Mistletoe Over Manhattan (2011) - Hallmark Channel
Lucy (Tricia Helfer) and Joe (Greg Byrk) are a married couple who have come to the end of the line. Joe, an NYPD cop has neglected his family for years using his job as an excuse, while Lucy, an advertising exec, has moved on to be with her slimy boss Parker (Damon Runyan).
Half a world a way, Santa (Martic O'Carrigan) has about had it with entitled kids, long hours and commercialism and is contemplating shutting it down. His wife Becca (Tedde Moore) knows that's not what her man really wants, and thus its off to NYC where the Claus' experienced one of their happiest moments as a couple, to bring back some Christmas Spirit and revitalize the old man.
By chance, Becca meets Joe at a diner, and Joe invites Becca. who seems flat out of her mind, back to the home of his wife and kids, which include Bailey the rebellious teenager, and Parker the too-sweet-for-words eight year old, to audition for their open nanny position. Becca can clearly see that these two still love each other, thus it's time to get all up in their biz and plot to recapture true love... and Christmas Spirit... under the Magic Mistletoe. Oh, in Manhattan. Yeah.
So how did Mistletoe Over Manhattan hit all the right vomit cues? Tired Hallmark Christmas plot? Check. Grating holiday music playing throughout? Check. Wise old people? Check. Cute kid? Check. Usually we get a choice of a cute kid or a bratty teen in need of redemption, this one gave us both! Painfully predictable ending? Check. Then there are all the extras like the smarmy boss who is clearly no good, the added bonus of bufoonery provided via Santa and his head elf Sparky, and then there was this scene where Becca and the kids came up with the plan to save the marriage, and they fist bumped each other. That right there made barf right on my television screen. I almost cried.
Then, as if this movie was afraid it might lose that fifth vomit based on Tricia Helfer's BSG cred, Joe pulls out his acoustic guitar and started strumming and singing Christmas songs. While that was truly terrible, it was heightened by the fact that I don't think actor Greg Byrk can play guitar OR sing. At least somebody could've tuned it for my man. This movie gave us so many vomit worthy moments that I would love to give it more vomits than allowed, if possible, but alas I had to vomit in my mouth to keep those down.
But as I mentioned, it's not a terrible movie. Greg Byrk and Tricia Helfer, usually stuck playing villains, did very well in their roles, and Tedde Moore as Mrs Claus was charming... and a little scary... as the overly intrusive, manipulative, somewhat demonic looking Mrs. Claus. and if you actually seek out these types of movies... well... this is the one.