Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 Days of Cheesy Holiday TV Movies - Day 8

Grade: A (and not just because it's Whedon-adjacent)
Channel: Lifetime

AMY ACKER!!! Fred is in a cheesy Christmas tv movie!  And it was good!  PLUS...JASON PRIESTLY DIRECTED IT!!!  YAY! Ok, I'm calming down.  Let's get to it.

The story is: SHE is Crystal, a trust-fund baby with no direction in life.  HE is Derek, a widower and father to Olivia.  She is uptown chic.  He is downtown blue collar.  Will they fall in love in time for Christmas?  I'm guessing the answer is "Yes" but let's not jump ahead.  She is out shopping one day and a letter to Santa catches a ride on magical wind (it sounds worse than it is) and blows into her path.  She pockets the letter and buys the cute red dress in the store window.  She then finds out if she doesn't do anything to change her life (a job, a man, something) her parents will cut her off.  Oh no!  She opens the letter and reads the wish of a young girl who wants a new wife for her father.  It's been two years since her mom died and her dad is still very sad.  She decides she's going to check out this father and daughter to see if there's any potential.  At the least she can tell her parents she's doing something other than shopping.  Ok, so this is a story problem but bear with me.  It doesn't last long.  She stalks them and ends up following him to the local soup kitchen where she finds herself feeding the homeless.  Huh.  So it's a love story and a fish-out-of-water story.  Nice. 

The fish-out-of-water stuff doesn't last that long.  She soon finds herself connecting with his daughter and actually enjoying volunteering at the soup kitchen.  She does not enjoy his bitchy girlfriend and it's obvious no one is supposed to enjoy her.  Sure, she's a stereotype but her treatment by the writers/stylist is nowhere near as bad as the token gay.  The token gay is a chef at the soup kitchen and wear a bright pink chef's jacket and hat, er, toque.
The token gay in pink frills with a fabulous Amy Acker.
You don't need story details here because I'm sure you'll want to check out the movie for yourself (it's going to be on again this weekend and is on Lifetime OnDemand).  The short of it is, she gets along really well with both the guy and his daughter and finds a real purpose for her life.  There's a misunderstanding, of course, but it all works out. They say "fate," I say "serendipity" but no matter the word...it's a happy ending.

So we've established that the story isn't new and was just as predictable as most of these movies.  But there was so much normalcy and decent pacing to their relationship that it forgives the story problems.  The little girl was very cute and not at all annoying.  The guy was normal and natural and believable.  It wasn't goofy or overly cheesy.  I totally believed them falling for each other in the span of time that elapsed during the movie.  Plus Amy Acker was so great as the rich girl.  She wasn't at all annoying or obnoxious as many rich-types are in these movies.  She is sweet and adorable and is one of my favorite Whedon alums.

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