It’s 9:30 pm
Since everyone has decided that Christmas has started in September,the cheetah and I decided we would join the party by watching a Hallmark Channel film called “A Christmas Melody” that we picked up at our local Family Video.
This was one of the weirdest movies we have seen in a long time and while that will make Laura in the UK shake her head,trust me,this is THAT weird.
If you have seen one Hallmark Channel holiday movie,you pretty much seen them all,only the actors are different. They are all pretty sweet and bubbly,with a minor “crisis” tossed in towards the ending and then in the final act,all is wonderful and Christmas. Pure formula,pure sugar and pure ratings gold. And as you can already tell,the cheetah and I have no problem with this,we love family movies and I tell him what Christmas used to be like in our house. …stupid cancer.
For this tale,young widow Kristin Parson (Lacey Chabert) and her 9 year old daughter Emily (Fina Strazza) are facing hard times in Los Angeles. Kristin’s clothing boutique has failed and she is moving back to Silver Falls,Ohio where she grew up.
As she is leaving her shop for the last time,a elderly homeless man asks for spare change,Kristin has no money…except for a framed 5.00 bill from her sale. She gives that to the man and goes home.
Emily is upset at the move because she loves L.A. and doesn’t want to leave her friends.
Emily is shown to be very smart and creative as is her mother. The two say good-bye to Kristin’s loyal friend and assistant Hayley and start the long drive to Ohio.
Meanwhile in Silver Falls,Kristin’s Aunt Sarah (the wonderful Kathy Najimy) who owns a diner is letting folks know that Kristin is on her way home. Danny Collier (Brennan Elliott) perks his ears up,he has had a crush on Kristin since grade school and he is starts to look forward to seeing Kristin again.
The Parson Girls roll into Silver Falls at night while a light snow is falling. Kristin and Sarah connect and then mom and daughter move into a huge house that was once her dad’s.
Soon Emily is enrolled into her new school and Kristin walks with her on her first day.
While there at the school,Kristin meets her old rival Melissa (Mariah Carey) who has married dentist rich and loves to flaunt what she has. She is head of the PTA and is charge of the big Christmas show.
Principal Weber comes out and suggests Kristin sit in on the PTA meeting which she does,she hears Melissa bragging on how much she has accomplished so far. When Kristin asks if Emily can be part of the show,Melissa says all auditions are over with.
Kristin runs into Danny on the way out of the school,it turns out that Danny is the music teacher there. While Kristin fails to recall Danny right off,she does ask him if he can help Emily do the big show,Danny is the one who is really in charge so of course he can make it happen and does so.
Emily struggles to make friends in school,the kids make fun of homemade clothes.
As she walks to another class,a kindly janitor named Thomas asks her how things are going…when Emily tell him,he shares some wisdom,when she goes to thank him,he is just gone….without a trace.
Kristin takes a job with her Aunt Sarah and she and Danny start to bond. She finally remembers his kindness during a science class and their friendship starts to grow.
Danny’s bond with Emily during the rehearsing of a original song she is writing catch’s Kristin’s eye and with passing day,the chemistry grows. But not is all rosy in Silver Falls,a huge potential looms for the Christmas program and a voice from the not so distant past threatens to end Kristin and Danny before they get a chance to really get start a relationship…..and just who is that janitor really???
Okay…..as I stated this movie is weird in a couple of big ways. First,”A Christmas Melody” is said to have been directed by Mariah Carey herself. That I find VERY hard to believe in the slightest,I believe in Santa Claus more then I believe she made this film.
Because if she HAD,I would ask her one question….what was with not having her Melissa MOVE. Every scene that Mariah was in,she was stationary,she didn’t walk but ONCE.
She would stand in the background and watch her daughter perform but there was no interaction between the two. I can’t begin to tell you how strange that was.
No,Mariah does not sing in this film,she is the “villain” and she tries to stay in the mode the whole movie and I will say she plays a mean girl decently.
Product placement….this is when a known product is subtly placed in a scene. Adam Sandler is the king of product placement,his whole movies are one big ad and we all know it.
So in “A Christmas Melody” there are no scenes that feature Folgers coffee,one is subtle and unless you notice such things,it would slip on by. But the second scene where Kristin is pouring coffee,its a freeze frame of that coffee next to a Folgers canister of coffee. I couldn’t help but laugh and so will you.
So did we like the movie…..of course we did. It’s a Hallmark Channel movie and they are critic proof. What makes these movies hum is the casting and Chabert and Elliott have a nice easy charm together on the screen. You can see Kristin and Danny growing old together the first time they connect.
Chabert,who first came in the spotlight with “Party Of Five” and “Mean Girls” is warm and comfortable to watch. She is beautiful but she always seems to downplay her looks and rather let her characters speak for themselves. It may have been seven years since her husband passed but there still a lot of sadness in her and I think Chabert does a nice job of showing that. Despite Danny’s obvious affection for her and her daughter,Kristin isn’t quite ready just yet…..
But it’s Elliott’s (he is a regular in Hallmark productions) is the shining star here,his Danny’s bond with Emily is real and his giving Emily the spotlight is based on her talent and not because he likes her mother. Elliott must have a lot of experience with young actors because he and Fina Strazza are very sweet.
Kathy Najimy is always amazing and I wish she had a bigger role here. Kevin Chamberlin is a scene stealer as Thomas the janitor.
Despite the weirdness,we gave “A Christmas Melody” a thumbs and a paw up.
And we’ll be on the hunt for two new movies starring two of our favorites,the lovely Crystal Lowe (Signed,Sealed,Delivered) and Chelan Simmons who has become a mainstay for Christmas movies!! Both have new movies coming out this year for Hallmark.
“A Christmas Melody” has a run time of 83 minutes and has no special features.
You can buy it at the Hallmark Channel website.
How about you? Have you ever watched a Hallmark Christmas movie? Share your favorites with us here in the comment section below.