The holiday season means many things—time with family and friends, giving thanks for all the wonderful things we have and probably most importantly, Lifetime/Hallmark holiday movies. Over Thanksgiving weekend I watched six of these little gems (don’t judge). Because I want to help bring joy to your lives here are the ones I watched (just in case you need something to do):
· Lucky Christmas—starring Elizabeth Berkley (yes of Saved by the Bell and Showgirls fame)
· 12 Men of Christmas—Kristin Chenoweth in a non-singing role
· The Family Thanksgiving—Daphne Zuniga and Faye Dunaway!
· A Boyfriend for Christmas—Charles Durning as Santa. I should have just watched Home for the Holidays instead.
· Christmas in Paradise—seriously, what woman abandons Colin Ferguson?
· Secret Santa—starring Jennie Garth and the guy who played Mac on Night Court
Holiday versions of Lifetime/Hallmark movies aren’t like the normal ones that run all year long. There aren’t as many women in peril (which I find annoying to begin with) and usually no serious crimes are committed. The movies are just fluffy holiday fun like marshmallows in hot chocolate. Actually it should be a rule that you have to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows while watching any of these nuggets. That’s usually what the widowed father does to make everything better for his adorable children.
Anyway, after watching A Boyfriend for Christmas, I realized that I could probably write my own version. They’re fairly formulaic which is why they’re so addictive. Trust me, it is not hard to watch six of these in one weekend. It’s not even that hard to watch several in one day.
Here are the 10 plot/character elements needed:
1. An actress who was popular in the 80s or 90s whom you don’t see very often but is still lovely to play our plucky heroine. My choice: Annabeth Gish (she was in Mystic Pizza)
2. An attractive male lead from a currently popular (or maybe was popular a few years ago) tv show. My choice: Colin Ferguson (I can’t help it.). He is the mayor of the small town or a local businessman. Something that will bring him together with our heroine.
3. His adorable child who is wise beyond her years. This would have been Abigail Breslin a few years ago; the search will have to begin.
4. A small town that has fallen on hard times and some evil developer (or lawyer or something equally reprehensible) wants to turn the park into a big box store. My choice for villain: Kyle Secor (he was on Homicide: Life of the Streets). It should be like Stars Hollow but with slightly less kooky characters.
5. Our heroine will somehow be involved with the evil developer. In my version she is his chief legal counsel and of course, there is something shady about the deal. Only she can save the park.
6. General meddling by someone. It’s usually best if it’s an older woman in town. I’d love to see Charlotte Rae in the role (Mrs. Garrett from Facts of Life) or maybe Barbara Billingsley (Mrs. Cleaver!). Better yet, they can play sisters.
7. A meet-cute between Annabeth and Colin. The meet-cute will include mistaken/hidden identity or spilled coffee. Somehow the adorable child will also be involved and she’ll see that her father and our heroine are meant to be together. Hijinks and "witty" banter will ensue.
8. Of course, the court case will have to be resolved by Christmas Eve (or Thanksgiving Day or New Year’s Eve) or else Christmas will be ruined.
9. Santa Claus is somehow involved (played by Charles Durning because he is an awesome Santa). Maybe Colin’s adorable daughter asked Santa to save the park or find her a new mom.
10. While Santa is involved the movie must also have a vaguely religious theme (because they all do). Everyone should learn the true meaning of Christmas by the end including the evil developer. Our heroine discovers that there is more to life than her high-powered job and it’s all right here in this small town. And of course, the park is saved.
I think it has holiday hit written all over it! Now all I need is a name….