A Boyfriend for Christmas (2004) - The Hallmark Channel
Young Holly is walking in the mall, and her girlfriends are dominating the conversation about the boyfriends they are about to get, but Holly let's them know she don't need no gatdamn man! Holly was totally lying about that because when Santa (Charles Durning) asked her what she wanted under the tree, with little hesitation, she told him a boyfriend. Now the only reason 12 year old Holly was talking to Santa was because she was helping this cute boy who couldn't get his little sister to talk to Santa... and we don't blame that little girl. Charles Durning made for one of the creepiest Santa's we've ever seen. Anyway, that Christmas morning when Holly wakes up she has a gift from Santa, a tiny snow globe with the inscription that basically says she'll get a decent boyfriend in twenty years. That's some bull. And Holly thinks so too.
20 years later Holly (Kelli Williams) is some kind of social worker trying to unite a family, but their pro-bono lawyer doesn't show up and now this sad family cannot be united until after the holidays. Holly is so pissed at this dude she doesn't know!
This Lawyer is Ryan (Patrick Muldoon) and the reason he was late was because he was negotiating some low income housing for poor people. He's a good dude. He also makes a few phone calls and gets that family back together. But Holly doesn't know this and she's still so pissed! In fact when Ryan spied the hottie at the Christmas Tree lot, he was about to make that bold move until he heard her use his name on her cell about how pissed she is at this dude. This complicates things because Creepy Santa is back on the scene, all up in people's biz, trying to get these two together and fulfill that bogus promise he made before his twenty year window is up.
Santa can see these two belong together, or something, so he sends Ryan over to her house as her Christmas boyfriend. Mainly because Holly has been hating on Santa TO THIS VERY DAY for not sending her that boyfriend she wanted 20 years ago. She told him this. Great! They can be together, but Ryan decides not to tell Holly his real name because of the previously overheard phone call. And Holly is surprisingly cool with this perfect stranger showing up at her house, so much so that she even introduces him to her family as her boyfriend. Now at any time in the next week or so that these two are kicking it, he could've easily told Holly his real name, because she pretty much knows everything else about him, from his job to his inseam... but of course not, because that makes sense.
Of course eventually she finds out and love is lost. But fortunately Creepy Santa is back on the scene to get the love back on track! I gotta tell you, this Santa seems way more interested in getting Holly laid than delivering toys to poor children.
I spent a little more time than usual discussing this one because, from first frame to last, I found this movie mind-blowing. This is a movie that seemed to have the ultimate message, that if you are a woman without a man then you have almost no value. And this movie wraps this insidious message in a package that is very well done. I kid you not, 'A Boyfriend for Christmas' is funny, it's well acted, it's well shot... yes, it's basic narrative rests on something ridiculously stupid, that being not telling the woman you love your real name... but even that bit of rampant stupidity was handled about as well as rampant stupidity can be handled. Like if I actually watched RomComs, there's a chance I might've really enjoyed this one.
Ah but then there's always the main theme to deal with. You see all the women in this movie are happy except for two. These two being the man-less spinster Holly, and that lady we mentioned earlier, the homeless woman who lost her kids probably because she didn't have a man to take care of her properly. And all of these happy women with men seem to have one goal in life, along with Santa, that being getting Holly a man to call her own because Holly clearly isn't happy. Until Ryan comes along and completes her incomplete sad circle of life. Yay. And the late great Charles Durning seriously made for one leering, prowling, drunk-eyed Santa.
Despite the questionable messaging embedded in this film, it is still a very vomit worthy Hallmark Christmas movie. Well worn plot, very predictable, had a few cute kids, had some wise old people including Martin Mull as well as Charles Durning's creepy Santa, and lots of canned Christmas music. It's just the underlying message that keeps this one from attaining the heights of the usual disgust we have for these movies.