' ' Cinema Romantico: 10 Made For TV Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season (by synopsis)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

10 Made For TV Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season (by synopsis)

When the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas programming officially began in 2009, it mostly had those made-for-TV holiday movies to itself. Gradually, however, other networks have copied the formula, like its closest competitor Lifetime but also ABC Family (since rechristened as UP), ION, and now even GAC Family which seems to be trying to start a Christmas TV movie range war by literally poaching Hallmark stars. But even Hallmark has copied its own formula, creating a new slate of movies for every season with Spring Fling, Summer Dreams (“havin’ a blast”), Fall Harvest, and even WinterFest, which sounds like the War on Christmas ™ version of Countdown to Christmas. It suggests Tim Pierce (Cameron Mathison) of the essential Hallmark Christmas movie “The Christmas Ornament” who wanted to create a place where December 25th happened year-round. This is one of my favorite times of year and when the first week of January rolls around and it ends, as I get blue. But that blueness is part of it. It has to end; if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be special. That’s why I steer clear of Spring Fling and Summer Dreams (“havin’ a blast”) and Fall Harvest and WinterFest. No, Hallmark movies are a once-a-year thing, which is why, even if every content mill in existence has already churned out its list of Made For TV Christmas movies to see, we wait to publish ours until after Thanksgiving. (All movies air on Hallmark unless otherwise noted.)

10 Made For TV Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season (by synopsis)

10. The Enchanted Christmas Cake. (Lifetime) “Gwen can’t figure out why her grandmother’s Enchanted Christmas Cake doesn’t taste as magical as she remembered. Then she bumps into a chef, who just so happens to be in town to shoot a holiday special, and figures out exactly what the cake — and her life — is missing.” LET’S GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

9. You, Me & the Christmas Trees. “An arborist falls in love with a farmer as she tries to save his trees before the town tree lighting.” In Hallmark-land, where the protagonist is always an Event Planner, a Marketing Executive, or an all-purpose Career Oriented Woman, branching out into arboriculture is practically visionary…

8. Christmas at Castle Heart. “Brooke Bennett goes to Ireland during Christmastime to search for her Irish roots. Mistaken for an elite event planner, she’s soon hired to host an epic Christmas party at a nobleman’s castle.” ...But not quite as good as a protagonist who is mistaken for an Event Planner! I detect that twinkle in your eye, Hallmark!

7. Christmas CEO. “A small toy company CEO gets a once in a lifetime offer to merge with a mega toy company but will need her estranged ex-business partner’s signature to seal the deal.” No doubt this will reinforce Hallmark’s mystical belief that Rockefeller Republicans still exist. 

This is real. This is not a bit.

6. One December Night. “Two music managers must  put their history aside to oversee the televised reunion performance of their rock star fathers with a fractured past.” A solid synopsis elevated by the casting: Peter Gallagher and Bruce Campbell as the rock stars. That’s how you do. If Hollywood won’t give us a Nicole Kidman / Naomi Watts comedy, maybe Hallmark can? 

5. A Furry Little Christmas. (UPtv) “A big-city veterinarian falls for a small-town doctor when he sets out to recreate a New York City Christmas in her Vermont home-town.” Does this mean conjuring up department store holiday windows? Or does this mean staging a small town SantaCon?

4. Crashing Through the Snow. “Maggie and Sam are crashing Christmas. When he proposes they team up against his sister's perfect Christmas, neither of them are prepared for the blended family challenges that lie ahead.” Like if Cat on a Hot Tin Roof met Kevin McCallister’s obstacle course.

3. Baking Spirits Bright. (Lifetime) “Fruitcake may not be as popular as it once was, but Mira isn’t giving up hope about the future of her family’s fruitcake business. In fact, she promises her parents that she’ll do whatever it takes to keep their dream alive, no matter who (a high-powered marketing executive, for example) tries to get in her way.” Love the fruitcake reclamation angle here and the knowing high-powered executive parenthetical is sensational.

2. Christmas in the Rockies. (UPtv) “After her father is hurt in a timber accident, Katie Jolly must enter a lumberjack competition to save her family’s business. But when the paramedic who saved her dad’s life also joins the contest, a romance sparks just in time for Christmas.” I had to read this one twice to make sure it was real. 

1. The Santa Stakeout. “Two police detectives posing as newlyweds to solve recent holiday party heists are swept up by Christmas while observing the prime suspect.” I would have been proud to pitch this movie. 

No comments: