Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Pure, Unadulterated Delightfulness...

Of the most cheesy-made-for-TV-movie time of the year!  ABC Family, Hallmark, and Lifetime each have their own festive offering, so it's bound to be a delightful cinematic season.  The Hallmark Channel begins airing new movies this Saturday.  Queue up the DVR! To get us in the spirit, here are a few notables in my pantheon of:

Made-For-TV Christmas Movies (MFTCM)

You know that happy glow you feel looking at a lit tree?
That's how I feel about these types of movies.

A Christmas Kiss- My first delightful MFTCM of 2013.   Basically an assistant to a mean ol' boss (think a very B-version Merle Streep from The Devil Wears Prada) falls in love with the boss's boyfriend and kisses him in an elevator.  Of course, she's incognito and he doesn't recognize her when they are introduced.  But they both felt 'flutters' (Gag me.  The guy says this repeatedly).  Dude's rich and has amazing hair a la Gordon Gecko of Wall Street. The actor comes off as very vanilla, but the female lead has two sassy best friends/roommates whose wise quips keep things from getting too queso.  The two lovebirds are thrown together planning Dude's Christmas party.  Of course they fall asleep on each other's shoulders watching movies.  Of course it's innocent.  Of course Boss Lady/Girlfriend goes on the attack.  And of course the sassy friends intervene.  This one is currently on streaming Netflix.  If you like to put your mind on hold like me, you could do worse for entertainment.

Hitched for the Holidays- Joey Lawrence of Dancing with the Stars and Blossom fame stars.  He carries the film well.  Quite dashing and roguish as memory serves.   He's an ad exec who hates to be tied down to anything (lost little boy inside and all that).  His love interest needs a date due to her family's growing concern for her after being jilted at the altar (there's a story there).  He's Catholic, she's Jewish, and both need a date to save face at holiday functions.  And his dying grandma's last wish is that he find true love.  But she's not really dying.  Oy!  Crazy family shenanigans! Watch it!  Airs this Saturday at 10 p.m.  And copious times thereafter.

Holiday in Handcuffs- This had me at Mario Lopez (a la Slater from Saved by the Bell and Dancing with the Stars). Anyone see a pattern developing here? 90s star plus DWTS stint equals revitalized MFTCM career. Melissa Joan Hart (again with the 90s teen stars) is a scatterbrained, struggling artist that needs to bring home a suitable date to her family Christmas in a remote cabin.  She flubs an interview, gets a bad home perm, and basically grabs a pistol at her waitressing job and hijacks Mario/Slater at gunpoint.  Yeah, he could wrestle her.  And the pistol is an unloaded antique just hanging out by the register.  Details.  Crazy eyed Melissa/Sabrina (the Teenage Witch) gets him in her car, secures him with novelty handcuffs and voila, instant boyfriend!  Of course they see through the kidnapping and fall in love.  She puts on an ice skating routine for him.  They play chess.  He stops trying to escape.  That's a formula for true love right there.  

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade- This is a cute one and I was struggling to remember the exact title until I followed my own advice and scheduled my Hallmark movie marathon via my DVR!  This plays Sunday at 4 p.m. on Hallmark.  She's the Thanksgiving planner who wears vintage everything (a nod to her deceased mom); he's a slick suit brought in analyze her event and rain on her parade (wink).  They bond over a chance meeting at the grocery store and share cute phone calls while watching holiday movies.  It's fluffy, mindless, and the good girl gets the right guy. Not a bad distraction while you're folding towels.

Mrs. Miracle - This stars James Van Der Beek (aka Dawson) which should make this a lock for my generation.  A magical nanniy (Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond) helps a young widower (Dawson) with his young sons and surprise, not letting love slip through his fingers.  Real sentimentality, not schmaltz.  Very sweet. 

Recipe for the Perfect Christmas - I watched this a few years back and it has some decent acting.  Food critic (Carly Pope) and chef (Bobby Cannavale) meet cute.  Overbearing mom tries to live through food critic daughter.  Complicated relationships, second chances... all staples of any good MFTCM. 

Snowglobe- Another loud, eccentric, overbearing family causes our heroine (Christine Milan) to dream of a perfect Christmas, the one she sees in her snowglobe.  The magic of this snowglobe whisks her into the wholesome land of a perpetual Christmas.  Turns out fantasy is way more boring than reality.  Especially when your imaginary snowglobe boyfriend shows up in real life.  Yeah, that happens.  She still finds true love. Christmas movie magic, people.  

A Very Brady Christmas  Words fail at such a wonder.  If you need to laugh and have 90 minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching it in its entirety here on Youtube.  I probably watched it with my sister for the first and only time 15 years ago and I still remember some of the lines.  Wondering if you should make the first move, ladies? "If the idiot won't ask you, ask the idiot!"  Entertainment and solid dating advice. 

All that's left to due to look up the newest offerings from these fine channels to help plan your viewing season.  Delightfulness guaranteed! 

ABC Family Christmas Movies 2013

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2013

Lifetime Christmas Movies 2013

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