Aired: 11/8/15 on Hallmark Channel
There are a few jobs in this world that get zero credit – no one notices you unless you screw up. Like an offensive lineman in football. If the play is successful, you might get a generic – the line did well – no mention of any names. If you miss a block, however, your name is called out. You never want your name called out if you are an offensive lineman. Film editing is like that. Have you ever watched a movie and thought, “What a wonderful editing job!” Probably not. But you have probably noticed continuity errors and just shook your head in misunderstanding. Charming Christmas is a movie in search of better editing.
We all love Julie Benz from her days as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Here she plays Meredith Rossman, a business school graduate, who runs her parents’ family department store. Even though it is a small family store, Meredith runs it like a cold, impersonal, large corporation – the worst of both worlds, the cold impersonal touch of a large company without the massive capital to back it up. That is why Meredith wants to franchise Rossman’s, so she can have the capital to back up being a bitch to her employees. Things change when she meets the new department store Santa – Nick (David Sutcliffe) – and agrees to become Mrs. Claus for the store. She learns that Christmas isn’t about the crass commercialization she was pushing and that her employees are family, not lackeys she pushes around because she is the boss.
I see where Hallmark was going with Charming Christmas. It had the feel of a two-hour movie that they had to cut down to fit in Hallmark’s budgeted time, then forgot to watch it from beginning to end to ensure continuity. There were multiple occasions where the characters clearly referenced something that happened before in the movie, except, we never actually saw what they were talking about it. Once, one of the employees was standing around in the Mrs. Claus dress without explanation. It wasn’t until later that we discover that she was actually playing Mrs. Claus part of the time. They showed that, by her in a spat with her friend who apparently was also playing Mrs. Claus part of the time – even though we never saw that. We are introduced to a dry cleaner, who has some relationship to a little boy, Tyler, but it is never explained what that relationship is. This could have been a good movie. Instead every scene we are left to wonder what the heck we missed because they are talking about something that never happened.
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