Movies, Television

Best of the Worst Hallmark Holiday Movies, 2019 Edition

Suuuuper late and kind of short edition this year but honestly with the way these networks and now streaming services are churning out holiday content, it’s become a full time job to keep up. Literally, I had to quit my job in order to have time to watch any of these. The things I do for shitty holiday movies. Speaking of getting paid to watch movies, I don’t know what it says about me that several people sent me the link to the contest that went viral where a marketing company was looking for someone to watch a shit-ton of Hallmark holiday movies for $1000. I mean I know what it says about me, but it says even more that I responded with $1000 is too low, considering I do it right now for free. But seriously, they were looking for the person to live stream while they watched and blast out free advertising on all social media platforms. These hot takes are worth more than $1000 and also I can confidently say that trashing half of their movies probably would be frowned upon. And so here we are, I watch far too many garbo movies for free—and then give you snarky summaries that hopefully make you laugh and realize that you too don’t have a life, ALSO FOR FREE! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

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Holiday in the Wild – Netflix (Kristin Davis, Rob Lowe)

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My mom was in town and typically we surf through Netflix, pop on a movie and then she ceremoniously falls asleep halfway through and let me tell you thank God we chose this one because IT DESERVED A FULL SLEEP-THROUGH. It was my first festive movie of the season and I was taking a real chance anyway because it’s Netflix and as we’ve established on this blog in the past, Netflix should not be in the holiday movie game….but I thought, it’s Rob Lowe. That guy made Drew Peterson, a murderer of several wives, look slick as hell in a Lifetime movie. This can’t lose. Oh, but it did. Within the first 10 minutes of the movie Kate sends her only son off to college and is dumped by her husband at the same time she was going to surprise him with an African safari. Oopsie! She goes on the African safari solo and I assumed it was going to be a little Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat, Pray, Love vibes. It soon becomes a movie mostly focused on elephants. Which I can get down with. What I can’t get down with is Rob Lowe deadpanning, “Some say it’s the most dangerous animal out there but it’s not. We are.” SPARE ME, ROB LOWE. With that opening line from him, strap yourselves in for a whole lot of long, blank stares and 0 comedic timing. Kate casually extends a two week vacation into moving to Africa because we can all just do that no prob bob. In summary: elephants are cool has hell but they couldn’t save this dumpster fire of a movie.

Bonus Points: When Kate unpacks a framed picture of her college-aged son for her two week vacation. Normal stuff. Also this son is Rob Lowe’s IRL son, because of course.

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Check Inn to Christmas – Hallmark (Rachel Boston, Wes Brown)

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If you’ve read my yearly installment of this blog, you know that we’ve got two hall of fame heavy-hitters in this movie, which is why it was appointment DVR’ing for my sister and I. Here’s the deal: Julia is coming home for Christmas from the city where she has a hoity-toity corporate law job and wouldn’t you know IT’S THE CENTENNIAL CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION! It’s such a big deal that there’s a literal Grand Marshal of Christmas and wouldn’t you also know that Julia’s sister and Ryan’s brother are both competing for it. Their two families are small town rivals who both run inns and are getting pushed out by big resorts. Blah, blah, blah, as my sister shouted at the screen at one point, “less chit chat, more Wes Brown!” Obviously these bitter rivals team up to help each other out in the Christmas trivia AND IN LIFE! But what cannot be tolerated in this movie is the gross over-acting. I’m not sure if they all went to the same acting class where it was taught to them that facial expressions and yelling means you’re a good actor but dear lord it was vomit-inducing. Case in point, Grandma has the CRAZIEST eyes that are bulging 24/7. In any given scene, she has erect eyeballs just peeping in the corner.

Bonus Points: Julia, a grown adult staying with her parents for Christmas, is woken up by her dad (Al from Home Improvement) SCREAMING at the top of his lungs, “JULIA, DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME CALLING?!” If my parents ever woke me up in this manner I’d set myself ablaze. In fact, my sister thought it would be funny to try it the next morning for me but she forgot. Had she followed through, we would’ve had a murder on our hands. Also, all either family does for the entire movie is drink hot chocolate. You’ll never find them in a scene without hot chocolate in their hand. In my sister’s words, “mix in a cocktail.” What a bunch of shouting squares.

Christmas Unleashed – Lifetime (Vanessa Lachey)

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Becca heads from NYC down south to Gram’s for the holidays with her dog Henry. The opening scene is her talking to her dog an abnormal amount and then talking about him an abnormal amount to her Grams. I’m a dog lover so I was like well that’s her bestie so it’s whatever. I start to worry a little when her Grams says if only Henry was a person he would be perfect for you. And I wonder if this is going to be one of those “magical” movies where the dog becomes a person and I was ready to shut that right off. Instead, we find out that her ex boyfriend Max, the town vet, dated her for four years and also was Henry’s dad until they broke up, womp womp. The two reunite to find Henry, who is basically just a little rascal on a mission to get his mom and dad back together as he’s spotted at all of their most nostalgic spots then watches them reminisce. Spoiler alert: it works. Double spoiler alert: all of my worries at the beginning of this movie were confirmed when Becca has her first flashback of the movie and says in a gooey voice, “This is where Henry and I first met.” I have all of the uncomfies in the world because if I wasn’t convinced at the beginning, I am now, Becca would like to date and/or marry her dog. It’s a good thing Max is into that sorta shit, otherwise this would have a very different ending. Shout-out to my mom for wondering aloud, “Why are all these movies so cheesy?” Oh Cin, they keep making ‘em, and we keep watching ‘em. It’s the circle of life.

Bonus Points: At Henry’s first spotting on the tree farm, the group starts to look for him and excitedly shout, look like he’s headed that way, as they point to spray painted paw prints in the grass. Crack team. Also equally as entertaining as a dog leading his owners on a scavenger hunt is the gay law partners in town who are just learning to speak for the first time by the sounds of their very over-pronounced dead pan cliche We ❤ Lin Manuel Miranda dialogue. (Let it be known, however, both gays are WHITES. GASSSSPPPPP.)

Holiday Rush – Netflix (Romany Malco)

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I’m gonna be honest, I zoned out of this one almost immediately. I was like oh I love Rome from A Million Little Things and I work in radio, so let’s do the damn thing. Then I was immediately bored. Mostly because I hate spoiled little B’s and his children were THE MOST SPOILED. He’s a morning show radio host in NYC (big $) but the station gets bought out and he’s the first to go. And rather than his kids being supportive and all we’ll rally togets for the holidays, dad. They’re all like THIS IS THE END OF OUR LIVES HOW AM I GOING TO POST MY CHRISTMAS GIFTS ON INSTAGRAM?! If I were this dad I’d immediately disown these shits. But he sticks it through and works hard to create his own radio station but also downsize from their mansion to the house they originally had that his kids bitch about like Santa’s little a-holes. There’s a couple of ghost cameos by LaLa Anthony as the dead mom/wife to spice things up but unless you want to cringe your face off at spoiled kids and a matching jammies proposal, skip this B.

Bonus Points: The final scene when Auntie Jo strips down into a slutty red lace number and hits the stage for a live performance out of NOWHERE. Dear, sweet Auntie Jo has been hiding a WHOLE LOTTA WOMAN under those sweaters.

Holiday Date – Hallmark (Brittany Bristow, Matt Cohen)

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The movie kicks off with Brooke on the phone with her parents talking her new boyfriend up as Mr. Christmas and with that cocky nickname, I already know Mr. Christmas will be dumping her before he makes it home for Christmas. Coincidentally enough, Brooke goes to a party directly after the purely predictable dumping and meets an actor who wants to research a small town for an upcoming role and now she’s bringing him home to pretend to be Mr. Christmas. Unfortunately he’s Jewish and also the world’s shittiest actor. He gets a real hard-on over the town and method acting. At one point he cleans her dad’s glasses with glee and calls it a “prop”. So I guess he’s just pretending to be a Hallmark actor who has absolutely no chill. He’s playing himself, folks! I deemed this movie unwatchable and turned it off right around the point where they accidentally convince the family they’re engaged and Joel/Ethan turns to Brooke and no bullshit goes, “How do we ever reverse course from this.” Goodbye. Put me in the ground because this is the biggest loser to ever grace the Hallmark screen and it ain’t even close.

Bonus Points: When Brooke’s parents find out they might be engaged—her dad says “They’re engaged?!” and her mom replies “Why are you so surprised, they’ve been dating for 6 months! That’s how long it took you to propose to me.” UM, I’M SORRY IS 6 MONTHS LONG?!

A Christmas Wish – Lifetime

(Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton, the entire B team of supporting cast members from One Tree Hill)

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This year’s One Tree Hill reunion on Lifetime is a must-miss. It’s one of those magical Christmas “spell” movies so not only do you have to suspend belief, but also all fashion sense because everything that Faith wears in this movie should be burned. (After asking my sister if she had any thoughts to add to this blog she unprompted shouted “I HATED CHRISTMAS WISH IT WAS LITERALLY THE WORST AND EVERYONE LOOKED LIKE GARBAGE.” So basically we have the same brain.) Faith’s sister bullies her into submitting a Christmas wish to find herself a mans by Christmas and thanks to ~MaGiC~ it makes every male she ever comes across v horny for her. What a drag. Also I still don’t understand the relevance of this to the storyline, but someone bumps into her with hot coffee three times and HOW DOES THIS BITCH NOT HAVE THIRD DEGREE BURNS?! Dubz also, Faith has a date with someone she’s crushed on in the coffee shop and within 30 seconds of said date, tells him she stalked him on the internet before meeting up so maybe Faith really does need a Christmas wish to get a date because she’s a full-blown creepster. Lastly, true to this year’s trend, there is a gay brother in a bi-racial partnership with a mixed child. I’m noting this because every network except Hallmark (for obvious banned same-sex kiss commercial reasons) is SHOVING the gay, bi-racial brother bit down our throats. Never one to dip their toes in the water, they wanted to go full force with the LOVE IS LOVE theme, and what better way than an exuberantly gay couple that also has a little flava. Unfortunately for OTH fans, they chose Jimmy Edwards (as he will always be known) to prove this point. A flamboyant Jimmy is such a far cry from a suicidal gun-toting teen that it was more of a stretch than a Christmas wish that makes everyone slobber all over you. Mouth would’ve been more believable. Unfortunately they also tried to break him from his typecast and made him a drummer in a band. LOLOLOL. I realize that this blurb is only for lovers of One Tree Hill and I’m ok with that because as long as they keep whipping up this cast at the holidays while they’re on break from conventions in North Carolina, I’m going to keep talking about them as if they’re still the characters from a mid 2000’s teen soap.

Bonus Points: A cameo by Ryan Cabrera at the holiday party and he quite literally follows Faith around serenading her because he too has fallen under her spell. Also, Deb—get it gurl! Still lookin TIGHT. Bet she could still get after Skillz.

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Let It Snow – Netflix

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MIXIN IT UP, YO! Tossing in a little youth flick. You know me, I love to get LIT with the YOUTHZ. Jk you really know that if there’s a teen movie on Netflix, I will immediately watch it. Though few live up to my eternal boner for The Kissing Booth, I am willing to shout out when one surprises me. This one definitely surprised me. It’s one of those following a bunch of different couples ala Love Actually that all intertwine in the end. If I may also draw another comparison, it’s basically a 2019 version of the all-time classic Snow Day. Instead of a creepy, rotting teeth snowplow man as the misunderstood villain, we have Joan Cusack as “Tin Foil Woman” driving a tow truck. This in itself made me cackle. Since we live in a much more snowflakes (pun intended) time period than when Snow Day was made, Tin Foil Woman actually has a heart of tin foil and we learn to love her and respect her differences even though she definitely could be a danger to society. She doesn’t ever reveal why she’s wrapped in tin foil though and this is something I will wonder until I die. ANYWAY, there’s too many characters to remember all of their names but the movie has the classic “anything can happen when it snows at Christmas” sort of vibe to it and everyone can enjoy that very optimistic sentiment about shitty winter weather. It’s cute and funny—there’s a girl who buys an actual piglet for her BFF as a Christmas gift, a classic commoner and superstar love story, a bleeding nipple, & the most epic final banger at the Waffle House that could not be more midwestern and high school snow day goalzzzzz.

Bonus Points: Since I championed how cute this movie is, I feel like it’s my civic duty to warn you that there is an organ duet in a church that made me cringe out of my skin and maybe you should 100% fast forward through this. It started out and they are both terrible singers and then they just fully committed to the whole song and I wanted to chop my head off and hide under the couch because how can people CONFIDENTLY SING when they stink this bad?!

Grounded for Christmas – Lifetime (Julianna Guill & Corey Sevier)

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Don’t know either of these leads but the female looks like a long-lost Olsen twin and that’s good enough for me. Look at me taking a chance on up & comers on the holiday TV movie scene. Truth be told my sister had to convince me to watch this one because I felt like I couldn’t believe in this straight love story after seeing how incredibly gay the lead guy looked in the preview. She assured me it was just a bad picture and it turned out to be a hit so I’m glad we had this completely irrational disagreement on choosing a movie. Tale as old as Lifetime, Nina and Brady are totes opposites, their flight is grounded by a snowstorm and they pretend to be dating so that Nina’s family doesn’t think she’s a sad single at Christmas. What a lovely lesson these movies teach us that if you’re considering going home for the holidays without a man on your arm, you should probably jump directly off of a bridge. But I digress, this movie isn’t really a wow factor but something that I did love is that Nina has a sassy best friend who calls Nina on her bullshit and I feel like we don’t see a lot of that on these preachy ass networks. They’re all so supportive and rah-rah all the time that sometimes you just need a best friend who sees that you’re falling for your pilot co-worker, tells you he bangs all of the flight attendants and that you need to maintain the no dating pilots GURL code. At one point Nina is all, no, no, I’m not really into him we’re just pretending, this is a role I’m playing. And Tara serves her with a dose of realness asking if she’s Meryl Streep now. YES TARA, CALL HER OUT. In the end Tara obviously supports Nina ditching their girls beach trip but I still ship a friend that doesn’t just go along with these garbage falling in love storylines right away. A skeptic, if you will.

Bonus Points: Nina and Brady attend a party at her brother and sister-in-law’s house and after the White Elephant gift exchange, the S-I-L walks around the living room with a mistletoe hanging off of a stick and hangs it over each couple as everyone stares at them and forces them to kiss and you know what, if Tara was invited to this party I’m GUESSING she’d call this a little rapey and weird. WHAT KIND OF PARTY GAME IS THIS?! Forcing people to smooch as adults while everyone watches is incredibly creeperoni. Knock it off!

Christmas in Rome – Hallmark (Lacey Chabert, Sam Page)

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This movie could easily go on the worst list because of all the awkward as hell things that occurred in it but I believe I have a little soft spot for cheesy Italian movies thanks to our gurl Lizzie McGuire. Angela is an American living in Rome, wanting to start her own tour company (she’s going to call it “When in Roma”–CLEVER AND ORIGINAL!!) and Oliver is the corporate tight-wad whose visiting to acquire a handmade ornament family business. It’s Angela’s task to teach Oliver the culture of Italy because they do business differently and Luigi ain’t gonna just hand over his family biz to a greedy American who will ruin everything. Oliver takes one tour with Angela and suddenly he thinks they’re dating. It’s a real weird transition but these two are both babes so I guess it’s ok that Oliver 100% coerces her into dating him even though she says she doesn’t date clients. What happens next is two people knowing each other for like 4 days and then discussing long distance dating from halfway across the world. Their first date Christmas gifts include a handprinted ornament and a framed selfie. THINGS MOVE FAST IN ITALY, JUST ASK PAOLO & ISABELLA!

Bonus Points: Angela finds Oliver in the last scene to tell him how she feels BY USING THE GPS TRACKER SHE PUT ON HIS PHONE IN CASE SHE LOST HIM IN A CROWD. That’s like year 8 of marriage, y’all. STALKER ALERT! Also their first kiss is to the tune of Under the Sea Jamaican version of The First Noel and I couldn’t stop laughing.

Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas – Freeform (Aisha Dee, Kimiko Glenn)

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When I chose to pop this movie on, I was really just trolling myself and how far I was wiling to go for a holiday movie. Because the description of this movie is literally: Jess goes on the greatest first date of her life, but inadvertently “ghosts” Ben when she tragically dies in a car accident on the way home. And I asked myself, are we really doing this? And it turns out, when I commit to a bit, I commit hard. So yes, I filled up a solo cup with rosé and watched a Christmas movie where the main character dies in the first five minutes. Not only that, but I GLEEFULLY watched it. I couldn’t WAIT to rip this flaming hot garbage premise for a Christmas movie apart. But…I honestly… couldn’t. It really was a clever movie. It was self-aware to call itself out for the bullshit of a literal ghost being able to do some things but not others. I mean, she has sex with her alive man candy AS A GHOST because that can apparently happen but ONLY at the winter solstice. They consult a spirit guide to confirm penetration can occur between the living and the dead. I’m getting carried away here, just wanted to get straight to the ghost and human sexual relations but essentially the story is that Jess goes on a date with Ben, they hit it off and she’s already yapping about him to her BFF but then dies reading his flirty post-date text on her drive home—she literally stops in the middle of an intersection to read “You’re pretty great.” Let this be a lesson to us all, don’t text and drive unless you’re good at it. Jess unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way. Then she is stuck in ghost land and can’t ascend to heaven —only Ben and her bestie Kara can see her so they make it their mission to find out why she’s stuck and get her to ascend. Hence Ben banging her. Apparently he thought he’d give her such good D that she’d shoot right into the afterlife. Sorry for Ben’s sex skillz, but the real love of her life is her best friend because gurl don’t need no maaaaans, just a BFF4Lyfe! (& death)

Bonus Points: Jess died in the most aggressive car crash and yet…open casket. HOW. The writing in this movie is actually clever, but the writers also had a real boner for Notting Hill because the “I’m just a girl” quote was abused twice: “I’m just a ghost, standing in front of an alive guy, asking him to go on a second date.” AND “I’m just a ghost, standing in front of her best friend, asking her to fly.” Once was funny, TWICE WAS OVERKILL, guys.

Knight Before Christmas – Netflix (Vanessa Hudgens)

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I’ve been beyond complimentary to Netflix this year by putting not one but TWO of their originals on my watch list. I’m not going to get ahead of myself and say that they’re getting better—case in point, Holiday in the Wild, but I do think they’re so thirsty to become the go-to Hallmark for Christmas originals that they’re just throwing all of the shit at the wall to see what sticks. I will also point out that they’re so obsessed with themselves that they’re now using their own movies to advertise their other movies. This one featured the main characters WATCHING Holiday in the Wild and mentioned the fake town from the A Christmas Prince trilogy. Relax, Netflix, you’re trying the hardest and it’s getting embarrassing. Knight Before Christmas is asking us to do a lot of legwork in suspending belief because a witch in the forest sends a knight from 1336 to 2019. Sir Cole is just wandering around the Christmas market when Brooke runs into him with her hot chocolate. Then later on, for good measure, literally hits him with her car. Why? Because a snowstorm appeared out of nowhere and apparently we’re escalating “bumping into each other” as a meet-cute to potential vehicular manslaughter. See what I mean here? Netflix is extra. Brooke then feels guilty for hitting a stranger wearing full knight’s armor with her car so she invites him to come stay with her because she wants to get murdered at Christmas, apparently. Sir Cole can’t be a murderer though because he’s a babe soda and suuuuper chivalrous. He does good deeds all over town (f’real though, him saving Brooke’s niece is pretty swoonworthy), knows his way around the kitchen-there is a v. sexual bread-making scene, and still finds time to Netflix and chill. What a modern knight. Don’t worry, if this movie didn’t satiate your 14th century cosplay fantasies, they blatantly set up a sequel with Cole’s younger brother for next Christmas.

Bonus Points: This knight mf’er calls the TV “the magic box that makes merry” yet when he asks if he can take Brooke’s car somewhere she just casj tosses him the keys like it’s no big thang. REALLY? YOU THINK THIS MEDIEVAL TIMES GENT WATCHED YOU DRIVE YOUR CAR ONCE AND JUST KNEW WHAT TO DO?! HE RIDES HIS HORSE EVERYWHERE BUT SUUUUURE LET HIM DRIVE YOUR LEASE, BROOKE! Honestly this part triggered me and I found him driving her car and not killing anyone even more unbelievable than a witch sending him from 1336 to 2019 just to fall in love. Also, when Cole wants more “mead” AKA hot chocolate at the diner he pounds his glass and screams ANOTHER ONE, WENCH! And I for one welcome us making that acceptable again because there have been many a time that I’ve been at a crowded bar and wish that I could get a competitive edge over the next bar-mate on a beer refill. If I could do that without getting kicked out, we’d be GOLDEN.

Same Time, Next Christmas – ABC (Lea Michele, Charles Michael Davis, Bryan Greenberg)

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Easily, without question, the best new Christmas TV movie this year. Between the star power, the setting of Hawaii (if you could see me right now, I’m obviously doing the hang loose hand jive), and the fact that they expertly avoid many of the dumb ass holiday movie tropes that Hallmark so very much needs, this was a clear winner. Olivia and Jeff’s families have been celebrating Christmas in Hawaii since they were little and they obviously become vacation boyfriend/girlfriend who pen pal throughout the year and then kick it island style for the holidays. Rather than having two people fall in love in five minutes, or putting high school sweethearts back together immediately, this movie takes place over several years and it’s actually refreshing to have a believable storyline. Of course, it can’t all be believable and there is an enormous plot hole when they show all these lovely childhood Christmases with just Olivia and Jeff playing in the sand and their parents adoringly watching. Cut to fifteen years later and they both have older siblings. Huh? How do we just create siblings out of thin air? And of COURSE, Olivia’s brother is gay and married to a black man with a mixed child. DING DING DING, check those boxes ABC! (Hallmark, everyone still hates you.) But beyond the made-up sibz, both parents KILL it as supporting storylines. Jeff’s dad is the classic out of touch old guy who only speaks in sports references and Olivia’s parents are hippies who can’t stop tonguing each other. Hey, it’s Hawaii. IT’S ROMANTIC! Poor Gregg (Bryan Greenberg) gets the shitty boyfriend treatment standing in the way of soulmates but also when Jeff emerges from the ocean with a glistening six-pack it’s like GREGG, WHO?!

Bonus Points: Honestly I spent the whole movie with outfit envy for every single garment of clothing Olivia wore, drooling over her hot bod and also wishing I could spend Christmas in Hawaii.

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Pop Culture, Television

Best of the Worst Hallmark Holiday Movies, 2018 Edition

Listen, Hallmark really doubled down this year and it was actually difficult for me to keep up. Starting BEFORE Thanksgiving, they were on a roll debuting 2-3 per week, getting an AGGRESSIVE jump on the holiday movie watching szn. Obviously that was far too overwhelming for me. So with the help of my equally as TV holiday movie obsessed sister, we printed out each channels schedules and highlighted our favorites based on plot and if the guy was hot. We created quite a robust list and got to watching. So here we are, your annual installment of the best of the worst in holiday trash movies. PS Due to the large number of movies to view between the two Hallmarks and Lifetime (and I guess Netflix), Ion and ABC Family had to be cut from the list. You understand why. Please respect our decision at this very difficult time.

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Christmas at Graceland, Hallmark (Kellie Pickler, Wes Brown)

Right off the bat you would think this is going to be a golden Hally because of ya boy Wes. He’s higher up on the list of Hallmark hotties and I thought that would be enough to pull us through this flick. Sadly, I am here to report that it was not. Centered around a music theme ala Graceland, this movie was nearly unwatchable. Laurel goes back home to buy a bank or something corporate and Clay is like remember when we used to sing together and god I wish she hadn’t remembered. Could have saved us all from a whole lot of Silent Night. No seriously, this one song was performed no less than 6 million times throughout the course of this 2 hour movie. I feel it is also important to point out that although Kellie Pickler is actually a singer, she chose to lip sync in this movie and I’ve never seen a more horrible hack job. Even pop stars still sing during their music videos so it looks real. COME ON, KELLIE! Also, there is a child in this movie and she sings as well.

Bonus Points: Kellie not even attempting to hide her southern twang and everyone else in the movie having no trace of an accent. At the end (spoiler alert) when Laurel gets everything she ever could’ve wanted, she could not look less enthused. What an actress.

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Christmas in Evergreen:Letters to Santa, Hallmark

It took me the entirety of this movie to figure out that this was a sequel to an already present story line on Hallmark. I would’ve really hated to have to sit through more than one of these. Lisa doesn’t want to put down roots but she really wants to go back to her hometown for Christmas. YA, Ok. On her way home she has side of the road flirtations with the guy that she’ll most obviously end up with when she seems like the ultimate cool girl who fixes his truck. There’s a whole slew of characters all coinciding at once in this Evergreen place and naturally that means Hallmark needed to toss in a dubbs coups because they can’t just focus on one cookie cutter romance at once–it’s their new favorite thing to do and I for one, hate it. This particular version had a white couple and a black couple because black people fall in love at Christmas too. #Diversity on Hallmark. There’s a little wrench in the mix when Lisa’s PLATONIC BFF comes into town and Kevin thinks she’s taken but have no fear because they kiss when the bells ring and the little kid with the lisp FINALLY finds a lock that his key works in. THANK GAWD.

Bonus Points: When these two discover that they REMEMBER EACH OTHER FROM CHILDHOOD and there’s a flashback to them literally just being in the same general store writing letters to Santa like every kid in that town did.

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A Christmas in Tennessee, Lifetime (Rachel Boston, Andrew Walker, Patricia Richardson)

Andrew Walker, once of Hallmark royalty, now switching over to the Lifetime side, is typically a must-see for holiday staples. He’s cute and charming and usually has a little bad boy edge to him. Unfortunately, I’m gonna need him to take a beat after this one and reassess. The story revolves around Allison, whose a baker and single mom to Olivia. Patricia Richardson makes a star-studded appearance as her mom and naturally Matthew (Andrew Walker) is the corporate big wig trying to buy out the family business and take over the town UNTIL he spends time there and realized the importance of Christmas and family and that is obvious. To be completely honest this movie is all over the place and there’s so many stories happening at once that it’s exhausting. Santa and Mrs. Clause like Allison’s cookies so it becomes a marketing ploy/reason for Allison’s daughter Olivia to get bullied for still believing in Santa. There’s a conniving assistant to Matthew who forges a signature to sell the property. Allison’s dad died recently, Matthew lost a fiance 4 years ago, the mom is still sad about the dad dying and an old guy is pursuing her HARD. As my notes read, “Pull the story together homies or we take Andrew Walker back.” You’re on notice, Lifetime.

Bonus Points: At the children’s play when little Olivia (a partridge in a pear tree) gets bullied about being poor, dad-less, and believing in Santa by a kid with a drawn on Hitler ‘stache. REALLY?! This mf’er is bullying someone while he looks like that?! I would’ve knocked his stupid nutcracker hat clean off his head if I were Olivia. Kids are the worst. Also, the mom from Home Improvement sings at the end to close up the randomness that was this movie.

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The Princess Switch, Netflix (Vanessa Hudgens)

This now marks the second Netflix Christmas movie that has been so awful that I’ve turned it off before finishing it. That alone should be evidence enough that Netflix needs to read the room and slowly moonwalk out of the holiday movie game. You came late to the party and nobody likes you, cut your losses and leave before Hallmark and Lifetime have to physically boo you out of here. Anyway, from what I did watch here’s what I can tell you…Stacy is a baker who got dumped and her ex already moved on with what seems to be a real biddy. So she goes to a baking competition in a country probably located next to Genovia in made-up fairytale land. A weird magical guy who pops up all over the joint is VERY fixated on fulfilling a Christmas wish for Stacy. There’s an annoying over-acting child and a straight rip from The Parent Trap handshake. And true to the switching places classic trope, Stacy finds that the Duchess of Belgravia(?), Margaret, looks identical to her and is yearning for a normal bakers’ life of chaos. Of course since we’re dealing with a fictional country, an accent that sounds somewhat British and somewhat bullshit is tossed into the mix so watching Vanessa Hudgens navigate that is lolworthy.

Bonus Points: A VERY predictable love interest switcharoo and a Chicago baseball cap that never goes away in case you’re ever wondering where Stacy hails from. Also the two “twins”/ “distant relatives” physically running into each other the first time they meet.

 

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Christmas at the Palace, Hallmark

It pains me to do this because we all know I have a raging girl crush on Merritt Patterson, but this movie blows big time. It’s no coincidence that the two royal movies were B2B on my skip list. Katie and her bud Jessica, are just two average girls from Trenton, NJ who have an ice skating show in made up San Senova. Katie PHYSICALLY runs into King Alex in the plaza even though neither of them are blind. It’s alarming how often they have people bulldozing each other over as meet-cutes in these garbage royal movies. They’re hired at the palace to throw an ice dancer Christmas pageant because the King’s daughter Christina, is a real fan girl. She takes up FAR too much of the storyline and obviously drama ensues leaving them both to bail on the pageant. Well, one of them bails and then comes back and skates right onto the ice as if she never left. Nice try, girl.

Bonus Points: When Katie breaks the news to Christina that she’s ditching her lame ass pageant, even though the whole thing started because her and Jessica–professional skaters–were hired to put it on, she gives her a cheap ice skating figurine at the same time AS IF THAT WILL MAKE HER ANNOUNCEMENT LESS DOUCHEY.

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Hometown Christmas, Lifetime (Beverley Mitchell, Stephen Colletti)

Noelle’s dead mom used to run the live nativity in her southern hometown every year, so Noelle (who is supposedly a doctor in Chicago, though it’s mysteriously never brought up again after the first ten minutes) comes back to revive it. Her high school sweetheart who broke up with her to go pro in baseball lives back at home now because he blew out his arm or something equally as cliche. The whole movie throws a lot of incesty vibes with Noelle’s family, especially her relationship with her brother, which is far too flirty for comfort. In fact, when the whole fam troops on over to the county fair, they go to do a “southern snowman” contest and Noelle is like obviously we’re partners to her brother and he has to be like um, maybe this year my partner should be my fiance. YIKES NOELLE, READ THE ROOM. In another completely unbelievable storyline, their dad announces he’s dating someone new, then invites Noelle’s ex boyfriend Nick and his mother over to go to the county fair where they immediately eye bang each other. It is VERY apparent that he’s dating Nick’s mom, and yet when the two are found playing tonsil hockey underneath the mistletoe 20 mins later, Noelle is like DAD WTF YOU’RE DATING HER?! How was that not obvious? No seriously, what idiot didn’t pick up on those clues. The two of them were basically drooling when they greeted each other and both kids were like oh this is normal, they’re just friends?! ANYWAY, after 100 million things go wrong (and Noelle and Nick make amends even though their parents are dating as well), the nativity DOES happen and of course, per 2018 holiday movie tradition, ends in TERRIBLE song.

Bonus Points: When the church floods and they have to find a new venue for their live nativity, they go to the local theater and the owner is like oh damn, we’re all set up for this week’s production of a barnyard play. And Noelle and Nick are like the world is ending. Then Noelle has a light bulb and goes to an abandoned barn, where they decide to hold the nativity. IF THE THEATER WAS USING A BARN SET, HOW IS GOING TO AN ACTUAL BARN ANY F*CKING DIFFERENT?! Ok. I’m done. If you’d like to be entertained by this movie instead of triggered by their stupid script writing, check out Bev’s very apparent lazy eye and drink every time it’s looking in a very different direction from the other.

WATCH

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The Christmas Contract, Lifetime (OTH Reunion)

You knew that no matter what, I was gonna love this movie as a diehard One Tree Hill fan. Was it confusing that they cast this movie then did a reunion immediately following it without Chad Michael Murray and Bethany Joy Lenz who were also in tv holiday movies this year? Sure was. But either way, I’m gonna ship any sort of cast hang for a show that was basically my obsession from ages 13-22. The movie itself has Jolie (what a southern name) bringing her bestie’s brother Jack  home for Christmas as a fake boyfriend  because her ex has already moved on. Other than the fact that Skillz and Rachel Gattina are married in this movie, we get a song and performance from Tyler Hilton (with gratuitous slow dancing in jean shirts) as well as a little Clean Teen drop in from the leather pants wearin hussy who stole Mouth’s virginity. They really pulled out all of the stops for this one. Something that is extremely important to note, Jolie’s ex boyfriend is hideous. He has FOREVER greasy hair with quite the five head. In fact, my sister pointed out he’s basically a younger version of Marv. So he’s got that going for him.

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Obviously the two fall in love while fake dating and learning about each other and the fam loves Jack. There’s even a campfire singalong to Deck the Halls that makes me want to rip my ears off. Good, clean, holiday fun for all.

Bonus Points: For all of you 7th Heaven stans, Jeremy London is a supporting role and wears a variety of fedoras. One is corduoroy. There’s also a fun scene where Jolie has to teach her greaser of an ex boyfriend that breaking up means not talking anymore. Also, Robert Buckley in dark framed glasses…sup?

Full Disclozsh: If you’re watching and feel so inclined to watch the HOUR OTH reunion they tacked on afterward to grab more viewers, SKIP IT and thank me later. It’s a bunch of not at all related to OTH Christmas games and it’s embarrassing for everyone involved.

 

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Poinsettias for Christmas, Lifetime (Bethany Joy Lenz)

It seems as though it would be approps to get all my fellow OTH’ers out of the way at once. Bethany has been lookin like a dime lately and really killin it in the holiday movie game. Last year she had a winner with Andrew Walker and this year she got me to care about Poinsettias. Control freak Ellie comes home to her family’s farm to help save it and there’s a babe soda working there, encroaching on her fam’s territory so obviously they are going to butt heads and fall in love. There’s the classic ole spray each other with a hose and have a snowball fight with virtually no snow as flirting. There’s a chance the Poinsettias won’t be ready for delivery by Christmas and it’s a real nail biter until obviously Ellie pulls some bullshit theory out of her ass and saves them. There’s some random side story about Sean possibly dating this TV personality who was trying to buy the family farm? but in the end they “break up” and at the Christmas parade, Sean tosses aside a hot dog before smooching Ellie, which almost makes me put this movie on the shit list. DO NOT WASTE A PERFECTLY GOOD WIENER FOR ANYTHING, let alone a mediocre closed mouth kiss.

Bonus Points: Boo thang Sean built his own log house. What a Noah Calhoun swoon.

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Pride, Prejudice & Mistletoe, Hallmark (Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny)

Darcy (Lacey) comes home to take time away from her job. She immediately dumps her boring finance boyfriend who also happens to work for her dad and reconnects with her high school debate teammate Luke while they plan her mom’s Christmas event. My first thought is could her family BE more involved in her love life? My boyfriend’s first thought is all of the men in this movie are clearly gay. He’s just bitter I’ve already forced him to watch double the amount of holiday movies as last year and we weren’t even into December yet. Although in relation to the men in this movie, the only requirement I saw for a male role was having a ridiculously deep side part. There’s a song and dance (not literally, this can be confusing as many Hally’s this year have leaned heavy on the musical numbers…rest assured this is a welcome non-singing installment) about kissing under the mistletoe where Darcy continuously hard passes Sean every time he tries to sneak a smooch “per Christmas tradition”. Obviously she finally gives in at the end.

Bonus Points: When Darcy’s bro and sis in law announce their pregnancy on top of her breakup announcement. They’re like can’t wait to celebrate Christmas the four of us and Darcy’s like uh no we broke up and those assholes are like NO THERE’S FOUR OF US, pointing to her belly. Way to breeze right over her heartbreak and still manage to make it about your not even showing baby bump. Thank u, next.

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Mingle All the Way, Hallmark

In the spirit of full disclosure, I saw like the last 40 mins of this movie but it was enough to tell me that it was much better than some of the trash they were tossing out this year. A lot of this review has to do with the fact that the guy is cute and there was NO singing. Molly creates an app that pairs people up (much like a dating app) so that you can have a companion for all of your holiday biz parties/events. Her and Jeff get matched up and since she wants to prove to her judgmental AF parents that her app is a success, they stick it out for all of the holiday season, natch falling in love in the process. I don’t know who the hell has this many events around the holidays but I’d like your job, plz. I haven’t been able to score one open bar holiday party since about 3 years ago and these people are like we have multiple engagements. MUST BE NICE. Although not to brag, but totes to brag, I won a $50 gift card to Target at my holiday party for my part time job this year so I’M BASICALLY RICH. I’m still excited off of the high of that. Didn’t need a date from an app to WIN BIG AT THE RAFFLE. Anyway, there’s a little ex reappearance at the end to confuse this maybe professional maybe romantic relationship (go away, ASHLEY) but in the end, dating apps take the W in this very 2018 Hally.

Bonus Points: Molly somehow manages to fall OVER the Christmas tree and right into Jeff’s arms for a catch FULL of panting, staring and sexual tension. Spoiler alert: this doesn’t result in a kiss because it’s not the last scene of the movie and any kiss before the final 5 minutes is ALWAYS interrupted. Also at one point Molly says “My compliments to the Jeff” while eating Jeff’s cooking and my eyeballs roll at rapid speed out of my skull.

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Time For Me To Come Home For Christmas, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries (Megan Park, Josh Henderson)

Famous country singer Heath (we quickly learn he only sings country Christmas songs), who also confusingly sometimes goes by Lee meets Kara at the airport in one of those classic we’re both going home for Christmas but our travel plans keep getting f’ed so we’re just going to end up making our own way together, road trip with an attractive stranger style. It takes Kara an unnatural amount of time to figure out that Heath is a Grammy-winning singer, which she irrationally gets pissed about. Sorry he’s not a douche who announces that he’s famous when someone doesn’t recognize him, Kara, THAT’S ACTUALLY AN ADMIRABLE QUALITY. True to this year’s traditions with Hallmark, there’s a LOT of singing (specifically terrible lip syncing, which I guess is just their MO) as well as annoying children trying to steal the spotlight. I’m willing to ignore all of these things because somehow I still found this movie more tolerable than most. There’s a lot of sob stories as we learn that Heath/Lee lost his dad recently and Kara lost her mom. They also stay with an old friend of Heath’s en route and the wife is sick. At one point in the movie my boyfriend had an outburst where he yelled, “is this guy gonna choose whether or not he wants to have an accent?!” And that was probably the most exciting moment of the movie. Clearly we’re both triggered by actors being terrible at accents. I perfected my British accent just from being obsessed with Harry Potter movies when I was 12, actual actors who get paid for it should probably know how to do a southern drawl or an American accent. In the most cringeworthy of grand finales, Heath/Lee is struck by inspiration and writes/sings a new song on Christmas day around the fire. Kara joins in, making it a duet of a brand new song that she’s never heard. His mom awkwardly stands far too close to him and bops in his face while he plays the guitar, then she too takes a solo verse right there on the spot and then Kara jumps in for one as well because why not? Suddenly out of nowhere there’s a violinist and Heath’s sister is playing guitar. I literally had to ask myself if I was on drugs or if this scene was real life. Everyone breaks into applause when Kara and Heath hug. Goodnight.

Bonus Points: Lee/Heath’s mom gives him a photo album that they’ve been talking up for the entire movie that she spent all year making. He flips through it at rapid speed, looking completely disinterested and then abruptly gets up to leave and find Kara who he just saw five minutes earlier. Instead of his mom being like wtf you ungrateful twat, she’s like follow your heart, son! Also, at the beginning of the movie there’s a flight attendant that is vying for worst movie character of all time. She denies Heath a spot in first class on the plane and tells him there’s no exceptions then asks him for an autograph. The same condescending MF’er then escorts annoying kid #1 off the flight and when Heath gifts the kid wings from his dad who was a pilot, she whine-sings “LOOK WHO GOT HIS WINGSSSSS.” Bye, bish. Get lawst.

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Christmas Wedding Planner, Netflix

I DIRECTLY contradict myself with this one. My artfully worded diss to Netflix on my Princess Switch review will be eaten in full after watching this number. Technically it’s a last year edition that was overlooked, but nevertheless it IS a Netflix original and I DID like it. Turns out it was based on a Harlequin novel and judging by my rabid taste for red hot reads, I’m not surprised I loved this one. I’m giving the novel credit here instead of Netflix because I’m still annoyed at the fact that they’re trying so hard to be a holiday TV movie competitor. Regardless, Kelsey is a disaster, clumsy wannabe wedding planner and her first job is planning her cousin’s wedding. So basically me minus the planning my cousin’s wedding part, which can easily be remedied if my cousin who is getting married in the fall is reading this. But I digress, Kelsey’s cousin Emily and her aunt Olivia are classy AF so the pressure’s on to throw the perfect event. She has a little meet-cute moment with her cousin’s ex boyfriend who also happens to be the PI investigating her cousin’s fiance, Todd. Ya follow? They do everything they can to make Todd look like a supreme slimeball. I literally cringed out of my body the first scene he’s in where he drops off jewelry to the bridesmaids and says “he just wants to keep his ladies happy.” BARF BARF BARF. He also has a very apparent tick where he winks on every other word that escapes his perv-tastic mouth. These are red flags! How did this beautiful girl fall in love with this dirtbag? As you might presume, Kelsey and Connor investigate Todd while she continues to plan the wedding. They naturally fall in love, probably because Connor’s business partner and BFF is Joey Fatone. No seriously, JOEY FATONE. And his acting is NEXT LEVEL bad. We get it Joe, you’re Italian. In the end, there’s a soap opera wedding moment where it turns out *SPOILER ALERT* Todd knocked up the maid and his parents tried to pay her off. GROSS, TODD. Since the wedding is canceled it obviously makes the most sense for Kelsey and Connor to get married because who needs Connor’s family at the wedding and most marriages that’re built to last start from knowing each other a couple weeks before getting engaged and married right on the spot…everybody knows THAT.

Bonus Points: A very rom-com stakeout montage. They laugh, they snack, they sing and dance in goofy sunglasses, they take selfies, they snuggle into a nap. The makings of every great relationship depends on how good they montage. Plus these two are both babes. 5 stars.

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Movies, Television

Best of the Worst Hallmark Holiday Movies, 2015 Edition

It’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year. Where I watch B2B cheesetastic holiday movies and visions of going home for Christmas, flirting with my high school crush, having my high school crush tell me home is where I belong (while ice skating and falling in love), and then being married to him by New Years dance in my head. HEY if Hallmark says it’s going to happen…it’s GOING TO HAPPEN. This year’s guide is a continuation of last year’s, updated to include a fresh set of flicks for judging. Read up and navigate your way through TV movie magic this season.

 

WATCH:

Tis The Season For Love- Hallmark, 2015

Tis The Season For Love Final Photo Assets

Plot: Beth is one of those gals who left her hometown and high school sweetheart in the dust to pursue acting in NYC. Except when she comes home for Christmas and starts hanging out with her high school squad again she realizes that maybe it was a little hasty to take a dump on small town life when she can’t get an acting job for shit in NYC. Her ex boyfriend is married with a kid and SUPER queer (they’re still buds though) and her ex boyfriend’s BFF Dean sets his eyes on Beth now that they’re all grown up and reunited. It wouldn’t be a Christmas movie without a little magic of course, so the town Santa gives Beth the key to all her answers. A literal key that he bought at a thrift shop.

Bonus Points: The very cliché exchange of a guy and a girl making plans to hang out and the girl going “it’s a date! Well…not a date..err…uh..” I thrive on awkward sexual tension. Also Dean admitting that he ALWAYS had a crush on Beth in high school, of course.

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Naughty & Nice- Up Network, 2014

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Plot: Sandra has a radio show in Colorado a lot like Delilah but with less of a soothing voice. Pepper has a radio show a lot like porn but then gets suspended and recruited to co-host with Sandra for the time being. Obviously they hate each other because Pepper is disgusting and crass and Sandra likes to spend her free time helping middle schoolers find Christmas love. In like five minutes time their hate for each other has turned into the desire to bang and with a timely mistletoe peck their show becomes must-listen radio. Pepper’s all pervy and suggestive while Sandy scolds him like a mom. Lawlz, these two. Everything’s dandy until Pepper gets his old job back in LA and has to decide if it’s all about the Benjamins or all about the Luuuuv.

Bonus Points: A supes cringeworthy beach trip in LA where Pepper wears a black wifebeater and they make a sand snowman. I laugh out loud every time I see it. I laugh even harder when they long for each other, look at pics of that beach day and cry.

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Once Upon a Holiday- Hallmark, 2015

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Plot: Princess Katherine (from a small fictional country) is on a trip to NYC around Christmas and sad that she has no freedom to do what she wants so she sneaks away to wander around the city like a homeless person. Katie promptly gets robbed (yet is not even a little sad that they stole a vintage camera gifted from her now dead mother) and a handsome stranger named Jack tries to help her out—as strangers do in NYC. While she’s on the LAM, she spends her time with Jack in an abandoned apartment that’s under construction—has this bitch ever seen SVU?—meets his family and casj never reveals her true identity. What allows me to forgive this absolutely ridiculous plot that would never fly today with the media and everyone’s attachment to cellphones is the fact that the actress Brianna Evignan has the best kind of Brooke Davis raspy voice and I immediately am mesmerized when she speaks. The guy’s cute too but like a dream raspy voice is what sold me.

Bonus Points: On their first “date” (once they’ve learned each other’s names), Jack gets Katie street meat with the works and tells her to “just get in there.” That’s my kinda dream date right thurr.

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Best Christmas Party Ever- Hallmark, 2014

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Plot: Jenny is a tightwad party planner and Nick has returned to learn the family biz so he’s prepared to take over for his aunt when she retires. Nick has a little time on his hands because he can’t land an acting gig in Hollywood but he’s charming AF and has jokes for days so obviously he irritates Jenny, who couldn’t tell a funny if her life depended on it. She dates a stuffy jerk from a corporation while Nick has a model girlfriend. Do you think that while planning the big Christmas party these two might realize that annoying the shit out of each other actually means they’re in L-O-V-E? I mean how could she not…this boy would make a nun swoon.

Bonus Points: Jenny’s lamewad “boyfriend” Todd fires her because she won’t agree to throw his company a sleazy Christmas party full of bitches and Ferarris. ALSO When Nick asks Jenny why she’s single she says “no one will ever live up to my dad who died two years ago.” Boner Kill.

 

A Christmas Kiss II- Ion, 2014

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I will go so far as to say this was one of my favorite holiday movies I’ve seen in the past five years, and as you can see…I watch a lot of them. Also, the movie is sponsored by Kay Jewelers so you might guess how it ends.

Plot: Jenna—a former Clean Teen for all you OTH fans—ditched her previously moral values to mack it up with a stranger under the mistletoe in an elevator at work (while dressed like a slutty Santa for a modeling gig.) Turns out that stranger is Cooper, her boss’s brother and a real big whore. Right away I was all for this movie. It was like five minutes in and we had an elevator slobber fest like it was a steamy scene from a romance novel. You know how long it takes for Hallmark characters to kiss? An entire movie. And it’s usually no tonguesies. Anyway…Jenna tries to avoid Cooper’s advances because he’s a playboy and she doesn’t want her heart broken. She also has a hot neighbor whose hair looks sexy pushed back, for extra eye candy in this flick, if you catch my drift. Only time, and a bunch of sloppy elevator kisses will tell if Jenna learns to listen to her vagina.

Bonus Points: There are a lot. Cooper is shirtless for 90% of this movie gratuitiously. He also snakes a copy of one of her sexy Santa pics that he keeps with him at all times should the mood for a solo session arise. Cooper has a crazy bitch ex-girlfriend who comes over and takes kissy selfies with him while he’s unconscious…date rape-question mark.
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SKIP:

Christmas Inc.- Hallmark, 2015

Christmas Incorporated Final Photo Assets

Plot: Will takes over his dad’s supes successful company at like 25 or something and Riley snags a job as his assistant accidentally through another Riley’s resume with more experience. She keeps that info on the DL in order to prove herself but obviously it’s revealed after Will has become obsessed with her and it’s like the betrayal of the century, or something. No really, Will CANNOT get over that she got the job on false pretenses even though she singlehandedly saved a factory. To top it all off, Riley’s hair looks like it has a ponytail crease in it the whole movie, and I wish someone in wardrobe noticed and got her a new curling wand for Christmas instead of a rich, hot boyfriend.

WORST: Will makes Riley dinner one night and woos her by saying she reminds him of his grandmother. Cringez 4 dayz. At least her response is on point with, “Every girl is dying to hear she reminds a guy of his grandmother.”

 

Merry Kissmas- Ion, 2015

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Fun fact: This is a linked movie with the aforementioned Christmas Kiss II. Basically Ion makes a version of the same movie every year, because every kiss begins with Kay, obviously.

Plot: I was keeping my fingers crossed for a Jenna and Cooper cameo in this one but it never happened. Instead it was the most boring and confusing movie ever. Kayla is engaged to a white Carlton who is kind of famous in that he directs the Nutcracker or something. Then she macks it up with the caterer for her engagement party in the magic mistletoe elevator and just casually doesn’t tell him she’s engaged. Then the engagement ends? Maybe? I’m not really sure because Carlton remains relevant for the rest of the movie and I hated it a lot. So basically Kayla is dating Dustin the caterer but still lives with Carlton and acts like his fiancé. It’s really weird. For such a banger of a holiday movie name this one really sucked.

WORST: Kayla throws out a lot of closed mouth smiles. There’s an irrelevant store owner with a shit accent at the beginning of the movie who randomly chases Kayla for like 5 miles. Kayla SOOKS at breaking up with people—the best is when she storms off to give Carlton a piece of her mind and ends up telling him he’s amazing a bunch of times.

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12 Gifts of Christmas- Hallmark, 2015

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Plot: Anna is a personal shopper for Marc who works 24/7 and never kicks it with his family. He doesn’t even know what to get them for Christmas so he hired someone to figure it out for him. Hey Marc, a bottle of liquor or a nice picture frame will do. Be smarter. Obviously Anna brings out the Christmas spirit in Marc, getting him to work less and spend more time with his family.

WORST: Christmas music shopping montage with trying on goofy hats. Too many kid interactions for my liking, lots of nieces and nephews in the mix. On their first date Anna asks, “Do I look OK?” And he responds, “I’m not sure. You’re missing this…” and gives her a gold necklace with an art easel because she likes painting. UGH SO TACKY.

A Christmas Detour- Hallmark, 2015

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Plot: Paige is a twat wedding magazine writer planning a suuuuuper bougie wedding to her perfect fiancé. She’s on her way to their first Christmas with the in-laws when her flight is detoured in Buffalo and she’s stuck driving to NYC in a snowstorm with Dylan, the hottie who sat next to her on the plane. Overall I’d say this movie blows because Paige is insufferable. She carries her wedding vision board every time she changes rooms, wah wahs to strangers about her wedding and has a diary with a checklist for her perfect guy. Apparently her fiancé doesn’t make her laugh but this guy Dylan does so like it’s true loooooove.

WORST: There’s a sideline story about a married couple that was trying way too hard to upstage the main characters. Oh, boohoo you’ve been married 20 years and you’ve lost the spark. Maybz try spending time alone with each other instead of acting like you’re BFF’s with a bunch of airport strangers. Just a thought. christmasdetourextracouple

Christmas Belle- Ion, 2013

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I feel like it’s my civic duty to make sure that no one ever watches this abomination that is somehow called a movie.

Plot: A ratchet Christmas rip-off of Beauty and the Beast. Belle is hired to come manage an estate sale for this rich guy Hunter’s dad. Hunter is a real jackass and basically just yells at her all the time, mostly for being in the greenroom, where she absolutely SHOULD NOT BE rearranging his plants. She somehow falls in love with this ogre who is not a beast at all—in fact he regularly shows off his pecs…probably why she’s willing to overlook his butthole personality.

WORST: A soundtrack of creepy music plays throughout this entire movie. Whether the characters are speaking or not, there is irrelevant and quite distracting background music. It makes me want to throw things at the TV.

The Christmas Parade- Hallmark, 2014

Plot: Hailee is a news reporter sentenced to 25 hours of community service in Carver Bend (“Where Christmas Comes Home”…no really that’s what the town sign says) for driving into a judge’s fence. She’s a bitch who hates Christmas but once she starts working with cutie teacher Beck and the town’s Arts center to build a float for the Christmas parade, suddenly she’s bursting with festive joy. Oh she’s also got a fiancé whose trying to sabotage the Arts center, or whatever. But love at Christmas ALWAYS WINS. There’s just too much of everything in this movie, mostly AnnaLynne McCord who I remembered I hate.

WORST: Actual conversation: Beck- “God bless broken roads, right?!” Hailee- “They lead to the best destinations.” Okay, Rascal Flatts. Do less. Beck also gives Hailee a painting of herself that’s preettttyyyyy creepy and triggers pre-crime red flags for me.

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Merry Christmas, everyone–I hope this painting haunts your dreams!

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