Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas in Homestead

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Workaholic woman (famous actress this time!) who no longer believes in the magic of Christmas
  • Tragic widower with a young daughter and a heart of gold
  • An uber romantic horse drawn carriage ride through the city/town
  • Features a charming little inn or B&B that is one of the centerpieces of the town and/or is named after some Christmas derivative 
  • A small town whose sole purpose is to celebrate Christmas and/or is named after some Christmas derivative 
  • A flirty ice-skating scene
Look! We met our minority quota in our main cast! We are SO with the times. 


Jessica McEllis, the biggest actress in, like, all of the world has approximately two days to film what is presumably a low budget Hallmark Christmas movie in a small town that no one has ever heard of but is really super at doing Christmas. But, guys, HUGE foil! Matt, disgruntled, yet handsome widower/ local inn proprietor/mayor with a heart of gold and a precocious, adorable daughter, is totally against the giant movie company coming in and pumping his town full of revenue. Even though it's clear they blow their yearly budget on their 234738479 Christmas contests.

Will a crazy paparazzi, a creepy Ken doll actor ex, an overly familiar bodyguard, and a completely inept director come between Jessica and Matt or will Christmas love conquer all in Homestead Christmas

Favorite Line: 

“Home isn’t where you live, it’s where you love.”

Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

Wait, are we watching a Hallmark movie about the making of a Hallmark movie? Minds. Blown. This whole movie is so meta that I just can't even.

You are a celebrity and someone took a photo of you that you didn't want taken. STAY UNTIL THEY DELETE IT. Simply asking for the photo to be deleted is doing NOTHING. You deserve whatever you will get when this photo comes out, Jessica. She is total crap at being a movie star.

Tragic widower with a young daughter and a heart of gold just loves Christmas and his daughter is forever smiling and delightful, of course. If this were real life, these two would have such deep rooted issues that there would be drugs and hookers and angry public shouting matches and tears. Maybe even underground bum fights. We don't know.

Ok. Stop. A GIANT Hollywood movie is going to be filmed in a small town days before Christmas and a meeting with all important parties like the producer (who is also Jessica, her first big break producing), the director, the fucking Mayor, wasn’t the first thing to be scheduled? No one knows who anyone is? Granted I'm not in the movie business but you would think that there would be some semblance of location planning.

Really… the daughter of the mayor is obsessed with the Jessica’s movies, as was his dead wife, and he has no idea THAT’S who is coming to town? I wonder what else is happening in town that he doesn't know about. Underground bum fights? A prostitution ring hidden hidden behind the giant candy cane decorations in the christmas tree lot?

Ian, the only photographer from Hollywood---the only one---, has followed Jessica to town to take every picture of her. It makes perfect sense that the most famous actress in, like, all the world only has one third rate photographer following her. Sure, that makes sense.

 “You won’t even know we’re here,” someone just said. Maybe it was Jessica or the director. Not sure. I’d had a few drinks at this point, but come on, ominous much? Obviously, the whole town is going to get fucked up and disgruntled handsome widower Matt is going to lose his mind because Christmas is all different. And stuff.

Jessica’s male lead, her former boyfriend, Vince, shows up. He is literally every plastic ken doll I ever had as a kid. Even the one whose leg had been ripped off by my brother. Curiously, his acting ability is on par with the aforementioned plastic child's toy.

OMG, nevermind, I just realized that her ex-boyfriend is actually Gaston.

AGAIN… who in the hell set up this movie to be filmed in this small town and no one knows anyone? No pre-production location scouts were dispatched? No phone call? Google Hangout? Skype? Nothing? There is zero awareness of how the sets will be done. This is all supposed to be done in two days, which is normally how long it takes to film a major movie.

Am I the only one who can't stop thinking about underground bum fights and where they would be held in Homestead?

Zoey, disgruntled mayor/widower's sister, sees Ian (the only photographer in Hollywood) in a tree trying to position himself to be able to snap pictures of Jessica in the Inn’s room. I think? That is seriously one step away from skin-hat-wearing territory. Cue the meet cute where he falls to his death and she weeps over his lifeless body in the snow. JK. They meet and flirt instead. Adorably.

I may or may not have had a few drinks so maybe I missed some scenes, but this movie jumped around. Something happened to the town’s Santa, which totally annoyed Matt, and we don't seem to know why. Jessica promises there won’t be any more surprises. Riiiight. Have any of them seen Fixer Upper? Something disastrous always derails Chip and Joanna. And they don't decorate an entire town.

Matt’s suddenly in Jessica’s trailer. She’s crying. It’s awful and awkward. Also, I'm drunk and confused and have no idea why Matt is in Jessica's trailer. The window shade is open so Ian is snapping pictures. SET UP.  Jessica leans in to give Matt a kiss on the cheek for some reason… Ian takes the picture. DRAMA IN A SMALL TOWN, YO. Neither Jessica nor Matt realize this and get all "Your secret is safe with me.” Sure thing, guys.

Ugh. Matt asks Jessica if she wants to build a snowman. Now I can’t get 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman' out of my head. Thanks, Hallmark.

P.S. This is the 3rd movie of the year with a snowman decorating contest.

THANKFULLY, Sophie asks Jessica to help and they totally win the competition because Jessica has an entire wardrobe department at her fingertips.  Because Jessica's movie crew gives zero fucks about their budget.

There’s an obligatory ice skating scene and, of course, Matt can’t skate. He can’t build snowmen, he can’t skate, he can't handle snowball fights but has lived in this town obsessed with Christmas forever. Why hasn't he picked up any important Christmas skills? The whole reason for this town's existence is CHRISTMAS. I am not on board with his lack of holiday abilities.

SLEIGH RIDE SCENE. Feelings will be felt, bitches. 

OK. Jessica tells him to ask Santa for coordination. Enter clichéd Hallmark Christmas movie line, “It isn’t about what you need; it’s about what you wish for.” I have no idea what that means, but it blows their minds.

Jessica and Sophie are having a sweet heart-to-heart in her room and Matt’s outside the door, eavesdropping. I can't remember the last time I actually stood outside a room and dropped some eaves. Does this happen in real life?

 “Home isn’t where you live, it’s where you love.” Matt’s bawling at this point. Single parenting is hard, man.

And cue the snowball fight with the perfectly round, already made snowballs. Oh, it’s funny and hilarious and not one single snowball hits anyone in the face or tears a retina or has ice in it, like in real life.

Gaston suddenly realizes he’s not actually acting in the movie within the movie and he is, for reals now, in love with Jessica. Sad, dejected Matt, whose penchant for eavesdropping has smacked him in the face, yet again, hears this. He heads back to the Inn and has some pie. Zoey joins him and they have a heartwarming sibling tête-à-tête. Zoey reminds him Jessica’s a gigantic movie star and then there’s a gravity metaphor. My brother has never imparted words of wisdom in the form of a gravity metaphor. I feel deprived.

Gavin, Jessica’s bodyguard, and Soph have a chat, “Jessica is a person just like you and me.” They have a tea party. I'm seriously more on board with this tea party than anything else in this movie.

It’s now 3 days until Christmas and this movie is being delayed, but has to wrap up NOW. The goddamn Festival of Lights on Christmas Eve is coming and can’t NOT happen. Matt wants the festival to stay as is. Argue. Argue. Argue. The festival will be part of the movie anyway. Obvi. Jessica says, “Then I’ll be gone. It’s what you wanted right?”

But, wait! She doesn't leave because she has learned the true meaning of Christmas. And so has Gaston.

We went through this entire movie without seeing one underground bum fight. I am bereft.

Conclusion: It is extremely easy to film a hit movie in the span of two days. Also, movie stars and their production people really enjoy participating in small town council meetings. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Broadcasting Christmas

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • A workaholic woman who just doesn't have time for a relationship
  • A playful snowball fight that turns strangely deep and flirty
  • A Christmas music montage with characters doing christmas-y things
  • A gingerbread house or cookie decorating scene


Two extremely boring newscasters and ex lovers compete to become Jackée Harry's co-anchor. And guys, they have competed for the same job BEFORE!  Emily Morgan has a total meltdown on her Connecticut local news channel and somehow the act qualifies her for a shot at co-hosting Rise and Shine. Because being able to publicly meltdown is a quality EVERY good reporter needs. Her much more experienced daddy-issue-laden ex, Charlie Fisher, is disgruntled and handsome and, gosh darn it, will try and foil Emily's job if it's the last thing he does!

In between competing for ornament decorating segments and heartwarming stories about 100 year old fruitcake, will these two crazy kids cast off their morning news dreams to fall back in love?

Favorite Line: 

EVERYTHING MRS. HENDERSON SAYS. (See the bottom of this post. Trust me.)

Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

Rival reporters who are old flames and are forced to work together. Surely, we haven't seen this before.

Why can't Hallmark afford good carolers? These background people are always crap.

Does anyone else love public national television meltdowns? We need more of this in real life. You go, Melissa Joan Hart. Pave the way, baby.

There are two other people besides Emily and Charlie competing for Jackée's co-anchor job. One is a cardboard baseball player who can't speak in complete sentences and the other is a girl with a reality show called "Save the Date with Kate". These are the only options for the biggest morning talk show in New York? That's highly upsetting.

Oh, I see. This building must be the television station because of the GIANT satellite on the roof. This thing is so big, it looks like it was CGIed. "Hey guys, we may blow our entire budget on creating a CGI satellite but our audiences will really GET that this is a TV station. We may be forced to hire unpaid family members for the supporting cast but we think the trade-off is totally worth it."

They are very aggressive with the holiday wear in this movie. Seriously, I feel threatened by this level of green and red in a dress.

Save the Date with Kate is a southern sorority girl with her own line of clothing, multiple best-selling books, and several popular podcasts. But if this bitch is so perfect, why are her roots so bad? A southern sorority girl who owns a wedding/media empire would never let her roots be so visible. Whoa. I just Legally Blonded that shit. Impressed?

Famous crooner Toby Bradford is the Hallmark Michael Bublé. Also he is next level TERRIBLE. This is the worst jingle bell rendition I have ever heard in my entire life. His vibrato is making my ears are bleed. Instead of CGIing the GIANT satellite onto their TV station, couldn't they have hired an actual crooner?

"I can use wikipedia too." According to Hallmark, journalists do all of their research on wikipedia. Gone are the days of exhaustive research, attending hours of meetings and press conferences, and trolling the streets for sources and stories. That's so passé. Let's just wiki.

The epic Parker Bank & Trust Christmas display that they are sent to cover looks like an EDM concert that a 5 year old put together.

Dean Cain's attempt at chugging mulled wine is my favorite.

Oh, look they are dancing in the middle of the sidewalk to street musicians. My boyfriend and I are also occasionally overwhelmed and whipped into a dancing frenzy by a Christmas sax player. Isn't everyone?

After the shocking reveal of how his dad is the only reason he has his cushy New York reporter job, Dean Cain gives very good pensive-solemn-looking-out-the-window face.

And now we get to Mrs. Henderson. The owner of the 100 year old fruitcake and the lynch pin in Emily Morgan's plan to become co-anchor. THIS WOMAN IS A NATIONAL TREASURE.

Mrs. Henderson relished her verbal bitch slaps so much that I have to assume Dean Cain cried in between takes. Here they are in all of their fruit-caked covered glory:
  • "I already told the boy with the face."
  • "Hush haircut, the ladies are speaking."
  • "Not you, cheekbones. I was talking to her."
  • "Every trouble I ever had started with a handsome man."
  • "Sentiment kids, sometimes it just isn't pretty."
  • "I see that a handsome man has caused a problem. Let's hear it."

Conclusion:  Everything after Mrs. Henderson exits the movie is a sad, desolate wasteland.