Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 Non-Christmas Classics To Watch This Holiday Season


If you've been in my apartment since two weeks before Thanksgiving, if you are the recipient of one of my countdown to Christmas texts (starting in triple digits) or even if you've brushed past me on a sidewalk… you know that I love Christmas time.  I force Christmas cheer on my naturally anxious and depressed self.  I start way before Christmas season and have been known to end in February.   

Every year, I do what I can to get in the spirit and more often than not that involves movies.  However, Netflix's supply of Christmas movies is… bare.  You have some pretty decent options: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas, CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS. But those aren't the ones I want to talk about. 

Here are five NON-Christmas classics on Netflix for you to enjoy - and quite possibly cringe during - this Christmas season. 

1. 12 Dates of Christmas.  (Out of all the ABC Family Original Christmas movies, this is actually my favorite.)

The cast: Amy Smart and Zack Morris. 

The plot: Amy Smart wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend this Christmas.  She calls him, tricks him into coming over because she wants to "see their dog" and oh yeah, she bought him a gift.  She faints in a department store and wakes up in a busted up version of the movie, Groundhog Day.  Her ex-boyfriend is dating someone else, her mother is dead, her father is re-married, the stepmother sets her up on a blind date, his wife is dead, the date goes poorly because Amy Smart is terrible… and she wakes up in the same day every day until she rights all of her wrongs and makes everyone else in her world happy.  Including, but not limited to: befriending an eccentric and lonely neighbor, forcing a random guy in a park to propose to his girlfriend and stalking a runaway orphan until ultimately giving him a puppy that he most likely will not be able to take care of.  

2. The Mistle-Tones! (Yes, exclamation point included.) 

The cast: Tia (or Tamera) (or Taj) Mowry, Tori Spelling.  

The plot: A Mowry Sister desperately wants to join local and popular Christmas singing group, The Snow Belles. (Do those exist?!) Her mother started the group when she was younger (and yes, her mother is now deceased - I'm sensing a theme in ABC Family movies) and Mowry has been waiting FOREVER for an opening so she can join and sing at the mall on Christmas Eve.  Shit happens, she doesn't get in.  Her boss is a dick.  She convinces Santa (the mall version) to make it a competition to see who gets to perform at the mall on Christmas Eve.  She starts her own group with a bunch of misfit co-workers… and everything goes right until it goes wrong until it goes right and she finds out her dick of a boss SINGS LIKE REALLY WELL and he helps the group nail their vocal arrangements and corresponding dance moves. Then he gets a call to move to like Thailand or something, right as he and Mowry #1 were falling in love. They do not win the competition and there's still a happy ending. All in all, Tori Spelling is SERIOUSLY terrible at acting.

Oh, and Carl Winslow is in it. 

3. While You Were Sleeping.  

The cast: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Sandy Cohen (from The O.C.) and the mother from Mary Poppins… among others. 

The plot: Arguably not a Christmas movie, but it takes place at Christmas time.  Sandra Bullock takes tokens at a train station (what an old timey job that is!) and is in loooove with a guy she sees everyday.  He has large eyebrows.  He is Sandy Cohen.  He falls on a train platform, she saves him, he conveniently slips into a coma.  She pretends she's engaged to him so she can go in the hospital with him… but then his family arrives and she lies to them and says they were engaged.  They all believe her, and fall in love with her - but Bill Pullman doesn't believe her and falls in love with her IN A DIFFERENT WAY.  She spends all her time with his family (so creepy) and hangs out with Bill Pullman every single day despite him constantly trying to catch her in traps while simultaneously flirting with his possible sister-in-law.  Sandy Cohen comes out of his coma, remembers everything else about his life EXCEPT Sandy B.  He agrees to marry her anyway (what?) and she finally admits the truth on the altar.  But she fell in love with the family.  And she cries.  And then, in my favorite movie moment ever, she's back at work, collecting tokens… and an engagement ring comes through the little token window.  It's the entire family.  And Bill Pullman.  Asking her to marry him/them.

It is very icy outside through the entire movie. That constitutes a Christmas movie.  Plus, Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman have great chemistry - even more than Sandra and Keanu. (Go ahead and argue with me, I dare you!)

4. Holiday in Handcuffs

The cast: Melissa Joan Hart, A.C. Slater. 

The plot: What do you think?  Melissa Joan Hart needs to bring a guy home for Christmas because she has NAGGING parents and she's a lonely, single woman.  Instead of asking a nice friend, or admitting the truth to her family, SHE KIDNAPS A HUMAN BEING and FORCES HIM TO VISIT HER FAMILY WITH HER.  It's like she didn't even know he was a wrestling champion!  There's fighting, awkward forced kissing by the family and accidental enjoyment by both parties.  Upon realizing she's in love with him, and that her victim is kind of an okay guy, she lets him go.  But he comes back.  They always do.  And they get married… or just start dating… I don't know, let's face it, the movie is horrible. 

The weirdest part? There is ANOTHER ABC Family movie titled My Fake Fiance that has the same exact plot and also stars Melissa Joan Hart.  Everything is terrible. 

5. Snowglobe

The cast: Christina Milian. 

The plot: Shit goes down in a snow globe.  

Yes, Christina Milian gets transported into a snow globe.  It's everything you want it to be and less.  Snow globe people are WEIRD. 

There you have it.  If you're in the mood, feel free to tear through every single ABC Family Christmas movie… I certainly have!  Or you could turn the Hallmark channel on literally any hour of the day, they play Christmas movies every single hour.  They're all terrible and they all have similar plot lines. But, you know what?  They do the trick.  And some nights, you're just not interested in investing in a top quality classic… you just want a quickie with a second-rate Christmas story. 

That's what I do best. 

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