While Lifetime movies and I have had our differences in the past, it’s hard not to look at 12 Days of Christmas, a copy of which they sent out for review, and give some respect for their sheer ambition. 12 Days of Christmas is more than just a movie, you see…it’s 12 of them. That’s right, contained in one giant package is a wide array of Christmas movie fun from the folks at Lifetime, and it will be Christmas as only Lifetime can do it, for better or for worse.
12 Days of Christmas contains fully 12 separate Christmas movies from Lifetime: The Road to Christmas, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, Home By Christmas, A Christmas Wedding, Holiday Switch, Under the Mistletoe, His & Her Christmas, Holiday Wishes, A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride, Will You Marry Me?, Christmas in Paradise, and Deck the Halls. With that kind of array in hand, there are going to be a variety of plotlines being covered here, although many of these will revolve around love being found with a Christmas theme, backed up occasionally by sudden losses of everything that was loved and topped off with a heaping helping of misandry.
For those of you not familiar with the term “misandry”, it means a hatred or dislike of men or boys, essentially the male equivalent–except this time commonly possessed by females–of misogyny. Those of you who remember that Family Guy sketch that featured Brian, Jillian and Stewie watching a preview of an upcoming Lifetime movie entitled “Men Are Terrible And Will Hurt You Because This Is Lifetime” already have some idea of what that means. Needless to say Lifetime’s 12 Days of Christmas box set will do little to disabuse anyone of the notion that Lifetime absolutely hates men.
For instance, Jennifer Grey will be hitting us up in The Road To Christmas. I had that one in for somewhere around six minutes before I had a pretty good idea of how it would end–she was going to be leaving her fiance, though just why was something of a surprise–and that doesn’t make for good movie at all. When you can see the ending coming before you’ve even had a chance to forget the opening credit roll, it’s a clear sign of a weak script and shoddily-done everything else. Holiday Switch shows that there’s no such thing as a good guy, only guys with varying levels of flaw from the ineffectual, poor as dirt guy who’s clearly holding the heroine back to the rich guy who spends most of his lines whining to the guy who no one even bothered to name before he just sort of disappeared after dispensing folksy, homespun wisdom. That’s before you note its shocking similarity to a direct to video title released almost a full year prior to that called The Christmas Clause. Recipe for a Perfect Christmas will feature enough deus ex machina moments to make me think Zeus should have had a writing credit.
Don’t even get me started on Home By Christmas, which featured a guy who can best be described as “a monster”, divorcing his wife just days before Christmas, hiding his assets so as to pay minimal alimony and then basically steals her daughter by offering her the good life she’s used to that only he can fund now, despite the fact that he only has a handful of lines in the film. And did I mention he did all of this just days before Christmas? Merry Christmas, honey, I’m the evil male Grinch that stole your everything!
Leaving aside the cripplingly high levels of anti-male sentiment that this box set engenders–nothing quite says “Christmas morning” like “several reasons to have the men in your life neutered with a hedge trimmer just to make sure nothing like this ever happens to you”–it’s unfair to say that 12 Days Of Christmas is a bad box set. In fact, plenty of these movies will have some heartwarming moments–watching our heroine recover in Home By Christmas can be a downright treat if for no other reason than she had so far to fall in the first place–and some good laughs tossed in for variety’s sake. It’s not exactly terrible material, but it has something of a clearly defined audience. If you’re not in that audience, well, you won’t feel welcome here. You’ll be pretty actively discouraged from joining in, as a matter of fact, but there is still value here for those who find themselves discouraged from joining in by the rabidly anti-male plotlines.
12 Days of Christmas may not be what everyone wants to find under their tree this year, but it’s still got a few worthwhile points going for it even if you’re not commonly a part of the choir to whom Lifetime is preaching.