While I published two features with a full list of all of my favorite holiday movies, I have to be honest with you, I missed some. Now, why would I do that, you ask? Well, because it is kind of embarrassing. I admitted it on the recent Pupcast, but to write about it is a little different. All right, here goes. Are you ready? I love and am addicted to Christmas Lady Stories.
What is a Christmas Lady Story, you ask? Well, it is pretty much any movie that can be found on the Hallmark Channel or Lifetime during the month of December. Yes, you read that right, Hallmark and Lifetime. In general they are known as Made for TV movies, but I think it is much more appropriate to call them Lady Stories. Before you immediately close this story and go back to watching Lethal Weapon or Die Hard, hear me out. The lady doesn't refer to the ladies that watch them, but rather the ladies that are IN them. In a time when even holiday movies can be cynical, violent, depressing there is one thing that you can always count on in a lady story – at least one, and hopefully two moments that you might find some wet stuff making a puddle in your eye. Now, I probably should clarify, because they are not altogether uplifting. In fact, the vast majority of them deal with a poor widow that just lost her job and no longer has a home or family during the holidays. However, that is the best part. While the characters in lady stories always begin down on their luck, by the end of two hours things always get better. They meet the man of their dreams or are taken in by the local shop keeper who teaches that family doesn't have to be thought of in the traditional sense. In the end, they learn their life can always get worse, but we should be thankful for what we have and then it will improve. Also, life always gets better at Christmas.
While this isn’t necessarily true in real life, it is an amusing genre of movies to watch. I have spent the last few weeks switching shifting between watching Lady Stories and catching up on every movie I happened to miss recently so I am fully prepared for my Best of 2012 list that will be coming next week. That has been "quite the experience." Going back and forth from watching literally the finest cinematic movies of the year juxtaposed with, well, some of the worst. However, my enjoyment of them both is probably about at the same level. They simply serve different purposes. In fact, it has been a fun journey because it reminds me that a movie doesn’t necessarily have to be technically brilliant, or have perfect actors (or have a story that makes sense) to be enjoyable. I just watched a poor man play Secret Santa to an entire town just because he wants to do a good deed and while the overall quality could have been better, I loved every minute of the movie.
So, the next time you are flipping through the channels, and go by what could be a lady story (because you see a big city girl stuck in a small town meeting the local carpenter for the first time before she realizes the meaning of Christmas the night before it happens) I ask you stay on it for a moment. Join me in remembering that for all of us who make movies a huge part of our daily lives, they don't have to be perfect, they just have to be entertaining, and that can mean different things to everyone. It's the beauty of art and film and being a human.
That is all for now. I have to go watch Kevin Sorbo become little Olivia Meade’s “dad” after the old lady in the abandoned house makes wishes come true in Christmas Angel.