Lucky Christmas (2011)


If there is only one weak spot in television Christmas films (granted there are others), it’d be the casting. Time and again I’ve been disappointed in the leading man or the goofy sidekick who becomes a perpetual unwanted house guest (living on the protagonists sofa, no less) but then the story usually leaves it audience with a case of the “warm and fuzzy” feelings that all is forgiven. Almost.

Luck for Holly Ceroni (Elizabeth Berkley) is never trending her way. For years she has bought lottery tickets and for years, she plays the exact same numbers. A single mom whose husband cleaned out their bank account and walked out, Holly has trouble keeping her son Max (Mitchell Kummen) from believing his father isn’t returning. Her goal is to someday own her own cafĂ© but for now, she is a one-room border with a kindly couple for whom she cooks for to pay the rent in addition to her three part time jobs. Getting extra hours at any of the jobs is helpful. Luck for Holly is just about to come her way when her Christmas lottery ticket numbers win… but that’s just after her car is stolen... the car that housed the ticket in its glove compartment! Coinciding with the best (and worst day!) of her life is Holly and Max meeting Mike (Jason Gray-Sanford). For the first time in years, Holly is open to the idea of love again… but will she have to give up her dreams in the process?

In my opinion, the last two to three years have seen a decline in the films that Hallmark channel has brought to our TV screens. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are still cute as can be but they aren’t up to the same quality as years past, trending more towards pure fluff than substance. That makes me sad. There just is not the same pizzazz and sparkle they once possessed. It’s not that the scripts (or stories) don’t have the potential to be more than they are, they just don’t capitalize on what their maximum could be. True to tradition the stories aren't inventive (do we really care when it comes to holiday flicks?) but that's what we love about them and this story was cute though not catered to its strengths. Though I laughed heartily and enjoyed each element, I felt the flaws outweighed the good.

Performances of the actors rarely come across as believable for the situations they are placed in. One or two scenes are tender and well-filmed but declarations of love after knowing each other for a week earn eye rolls and groans from any viewer living in “realville” – even though I am all for happy endings, I am put off by such extreme measures of incredulity. Call me crazy but I also appreciate a good-looking leading man and… I did not get that with this film. I don’t mind the actor looking “real,” or rough-around-the-edges but I also like to see a nice face to go with the charismatic character – and even eliminating superficial reasoning, a Casanova sort character (which is all on the writer's!) should also look the part. This actor did not.

By the time credit’s rolled, the story had won me over if not the actors and there is a healthy dose of Christmas cheer to make anyone smile. After all, it had luck on its side.
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Rissi
8 Comments

8 comments:

  1. Eh, this one wasn't a fave either. The main guy in this is forever associated with the TV show MONK for me, so I had a problem isolating him from that.

    I can handle cheese, but you're right, the declarations of love in this one was a bit much =P

    Let's see, this year there have been a few cute ones. "Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade" was really adorable. You'll have to see that one. Another cute one was "Matchmaker Santa"--although that one was entirely predictable. There look to be some good ones coming up. At least I hope so.

    You're right, though, Hallmark's programming is on the decline somewhat. I mean, I think of the ones I have watched this year.....four I enjoyed a lot. And there were others I turned off/fast forwarded through.

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    1. My reaction exactly, Ella! I enjoyed it but 'Lucky' is not even close to a favorite. Never have seen Monk but the leading man just didn't "click" as a Casanova-type character - and subtly, that is how writer's type-casted him. The ending was a bit much, wasn't it!? Part of Christmas (or TV) movie's charm is that "cheese" but this one was over-done. :)

      Yay! Glad to get some of your picks (I'd love it if you let me know what you think of the rest this year... if you watch any). Matchmaker Santa (predictable is good! We sort of expect that with holiday flicks) sounds familiar but I don't remember its plot just now but 'parade' is one I'll be on the look-out for. Another blogger liked Hitched for the Holidays but it never did look like a potential favorite to me.

      For some reason, it just struck me this year that compared to Hallmark's usual flare, the last couple of years have declined. Yes, most the movies were predictable but they had better acting and scripts plus some charismatic charm. These of late are... lacking. It's sad but maybe, they'll change that. We can only wish. :D

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    2. Matchmaker Santa was a brand new one to hit this year....but it's plot has definitely been done before =) I just watched one on Lifetime last night "Love at the Christmas Table." It was cute too!

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    3. I'd read some about "MS" and remember thinking at the time it sounded cute. Glad to know you enjoyed it - I'll watch for it next batch of DVD's from Hallmark. :)

      Ah! I'd read about Lifetime's movies too - the one you mention as well as a Christmas story of the March sister's...? Don't know if it'd be good but it sounded cute. :) Glad you stopped by, Ella - love to know what you think of Hallmark's new programming. :)

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  2. I love all of these cheesy holiday movies! :) But I agree, all I could think of was Monk as well!

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    1. Don't mistake my tone for dislike, please, Eden - so do I. This film just wasn't my fave though the story was cute. :)

      Thank you so much for dropping by - please visit again anytime. :)

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  3. Watch the 12 Dates of Christmas. Cheesy, but totally cute and hilarious!

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    1. I really want to check that one out... but it hasn't come to DVD yet and I don't have satellite/cable, rent or watch things online. Partially because my system isn't set up for it and partially because I prefer not too.

      Hopefully it will appear next year on store shelves. :) Thanks for the recommendation.

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