Day Eight - A Royal Christmas Ball
A Royal Christmas Ball (2017) - Ion TV
Because of the crapterpiece that was ‘A Christmas Prince’, I’ve decided to spend the next few days knocking off Royal Christmas movies. Why? Because ‘A Christmas Prince’ was so inspirational we want to experience all the magic that Royal Christmas movies have to offer? Of course not. Since using real royals are apparently off limits, we just want to see the names of the fake countries the filmmakers dream up. That’s pretty much it.
Say hello to Charles (Ingo Rademacher), King of the European nation Baltavia! Not to be confused with the last fake country we visited, Aldovia. Not quite sure what actual nation the Baltavians were trying to imitate as their accents were all over the place. Charles was fading in and out with a light European / straight American accent, his ambassador Rosa (Mira Furlan) was rolling heavy Eastern European – the actress is Yugoslav so she was probably speaking in her natural voice - , his body guard looked to lapse into an Aussie accent at some point, while his assistant was going with straight Buckingham Palace. It was awesome.
Charles, whose arranged royal wife died a year or so ago, by means we were never told, I’m thinking murder, has never stopped loving his college sweetie Allison (Tara Reid). Thus when the opportunity came to go to SoCal to close some resort deal, Charles was all over it hoping to set things right with the one he let get away.
But in sunny SoCal, Allison is just fine. She and and her partner Eva (Faune Chambers) have a successful architectural firm, she has an awesome 17 year old daughter in Lily (Haley Pullos) and life is swell. True, Lily doesn’t know who her dad is which sometimes makes her sad, and yes, Charles broke Allison’s heart about 9-months to the day soon after Lily was conceived... And what a night that was, because Allison talks about the night Lily was conceived all the time, which was kind of uncomfortable.
So Charles, with the help of his old college roommate Sam (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) manages to track down Allison, who wants nothing to do with him, until we learn that his Nanny \ Ambassador Rosa is largely responsible for the breakup back in the day. Lily has figured out this dude is her dad, dad has learned he has a baby girl, Sam the best friend has hooked up with Allison’s bestie Eva, and now we are all on a plane to Batavia for a Christmas Ball!
First thing… NOT a Christmas movie. Totally not a Christmas movie. It takes place in Southern California of which its mere existence and absence of snow and cold makes it almost anti-Christmas, Christmas is mentioned rarely and mostly as an afterthought, there was a decent generic music score but it wasn’t very Christmassy, no cute kids… attractive teenagers… but they don’t count, and the oldest person in this movie was the Nanny / Ambassador and she wasn’t dispensing even a tiny bit of wisdom. Truth be told, she was just trying to do her job, which Charles made incredibly difficult. This is just to say that as far as a Hallmark-esque Christmas movie goes, not very vomit worthy. But at least there was a Christmas Tree shopping scene
So in the absence of Christmas, what we are kind of stuck with here is the Romance, of which there really wasn’t much of. At least not between King Charles and Allison. I mean these two spent almost NO time together where it was just the two of them. As opposed to their besties Sam and Eva who spent quite a bit of quality time together. Slow strolls on the river walk, conversations about their hopes and dreams, Sam was shooting his best low key sexual innuendo game while Eva was demurely deflecting while still keeping the door wide open. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that their romance was far more interesting than our leads. It also probably doesn’t help that Faune Chambers and Mykel Shannon Jenkins were better actors and probably better looking…. But… you know… this isn’t TVOne, nor was the title of this movie ‘A Return to Zamunda’ so we’re kind of stuck of with Tara and Ingo. (Footnote: Zamunda... made up African nation from 'Coming to America')
But all that being said, it wasn’t the worst one of these we had to sit through. Mykel and Faune picked up the slack that Tara and Ingo weren’t interested in dealing with, Haley Pullos made for a cute, non-bratty teenager and even forgoing those few positives, you can play a mini-game called ‘Guess That Accent’ all the way through. Still not much of a Christmas movie though.