ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas is a great marketing tool to get people to tune into their favorite Christmas classics for an entire month. I’ve already set my DVR for The Year Without a Santa Claus and probably spend a Saturday watching Home Alone four times. But for each classic, ABC Family creates these new, female-centric holiday romantic comedies that are beyond formulaic. But at Christmas people don’t necessarily want movies to break the mold, they just want comfort. This week I tortured, I mean, sampled three ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas movies and survived. Let’s break them down.
“…when she apparently choked to death on an olive while drinking her martini. Too bad it wasn’t an apple martini or she’d be alive today.”
I’m not saying I liked Christmas Cupid, but this was the best of the bunch. The story: Sloan Spencer is a beautiful, bitchy publicist who parks in handicap spots and is banging the boss to help her get the Vice President promotion. The job is practically hers once she puts on a premiere party for their party-hardy client’s new movie. The hot mess of a starlet, Caitlin, chokes to death on her martini olive and now the premiere has been turned into a party/memorial. Oh and Caitlin’s ghost won’t leave Sloan until Sloan changes her ways (don’t be a bitch, get back together with her college sweetheart) before she becomes a lonely, comatose divorcee whose mother (JACKÉE!!) replaces her with a dachshund. It becomes a twist on A Christmas Carol with Sloan being visited by spirits of her Ex-Mas past, present, and future which has kind of been done to death.
I don’t know what it is, but these terrible Christina Milian movies have a tendency to suck me in. Have you watched Bring It On: Fight to the Finish because for some reason I have. She oozes sexy and always hits it off with the leading man. Her chemistry with Chad Michael Murray is enough to get you to route for her to be less bitchy. I’ll also watch anything with Jackée, especially when she carries a dachshund around like a tiny chihuahua. I’d say if you want to want some sort of modern Christmas romcom that’s a little more on the adult side, go with Christmas Cupid, which can be found on Netflix Instant, Hulu, and ABC Family’s website.
HOLIDAY IN HANDCUFFS
“I’m not her boyfriend! I met her today when she poked a musket in my ribs, tied me up with furry handcuffs and drove me to wherever I am right now!”
I didn’t know if I would survive this movie, especially with Netflix skipping on me, but I knew me not watching this piece of trash might let you down.
Melissa Joan Hart plays Trudie, the black sheep of her family who can’t get a real job, doesn’t read hair perm instructions properly, and gets dumped by her boyfriend on December 23rd. Because she told her family her boyfriend would be there and doesn’t want to look like the family f-up, Trudie kidnaps Mario Lopez with a musket and forces him to be “Nick.” There are multiple attempts to escape which lead to failures each time because Trudie’s family is stupid enough to think her logic of “I’m a hostage!” is a defense mechanism. Of course they begin to bond, especially once David/”Nick” sees how much her family considers her a failure. Does love bloom? Of course it does, but he’s engaged. Trudie gets caught by the police and her entire crazy clan gets temporarily locked up. But spoiler: aspiring artist’s Trudie’s first painting is bought by David who dumps his fiancé on their wedding day to be with Trudie. Aww.
This movie was a total clunker. I’m ranking it second for nostalgia (A.C. Slater, Clarissa, and Grover Beindorf from House Arrest). I would never watch this one again except for the part about an hour into it when you see a shirtless Mario Lopez in a towel.
If holiday hostage crisis movies are you thing, Holiday in Handcuffs is on Netflix Instant.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA
“He needs to have the sex appeal of Brad Pitt with the spirit of Santa Claus.”
When you put “sexy Santa” into a summary, you’re going to pique my interest because that is absurd in the best way possible. I start the movie and see that it takes place in Boston, which makes me happy. Then I watched this entire cliché fest and, ugh, I wish I could take it back.
Jen is a frigid, uptight Grinch of a mall manage (at the South Boston mall, you know the one we always frequent) who wants to become the Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for corporate. The only way to get the promotion is to improve her mall’s sales so she has the idea to have a SEXY SANTA SEARCH. Of course the one guy that dared question why she cuts everyone in line wins the search, much to bitchy Jen’s chagrin. Sexy Santa, aka David Moretti, is studying to be an EMT, works for his family restaurant, and has a dead mom. He needs this Santa money to try to save his family’s restaurant from being shut down on Christmas Eve by some evil corporation (shocker, it’s the mall’s corporate branch! And corporate is going to shut down the South Boston Mall too!). Jen begins to see the good in David and of course falls for him because he’s smitten with the girl who treats him like garbage until he teaches her to make pizza. Jen gets her promotion and blackmails corporate to save the day for everyone.
This movie was just plain awful. The lead actress was wooden and lacking charisma or chemistry with Sexy Santa David. There were also so many holiday movie clichés that it wasn’t even funny to laugh about, or aboot since this wannabe-Boston was obviously filmed in Canada. What irked me most? The idea that when kids came to the mall to get their picture taken with Santa is was some dude with a bare chest. That’ll be an odd story for the kids.
The only way I would suggest you watch Desperately Seeking Santa is if you plan to use it as a drinking game.
I recommend taking a biiiiig drink every time you encounter a a common Christmas movie dilemma. You can find this movie on Hulu (full movie posted above since even ABC Family knows a trailer for this movie would suck) or ABCFamily.com.