Monday, December 21, 2015

A Crown For Christmas

  • Down on her luck girl loses job right before Christmas
  • Tragic dead parents who were the embodiment of the Holiday Spirit
  • Tragic Widower with a precocious daughter with a heart of gold
  • A member of the royal family-of some country that we have never heard of but whose natives all speak in a British accent- falls in love with a commoner (Seriously guys, there were two this season. On the same channel) 

We wish we could say that this review of one of the features of Hallmark’s FIVE NIGHT MOVIE EVENT over Thanksgiving was so late because Colleen was putting a lot of effort into crafting a well-planned, thoughtful review. But truthfully, it’s so late because she had to watch the damn thing four times since she kept zoning out and didn’t know if she'd missed anything important. It turns out that no, no, she did not.
I want the crown! NO, I want the crown! LET GO OF THAT CROWN YOU FILTHY GINGER!
Synopsis: Winnie Cooper - I mean Allie Nolastnamebecauseitdoesn’tmatter- the oldest of a plucky trio of orphans, who are totes supportive of each other, is a maid at a fancy hotel until she gets fired for something stupid right at Christmastime. Luckily, the king's manservant witnesses her getting fired and decides that her getting fired is the perfect prerequisite to leaving her sickeningly supportive siblings behind and being the governess of the prince's precocious, bratty daughter in an unnamed country where everyone has British accents but it is clearly not Britain. Will Allie win the affections of the bratty princess when so many have tried and failed? Will the hot widowed king finally feel ready to love again after his wife died tragically of an unnamed illness? Will Allie end up with a happily ever after fairy tale romance? Well, it’s called A Crown For Christmas so if you said "no" to any of these questions you're a giant idiot and we don't want to know you.

Favorite Line(s):  

"Are you familiar with court protocol?" 
"Uh, I watch Downton Abbey."

Random Thoughts We Had During This Movie:

Apartment is small so they’re probably going to tell me she’s poor, yup, cue the bills with the GIANT UNPAID stamp on them. 
And she’s an artist. Naturally. Why are they ALL artists, Hallmark? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?
Ooh, they’ve been assigned to the VIP floor by their mean boss lady. Don't speak unless spoken to. Don't make eye contact. Gee, I wonder if either of those two rules will be broken.
I really don’t think you have the authority to tell your sister to just leave during her shift to do to an audition, Allie.
Oh no, she hit king guy with her maid cart! And now she’s having verbal diarrhea! Something about soap, sewing kits, chocolate, hand towels and oh, my god, shut up shut up shut uuuuuuupp, Allie! But Max the king apparently finds it charming and/or finds her bangable. I hope she’s not seen by the mean boss lady who told her not to speak to the guests. OH, NO, WAIT THERE SHE IS.
I'm too sexy for my sewing kit. Too sexy for my sewing kit.  Too sexy it hu-urts.
Why is everyone acting like the king’s room is, like, rock star party level trashed? There are like five dirty dishes and two knocked over champagne glasses. 
Allie didn’t clean the room fast enough so she’s FIRED. And her job-abandoning sister is FIRED. A week before CHRISTMAS. And the butler saw her return the king’s forgotten fancy watch because she’s so upstanding and moral and shit.
Wait, the butler offered her a job just because she makes good Mulligan stew? WTF.
I wonder if the housekeeper (Miss Wick) is so grumpy because her hair is pulled back so severely that it’s causing her pain.
Really, Allie, have you ever been in public before? You’re walking through a castle, say out loud that it’s like a museum, and then the next thing out of your mouth is literally “Ooh!” as you lunge to touch something that doesn’t belong to you. Do you do that in actual museums?
Seriously, though, why is the brat a ginger? You’re stereotyping, Hallmark. Uncool.
Now Allie is taking a Christmas ornament off of a tree and kicking it through a door because the mischievous ginger dared her to. Allie is kind of the worst. Serves her right if it hits someone in the head... the king. She just hit the king in the head with the ornament she kicked. Worst. Governess. Ever. 
And she’s won evil ginger princess Theodora/Teddie over within, like, five Hallmark minutes. Bonding over dead mothers for the win!
Oh, I get it. King Max is bad at kinging, but his dead dad was bad at dadding. 
It looks like the king might be getting a little too cozy with the help. What’s his Mean Chancellor Guy (MCG) to do? Why, call in the previously alluded to Ice Bitch soon-to-be Fiancé, of course! Ice Bitch looks a little ginger-y too, come to think of it. I think that’s how we’re supposed to know she’s mean before she opens her mouth and freely condescends to everyone.
Oh, no, Ginger Ice Bitch Celia (GIBC) and MCG drop the bomb that Teddie is being sent to boarding school and Allie’s getting kicked to the curb early. And, also, they don’t want to try Allie’s Christmas cookies (made with her dead mother’s recipe!) just in case their eeeeeeevilness wasn’t apparent enough.
Hallmark really, really hates gingers. 
There’s a Christmas ball! And Allie is invited! And, of course, the old cook has a red ballgown that she’s kept for forever and ever and it just happens to fit Allie perfectly. Don't we all have a spare ball gown collecting dust in our closet in the hopes that one day, we too will be able to pass it down to a servant when our own dreams have long since withered and died? #obvi 
Uh-oh, the engagement ring is missing from the case! Time for GIBC to drop any hints of being a fully fleshed out character and just march over and accuse Allie of stealing it because she’s poor and shit. Or something. But we all know the kid took it because she wants Daddy Dearest to marry Allie, right?
Allie just left for “the inn”. This country consists of one castle and an inn. Sure. 
Oh, look, she's left Christmas presents for everyone! In the zero free time she had, she drew (horrific) portraits of every single person in the castle. They’re all touched even though they’re seriously bad (and borderline creepy) drawings. If I got one of these drawings, I would assume the artist wanted me killed. 

Boom! GIBC is dumped. Boom! Max tells the MCG to eff off and that he'll be whatever kind of king he wants, dammit! Boom! Max jumps on his horse to LITERALLY RIDE UP AND SWEEP ALLIE OFF HER FEET and he seriously just said, “You had me at sewing kit." And I’m done.
Conclusion: It’s always a good idea to abandon your family at Christmas to take a job in a country you’ve never heard of, for a family you know nothing about, because you’ll end up as royalty. The end.

Monday, December 14, 2015

An Awkward Pause

We are taking a break from our regularly scheduled program (so many movies to watch, audience, sooo many) to show you something amazing we discovered while watching these delightful Hallmark Movies. Its a phenomenon we like to call "The Awkward Pause". Since DVR has made it possible to pause the films so that we can retrieve another much needed glass of wine, champagne, rum, or rubbing alcohol, we found that it also allows us to capture the greatest moments in Hallmark Christmas Movie History.

Today we want to take you on a journey of some of our favorite moments over the past Holiday Movie Watching Season.

"The Constipated Prince: A Study in Contrasts" 

"Hello from the Outsiiiiiiiiiide. At least I can say that I've triiiiiiied. To get you into the Christmas spirit, bitch."

The things a girl will do to impress a prince.  

Let me sit here and stroke my beard because I'm William Fucking Shatner and I can do anything.

And now for the the Pièce de Résistance So amazing that it needs no caption

Monday, December 7, 2015

North Pole: Open For Christmas

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Tragic widower with a precocious daughter and a heart of gold
  • Cold, never-been-married woman who has a fear of abandonment and no longer believes in the Holiday Spirit
  • Has the REAL Santa
  • The Northpole is in danger!
  • A Christmas music montage with characters doing christmas-y things
  • Flirty/romantic christmas tree decorating dancing scene
Have you ever wanted an estranged aunt to die and leave you an inn in the middle of nowhere that is a secret power station of Christmas Magic that fuels Santa's Sleigh in his journey around the world to deliver presents to all of the world's children? OMG, so have I. 

It's TV's Lori Loughlin! Becky Donalson-Katsopolis from Full House can do no wrong!
***Before you read this delightful tale, you may want to read our review of the first installment of the North Pole series, where a young boy saves Christmas by drawing a stick figure throwing sperm in the air.***

Synopsis: Sadly, due to incompetent strategic planning on the North Pole's part, The North Pole is in danger of failing Christmas, yet again, because one of the power stations that fuels Santa's sleigh is in the hands of a woman with "commitment issues"! Luckily Mackenzie has a handsome handyman named Ian with a precocious daughter and a plucky elf named Clementine, who throws around phrases like "Christmas in the heart puts Christmas in the air", to help her make the worst financial decision of her life by keeping the money pit -err- inn open!

Favorite Line: "You march to your own Glockenspiel, Clementine."

Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

The further Santa's sleigh gets from the Northpole, the more power it needs. Also Santa's sleigh is fueled by power stations, hidden inside random buildings scattered around the world. Take one down and Christmas is RUINED. Huh. I'm surprised no Disney villain has exploited this giant gaping maw of a weakness.

Please sell your Aunt's Northern Lights Mountain Inn to an evil developer, Mackenzie. Please sell your Aunt's Northern Lights Mountain Inn to an evil developer.

He restores old things. Check. He works with his hands. Check. He is a good father. Check. He does good deeds for the town for free. Check. He is financially stable so he can do the aforementioned good deeds for free. Check. Okay, okay we get it. He is the perfect man.

Eggnog shampoo sounds horrifying, Clementine. You can keep your shiny, shiny hair. (And we know it's shiny because all of the characters are telling us over and over that it is.)

"I'll be at the Sawmill" is not something I'll be sure to hear in my lifetime again.

"There is no such thing as too many christmas trees." Let's agree to disagree there, Clem. If you have a studio apartment in Queens, I bet 27 Christmas trees would not be a good idea.

Why are all single tragic widower dads always independently wealthy while all single tragic widower mothers are always struggling to make ends meet in the Hallmark Universe? This guy just accepted payment for fixing the entire inn for a stack of mahogany in the basement and Betty's cooking because he's "good" on the money front. If this movie were about a single mother, she would be selling the last vestiges of her dead mother's antique jewelry while working three jobs in order to pay the bills. #hallmarkmoviesexist

"Your career is getting rid of people's pasts which I don't know, is okay, I guess." Wow. He just totally took a huge dump all over her career. Minus points, Ian. Minus points.

Seriously though, this Northpole is amazing. They have infinity pools and lasers.

Ian is apparently a really shitty handyman. Everything he fixes immediately breaks. Maybe this is the real reason he doesn't accept payment for his services. He's a complete failure.

Why don't I have a magic snowflake wallpaper slide in my house?

"And even though we don't have a single guest, a single paying guest, The Northern Lights is overbooked with two things that matter most: Friendship and Love." Pretty sure Friendship and Love don't pay the PSE&G bill, Mackenzie.

Next time I change my mind after signing an ironclad contract, I should just launch into an emotionally gripping diatribe about the meaning of life and I will totally get out of it.

Conclusion: This is the greatest imagining of a Northpole since the last Northpole movie. Also, Santa should go to more planning board meetings so that he doesn't drop the ball when one of his "Christmas Magic Power Stations" falls under a re-zoning law that will destroy Christmas FOREVER. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Charming Christmas

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Family run department store during the holidays 
  • Character named Nick whose mysterious background leads viewers to wonder if he is, in fact, a part of the "Real Claus" family
  • Character whose parents showed them the meaning of true love and they could never settle for anything less
  • Features unexplainable magical item (in this case, a Mrs. Claus suit!) that imbues people with the "Holiday Spirit" and changes their lives
  • Uses picking out a Christmas Tree as a metaphor for finding love
  • Under-the-mistletoe make-out scene

Are you a believer in independent stores with big hearts, zero business sense, and quirky owners who are still in love after all these years? Then you need to drop your hot cocoa, put on your comfy P.J.'s, and watch Charming Christmas!

Synopsis: A frosty work-obsessed gal, Meredith, puts on a magic Mrs. Claus dress and fights her need to franchise her small, family business to the big, evil corporation. Will the mysterious Nick, who her parents hire as their department store Santa because he might very well be the progeny of the Real Santa, change Meredith's mind and warm her cold heart? Hint: YES. YES, HE CAN. Because he's Christopher from Gilmore Girls. Christopher. From. Gilmore. Girls.

Favorite Line:

Nick: (in reference to a Christmas Tree AND Love) "I'm looking for something strong, something that will last, won't bed too easily, but is soft to the touch."

Random Thoughts We Had While Watching The Movie: 

There are already way too many characters in this movie. I am not going to be able to keep the women straight. Because I'm Hallmark Movie Sexist.

Her mom kept her Mrs. Claus suit for 40 years? That seems hygienic.

Frosty Meredith can smell unnatural chemicals at dry cleaners. Is that, like, the lamest super power ever?

Okay, I get it, this movie is going to propel forward on the sheer force of Nick aka David Sutcliff's charm alone. I'm sold. Because he's Christopher from Gilmore Girls. Christopher. From. Gilmore. Girls.

This is my concerned-yet-exceedingly-handsome-you're-not-showing-enough-christmas-spirit face. 
Will all of the women who are secretly unsatisfied in their lives and in need of a Christmas morality lesson please raise your hands? There are three of you? Great! You all get to wear the same Mrs. Claus suit! P.S. There's magic involved. 

Jessie, one of the Mrs. Clauseses, has a husband named Woody. As a rule no romantic character should be named Woody. This excludes Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks is the exception to every rule. 

Olivia, the last Mrs. Claus, is a single mother with a ne'er-do-well ex, an estranged mother, and a precocious son named Tyler. Obvi. 

At this point in time, this shared Mrs. Claus suit has to be rank. Naturally they have a friendly neighborhood independent dry cleaner who is also good at sewing priceless antique buttons on 40 year old suits and not destroying Christmas Magic. My dry cleaner can't even handle cleaning my coat from Express.

The corporate guy, who represents the nameless conglomerate trying to franchise Rossman's, is sleazy. And a close talker. Clearly, we should not trust him.

"I forgot my lucky piece of coal. Some kids get a kick out of knowing I have it on hand just in case." Do they, Nick? Do they? If a department store Santa gave me a lump of coal, I probably would have stabbed him. 

Has Meredith seriously never seen a candy cane before? How is she this surprised over the fact that dipping a candy cane in hot chocolate will give it a minty taste? She must be a communist. 

Nano the Hamster Bot? That's THE toy that every little boy wants this Christmas? Can't they just pick something that resembles an actual Christmas present? Like a video game or something. Why does it have to be a weird, little rodent in a ball? 

Jessie's ankle has healed and she can now audition for Broadway again which means, inevitably, she will choose Woody over her dreams. 

Wait. He wants her to hide a Christmas Pickle with him? A Pickle? This is actually a thing? A real Christmas tradition of olde? Because otherwise our two main characters are legit playing "hide the pickle" in the shadow of a Christmas Tree. I'm disgusted, Hallmark. Intrigued, slightly aroused, but disgusted. 

This is the 27th time someone has remarked that Nick takes his job as a department store Santa very seriously. In my experience, no department store Santa has ever looked like him. And they generally smell like whiskey and regret. 

Christmas is a big deal for Nick's folks. Who live up North. BECAUSE THEY ARE THE CLAUSES, MEREDITH. HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT? 

Of course Meredith is giving Nano the Hamster Bot to the friendly dry cleaner and not Tyler's mom, who actually works in her department store. If I can't get in touch with a friend because I want to give their child a present, my go to is always their dry cleaner.

"I thought Nick was a bit crazy when he talked about Santa's magic." Nick's charm is so powerful, so potent that it destroys any lingering thoughts of "this guy is clearly disturbed because he thinks his parents are the Santas and that Christmas Magic in the form of a suit cures everything."

A guy just bought one ugly wooden Zebra in the toy department. Just one. Either he has the whole animal zoo set at home and the Zebra will complete it or he just bought a toy for a kid he hates.

Oh, look! It's the estranged mother of one of the Mrs. Clauseseses, back to heal their estranged relationship. We may not find out why their estranged relationship went sour but that doesn't matter because we'll just repeat the word estranged over and over until you forget this giant plot hole.

Nick is outside your store in a sleigh with reindeer and mistletoe, Meredith. Go get him, girl.

Conclusion: Every Santa in the world should be played by David Sutcliff. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ice Sculpture Christmas

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Down on her luck girl becomes a dishwasher in her hometown and bumps into a childhood crush/love
  • Tragic, dead parent who was the embodiment of the Holiday Spirit
  • Character whose parents showed them the meaning of true love and they could never settle for anything less
  • Girl is from a humble background and makes hugely profound statements about finding angels
  • Boy's family is from the upper echelon of society and therefore in need of a "holiday" lesson in classism 
  • Flirty/romantic christmas cookie baking scene 
  • A charming little small town contest, Christmas based, that's the biggest event of the year
  • Incredibly humble, annoyingly positive father/daughter team who are always smiling and always taking the high road 

Seriously, these are their expressions. The whole time. 

If you’re always humble (always-always!) you will totally rise to your dream job two weeks after starting from the very bottom as a dishwasher based solely on your constant “I’m OK” face and random ice carving skills, which come in super handy the very first day, and allow you to win the prince (of where, we still don't understand) who just wants to do something meaningful for once in his silver spooned life.

Synopsis: Total Cinderella story, except the class slipper is ice, freezing cold ice. Girl from a modest, middle-class family, who has to work for everything she has, reconnects with a good-hearted-wants-to-help-humanity prince she met as a child who just so happens to still belong to the same country club where her dad has always worked and now she works. This romance is going to be totes hot enough to melt the blocks of ice in Ice Sculpture Christmas

Favorite Line: 
Callie’s dad, Frank: “Christmas is food for the heart and soul.” 
Hand to Santa, those faces, the whole time. 

Random Thoughts We Had During This Movie:

Where do they live? Because the ice sculpture she carved in her front yard isn’t melting. Also, it's not very good. 

How did the head chef not remember Callie was starting work her first day and why was she late to / not a part of the monthly meeting being held that she just happened to stumble upon, thus drawing attention to herself.

And... cue Über competitive icy bitch who will cause problems for our plucky heroine. Her name is Jen. They are always named Jen. 

Oh, look, a 25 year old ice sculpting contest that the heroine can totally use to prove her worth to the restaurant. Huh. I didn't see that coming. At all. 

There’s no way David was merely “oh no, my phone” when Callie bumped it into the fountain. Who doesn’t lose their shit over a phone falling into the sink? I would have cut a bitch. 

Weez’s comment about the phone in the bag of rice, “It’s supposed to be completely submerged in the rice! Hello!” It was half out of the rice AND wasn’t even in it overnight. She’s 11, she knows. The Hallmark researchers are trash. 

Wait. That guy made a house WITH furniture in four hours and all they could muster was a gingerbread man? 

Also, Callie isn't that talented at ice sculpting. Her gingerbread man is terrible. 

We published an ice carving book. I wonder if it did well? (File that under: Thought one has when you work for a textbook publisher)

The god damned Bradford deal, David! Is that the Hallmark version of the Catalina Wine Mixer? 

He’s a prince and his dad is the king? Of what / where? Of their company? Of their town? I don't understand. 

This country club looks like a run-down Courtyard Marriott. How exclusive could it possibly be? 

That flirty christmas cookie baking scene was a perfect opportunity for counter sex Epic fail, Hallmark. Epic fail. 

Gloria and Frank are so gonna hook up.

Jen, the manipulative shady bitch, sabotaged Callie's piece of ice. Noooooooooo. What is going to happen? The movie is over. OVER. 

How in the hell did Callie create an angel out of her broken ass block of ice that was reduced to half its size?

Does no one else think that Callie's ice sculptures are pure garbage? That angel has no face. It's terrifying. It's going to kill us all. 

Why didn't Callie just ask David when that bitch Jen tell her that Brooke and David are a thing because, of course, David, being a prince, would never ever love a “dishwasher”? Why does she ask Brooke? Such a passive female role… (eyeroll)

WHO’S THE WINNER?! No need for a winner when the girl gets the guy, I guess.

Conclusion: The passive, positive girl gets her prince, and her dream job, and her mom’s legacy full-filled, and Jen totally gets fired for being a bitch. If that’s your thing, this one is for you, on ice.