Every made for TV Christmas movie is based on the same 4 movies
A movie becomes a classic for a reason; it’s no accident that movie studios keep remaking Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Carol. These are stories that are insightful, engaging and just as relevant now as they were when they were new. So we get it; telling the same story over and over is a ritual. This is understandable, but then there’s the folks who like to take that which is old, change the wrapper and pass it off as something new. Well, they’re not fooling us! Here’s a quick guide to spot how every made for TV Christmas movie is a rip off of either Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, Peggy Sue Got Married, or, in the case the last two, often both.
Is Santa a character in the movie?
If Santa is a character in the movie, then they’re either doing a Miracle on 34th Street thing or a Miracle/It’s a Wonderful Life hybrid. When you get a movie like Defending Santa, it’s clear that they’re in court, they’re riffing on Miracle, but sometimes, they’ll combine elements from Miracle and Wonderful and have Santa play a helpful angel who’s also being persecuted… kinda like in the aforementioned Defending Santa.
Is there time travel or any sort of displacement?
If Nicole Eggert climbs into a dryer and ends up in an alternate reality (that’d be Holiday Switch – not to be confused with a different 1980s sitcom star having a similar experience, such as Nancy McKeon in Comfort and Joy), I’m calling that a Peggy Sue Got Married mixed with a dash of Wonderful for good measure depending on which way they go in the third act. Sometimes, the person realizes throwing everything away is a mistake, sometimes the change stick – it varies.
Does the protagonist start out an insensitive workaholic with no regard for their fellow human beings?
Here’s where you get your Scrooge on. So many angry advertising executives (lawyers or designers or CEOs of companies that only make lady products or whatever office job Lifetime think it’s safe to give a female protagonist) have a life changing event with ghosts realize they’re mean to their assistant and should give them a raise… you know the plot. Christmas Cupid comes to mind.
So many made for TV Christmas movies, so few plots! Hey, writing a movie is hard, so folks steal from the classics. We actually shouldn’t ask Hallmark and their ilk for original programming, because then we get stuff like Love at the Christmas Table. I shiver at just the thought! But don’t let them fool you – A Carol Christmas isn’t just offensive because it stars Tori Spelling.
Posted on December 1, 2015, in christmas blog posts, lists, movie review, tv review and tagged A Christmas Carol, christmas movies, it's a wonderful life, Miracle on 34th Street, Miracle on 34th Street (1947), movie reviews, Peggy Sue Got Married, tv movies. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.