Catch a Christmas Star (2013) - Hallmark
Chris (Stever Byers) is a widowed father of two adorable kids. His wife died in a car accident a few years back, and I've noticed in this journey that car accidents seem to be the method of choice for getting rid of significant others, when I think a long terminal illness, like cancer, works better dramatically. It allows for this dying S.O to give some theatrical last dying words for their mate, which just can't happen in a head on collision.
Anyway, it's thanksgiving and before the game, in front of some really bad green screening, the worlds biggest pop star Nikki (Shannon Elizabeth) is singing the National Anthem. Chris's 10 year old daughter daughter Sophie (Julia Lalonde) notices how weird everybody got when Nikki showed up on the screen, so Uncle Jason had to spill the beans that back in the day Nikki and her dad were each others first love in high school.
Sophie has a plan. Grab her little brother Jackson, skip school, take a bus from Jersey to NYC where Nikki is doing a CD signing, mention her dad and love will bloom again! It's actually a terrible plan, because in reality these poor kids would be abducted and murdered, but it's really quite sweet in execution and gosh darn if it doesn't kind of work.
Chris and Nikki go out on a date, and despite the fact they both went in drastically different directions way back when, they never stopped loving each other. Everything looks like it just might work out for these two good looking kids who have found each other once again... but alas... maybe not. Back in high school, Chris just couldn't deal with Nikki's fame, and now, with two kids to protect and paparazzi all over the place, he really can't deal with it. Love can't survive. Until it does, thanks to the wisdom of a wisest 10 year old girl ever.
This one was really easy to like if only because of the likability of the cast. Shannon Elizabeth... true, maybe not much of a singer... is ageless and still real easy to look at well into her forties. Steve Byers bought the brokenhearted sad charm and the cute kids were able to successfully straddle the line between between being cute and helpful as opposed to being supremely annoying. There was this one strange bit where Chris was bribing a security guard to use his uniform so he could get back stage to tell Nikki how much he loves her. Or murder her. This guard didn't know what he wanted the uniform for and sold Nikki out for 20 bucks.
The movie's not very Christmassy though. Yes, Shannon blandly sings quite a few Christmas songs, and there are lots of Christmas backdrops and whatnot, but this was basically a love story that just happens to take place around Christmas. I mean there wasn't even a 'buying a tree at the lot scene'. I've also learned that's pretty much the baseline for whether or not you have Christmas movie, or a just movie that takes place around Christmas.
And we are done! Until maybe next year. We will see.