Friday, December 6, 2013

How about some CHRISTMAS right in your FACE courtesy of the Hallmark Channel? ;)

Okay, soooo maybe this year I'm a bit of a Grinch about Christmas. I go through phases with this holiday, actually - I would say that most years I love it, but every once in a while I just don't feel it. And this is one of those 'just not feelin' it' years. Like, I may not even put up a Christmas tree, but I suppose that's neither here nor there...because what this entry is really about, is the insane amount of fun I had watching - and making fun of - the Hallmark Channel movie Let it Snow.

Picture it - I've been sick all week and I'm beginning to go stir crazy because honestly, there is nothing on TV lately - unless I want to watch bad holiday-themed movies. I suppose that eventually I had to give in, and yes, that's what happened last night. I was flipping through the channel guide, saw that there was a movie on the Hallmark Channel that starred Candace Cameron from Full House...and spent the next two hours watching - and incessantly mocking - it.

I'm gonna go ahead and spoiler alert you now, despite the fact that this movie is so predictable it's almost disgusting.

(Quick side note: I don't mean to, err, 'rank' on Candace Cameron, as an actress or a person - nor do I mean to poke fun of the other actors in this movie as actors or people. What I *am* doing is picking apart a seriously ridiculous movie, so please don't assume I'm hating on the people in it and thus hate on me in return.)

Okay, so they jump right into this movie by showcasing main character Stephanie and her father. She wants to take over the family business (which is a huge resort corporation - Hilton family, much?) and her dad is kinda being a jerk about it. He insists on sending her to a lodge that he bought, which is located in the middle of nowhere, Maine - over Christmas! Egads!

(Actually, that is pretty shitty, I'll give them that.)

Then the movie moves on to Snow Valley...Maine?

Haha, hope. After some awful shaky cam footage of skiing and some shots of the mountains, I'm thinking, oh cool, this movie takes place in Colorado or something. (Because before that, if there was any hint that the resort was in Maine, I'd missed it.) I mean really...if you're going to film in Vancouver, why wouldn't you just set your stupid movie somewhere out west? Any self-respecting New Englander knows that Maine mountains don't look like the ones in this movie. To wit:

Mountains in Maine

Mountains in Vancouver.
Mountains in Maine


Finally we get to see Snow Valley Lodge (which, by the way, made me think of Sun Valley Lodge the entire time I was watching this movie), but sadly the most memorable thing about this place is the ridiculous number of rolling pins in the kitchen.

No, I'm serious, I couldn't take my eyes off those rolling pins. There were like, eight of them, hanging on the Snow Valley Lodge kitchen wall. And did we ever see Grandma using one? Stay tuned to find out...

Oh, yeah, speaking of that - even though the current proprietors of Snow Valley Lodge were actually the parents of Stephanie's love interest, Brady...I couldn't stop thinking of them as Grandma and Grandpa, and will therefore refer to them as such. Hopefully that won't confuse you, should you ever deign to watch this ridiculous piece of holiday smut. I mean, this heartwarming Christmas tale.

Anyway, there's no question about it - obviously Stephanie is the main character, so once we know that Brady is the son of Grandpa and Grandma Sun Snow Valley, their meet-cute is is the fact that they will dislike each other from the get-go.

I will say that Stephanie is a girl after my own heart in that she just doesn't care about Christmas all that much. I mean, she scoffs at Grandma's Icelandic pastries! Good for her, because by the way, Grandma, those pastries can't be FROM Iceland if you baked them in Maine this morning. And honestly, I'd be curling my lip up at the constant Christmas music playing in the background, courtesy of someone's Casio keyboard. Oh and Stephanie, you wanted a salad? Grandma will bring it to you, but she'll add cranberries without asking - "to make it Christmas-y". LOL WUT. She will also bring you cookies that you didn't ask for - but I mean, they're from SWITZERLAND, so how can you say no?

Poor Stephanie, though. All she wants is to see what she has to see by snowmobile, yet they force her to go out on cross-country skis...despite the fact that she's never skied before! And she doesn't own proper ski/snow clothing! It's okay, though, because they can dig up something for her - and that something happens to be a matching trendy ski outfit, of course! Because that's what all the little family-owned Maine resorts have sitting around for unprepared guests, right?

The answer to that is 'yes', but mostly just because Let it Snow needed a way for Stephanie and Brady to have some alone time...and what better way to accomplish that than him teaching her how to cross-country ski? Which of course involves him touching her, and when that happens you can literally hear the magic of Christmas!

No, I'm not kidding. The moment Stephanie and Brady share a sort of sweet 'moment', you hear that little jingly bell sound that usually signifies magic. Puke, much?

Brady is one heck of a good teacher, too - within minutes Stephanie is cross country skiing like a pro. I actually called out, "Way to go, DJ from Full House!" and then realized, oh wait, that's not right...just about the time she falls over again, because of course Hallmark wants the viewers to get a good chuckle out of her misfortune.

From there on in, this movie does nothing but SHOVE THE CHRISTMAS IN YOUR MOUTH. You want some chestnuts roasting on an open...grill? You've got 'em. Do you think I'm kidding? Are you possibly wondering, "Does everything have to do with Christmas?" The answer is LOL YES.

Quick break to point out that around this time, they use the same shot of Stephanie moving her feet (in their completely-inappropriate-for-winter heeled boots) around to keep warm - twice. Within a couple-minute-long time span. And then...magical chimes again! And apparently this time they call up Grandma...

...but I digress. We are actually treated to an explanation of Sun Snow Valley's 'marketing' (???) secret - they are booked from "the first day of advent until the twelfth day of Christmas", and it's all because of their special Christmas celebration(s)! My immediate reaction? "Waaaiiiiittt just a minute. They use the actual advent calendar? Like...what?!"

But then I got distracted by Brady and his flannel. Like, really distracted. The next several thoughts included such gems as, "He's so rustic in his flannel." - "He's all flannel." - "She [Stephanie] has a heart made of stone...and his, of flannel."

Anyway, so throughout this movie we are constantly introduced to ridiculous Christmas rituals...none of which they force Stephanie to participate in. Yet when they ask her to take a minute to hang a damn ornament on their damn tree, her response is to wave her phone in the air and claim that she has to work. Thankfully, though, she gives in - with next to no convincing arguments needed on Grandma's part. I mean, seriously, it's like a minute of her time. The tree is maybe twenty feet away from wherever she is. Geeeez.


And when that's over, you witness Stephanie participate in some bizarre ritual that's apparently going to make her dream about her one true love...and when she wakes up in the morning, guess what? She dreamed about someone...who could it be...why, BRADY, of course! (Who the eff else could it be when there are no other eligible bachelors in this movie?!)

Then, just because they haven't had enough Christmas activities and we still have a couple days to go before the holiday (no seriously though, at this point I was shocked to find out that it STILL wasn't Christmas), we learn about their Christmas dinner, a.k.a. "The Feast of the Seven Fishes" (I still don't really get that one, because at this point I've been on Christmas overload for more than an hour and there's not been one *specific* mention of Jesus or religion), and just in case we've forgotten SANTAAAA - the kids write letters to him!

(I find it important to note that around this time, I had to go use the little girl's room - and when I asked Steve to pause the movie, his response was, "YOU CAN'T PAUSE CHRISTMAS!" I laughed a bit, and despite the fact that you can't pause Christmas, he did. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...)

Stephanie is about to go on a date with Brady - she in a sexy black dress and he in his flannel - but wait, why is she coming down the stairs? I mean, I get the grand entrance thing, but all this time I was under the impression that her room was on the main floor of the 'lodge'...and then, in addition to this silliness, Brady doesn't say anything about what their date will consist of and drags her off to go ice fishing in totally inappropriate clothing.

Yeah, big surprise that she's going ice fishing by the way. Like that wasn't predicted when earlier in the movie she swore she would never do so. So she and Brady hole up in the little ice fishing shack, at which point he tells her to take off her coat, or she'll get too hot - when clearly what he really means is "Take your clothes - I mean, coat - off, you'll get too hot." Yeahhhh. You can seriously hear it in his tone. Yet she still takes her coat off. And she fishes. And of course she catches a fish. And the next thing we know, they've eaten. In the shack. Which means they somehow also cooked their fish in the shack. I have no idea how this was physically possible as that shack is like five feet by five feet, but surprisingly this didn't bother me as much as a lot of other things about this movie did.

Like the fact that they think it's 'too cold to snow'.

Or the fact that you hear carolers singing "Silent Night" in the background, and I swear they are slurring any religious lyrics while at the same time Stephanie and Brady are talking over said religious lyrics. Or maybe that was all just bad sound editing, because either their set was near a highway or their sound people didn't know how to get rid of that rushing sound in the background.

But wait! Lo! Brady and Stephanie are about to kiss - aaaand nope, they're interrupted by Grandpa, because OH NOES THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE OUT AT ONE OF THE CABINS MUST FIX IMMEDIATELY! Poor Brady, especially as Stephanie chooses this moment to - ahem - sneak off to bed.

The next morning, there's a tree bobbing in the front yard of the lodge (no idea what that was about, except that maybe the key grip was supposed to be holding it up and was failing miserably at his/her job or something) and - SURPRISE - Stephanie is helping Grandma COOK! And then, before I can even get over that ridiculousness, one of the little girls staying at Sun Snow Valley shows up and chastises Stephanie for not being at the carol singing activity the night before (sorry kid, Stephanie was too busy gettin' jiggy with Brady in the ice fishing shack). This child even outright asks Stephanie if she 'believes in Christmas'. No seriously - she actually asks, "Do you even believe in Christmas?" What does that MEAN?!

Stephanie assuages the little girl's concerns by agreeing to attend that night's Christmas tree lighting ceremony, where she stands next to Brady (of course), sings Christmas carols (of course), gazes in obnoxious awe at the tree once it's been lit (of course), and even exclaims about how there is so much MAGIC in Christmas...she even DREAMED about it...laaaaa....

So now that Stephanie and Brady have officially sealed whatever it is they have going on with a kiss (no tongue, mind you - this IS the Hallmark channel, after all)...well. If you thought Let it Snow was Christmasy before, now they're really gonna cram it down your throat with one big Christmasy montage featuring disco "Jinglebells", an actual one-horse open sleigh, a reindeer, and more.

I wish I was kidding, really I do.

And of course, after this montage - which literally takes place over the course of an afternoon, or has to based on their current timeline - Brady wants to now, like, share his family resort with Stephanie? And I assume he means for life? He's known her for like FIVE DAYS so lol yeah okay. But um really it doesn't matter because Stephanie's dad now owns Sun Snow Valley and he's going to bulldoze it to the ground and there's NOTHING *anyone* can do about it!

But wait! That doesn't mean they won't try! Cue Grandpa showing Stephanie Brady's book of plans for the lodge/resort, and Stephanie and Brady staying up all night to put together a report that will show her father what's what and convince him to improve upon what's already there rather than starting from scratch - all on a weird 1990s looking program on a disguised Macbook Pro, of course.

(At this point I literally had to tell myself that going back and counting the number of times they say the word 'Christmas' in this movie was completely unnecessary. But really, it was like every thirty seconds! "Oh, and in case you've forgotten, it's Christmas, Christmasssss, CHRISTMAS!")

...and it's also time for Stephanie's father to finally arrive and ruin everything! I mean don't worry though, because scandalous Grandma somehow knows to put Stephanie's letter to Santa in her dad's coat pocket? Erm...okay. You go Glen Coco! Also, soon after this she actually uses one of her many rolling pins! I was amazed because we'd seen them hanging on the wall so many times at this point that it made me wonder if, despite all her supposed cooking, they were anything more than just decoration.

Now switch to Stephanie explaining to her father how AWESOME Sun Snow Valley is at CHRISTMAS. And by Christmas, she means all of advent, which - in case you don't remember - starts the first of November and ends twelve days after Christmas day. Because fuck you Thanksgiving, you're part of Christmas now.

Speaking of Christmas, guess what, during Stephanie's speech to her father I finally gave in and counted the number of times she said "Christmas". Said speech was approximately one minute long, and in it she used the word Christmas  EIGHT TIMES. That's right - EIGHT. I'm approximating how long her speech was, but really, that's about once every eight seconds. And I'm probably being generous, there. And to top it all off, she went on on about the meaning of Christmas after that without a single mention of Jesus, you know, Christ.

Obviously the movie can't be over yet, though - we're only about an hour and forty minutes in at this point (perhaps a little less). So of course Stephanie's jerky dad yells at her, tells her she's wrong, fires her, and then stomps out. But I mean, it's okay - they'll just put on "the best Christmas that Snow Valley has ever had"! (That's the spirit! That will fix everything!)

And again, in case you've not heard or seen something Christmas-y in a while, now they're singing the figgy pudding song! But it's their own version about fishy pudding! Because that's not gross or anything. And they're all old-fashioned about life, playing pick-up sticks (or whatever that game is called) and actually appearing to enjoy themselves! Oh, and here's Brady, wearing a dress shirt and slacks for once! No flannel for him on Christmas Eve!

Also, the kids get to open one present. Let's ignore for a moment how weird it would be to be a child opening presents in front of a bunch of strangers on Christmas Eve and focus on the fact that the first child to open a gift gets...A LEAPPAD ULTRA! PRODUCT! PLACEMENT! OMG IT'S GOT A RECHARGEABLE BATTERY!

Why is this worth all caps, do you ask? Well, only because throughout this showing of Let it Snow - during nearly every commercial break - a commercial for the new LeapPad Ultra aired. Not only that, but when the little girl opens the box to find said LeapPad Ultra, she actually EXCLAIMS about it BEING a LeapPad Ultra.

We are even treated to a scene where Stephanie's Grinch of a father goes out to a fancy but cold dinner and then arrives at his fancy but cold hotel, only to find Stephanie's letter to Santa in his pocket. And SURPRISE! It's not about Brady, but about her dad and how badly she wants a magical Christmasy Christmas with him! I mean, not that there's anything he can do about that now...dun dun dun...

Back at Sun Snow Valley, apparently at some point their rockin' Christmas Eve winds down, though, because next thing we know Stephanie is waking up and squealing about it being Christmas - and continuing to squeal when she realizes that 'Pere Noel' paid her a visit! What this means is that someone sneaked into her room in the middle of the night - while she was sleeping, I mean - and put candy in her slippers. I don't know about you guys, but that would creep me out if it happened at home and it was, say, my parents doing it, let alone at a resort where it was a stranger (or near stranger) doing it.

And then Stephanie goes downstairs and receives personalized gifts from Grandma and Grandpa! (Really these are just desperate attempts/last ditch efforts of this family to bribe Stephanie into not tearing down their family resort by tricking her into thinking this place is full of Christmas magic - I mean, clearly that's been the plan all along, no?)

No worries, though, because a random Santa Claus shows up! And no one thinks anything of it! (Now, I *suppose* sneaky Grandma may have some inkling as to what's going on, but otherwise it just seems that at Sun Snow Valley it's totally okay for a stranger to show up at Christmas dinner dressed as Santa Claus and pass mysterious gifts out to the children.)

But really, Stephanie doesn't recognize her own father's voice? Like, she's totally surprised to find out that it's him? And where did he get that costume, anyway?! Assuming he doesn't travel around on business with a Santa Claus costume in his little wheely travel suitcase, he somehow procured it either late Christmas Eve night or sometime on Christmas day when, you know, everything is closed (at least in terms of stores/shopping). Of course, I guess I've been hard enough on this movie already, so I can try to just let them have their happy en -

WAIT YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Stephanie and Brady are professing their love for each other (despite having met, what, a week ago? if that?)...UNDER THE MISTLETOE.


AND NOW THEY'RE PLAYING THE SONG FROM WHENCE THIS TRAVESTY OF A MOVIE GOT ITS NAME. (That would be "Let it Snow", for those of you who haven't been paying attention.)


Merry Christ-less Christmas-y Christmas, y'all!

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  1. stockings at the beginning of ice fishing date, but not at the end of the date!

  2. I agree but who cares. Brady is smokin' hot :)

  3. well yeah this movie is a bit corny, but ya kno, it makes you feel good......
    it is a movie that you can predict, but sometimes a person just wants to keep it simple.... thats what this movie is "keeping it simple" throughout. I enjoyed the simplicity, fun and cute corny dialogue, while I sipped on a good glass of cabernet in front of my fireplace. I did not have to think and although they fibed about being in Maine,(which really I thought that was ridiculous) the scenery was very pretty and nice. I recommend this over blood and gore movies and guts being spilled all over the place ;called "action Packed movie" . To me this movie was a little escape in to La La land un real but cute ..... It served its purpose........ Signed, Lighten Up.

    1. Well...the whole point of this blog entry was to be tongue-in-cheek and funny. You enjoyed the simplicity/corny aspects of this movie, I enjoyed making fun of them. Clearly we just "lighten up" in different ways :)

  4. Nice picture of the "Vancouver mountains". Actually that's Chateau Lake Louise in the rockies just west of Calgary ALBERTA. Mr. Grinch!

    1. Well, that's Google image search for you ::shrug:: I've been to western Canada once and don't know that area very well...I did a search for "Vancouver mountains" after finding out where this movie was filmed and those were the pictures that came up. Regardless...the real point was that's not what mountains in Maine look like :)

  5. I thought the movie was pretty good in a cute kind of way. Expecting a hallmark Christmas movie not to be predictable is like expecting to win the lottery. Also, Christmas getting shoved down your throat is because that is the whole premise of the lodge. I would hate to see your review for Snowglobe...