Research, Hallmark, Research: Christmas Festival of Ice

Hallmark has finally done it.  It has made me want to completely rewrite one of their horrible movies.  At this point, I’ll admit that about 85% of the movies they air are crap.  However, I usually am not forced to watch Hallmark productions where the MC is a lawyer.   However, my luck was out with Christmas Festival of Ice.

And I can tell you after finishing this one, I feel for all you pediatricians, vets, actresses, teachers, and any other occupation Hallmark has shit on.

giphy

If you don’t keep up with my Twitter, you should be notice that a lot of my Hallmark watching has been condensed to live Tweeting horrible movies (well, semi live Tweeting since I DVR-Equity it-thanks, Professor F for coining that term) there’s so many Countdown to Christmas crap-tacular films I can’t do full reviews for all of them.

However, there are some…well, there are so that just make me upset enough that make me write a review and this is one of them.

If you read my blog entries about Hallmark movies, you know I find them deeply flawed.  They’re in this own little bubble of privilege beyond privilege that only someone as foul  as DJ Tanner herself can love them-note, I actually have had to block people on Twitter when talking about things because I have been told I’m “mean” and wrong (we’ll get into what I’m supposedly wrong about later).

giphy8

Anyways, the premises of this one is pretty simple.  Every year Hallmark has to do some movie about ice sculpting.  I guess there is someone related to a higher up who has an ice sculpting fetish.  Honestly, maybe it’s because I’ve always had a green Christmas, but I’ve never associated ice sculpting with Christmas before.   But Hallmark does, and in this designated movie a law student-turned later in the movie law school grad-decides to get her ice sculpting fetish on with a guy who lives in a van down by the river who sales Christmas trees on the side when he’s not make the big dough from ice sculpting.

He’s hot, I guess which compensates the fact that his job is seasonal, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

For about the first hour or so of the movie, we’re told that this chick Emma is a law student.  And it’s at Christmas time, and I’m like girl this movie should be called That-Stupid-Chick-Who-Failed-1L-Because-She’s-More-Concerned-With Ice-Than-Torts.  Okay, I actually simplified the title to How I Failed 1L Year.  It’s not great, but it’s better than the alternative.   So, of course, I was obsessed with how this chick was not studied when my three years of law school was pretty much considered to be hell during the holidays.

But halfway through the movie, were randomly told that the MC took the bar and is waiting for her results (before Christmas?)

Um, no.

That’s not how it works.  The exam is taken in July and February respectfully.  Even the states that get their results back last-usually California-get them by mid November.  The reason why, people who fail have to register in time for the February exam.  They have to enroll in BARBRI or Kaplan which usually starts in December (near the time this movie takes place-agian, I know because I took the bar in February for one state).  Furthermore, you’re not going to get a text to tell you if you are going to pass or not.  You’re going to be sitting obsessively refreshing the state bar’s website until they post their pass/fail list.  Trust me, I’ve done it twice and it’s not pleasant.  If you don’t want to be refreshing your browser you’ll get a letter a couple of days letter.  Again, not a text.

giphy1

It wouldn’t take Hallmark a fucking lot of work to do this.  I mean, all they would have to do is Google the fucking thing.  They probably could’ve had a God damn intern do it during revisions.

But gun-ho Hallmark fans were arguing about this with me.  Because apparently Hallmark knows the schedule of bar exams a lot better than anyone who has ever waited for their bar results.

And stating the MC is a law student to waiting for her bar exams…Yeah.  You can’t take the bar if you haven’t graduated from law school yet.

God.

Or for that matter, apparently you don’t need a license to do a deposition let alone do it unsupervised.  And that your mom is immediately going to name you partner after you pass the bar exam.

Would it just kill Hallmark to do some sort of research?

There are people who actually believe everything they say is true, like that lady  on Twitter who told me all law offices had American flags featured prominently throughout their offices (they don’t).

You want to know what is in my office: law books, a desk, some old chairs, bookshelves, Chihuahua pictures, a candle, and can of Lysol, and a couch.  Oh, and last week I had it decorated for Halloween with a big spider hanging from my door.  No American flag in sight.

Brainie

One of the pictures I have in my office of baby Brainy.

Hell, none of the attorneys at my office or are sister office have a flag in their office.  The law office I worked before didn’t have a flag.  And neither did the office where I volunteered right after I graduated.  I’m sure they’re in some offices, BUT they’re not a mainstay.

So no, random Twitter person.  You are wrong a law office doesn’t need an American flag predominately applied amongst Christmas stuff in their office.

I know I’m obsessing, I tend to have those tendencies, but it just really bothered me how Hallmark doesn’t care one shit about doing any form research.  I mean, I’m writing my NANOWRIMO story right now, and I’m marking areas where I know I’ll need to go back and at the very least Google something.

It also bothered me how Hallmark threw away an accomplishment such as passing the bar exam, getting three years of law school for freaking ice sculpting.

I don’t kid you.  The climax of the movie results with the main character realizing she doesn’t want to be a lawyer and would rather cut ice for a living (not that there is really much of a living for that except for tacky weddings, but again I digress) and move in with the guy that sells Christmas trees and has a weird ice fetish on the side.

I joked with my sister that he lives in a van down by the river, but in Hallmark cannon he probably has a cute Cape Code decorated out from Pottery Barn complete with a  Golden Retriever.

I don’t know how he would be able to afford it though, since selling Christmas trees is sort of cyclical work.

I know, I’m digressing.  And I can hear the naysayers, it’s just a movie.

But God, I couldn’t believe how selfish how beyond disgustingly privilege this character was in the climax.

I know people who have worked their butts off in law school and didn’t have the fortune of passing the bar or getting a job, let alone a partnership.  Or for that matter, I know people who couldn’t get into law school because of financial difficulties.  But this chick, doesn’t give one shit about anyone.

And her parents acted completely unrealistic.  Seriously, I couldn’t believe her mom was like, “Oh, ho, hum, it’s fine that you do ice sculpting as a living.  In fact, I put $10K down for your hobby.  We’ll forget you spent seven years being able to get your JD and that we spent thousand upon thousands of dollars for you to be able to study and take the bar.  And hey, let’s forget that I’ve pretty much been letting you work at my office and I’ve been paying you so you can get a coffee roughly every 7.5 minutes in the movie in a new coat.”

Yeah, but that’s what happens.  Sort of.  She doesn’t mention the coffee thing, but that is what happened.

Look, I could go into more details about this movie but it’s fairly predictable.  The acting was blah.  I’ve seen another movie with the actress in it, My Summer Prince (even reviewed it) and she did about as decent as a job as she did in that movie.  But the thing is, the character was just insufferable.  And I really don’t blame it on her, but the writing.

Would it kill Hallmark to differ from their usual format: ambition for a woman is a bad a little?  I mean, passing the bar becoming an attorney is a big accomplishment.  They could’ve written the storyline a little bit differently to make it work.  Emma could’ve found a passion for her community, used her law degree to run for office or something-rather than just giving mommy to give her a hand out so she could make sculpted ice cubes.

I’m sorry, so many things about this movie annoyed me.

I am not stupid.  I have alluded to it several times in the fact that Hallmark has privileged protagonists and this is one of the worst offenders I’ve seen in awhile.  I think it’s because I lived the situation.  When I graduated from school, I didn’t come from an affluent family I had to work for what I got and this chick just throwing everything away disgusted me…

It disgusted me how lazy this movie was.  How the writers couldn’t even just do a common Google search to know when bar results would be released.  To know that you couldn’t be a freaking law student when you took the bar.

It disgusted me on so many levels.

It disgusts me that a lot of people think that Hallmark is who the world operates.

It disgusts me that they keep pushing out the same slightly repackaged shit with the same lessons about how women who have goals other than popping out munchkins and having a career is bad.  How women’s career should only be as good as their significant others and that they’re not happy unless they have a significant others.

Look, I’m all about the feel good movie.  After watching this travesty, I watched After the Ball on Netflix.  That movie is cheesy, but it works.  You want to know why, while the main character got with a cute guy.  The movie wasn’t about her giving up who she was, it was about her getting what she wanted.

I don’t recommend this movie.  It’s about a spoiled, privilege, brat who is going to find herself living in a van by the river.

Skip.

Total fail.

Advertisements

Golem Children, Bad YA Books, and Apple Cider: Falling for Vermont

Click here to see trailer.

Hallmark is getting into the season.  Meaning, instead of showing summer time movies they are now making the most of their fall footage before they start airing exclusively Christmas movies for three months.

giphy5

I decided since it is fall and it’s still 100 degrees where I was, I would at least enjoy fall by watching one of these movies.  However, Falling for Vermont is probably one of the worst Hallmark movies I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot of bad ones).

This one tells the story of a successful YA author whose books are only read by second graders who gets into a car accident, loses her memory and becomes a prisoner of sorts to a small country doctor who is unfortunate enough to share Donald Trump JR’s hair dye and has two very unfortunate children-one who I swear is the worst child actor I’ve seen in awhile, and that’s saying something.

The movie starts off with Angela (the MC) at a BEA sort of thing being greeted by a seven year old that’s supposedly in cosplay but isn’t.  The scene is awkward beyond belief.  Considering that most YA books have some element of sex and/or violence in it it is sort of cringe worthy to think a kid losing their baby teeth is reading it.  But unfortunately, this does happen.  I remember when I went to the movie theaters to see New Moon it was filled with young kids.  Obviously, their parents had not read Breaking Yawn because if they had they would’ve avoided taking their kids there and having to tell them that babies do not eat their mother’s womb like Resnotsme did.

We are cut to Dr. Trump JR who is doing a cheery checkup on a seven year old complete with fall decorations.  You’d think he’d realize that a lot of his patients would be allergic to the fall foliage.  God knows, my allergies have been terrible this year.  Hw then picks up his kids and his mother (or mother in-law, didn’t figure out who it was) tells him he needs to get laid again so that their kids can have a mother figure.

Note, the children instantly give me children of the corn vibes.  Especially Dr. Trump’s daughter.  Again, probably the worst child actress that I’ve seen in awhile.  Though to her credit, the writing doesn’t help.  Hallmark has a series to make children sound very creepy.  Throughout her first interaction, we learn that she likes are MC’s very generic YA series about time traveling.  It sounds oddly like that dumb series I read last year where that idiot goes to Scotland and gets trapped in Henry II’s court.   I have the sequel somewhere and one day I’m going to force myself to read it.  I’m dreading that day.  Honestly though, that book is better than this movie which is sad.

Anyway, MC has a meltdown about not being able to go apple picking  at Not BEA and ends up taking a car and going to Vermont and gets into a car accident and loses her memory.  Note, she has head trauma but she clearly is able to walk around town clueless until the bumbling sheriff sees her and asks if something is wrong (he apparently doesn’t see the car that she crashed).

Obviously, it is.  This guy though doesn’t care.  Why should he.  He doesn’t do anything except for the be Dr. Trump JR’s b.f.f. throughout the movie.  You know the one he’ll occasionally throw a basketball with and talk about lady issues with for like thirty minutes so the viewer gets “emotion” from him.   Also,  the character is the only POC in the movie and therefore the token Hallmark character.

Note, Hallmark has a horrible problem with diversity.  Occasionally, there might be a movie with a Latina lead but other than that nope.  And forget about a QUILTBAG person having a role of anything more than token gay best friend who give the MC a sad makeover which usually consist of merely giving her hair beach waives and dropping the teacher’s cardigan for a blazer or whatever.

Anyway, the MC finds herself emerged into small town Vermont life and soon becomes Dr. Trump JR’s default wife by making him sandwiches and writing his dumb kid’s play that’s probably pretty much the worst thing I’ve ever heard.

Seriously, the little brat won some contest to write a play for the town’s fall festival and it ends up being pretty much something you would see in a bad PSA sketch that your school would force you to watch-pretty much a girl is looking for lost concert tickets and learns who her “real” friends are.

And you know what, the amnesic author thinks its good.  I can totally imagine myself reviewing her time traveling series and I can see myself saying that its shit.  In fact, I’m going to rewrite the scene right here:

Golem Child: Elizabeth, is my play any good?

Elizabeth: Um, do you want me to be honest?

Golem Child: That means it’s really good, right?

Elizabeth: Oh, honey….it’s good effort, but I hate to break it to you if you show this crap the only way people will like it is in the way they like The Room.

However, now that I think about it, maybe Elizabeth/Angela didn’t have enough common sense to know it was bad.  She did write a Twilight ripoff after all.

Anywhoo, while the MC haplessly ends up becoming Dr. Trump JR’s quasi wife we are shown footage of autumn leaves.  I think this is to get us to warm up to the slightly captive MC falling in love with the shoe polish hair dyed doc.  It didn’t work though.  I found the ship detestable. Scenic canoe trips or not.

Pro tip, if you are going to have your character have a romance don’t do it when they have amnesia.  Or just when they are diagnosed with having amnesia and you’re a medical professional helping the MC out.  It comes off as creepy and not endearing, Hallmark.

Whatever though.  They look good enough together, so things are going well.  Until, the MC sees her shitty book and gets her memory back.

I can just imagine it her seeing the shitty book and realizing I wrote this shit.  God, what is wrong with me.  No wonder she doesn’t hightail it out of dodge yet.  I mean, if you wrote a Twilight rip off with time travel would you really want to admit it to the world?

Okay, she has money.

So never fucking mind.  I’d probably admit I wrote that shit too if it could pay off my student loans and let me put a down payment down on a house.

Anyway, she finally admits who she right during golem child’s horrendous play because at this point she knows that bad PSA plays are even worse than Twilight rip-offs and she doesn’t want to be stuck with this annoying family anyway.  And at that point, her sister and boyfriend who didn’t give jack shit about her throughout the movie find her.

Of course, she most go back to the evil bad city she realizes what’s important and goes back and makes and sandwiches for Dr. Trump JR and his kids in Vermont and the little golem child conveniently watches them make out because why not.

This movie is awful.  From my recap/review you can see I was not impressed with the writing or acting.  After you watch enough Hallmark movies you realize they’re fairly formulaic and insulting.   Seriously, they all fall in one of the predictable routes:

A) Big city girl gets stranded into a new town and ends up straddled to either her loser ex or some guy with baggage that keeps him from leaving town and she has to make a decision of whether to continue to be  a productive member of society or settle for the douche.

B) Girl hooks up with a prince.  Admittedly, I like these, but again has to leave her life for the prince.  At least in these cases it makes a little bit more sense.  But I would like at least in one of them for her to keep her career.

C) Middle age woman (i.e. she’s usually on in her early thirties tops) has a crisis in which she tries to figure out if her marriage and kids were the right choice for her.  She finds out they are and usually finds out that she’s having another little rugrat at the end.

Of course, there are some variants.  But these are the three main plots they have and it just makes me sake my head.  While family and kids are important, I wish these movies would address that you can have a substantive career as a woman as well.  At the end of the day, I just feel like its saying ambitious women=bad which makes me angry.

Falling for Vermont is probably one of the worst if not the worst Hallmark movies I’ve seen.  It’s been awhile since I actually sat down and watched one of these things, so maybe that’s why I find this particular one to be a dozen of a stinker.

Anyway, I can’t recommend it.  I also don’t know how to rate this.  I used to rate on the Dean Cain scale but I find him to be so repugnant on so many levels, I can’t do that anymore.  So, I’ll just give it a standard letter grade now of an F.  If we’re doing a Hallmark curve though it might be a C.   Regardless, I don’t recommend.

Awesomely Hallmark: Love on Ice

Yes, I’m still watching Hallmark movies even after Christmas.  This time the endeavor is Love On Ice which involves figure skating and ex-Lulu from General Hospital.  Thankfully, it was a lot more endearing than the last Hallmark movie I watched where that housewife found out that you shouldn’t have ambitions after Cindy Williams gave her a ridiculous AU that made me think she was really the devil.

At least if that was the case it would explain my ever lasting disgust for Laverne and Shirley-the fact that it is a Happy Days spinoff still does not help its case.

Anyway, this one involves a very old figure skater at the ancient age of 27-true fact, pretty sure the actress is older than 27 since I remember her being on General Hospital when I was like 16 and her character was already drinking on the show, but that’s besides the point.  Anyway, she has fifteen million jobs yet still finds time to skate during the day.  The reason she gave up…cue the tragic backstory of a mother getting some sort of incurable disease and a sibling or something.

Anyways, one of Emily’s students is so good that they’re getting her some big shot coach-Spencer- and of course he’s Hallmark cookie cutter perfect looking-cue instant romance.

Spencer is ridiculously young for a skating coach but apparently he’s super talented and somehow he spots Emily thinks she’s hot and wants her to help him with his and Emily’s former student.  Spencer then learns that Emily is sort of like Ashley Wagner-gets better skating with age, unlike most people-and is like I want to coach her.

Though, I don’t know if this is why he really wants to coach her.  I also think he sort of wants to make out with her, but that’s besides the point.  Anyway, she goes through the process of deciding whether or not she wants to train again and of course she does.   In the meantime Emily’s former student’s stage mother gets a wind of this and hires Emily’s ex coach to coach her daughter.

Of course, this causes complications which ends up having the bitchy ex-coach almost ruining Emily’s comeback and Emily’s relationship with Spencer.

I think this was probably the weakest part of the movie, because it was sort of the cliche thing that Hallmark does.  Up until that point, I really liked it.  But I will give the movie this, it didn’t dwell too long on that aspect.

The side characters in the movie, are all right for a Hallmark film.  There’s one side romance with an older couple that was kind of cute and enjoyable.  Some of them were more one dimensional than others, but it wasn’t terrible.

One big flaw was the skating sequences.  Oh, you could tell that Hallmark didn’ t have a budget here to higher decent stunt doubles.  Any major jumps were cut and the biggest things that you did see were the spins  But whatever, it’s a  Hallmark movie so that sort of thing is like expected.

Though, that ending.  Really?  I know you were in kind of a hard spot movie about not making the ending too cliche, but I think in this case with as much emphasis as how good the lead’s skating was I’d prefer the cliche ending.

Overall, as far as Hallmark movies go this one wasn’t too bad.  I really did enjoy it.  Maybe it was because I’m into figure skating and it was nice seeing some familiar faces, but overall this one was highly enjoyable.

Overall Rating: A B+

 

Awesomly Hallmark: A Dream of Christmas

Ever since America decided to be stupid, I have been consoling myself with Hallmark Christmas movies.  They’re oddly addicting and comforting-no orange toupees or shit spewing spinners for people who have orange toupees.  But upon reflection, they are oddly sexist.  Seeing how I’ve seen about fifteen or so of these movies in the past month-they repeat  the same ones A LOT.

Why no new blog entry?  Well, there were just so many of them and I was moving.  To be fair though, I really did think about reviewing  A Broadcast Christmas  which starred 90’s reject stars-such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Lisa from Sister Sister, and Superman himself- aka Dean Cain.  And since I give a Dean Cain reading, I though that one until I saw Dean Cain and was like ew no.  We’re going to have to change the Dean Cain rating since he should not be playing a love interest anymore.  In fact, seeing and hearing Dean Cain in that movie sort of made me ditch my old review formula all together, besides the fact that Cain is a huge Dump supporter and, well, any nostalgia crush I had on him has been rendered dead three times over.  He could still look like he did in the 90’s and I would’ve ditched the formula after his support for Dump.

Anyways, when I saw A Dream of Christmas it sort of epitomized the problem I have with a lot of these movies that the internalize sexism.

No joke.

If you look at my Twitter feed I went on a rant about this one right after I watched it.  Pretty much it boils down to this: Hallmark likes to go on the trope that professional women are cold and evil and need the love of a man to be whole.

Guys, it’s not true.

I know, I know, everyone wants/need a man per Hallmark and being ambitious is evil.  But it’s not.

And often when I watch these movies it makes me angry how Hallmark emphasizes this.

A Dream of Christmas illustrates this.  The basis of the movie is that this woman gets pissed off at her slacker husband.  Okay, he’s not exactly a true slacker but he is a bit of a dick.  She’s trying to get a promotion at her job-I think it was marketing, but she’s like a copy editor- and he’s more like bitch, we need to readjust our schedule ’cause I got to get pictures of some reindeer for my book thing.

Note, I don’t think he had an actual book deal just an idea for a book which makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.  Anyway, so Meg/Peg (I can’t pinpoint which one was her name and I deleted the film from my DVR) gripes about this with her sister at the mall when Shirley-Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley- overhears and decides to teach Meg/Peg a crappy Hallmark lesson.

This creepy lesson occurs when Meg/Peg puts the angel on the Christmas tree, falls out and ends up in a swanky house with a faux white tree-throughout the movie we’re told how “bad” artificial trees are.  Which pisses me off because all I’ve ever had is an artificial tree thanks to Dad and the allergies that he passed on to his progeny (meaning me and my sister).  Anyway, Meg/Peg finds out that she’s no longer married but is actually doing something other than seeing if some executive  uses proper punctuation marks and flips out when she realizes she’s not married to Stew the Dick.Meg/Peg’s responsibilities are eased though when her assistant-there’s always an assistant-gives her an updated Working Girl makeover complete with several outfits that would get you sent home from the office.  Though, I guess, Meg/Peg doesn’t have to care because she’s the mother fucking Barracuda.

Oh yeah, they call her the Barracuda.   Only thing is to me, I didn’t see Meg/Peg as that tough.  It didn’t fit with her character.  I mean, there save for a couple of what is sitting in some random intern’s cubicle scene there’s nothing Big Bad Bitch about her.  Even the makeover she gets really didn’t do much for her except add a little curl to her hair and dare I say make her look even softer which is ridiculous.  Somehow she lands some rich guy who owns an apartment store’s account though and Hallmark cues the love interest music-though nothing ever develops between these two since Meg/Peg decides to use Stew the Dick as her photographer.

Because apparently Shirley didn’t do her job right  and dick still exists in this world.

Speaking of Shirley, in this movie, maybe they should rename her character “the devil” becuase this lady does nothing to help Meg/Peg in fact I have to say she’s the bitchest out of bitch characters in this movie.  She takes an off handed remark from a venting session and makes a mountain of suffering-aka about eighty minutes of viewing time-over it.  To be fair, we wouldn’t have had a movie otherwise BUT it was more than a little annoying.

Shirley does eventually figure out that she fucked up though and tells Meg/Peg to stay away from the dick.  Meg/Peg doesn’t listen though so Shirley Devil has to invent a fiance for Stew.  Meg/Peg of course doesn’t have any option but to tell the truth.

She doesn’t.

Instead, she just sort of cries around like Jennifer Garner did in Thirteen Going on Thirty and whines about how she wants her old life-crappy life and docuhey husband and wakes up getting both.

And has a complete psychotic breakdown because of it.

Okay, that part is not true.  At least Hallmark would tell you it wasn’t.  They would tell you that Meg/Peg than finds joy that despite getting a professional promotion that she quits her job to do marketing her loser hubby and the movie pretty much ends after that while any feminist who is watching the movie goes to gouge his/her eyes out.

To be fair, I have seen worse Hallmark movies, but it flummoxes my mind that in 2016 sexist ideas such as professional women=over ambitious bitches who have little to no personal lives just make me so angry.  Maybe it is because I am a professional woman.  I worked years to get my law licenses and to get a job that I felt was meaningful, and it pisses me off that this movie acts like professional achievements mean so little.  And especially that a woman like Meg/Peg would throw it away for Stew the Dick.

Look, I get what this movie was trying to do but at the end of the day the message is mixed at best.

Overall Rating: A big fat C.

Awesomly Hallmark: My Summer Prince

The Gist

Hallmark has joined in on the princess trend.

There are a ton of Hallmark movies that feature princes or princesses and this is one of them that I happened to watch.

So the general gist of this movie is that Mandy (our heroine) is working for this unrealistic mean lady named Deirdre who is a publicist.  Deirdre is the type who doesn’t want to give Mandy a promotion because Mandy likes to put ketchup in the refrigerator which obviously means that she’s a follower not one of those people who’s OCD about getting food poisoning.

I know, right?  But you see because restaurants leave the ketchup out all the time that must mean all those labels that the company puts on said ketchup are wrong and like if you follow them you’re doomed to be someone’s PA for the rest of your life.

That’s literally the first twenty minutes of this movie.

By that point in the movie, if I was Mandy I quit my job and send Deirdre about one hundred of those little packets you get at the fast food restaurants that always end up either getting on your clothes or causing food poisoning.  Of course, this isn’t what happens.  Rather, Deirdre pushes Mandy around to cancel her vacation and they end up babysitting a Prince Harry Wannabe who ends up finding Mandy irresistible while she pretends to be Deirdre.  But of course complications arise since Mandy is pretending to be her mean boss and Prince Harry Wannabe is engaged.

Review:

I am a sucker for royalty themed shows and movies, so when I flipped through the channels the other night I recorded this one.  It’s not terrible if your just watching it in passing but the more you think about it, it sucks.

I think the first thing I will mention is that this movie was very cheaply made.  No big shock there, it’s a Hallmark movie.  But everything about this movie rings cheap: the writing, the costumes, etc.

There are so many plot holes in this sucker, it’s not even funny.  I mean, first of all I didn’t even know why Mandy pretended to be Deirdre.  There was no point, Deirdre asked her to take over, so I don’t know what purpose it gave the film except to add useless conflict and to almost get Mandy fired.

As for Deirdre.

Oy.

This character has no consistency.  For most of the movie, we’re supposed to view her as an evil bitch, but then she ends up being sort of a fairy godmother to Mandy at the end despite the fact she’s the one who put Mandy’s life in the shitter any way.

Well, her and the evil prince’s fiancee.

Really, again most of the conflict in this movie seems manufactured at best.

As for Prince Colin, I think they tried to portray him as a Prince Harry type but who has the responsibility of Wills.  Honestly, all of his antics really don’t come off as much and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why his country sent him to Podunk-ville (I forgot the name of the “charming” Idaho small town with a five star resort rapped in the middle of it was called, so since Hallmark want it to show it as being some sort of Podunk-ville that’s what I’m referring to it as).  He’s not that bad of a male lead, a little too judging but interesting to look at.  His chemistry with Mandy was alright, I guess, but I never got the purpose of the evil girlfriend only to be dubbed an “obstacle”.

So all and all, the writing was bad but what you expect from a movie like this.  Enjoyable and passable for me, who has been filling a bit off kilter this weekend but the more I thought about it the more annoyed I got.  Like, there were some really hideous costumes in this one that apparently was deemed to be a prom dress-no self respecting teen would’ve worn said prom dress unless they were either a member of a religious commune or attended the prom back in the early 80’s.  And the queen’s tiara was a hot mess as well.

Hallmark Squeal: 

Like I said before, the prince was cute but bland.  I wish the real Prince Harry was an actor because maybe then I’d actually care more about the prince’s acting.  That being said, I did like it when he was swimming laps in the pool.  I guess that’s how they got the title for the movie.

OMG Hallmark Moment:

I was actually hoping for a Lifetime female empowerment moment with the evil boss, but it never happened.  I think the closest we got to this movie was when the prince told off his evil fiancee but that was sort of a let down.

Dean Cain Rating:

This one is pretty average.  Like I said, it was good enough to take a nap to on a Sunday afternoon, but it’s going off the DVR as soon as I publish this review.  And yeah, still keeping my ketchup in the refrigerator.

Awesomely Hallmark: Unleashing Mr. Darcy

Okay, first of all this Hallmark movie is actually based off a book.  I didn’t know it at the time I watched it (at three a.m. after a long day of bar studying way back in January).  All I knew was that it featured Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Ryan Paevey of General Hospital fame (okay, that might be pushing it to far, everyone just knows his character (Nate) as the guy who has his shirt off for most of the episode-wait theirs a lot of guys that do that).  Regardless because of the dogs AND Mr. Darcy I had to tape this.

I think before we start this great analysis of this oh so wonderful movie, I need to address the Mr. Darcy phenomenon.   It seems like these days a lot of persons put a Mr. Darcy label on their character in order to make it considered sexy.

Honestly, the side effects of these can vary.  I really don’t understand the stark raving that Mr. Darcy is the sexiest beast in the universe appeal.  he’s okay.  And I did enjoy the Colin Firth version, but putting a label on some drip to give him attractiveness points.

No.

Just no.

That being said Ryan Paevey is pretty to look at so  I guess he didn’t really need the Mr. Darcy label to begin with.

The Gist:

Dog show handler/teacher Lizzy gets canned after the rich brat she’s teaching complains to daddy and gets hired by her mother’s friend to take care of her terriers and get them ready for Westminster or its Hallmark version of Westminster.  In addition to being allowed to take her super cute Cavalier (Bliss) with her, she also has a cantankerous soap opera actor turned rich tycoon/dog show judge Mr. Darcy living right across the street (note, the actor not the character is a soap opera actor).

Review:

Think a very, very, loose retelling of Pride and Prejudice meaning just too singletons who don’t get along but later find themselves passionately and hopelessly in love fall in love together with their cute dogs.

The best part of this movie was the dogs, despite the fact that Hallamark was trying to capatalize what General Hospital  has been doing with Ryan Paevey since they hired him (get him without his shirt on).

The romance itself was very blah to say the least.  I didn’t really get the attraction between these two other than cute puppies and the fact that Lizzy’s rich friend and Darcy’s sister kept trying to throw them together.  And we were suppose to root for them because Darcy had an evil quasi girlfriend (who wasn’t related to Bingley) and Aunt Catherine  hated Lizzy.

I just rolled my eyes at this.

Otherwise, it wasn’t very Pride and Prejudice-y.

While there was a Jane, the Bingley subplot was basically zero.  There was not Lydia, no Wickham, no Mr. Collins, and there was no lake scene.

Damn it.

I wanted to see Ryan Paevey drive into a lake a la Colin Firth.

That scene will never get old, I tell you.

The important question is do the cute dogs make up for the lack of a lake scene.

That is difficult to say, but the dogs at least made it tolerable.  And I guess that was something.

Hallmark Squeal:

Ryan Paevey is good eye candy as always.  And to be fair, his character here has a little bit more substance than his General Hospital character, but that really doesn’t say much since his character on General Hospital 

OMG Hallmark Moment:

The whole firing scene.  Seriously, that in itself was a lawsuit in the making and just plain embarrassing on Hallmark’s part for writing such drivel.

Dean Cain Rating

I liked this one in the embarrassing way you’ll accidentally end up binging on Fuller House even though it is the worst show in the world.  I kept it on my DVR for nights of insomnia because cute dogeys and Ryan Pavey.

I am really easy to please.

Overall Rating: Six out of ten Dean Cains.

Awesomly Lifetime and Hallmark: A Deadly Adoption

Will Farrell and Kristin Wiig in a Lifetime movie?  I didn’t think they were D-list/former soap stars.  But yes, they are in a Lifetime movie that’s apparently a parody of Lifetime movie.  Of course, that’s bait enough to have me review it.

The Gist:

So, this follows the standard adoption/surrogate horror story model Lifetime is so known for. It actually reminded me a lot of a Cameron Mathison movie I saw on Lifetime a few years ago, but Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig’s acting even in parody form is a lot better than Cameron’s so…Anyway, Wiig and Ferrell are desperately seeking for another baby after a “terrible” accident and a Megan Fox lookalike psycho comes in their lives and “drama’ occurs.  And if you miss your soap stars starring in Lifetime movies, don’t worry Diane from General Hospital makes a few appearances as Ferrell’s agent/publicist.

Review:

For a parody, this was a much more quieter parody than I thought it would be.  Especially with Wiig and Ferrel in it.  Seriously, seeing them act like Lifetime actors was weird.

The thing is, the film oddly worked. I don’t know if it would’ve worked though, if I wasn’t used to all of the Lifetime tropes if it would’ve been as successful.  That being said, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

The film made fun of all of the things that bother the shit out of me about Lifetime movies.  The thing was, it never differed from the usual formula.  I kept waiting for a twist or something odd to happen, but it never occurred. Save for that weird dancing scene.

And to be honest, a part of me wonders if a twist would’ve helped or hurt the film.  It’s a very thin line.  While Wiig and Ferrell rocked their performances of the “tortured” couple, the supporting roles were a little meh.  Especially the role of the crazy not so pregnant lady.

Is  it just me or does Lifetime have a way of styling their “evil” characters that’s just almost archaic and insulting.  Seriously, it’s always a darker headed girl with a lot of makeup dressed in quasi revealing clothing (even when pregnant) it’s really insulting.

The girl who played Bridget (the psycho not so pregnant girl’s) acting was almost wooden.  I don’t know if they really wanted to capture this Lifetime trope or not, but regardless it sort of rubbed me the wrong way because both Ferrell and Wiig were able to make their Lifetime cliche characters interesting to watch.

Lifetime Squeal:

Not really any squeals here.  And I don’t really ogle when Will Ferrell is on my screen I laugh at him.  The way the film is shot they want you to ogle over the pregnant Megan Fox lookalike a lot though. And she has a hot hillbilly boyfriend or partner in crime, so there’s that for your man candy.

OMG Lifetime Moment:

Try everything.  It’s a parody.  So they did try-and succeeded at including all the tropes.  From tortured marriage, to child in danger, we don’t care if he’s dead b.f.f., and hidden secrets this film had it all.

Dean Cain Rating:

This movie was a hoot for me.  Especially after Double Daddy.  It highlighted all the sheer ridiculousness that Lifetime has to offer.  It only lacked decent supporting actors. Of the Lifetime Dean Cain’s I give it a B.

Awesomely Lifetime/Hallmark: Double Daddy (or Let the Intern Write a Movie)

Holy crap!

This movie is insane.

In a horrible only Lifetime sort of way.

The Gist:

So, this dude knocks up two girls at his local high school.  One of them is his girlfriend and the other is some loony tune psychotic chick that is portrayed so horribly you think that Lifetime had a misogynic intern write this movie since nothing about pregnancy or anything in this movie was correct. Just horrible slut slamming and trying to white wash Conner for his douche-ness by making Heather a psycho.

Review:

Eh…

I think this movie was produced by someone with connections because that’s the only way it could’ve ever come to be.  It is truly, truly, truly awful.

In every aspect.

It’s misogynic.  It doesn’t understand remotely anything about pregnancy or the fact addressed the other two viable options other than keeping the baby-though adoption is mentioned maybe for about three minutes of dramatic tension until they spot said baby and release-oh, we can be the best parents ever because our parents are like loaded and we’ll never have to work a day in our lives, bitches.

I have no words.

The acting is terrible too.  As I’ll mention in the squeal section, I’m pretty sure these actors were only hired because they were physically attractive.  No one had lasting acting power.

Anytime Heather was on there and was acting psychotic I just laughed because it was unrealistic.

I was hoping when I read the summary about this one on my TV guide that it would be more about the two girls bonding with each other after they find out what a douche Conner is.

But no it’s just about crazy Heather and Conner screaming Aman-duh.

God….

Lifetime Squeal:

Conner is as bland as they come.  Although, he’s good looking in the Justin Beiber overgrown boy scout sort of way (I’m talking pre tattoo inspired by Teen Mom Justin).  Really, not my thing (sorry).  Really everyone in this movie including the parents could be deemed attractive.  I thought about surfing IMDB on this one and seeing how many of the casts were underwear models/daytime television stars at one time in their career.  I have a feeling it would be a lot of them. Not surprisingly, their acting skills were limited (I think they try to up the attraction level when they know the acting is going to suck).

OMG Lifetime Moment:

I’ll list some of the most outrageous moments here.  There’s quite a few:

  • Two heavily pregnant teenagers falling over a cliff and both being okay and their respected fetuses are completely fine.
  • Anytime Heather tries to look crazy (half of the movie).
  • Anytime Heather attempts to use social media.
  • Anytime Conner screams Aman-duh (note, he would’ve been  perfect to cast as Ryan Lavery’s wayward teenage son)

Dean Cain Rating Score:

Um, Dean Cain fails you.  But it was amusing because it was ridiculously bad.

Awesomly Lifetime and Hallmark: Murder She Baked, a Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?  If you don’t get this reference, you should thank God you were never forced to hear that song in the 199o’s.

Never the less, there’s apparently a mystery about chocolate chip cookies starring Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison) from All My Children and more importantly Sami (Allison Sweeney)  from  Days of Our Lives.  And I decided to review it, of course.

The Gist:

So Sami, whose name is Hannah here, is a small town bakery in a town that you know would never exist in America. Seriously, I’m currently living in what is considered a small town and it’s NOT this picturesque. More like aggravating in a lot of ways since it’s like an hour nearest to the nearest bookstore.  Plus, people sort of have to work in small towns too.  They don’t in this movie.  Anyway, she has a knack of figuring out small town crimes.  And then of course, someone is randomly murdered in town and-eek, murder mystery begins.  Enter big city cop, Mike (Ryan Lavery) these too start out initially sort of hating each other, but only in the your the obvious love interest Hallmark type of way.

Review:

Sami was actually engaging.

No surprise there.  When I tried to watch Days, she was one of the only characters that kept me interested the other being EJ.  What do I say, I’m an ABC soap fan.  Honestly, I wish GH would’ve stoled her because I think she would’ve been an awesome addition to the cast they have now.

Anyway, back to the movie.  The story starts out with her as a small town baker.  If  you seen her on Days, you know this is a bit of a different role for her.  So, it was nice seeing her play sort of the girl next door versus the bad girl.  Of course, after the typical day of normal life a murder of a pretty much insignificant character appears and the story really starts.

For the most part, this one follows the stereotypical mystery romance.  Ryan Lavery is the big city cop that comes in to help solve the case, Sami is the quirky bakery that gets involved in hijinks that annoy but later endure Ryan Lavery.

And yes, my eyes almost popped out of my head like half a dozen times.

There’s another love interest thrown in there that I just had to roll my eyes at because it was so obvious how this was going to play out.  But still, I didn’t mind it that much.

At it’s best Murder She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Mystery, was your stereotypical cheesy Hallmark mystery   I enjoyed it though, oddly enough.  Unlike My Gal Sunday, Allison Sweeney really takes charge of the movie and she does play an engaging heroine.  I would really like to see her in more things.  This just showcased that she was one of daytime’s and Hallmark’s better actresses.

The plot though and Ryan Lavery, eh.  While Ryan might’ve been pretty to look at and much more limited (thank God) than he was in My Gal Sunday, and I actually did like the chemistry between these two.

Shocking because except for Princess Gillian, I haven’t liked Ryan with anyone.  I give props to Sami on that.

Lifetime/Hallmark Squeal:

So, Ryan Lavery plays the love interest again.  Groans.  At least they casted him as a straight tight ass cop in this piece.  I think if he’s portrayed as the straight man, it works better than him being more of the at ease character.  Which is really weird because Ryan Lavery himself started out being a snarky character and when he was snarky, he was better than when he was sanctimonious.  But I find in these movies, it’s better for him to play straight man.  Also, it helps that there is no insta love in here either. So the swoonage is alright, not great, but develops as the movie goes along. And since there’s going to be a sequel, I’m totally okay with it.

OMG Lifetime/Hallmark Moment:

So many topes used here.  But there was really no OMG moments.  I say probably the biggest OMG to me was that a sequel to this one has been green-lighted and it’s going to be at Christmas time.  Totes watching it.

Overall Rating: Although, it’s cheesy and there were parts where I cringed and went in the other room to unload the dishwasher, overall this one really worked.  Solid B Hallmark, you deserve it. Or maybe I’ve just washed a lot of trash TV lately.

 

Awesomly Lifetime and Hallmark: Cleveland Abduction-Why is Ariel Castro Wearing Maternity Padding?

Well, Lifetime decided to do it and make a movie about the Cleveland Abduction-we all knew it was going to happen.  And since I decided to revive this feature and didn’t want to watch DJ Tanner solve mysteries on the Hallmark Channel, I decided to review this little gem.

The Gist:

This one is a ripped out of the headlines feature.  If you aren’t a news junkie, a couple of years ago three women were discovered in a hell hole (aka  a house in Cleveland) after being held captive for over ten years by some loser who used to drive school buses.  Seriously, don’t they do background checks for that sort of thing?  Anyway, this Lifetime rendition of their story is based off of one of the survivor’s (Michelle Knight-now aptly known as Lily) book.  Incidentally, the other two survivors published their version of the events last week and were interviewed by Robin Roberts.

Review:

This one.

Sigh.

It’s sort of like the Jodie Arias movie that I reviewed a few years ago.  A lot of time is spent on the sadistic abuse/torture that the characters go through and not a lot of time is spent on knowing the characters.

I will give the movie a plus for costume accuracy.  A lot of the outfits did match the one’s that Michelle wore to court, etc.

I did feel for Michelle though.  If only because the physical abuse in the movie was just painful to watch. I just wanted to know more about this woman whose inner strength was essentially the embodiment of what a Lifetime woman is suppose to be.

But I just didn’t get that.  She discusses her son and that’s all I really know about the character.

You can say that about the other two girls in the film as well.  I felt that Amanda Berry, in particular, was kind of dissed by Lifetime as being the weak one out of the bunch.

Which is not true.

She broke the three of them out of that place.

Whatever though.

This is based on Michelle’s (or should I say Lily’s) story.

Character development aside, I think Lifetime did a fairly good job of showing how painful life in that house was.  I’m sure there were things that they couldn’t showed us, but for what it’s worth I grimaced a lot.

As I said before though, I just wanted more I think Post Castro to show how these women got their lives back together, etc.  Because there’s only so many times you can keep your dinner down when Casto and his maternity belly get extremely creepy.  However, considering that creepy had to be the least of what these women felt I guess it sort of makes the movie accurate?

Lifetime/Hallmark Squeal:

Um, none.

I had to stare at a halfway naked Ariel Castro throughout the entire thing.  And I’m pretty sure they made the guy wear a fake pregnant belly-because while his mid section was pretty flabby he still had some nice looking arm muscles.

Nice looking arm muscles aside, the guy really did embody the monster that Castro is and I really just wanted the ladies to incapacitate him somehow-even though realistically I knew they couldn’t/wouldn’t.

So, kudos, Castro actor.  You played the part well-maybe  a little too well.

OMG Lifetime/Hallmark Moment:

God, the entire movie.  It is like a nightmare.  Poor, poor, Michelle. You really felt for her throughout the entire thing and she showed strength that isn’t really, well, human.  She is really the epitome of what Lifetime strives for in their MC-a woman who goes through so much but at the end still survives.    I didn’t like the way Amanda Berry was portrayed in the movie though.  Then again, the movie is from Michelle’s perspective so I sort of get it.  The girl they had playing Gina looked eerily like her.  So, I’ll give them that.

Overall Rating:

I’m going to give this one a C.  The abuse that these women suffered had me going in and out of the room throughout the movie.  I sort of wished that more focus would be on their life’s post kidnapping.  And while I do feel like I saw/felt what Michelle suffered, I didn’t really get Michelle as a character.  Sure, she loved her son (and come on, that woman does deserve at least a photo of her little boy, adopted parents-at least from what Lifetime has showed us) but that’s about it.  I feel like if the character had been a little more fleshed out her story might’ve resonated a little more on screen rather than making me want to barf from all the abuse she suffered.