‘Tis the season for cheesy Christmas rom-coms from Hallmark and/or Lifetime Channel! You can have your Elf, your Miracle on 34th Street, and especially your A Christmas Story (HATE that one), gimme those sappy love stories with a yuletide theme, starring yesterday’s A-listers and TV stars from the good ol’ days.
The formula is always the same: Single lady is single. She runs into hunky single dude, they laugh, they cry, they eventually get hitched. Oh, and it’s Christmas. The only way you wouldn’t see the main woman and man together, is if you had a stroke and died before the end of the movie.
And these films are usually packed with stars that make you go, “hey look, it’s that lady from that show I used to watch,” or, “hey, it’s the dad from that show I used to watch,” or, “good to see they’re still getting work.” I wouldn’t call them “has-beens.” In my opinion, once a star, always a star. And while the films are somewhat less than Emmy-worthy, I still find them a fun way to spend a wintry December evening.
This past weekend, the fam and I took in a couple of movies on Lifemark–I mean, Halltime–oh, whichever. A Very Merry Toy Store starred Melissa Joan Hart (widowed) and Mario Lopez (divorced), owners of two toy stores who decide to join forces to take down big corporate behemoth Billy Gardell. There was no “the dad” in this one, but Beth Broderick, Melissa’s aunt on that other show, played her mother in this movie. All the feels, man. All of ’em.
Then we watched Wrapped Up In Christmas, which featured Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy, and Jackée Harry. Yes, I had crushes on all those fine brown sistas. Still do. It starred Tatyana Ali, and she’s alright, but I’m generally not attracted to women younger than me, with Taylor Swift being the only notable exception (don’t judge me). Anyway, Tatyana falls for hunky lawyer-turned-artist Brendan Fehr, the TV version of Channing Tatum. Yes, she’s black, and he’s white, but y’know what? No one ever mentions it, and it’s not even part of the plot. At all. And that was so refreshing. Realistic? Of course not, but very refreshing.
So, yeah. It’s good to slow down from all the commercialized hype, the bastardization of rock ‘n roll classics, and all that other crap, and turn your brain off, and turn your heart on (yes, I realize how that sounds). Have a Holly-Jolly Halltime Christmas, y’all!