More Sappy Holiday Movies on Basic Cable

You know it’s that special time of year again when TV ads start appearing framed by ribbons and bows of your favorite stars in Yuletide dilemmas.

Hallmark, Lifetime, Ion, and others keep up a steady stream of sap from now until past the Holidays, so try to keep up.

New this season:
Naughty or Nice
A woman uses a special book from Santa Claus to expose those behaving badly.
Not bad, as these things go. The gay best friend/confidante is actually a straight guy, in a new twist.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells
(Full disclosure: a friend of mine, Alex Gabel, worked on this movie; that’s his on-set dressing you see. I might be a bit biased.)

It’s Christmas, Carol!
The ghost of her former boss shows a ruthless CEO her past, present and future.
Not a lot of surprises in this Scrooge knock-off. Always nice to see Carrie Fisher, though.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Matchmaker Santa
Stranded during the holidays, a young baker discovers the magic of Christmas and love.
Lacey Chabert (little Claudia Salinger from Party of Five) is all growed up and being ignored by a rich boyfriend in this harmless confection. Don’t worry; Santa’s around to make sure Claudia gets attention.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Holiday High School Reunion
Returning home for Christmas, a woman develops an unexpected attraction to her best friend from school.
Sort of like what would have happened if Andie and Duckie had gone back to their reunion and Andie realized what a stupid mistake she made choosing that mealy-mouthed Blane in Pretty in Pink.
4 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade
A woman falls for a consultant who helps her coordinate a Thanksgiving parade.
Autumn Reeser is a little too sharp-edged in this opposites attract chestnut. But the guy is totally hot, so we’re even. One nitpick: She wears vintage Jackie-O-era clothes, expositioning that she didn’t get any of her mother’s clothes when her mom died. She’s close to 30–don’t the writers realize it was the 80s when she was a child? Why isn’t she wearing legwarmers and shoulder pads?
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Returning Favorites
All I Want for Christmas
A genuinely unobnoxious kid. A beautiful widow just trying to keep her husband’s community center alive. A toy company trying to score PR points with a contest. It’s kind of fun and just a little warming of the cockles, heart-wise.
4 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Battle of the Bulbs
Daniel Stern and Matt Frewer make this dueling neighbors tale more entertaining than it deserves to be.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Christmas Magic
A fast-living woman doesn’t heed her guardian angel when he warns her not to drive and talk on her cell phone, so she has to have an otherworldly experience with a widower to learn to pull over first. Noteworthy because the male love interest is not hot, (both admirable and distracting) and also for Kiara Glasco, who plays Little Psycho-Orphan Annie on Copper.
2.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells

A Christmas Wish
Kristy Swanson (Buffy from the movie) takes her kidlings, leaves her abusive husband and lands in a town that pulls together in the end to make a heartwarming finale.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Lucky Christmas
Elizabeth Berkley continues to do penance for Showgirls in this slight tale of a single mom who falls for the guy who stole her lottery ticket. (It’s a long story, but Lt. Disher from Monk pulls off the redemptive thief.)
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Mistletoe Over Manhattan
The awesome Six from Battlestar Galactica (Tricia Helfer) plays a ridiculously hot wife who gets tips from Mrs. Claus on how to get her man back.
3.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells

When Angels Come to Town
Unremarkable other than for the late, great Peter Falk as an angel who pops up, occasionally in drag, to make the miracles happen.
3 out of 5 Jingle Bells

Last year’s 12 Sappy Movies of Christmas.

Hallmark’s complete schedule

Hm, can’t find a Falalala Lifetime schedule anywhere–where’s the tradition? Here’s Lifetime’s boring old schedule.

Ion TV’s Holiday schedule


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2 Responses to More Sappy Holiday Movies on Basic Cable

  1. j.a. kazimer says:

    Just watched Naughty or Nice last night. Loved the first half, and then, whammo, it was like the head writer quit mid movie and they hired an illiterate. Oh well, another hour of my life wasted on bad Christmas movies….

    Did you see Hitched for the Holidays? That one was damn good.


  2. Chris Devlin says:

    Heh. Yeah, Naughty or Nice was uneven for sure. I like Hitched for the Holidays. Much better than A Bride for Christmas. (Why didn’t anyone point out to her that she could just have sex with a guy for a while and not have to marry him?)

    Though Hitched gave me some difficulty. Is Joey Lawrence without the hair really Joey Lawrence? I just don’t know.


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