A Christmas Movie Christmas follows two sisters who wake up in a Christmas movie. The film wants to parody Hallmark films the way Isn’t It Romantic parodied romcoms. However, it plays things too safe. The sisters are classic ingenues, lacking the chaos of a Rebel Wilson or Rachel Bloom. They never try to break the rules of the world. It soon settles into the dull formula it claims to be mocking.
Afropig’s Hallmark recaps inspired me to write a spoiler filled recap of my own.
We Need a Little Christmas
Scene One: The Real World
(Sisters get berated by their corporate boss.)
SWEET SISTER: I wish I could live in a Christmas movie!
SALTY SISTER: Why? They’re lame and predictable. My wish is… different.
SANTA: Ho ho ho. Your wishes are granted!
Scene Two: Christmas Town
(Sisters wake up in Christmas Town.)
SALTY SISTER: I hate this. (Makes meta jokes.)
SWEET SISTER: I LOVE THIS!
GRANDMA: You should organize the Christmas festival! (Bakes an endless supply of cookies.)
POP STAR and INN KEEPER: Sweet Sister, we’ll help because we’re in love with you.
SWEET SISTER: I’ll play along because I love attention!
Scene Three: Love Quadrangle
INN KEEPER’s EX GIRLFRIEND: I’ll replace the tree with a big city Picasso sculpture. It’s fancy!
SWEET SISTER: THAT’S NOT CHRISTMAS, YOU FOOL!
INN KEEPER’s EX GIRLFRIEND: Then maybe your boyfriend the Pop Star can help!
POP STAR and INN KEEPER: Sweet Sister, you were leading us both on?! (They Leave.)
SWEET SISTER: I guess Christmas wishes don’t come true!
Scene Four: A Salty Subplot
(Meanwhile a Goofy Baker has been stalking the Salty Sister.)
GOOFY BAKER: Salty Sister I’m in love with you!
SALTY SISTER: No, you’re not! My wish was to be a better person. But I’m just a GARBAGE PERSON WHO RUINS THINGS! (Leaves.)
Scene Five: A Christmas Miracle
GRANDMA: Buck up Sisters. You have to save Christmas.
SISTERS: Okay. Let’s have a montage. Because we’re self-aware.
EVERYONE: You saved the Christmas Festival.
SISTERS: And found our self-worth!
Scene Six: The Real World
(Sisters wake up in the Real World. Their dream boyfriends are somehow there.)
GOOFY BAKER and INN KEEPER: Santa granted our wishes too!
We Need a Little Chaos
- Director Brian Herzlinger has a resume full of TV romcoms. His team captures the Hallmark / Lifetime aesthetic.
- Co-writers Brant Daugherty and Kimberly Daughtery play the Goofy Baker and Salty Sister. Brant gives the best performance. He has manic energy and a hint of madness in his eyes. He talks to cookies, draws elaborate Christmas cards and earns his laughs.
- I was rooting for Salty Sister but her script lets her down. She mocks the Christmas cliches and calls the Baker a “creepy stalker.” She cuts in line to confront Santa saying she “wants to wake up.” But she never tries to leave the town (or burn it down).
- Randy Wayne and Addy Stafford give broad performances as the Pop Star and Big City Ex-Girlfriend. The film wisely pairs them off at the end. The pop star gets one good line (“You were going to leave me? Do you know who me is?”). But the rest of the jokes fall flat.
- There are subplots for the Scrooge-like Corporate Boss and an adorable child. The movie doesn’t care about them.
- Lana McKissack’s Sweet Sister brings the earnestness the film needed at its core. I just wish the film around her was crazier.
A Christmas Movie Christmas is streaming on multiple sites including Hulu, Amazon and Tubi.
What’s your dream Hallmark parody? Who would you star? What rules would you break?