Home for the Holidays Means a Gluttony of Sappy Christmas Movies


The holidays can be quite lucrative for just about any business or online store. But the retail, technology, and “you name it” industries aren’t the only ones catering to folks in the holiday spirit. I thoroughly love Christmas movies regardless of how cheesy. When it comes to movies you have to compare apples to apples.

For the made-for-television movies its a genre in and of itself. Most are rather predictable and formulaic Christmas movies on various channels, though primarily on Lifetime and Hallmark. Understandably, not everyone enjoys the Christmas made-for-TV flicks because they’re not what one would consider “block busters.” Others prefer to stick to classic holiday movies they’re familiar with and watch annually around this festive season such good ol’ A Christmas Story and one of my favorites It’s a Wonderful Life.

I was pleasantly surprised that Redbox opted to add It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas and A Charlie Brown’s Christmas for holiday saps like me who prefer to rent over owning these classics. After all, for only $1.50 a night there’s plenty of money left in the checking account to go towards gift giving.

One movie I found especially entertaining is Lifetime’s 2012 Finding Mrs. Claus. Isn’t it funny how neither Paul Giamatti nor Tim Allen in normal attire look anything like the Santa we’ve grown to know and love, yet with enough Hollywood magic, nearly anyone can be cast to play Santa Claus? In Finding Mrs. Claus, Will Sasso has the belly and the size for the typical overweight, cookie-eating Santa. But off duty stripped of the white beard and red suite, as he searches to find his wife Mrs. Claus (Mira Sorvino) in Las Vegas of all places, the bald and chunky Sasso becomes the last person I’d consider casting to play Santa. I felt the same way with busty Mira Sorvino playing a sexy, gambling Mrs. Claus.

However, when it comes to movies with the man in the red suit as the primary story line, really, anything goes. That’s the great thing about adding a fantasy element to lower the reality bar. When it comes to Christmas movies, networks like Lifetime and Hallmark can get away with just about anything. Why, even Whoopi Goldberg can fill the big man’s shoes. Lifetime’s 2001 Call Me Claus stars Goldberg as network executive Lucy Collins who plays Santa’s replacement.

So, it’s no shock that Santa would lose his wife at a Casino in Vegas and nearly miss Christmas in hopes to save his strained marriage in Finding Mrs. Claus. Though, Mrs. Claus is merely on a mission of her own to help single mom Noelle (Laura Vandervoort) find Mr. Right. This of course is at the request of Noelle’s daughter Hope (Aislyn Watson), who writes Mrs. Claus claiming all she wants for Christmas is for her mom to finally date again.

Of course, the predictable plot and story definitely leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. No need to spoil an ending that you can likely figure out without even watching. But, if you’re looking to watch something entertaining, free (if you pay for basic cable, of course) and full of the holiday spirit then you can’t really go wrong with a little Lifetime. Of course you’re most likely a woman if you’re watching Lifetime, but hey, you can be a dude and enjoy the movies, too. It just might be that you are forced to watch it with your girlfriend or wife.

When it comes to sappy Christmas movies and those especially made for television, you’re going to think they’re all stupid and they suck if you compare them to other Hollywood genres. Christmas television films are in a class all their own. They are what they are, regardless of how ridiculous or predictable. They can get away with it because they are not meant to be theater releases (for the most part) or destined to be a summer blockbuster or to be nominated for “Best Picture.” Even It’s a Wonderful Life failed at the box office and took a few years to gain classic status.

Still, Lifetime and Hallmark make a crap load of money off of simple, low-budget, feel-good films that are mostly geared towards sappy holiday types (mostly women) who are willing to watch. So, if you’re not interested in low-budget predictable and mediocre Christmas story lines, don’t bother. Go out and watch the next Oscar winner to-be. Otherwise, sip some eggnog, eat some cookies and sit back and relax to dozens upon dozens of holiday made for TV movies, at least until you make yourself sick.


About Sonyo Estavillo

I am a creative professional with extensive project experience from concept to development (scripted and non-scripted). My talents are diverse and include: producing, directing, production management, videography, social media/viral marketing, research, non-linear editing, story development, and content writing. *Masters in Television, Radio, & Film @ Newhouse, Syracuse University *Bachelors in Film Production @ CSULB

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