Day Two - Wrapped up in Christmas
Wrapped up in Christmas (2017) – Lifetime
After the stressful and emotional beatdown that yesterday’s movie ‘Lucky Christmas’ gave me, I began to seriously doubt if I could honor my obligations this year, but fortunately today’s movie, ‘Wrapped up in Christmas’ presented its predictable tale in a much more palatable package.
Heather (Tatyana Ali) is a hard working Mall executive bucking for that big promotion from her hardcore boss Arlene (Jackee Harry). Ryan (Brendan Fehr) is a somewhat aimless former attorney trying to find his way by creating paintings of suspect quality and helping his aunt Patty (Cindy Pickett) in her flailing mall store that sells stuff.
Heather has been tasked by this boss of hers to close down all underperforming stores in this mall… during the Christmas Holidays. This would obviously include the store of Ryan’s aunt. Seems like a terrible business decision to me, maybe wait until after the Christmas buying season, but what do I know about running a mall? Heather is loath to do this task because she is a really sweet person, but business is business.
To get the meat of the matter, Ryan spies Heather buying hot cocoa one evening and he is done for. He even kind of gets the inside track on what Heather likes when he had to sub in for the mall Santa, and received some valuable info from Heather’s super adorable niece Molly (Princess K. Mapp). After the predictably rocky intros, these two cute kids hit it off fabulously and love is in the Christmas air.
But we all know how this works… love can’t last. Ryan is super upset that Heather is the one closing down his beloved aunt’s failing Shop of Stuff, and Heather is super upset that Ryan fronted as Santa Clause to find out some ridiculously mundane information about her. And since we’ve established we all know how this works, we also know that Heather will find a solution to the store closing and Ryan will make things right with his new love… on Christmas.
‘Wrapped up in Christmas’ improves upon ‘Lucky Christmas’ in almost every conceivable way. Let’s start with casting, as this TV movie has a virtual hall of fame list of dedicated TV actors littered throughout. Kim Fields, Jasmine Guy, Dan Lauria, Mindy Sterling, Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey the butler on the Fresh Prince? Hello?)… Ms. Jasmine Guy couldn’t have been too terribly happy about having to play Kim Fields mom, but a sister gotta eat. And we don’t want to exclude our two leads from the fine cast, though Ali and Fehr might not be the second coming of Hepburn and Tracy, they’ve both been acting since they were kids and have a fairly firm grip on how their relatively simple characters function in this relatively simple movie.
This one also hits almost all the right vomit cues at all the right vomit times. From an opening generic, but original Christmas song sung by Ms. Ali, which flows right into a generic Christmas score… one which play incessantly throughout the entire movie… and the background Christmas decorations were omnipresent almost to the point of being obnoxious. We had Carolers to deal with, there was a tree shopping scene, the plot had a heavy Christmas theme completely lacking in originality, actually lifting bits and pieces NOT from other classic Christmas movies, but from other Lifetime / Hallmark Christmas movies. That’s awesome. We had a really cute kid, though she did kind of seem more like a really tiny woman, and lots of wise, advice dispensing old people. Lots. Like everybody in the cast except Brendan Fehr and Tatiana Ali.
The only issue we had with this movie, other than the fact it’s a Lifetime TV Christmas movie, is that the pre-requisite okey-doke, or the reason why these two had to split up, was kind of lame. I mean the info Ryan picked up from Molly while fronting as Santa was that Molly likes ‘A Christmas Carol’ and can’t cook. That stuff is probably on her Facebook page. Back in the day if one liked a girl it was not foreign to ask somebody she knows ‘hey... what is she into’. But today, I guess, finding out somebody likes to read an old book is a gross invasion of privacy. Who knew?
Nonetheless ‘Wrapped up in Christmas’ is a very vomit worthy film for the season. Not quite Five Vomit worthy… missing just that little something to push it over that cliff… but still very vomit worthy.