prejudices towards their shark-jumping ways for delivering something surprisingly believable and solid. It’s another film about a personal shopper but this time, the personal shopper seems legit. There are also some relatively real interactions between people and I can’t say anything bad about it. My wife and I did pause the movie towards the end and start talking about soap operas for a while but that’s no fault of its own. Soaps were kind of good back in the day and I appreciate the fact that we both watched them, especially All My Children. Plus since I never really think about that show, all these memories suddenly came flooding back to me like when we learned that Adam Chandler had a secret twin retarded brother living in the attic of his big house and Erica Cane, tricked into marrying him some how, finally discovered this secret. The whole storyline took at least a few weeks to unfold and probably sounds totally ridiculous when summarized but I can assure you that at the time, it probably also was. But we just didn’t know these things back then. Again, more proof of time travel being impossible. Someone would have come back to warn us by now. Although I guess Hallmark could have sent a Terminator robot back to kill that messenger but I don’t see what that gets them. Us relalizing just how riciculous soaps are doesn’t really affect their brand in any significant way. But they should have probably sent writers or a production company back to make this movie for their network instead of Lifetime’s because again, it instantly beats out everything they’ve realesed thus far. It’s no All My Children but still, 4 Eggnogs.
Okay, I’m really out of time here and so must you be too. I didn’t even get to the Sunday premieres, including the innaugural Ion entry, A Prince For Christmas. I can assure you that I will just as well as I can assure you that in that aforementioned Prince For Christmas movie, some spunky American girl will hook up with a prince for Christmas who is a little too serious at first but eventually gives in to her imperfect Yankee charm and because this is an Ion movie, it will also be batshit crazy somehow. Can’t wait to find out just how much!
Looking back, I guess these reviews haven’t been as speedy as I promised. Wish I could go back in time and edit that comment but like I keep saying, this is impossible. Even on blog posts you haven’t submitted yet and even on ones you have submitted but can edit afterwards.
So first off, I love your take on these movies. I have been watching them like crazy myself. (Maybe next year I’ll only have to record the new ones) I think you need to give merry matrimony another shot. It’s been my favorite so far.
Wasn’t a fan of Merry Matrimony. The female lead seemed so bland. But I did see her on Home and Family and she was really sweet when they interviewed her. I was not a fan of Once Upon a Holiday either. The male lead was in another movie called Window Wonderland and I thought that movie was really awesome. I also didn’t like the 12 Gifts of Christmas but I did love that same actress in Snow Bride, which is one of my favorite holiday movies. A Crown for Christmas was pretty cute. How can’t you like Danika? And the male lead was a real man. Some of the male leads seem more like water-down puppies. I liked A Christmas Detour. It was not my favorite Candance movie but it was pretty decent. I liked the side characters in that movie too, the other couple. That tall red-headed guy gets a lot of secondary character roles in Hallmark movies. I hope he gets a lead one of these days.