Monday, December 23, 2013

Our Top 10 Ridiculous Made-for-TV Christmas Movies: Part Two

We're back with even more ridiculous made-for-TV movies to put you in the Christmas spirit! Part One of our countdown featured some completely insane holiday hijinks, so let's continue that theme with these next 5 films.

5) Holiday in Handcuffs (ABC Family)

Very thoughtful of our heroine to wrap up a Christmas gift in the midst of her kidnapping plot.
Trudy (Melissa Joan Hart) is a waitress who has just been dumped by her boyfriend right before she was supposed to bring him home for Christmas to meet her nagging parents, who have basically given up all hopes of Trudy ever snagging a man now that she's reached the ripe old age of 27. Trudy goes completely insane and literally kidnaps David, a diner at her restaurant (Mario Lopez) to pose as her boyfriend, Nick (holiday name alert!). He makes a few half-hearted attempts to escape but honestly, it does not seem like he really tries too hard, and of course he starts hitting it off with Trudy and her family. David is finally rescued by the police after his real girlfriend tips them off (oh yeah, he was just about to get engaged to someone else!) and Trudy and her family get thrown in the slammer, but he decides not to press charges because he is in looooove. After surprising Trudy at her art show (because he's a sensitive ABC Family hunk who wants her to follow her artistic dreams), they start making out and it appears as though they will live happily ever after.

Obviously, the kidnapping is totally absurd and could never, ever happen in real life, but there are a few other crazy things in this movie that lands it on our list. First of all, the crossover appeal of Clarissa and Slater winding up together is just irresistible. Also (and I mean this as the highest compliment), Melissa Joan Hart is reeeeally good at acting over the top and giving us some fierce crazy eyes. Everyone loves a sassy, gun-toting grandma, and this movie delivers one in the form of a grandma who apparently used to perform on Broadway and uses that as an excuse to inject extra drama into everyone's lives, so obviously I approve of that. And finally, the handcuffs in the title don't only refer to the kidnapping; multiple pairs pop up throughout the film, including a pair of red furry ones at the very end when our leads finally get together (come on kids, save it for the bedroom!).

4) A Bride for Christmas (Hallmark)

Hey guys, do you think they'll wind up getting married? Thanks for the spoiler alert, Hallmark!
After breaking off three engagements (wow, quite an achievement!), interior designer Jessie has sworn off all men but can't quite resist her new client Aidan. Plot twist: serial bachelor Aidan has made a completely nonsensical bet with his friends that he can convince a woman to marry him by Christmas. He selects Jessie as his target at an art show, and proceeds to stalk her by hiring her to redecorate his apartment. She tries to resist his advances but falls prey to his charm, despite the fact that she is still being pursued by her latest fiance. Since this is a Hallmark movie, Aidan starts to develop real feelings for Jessie so he calls the bet off, but of course she finds out about it anyway and breaks up with him. However, her family meddles and arranges a wedding for Aidan and Jessie to be held at their house on Christmas Day; even though Jessie had stopped speaking to Aidan and wanted no part of him, of course she still goes through with this surprise wedding that her family decided to force her in to.

As if this plot isn't ridiculous enough, I've saved the best detail until now...the entire movie takes place over the course of only 4 weeks! That's just 28 days between when the bet was made and when the wedding took place! Even if they somehow managed to hang out every single day during that month, that's still a crazy-fast timeframe. Also, doesn't the premise of the bet basically make Aidan a total jerk? I mean, what was he planning to do if some poor girl that he never developed feelings for agreed to marry him, just dump her at the altar? Also, perhaps Jessie's family should be a little more concerned about their daughter's obvious commitment issues instead of shoving her down the aisle mere weeks after her last broken engagement (though perhaps they were able to recycle the flowers and other decor from her almost-wedding, since I'm sure they were still fresh).

3) A Very Merry Mix-Up (Hallmark)

This guy is our romantic lead? I demand a recast with Cameron Mathison!
This movie is based on SUCH a ridiculous premise that it actually made me angry! I need to break down each plot point:

- Alice is staying with her fiance Will's family for the holidays, but workaholic Will needs to settle some business first so Alice travels on her own a few days early. She has never met his family before - why on Earth would she go by herself to stay with them?? So awkward!

- While traveling, Alice loses her luggage and breaks her phone, but luckily, she just so happens to bump into her future brother-in-law Matt at the airport. It's completely ludicrous that she would just assume that Matt is Will's brother based solely on the fact that they have the same last name! Will has never mentioned having a brother and Matt had no idea that his brother (who is of course, also named Will!) was even dating anyone, let alone bringing her home for Christmas, yet they both just hop in a car and head on over to Matt's house.

- While en route to the house, they get into a car accident and (stay with me) this somehow causes their phones to no longer work, which is the flimsy excuse given for why Alice doesn't get in touch with her fiance for days, even though she was just in a car accident and is allegedly staying with his family!!!

- Of course, the fake family is lovely and just adores sweet little Alice. I don't have to tell you just how opposite the fiance's real family is, right?

I could go on and on pointing out all of the major plot holes, but let's cut to the chase - obviously Matt and Alice have fallen in love over the two days they spent together, which clearly means that she should dump Will just because his family is kind of snooty. The absolute absurdity that Alice and Will would have zero contact for almost a week is what qualifies this snoozefest as one of our top ridiculous movies!

2) The Mistletones

Time for a celebraTORI movie
As M recently pointed out to me as we were analyzing our favorite things about this movie (because yes, that's something we do), the entire source of conflict surrounds a vocal competition where the prize is to sing at the mall on Christmas Eve. Yes, the stakes are that high! Back during my choir days, no one would have wanted to sing at the mall on Christmas Eve - we'd rather stay at home to open presents and drink eggnog (and seeing as these characters are well past legal drinking age, there is really no reason they'd rather be caroling next to Forever 21 instead of chugging back some holiday cheer).

Our heroine, Holly (of course it's another Christmas name) is portrayed by Tia or Tamera Mowry, and her lifelong dream is to be a member of the Snow Belles, an all-female singing group started by her mother by now led by a fur hat-clad Tori Spelling. Of course, Tori is totes jealous of Tia, and refuses to allow her into the group even though she is clearly the best singer at the audition. Undeterred, Tamera assembles a random group of misfits from her office to form their own singing group to take on Tori and the Snow Belles! Sadly for Tia, her singing group kind of sucks and there is no way that they'll be able to sing at the mall on Christmas Eve (sad face).

But wait - plot twist! Turns out that Tamera's stern, uptight, and totally hot pretty boy boss Nick (drink for another Christmas name!) is a secret karaoke champ (and yes, I may rewind his big karaoke number just a few times whenever I watch this movie)...he is just the secret weapon they may need to snag some Cinnabon and maybe even an Orange Julius on Christmas Eve!

While this movie features plenty of predictable plot points (anyone want to bet on how long it will take Holly and Nick to get together?), the joy of watching it all stems from Tori Spelling's over-the-top, scenery-chewing performance as the fur-and-sequins villain. She is campy, she is a mean girl, and she is NOT redeemed in the end! Plus her lip-synching is completely out of control.

1) The 12 Dates of Christmas (ABC Family)

Spoiler: He never holds a wrapped gift in the actual movie! This picture is full of lies!
Confession: I may kind of genuinely like this movie just a little bit (though there is still much to make fun of!). In my defense, it stars an all-grown-up Mark-Paul Gosselaar and also features Michael Buble's original Christmas song, "Cold December Night"- how can I possibly be expected not to swoon?

Ok, back to the snark - Amy Smart (who I've always been suspicious of ever since she played the irritating Ruby on "Felicity") is a sad single named Kate, who is still mourning the end of her relationship with Jack (who was kind of pinging my gaydar throughout the film). She agrees to go on a blind date on Christmas Eve (which...really? Out of all possible days??) - lo and behold, MPG is her blind date! I would totally count that as a win, but Kate is still hung up on Jack and acts all miserable and bratty on the date. Luckily, the fates smile upon her and she winds up repeating Christmas Eve 12 times, getting it a little more right each time. Along with falling in love with MPG, she also manages to make new friends, set up a new couple in the bar where she has her blind date, gains new appreciation for her stepmother, assists with an engagement, gets to know her lonely elderly neighbor, and more. It's a warm and fuzzy romantic comedy with Christmas as a backdrop, so this light and breezy movie is one that I always like to put on while I'm wrapping gifts (and let's face it, MPG always brings the pretty).

What are your go-to films for the holidays? Will you be snuggling up on the couch to watch any of our selections this Christmas Eve?



  1. This truly made me LOL! I def now have a go-to list, haha!

    1. You'll have to knock off The Mistletones tonight, it's great Christmas Eve viewing!

  2. Wow!!!!! After reading your list of 10-5 I had no idea how you could find five movies to top those. But these do that in spades!!!!! I love American Christmas!!!!

    1. Thanks, Vlad - glad we can help introduce you to our American holiday customs!

  3. While I do agree with Vlad, that these are all amazing. Im sorry you must be kidding me… the heck is Holiday in Handcuffs #1. That movie has it all. 80s celebrities, love, heartbreak, felonies. Come on gals you're better than that!!!!!!!

    1. sorry I made a mistake with my last comment, I meant to say "how the heck is Holiday in Handcuffs NOT #1

    2. Point taken - there is always room for heated debate on TSN, and it was a tough call to rank these since they are all so incredible! Happy to hear that Holiday in Handcuffs has warmed your heart this Christmas.


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