Saturday, December 22, 2012

Well played, Santa...

Well played.

Since the world didn't end today, how about some contemporary Christmas movie recommends. Of all the Christmas movies I've watched this year, and for some reason I can't seem to stop watching those made-for-television shows lately, I found the following five to be pretty darned enjoyable. These aren't the Christmas classics, except maybe my number one, Noel. It's not the acting or the script or the quality of these films that made me like them--for me it's all about the sigh at the end.

Mostly these films are of the variety one might call schmaltzy. Overly emotional, cheesy, and often maxing out every Christmas music crescendo for impact.

But sometimes, when I'm up late wrapping presents, or back in the day, when I was assembling toys and sticking those foul little stickers on everything--those of you who ever put together a plastic toy in the nineties know what I'm talking about--it was nice to watch those flicks for company.

Don't JUDGE me for my taste in holiday entertainment. O.o

5. Holiday Engagement 

This is your standard, hire a guy to be your fiancé for Thanksgiving so your mom isn't disappointed fare. I enjoyed this because I like the actress. Quirky good girl gets guy. Lots of humor here.

4. Desperately Seeking Santa

Sexy Santa? Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? I'm a free thinker and I still don't think Santa needs to be sexy. At any rate this movie is an enjoyable romp with an evil capitalist overlord type who is gobbling up small businesses and costing local jobs. In one scene there were posters of hot guys on the walls and I swear I've seen half of them on our m/m book covers. Tragically bad dancing. I still liked it. Go figure.

3. Crazy For Christmas

This is your guy gives out money willy-nilly because he's realized family is what's most important for Christmas. I kind of enjoyed this one too. Howard Hessman was really on a roll here. Buon Natale.

2. Dear Santa

I don't know if it's the actress, whom I love, or the kid, who made me want to be her mom, or the male character love interest because I want to drive his snowplow, but honestly, I just loved this movie. Sure it's a guilty pleasure, and it's not going to win any awards, but I came away from this movie ready to deck the halls and break out the eggnog, and I just don't know.

1. Noel

This is a seriously weird film, in that it's like a whole bunch of A-list actors I mean...REALLY A-list: Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker and Alan Arkin. First rate acting. First rate writing. It's a strange little movie I'd never even heard of before. It had five or so plotlines to follow and It's not like they ever all came together in the end either, but... It left me feeling oddly uplifted and even privileged to have seen it.

These films are all available as instant watch for live streaming from Netflix, and are possibly available to watch on Amazon as well, so mull the wine, pop the popcorn, and dive right in.

Perfect for holiday procrastination!

This is DAY Nine
what's in it for you?

Welcome to the twelve days of ZAMfest All you have to do is comment to enter the daily drawing and I'll pull a new name from the hat each night to win an ebook from my backlist. The TWELFTH day will be Christmas, that's when I'll put the name of anyone who leaves me a comment on all twelve blogs, into a drawing and one very lucky person will win the grand prize-- a $50 dollar Amazon Gift Card. If you're new to the ZAMfest, it's not too late to go back and comment on earlier blogs. Good Luck!

DAY eight's winner is strive4bst, I'll be contacting you to see which ebook you'd like!

Thanks a bunch! Christmas is right around the corner now!


  1. I loved LOVED Noel! And I'm the same way...I've watched a ton of Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies this year. :D


  2. I'll try some today on Netflix, thanks for the recomendations. Saw rise of the Guardians yesterday with my boys and really enjoyed it, more of an every holiday film even though it had Santa in it.

  3. So far I haven't had time to watch many Christmas movies. :( The Hallmark Channel was always a favorite of mine during the holidays. This year I've had to settle for Christmas episodes on my favorite sitcoms.


  4. I haven't seen a made for TV movie in a long, long time. My favorite holiday movie, hands down, is "Love Actually", which sounds a lot like "Noel", by your description. I'll have to check it out. It will be a nice break this year. I've been watching too much news.

  5. Between Hallmark and Lifetime, I find more than my share channel-surfing. Tried David Hasselhoff's THE CHRISTMAS CONSULTANT for the camp value, but couldn't stomach more than fifteen minutes...


  6. I haven't seen any of these movies! I feel out of the loop! In spite of myself I actually enjoyed Four Christmases even though it wasn't the most classy story! And I love Love Actually!
    OceanAkers @

  7. Hi, I'm going check Noel out. Thanks for the rec. There are many good modern Christmas movies. One I enjoyed quit a bit is The Holiday (2006) with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet - great, warm comedy with a twist.


  8. I guess I kind of march to my own drum, since The Nightmare before Christmas has become one of my favorite holiday movies. Of course I also used to catch the newest Harry Potter in the theater, as they used to come out right before Christmas too.

    abraalpacas at gmail dot com

  9. I haven't seen any of these movies. THough in the last few years I have really stopped watching TV and movies for the most part. Though I'll probably watch something this season. I did really like the Santa Clause movies - maybe because I saw them with my daughter when she was just starting to not beleive, and I feel they helped prolong the santa tings just a bit longer. :)

  10. I think The Hobbit will be my Christmas movie this year. Our small family is meeting in Texas for the holidays, and Mom wants to see it! Thank you!

    brendurbanist at gmail dot com

  11. I haven't seen any of those movies. To be honest I don't watch too many movies. That's two hours I could better use for reading. So if I do watch I prefer to do it at home where I can read at the same time.

    cojazzchick AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Many of these Hallmark/Lifetime movies have run together over the years, because yes, I've watched a lot of them. I know I've seen Desperately Seeking Santa and I've NEVER seen Noel. How could I have missed that one? LOL I'll have to check it out.


  13. I'll have to see if my satellite TV is showing any of these films.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  14. I've never heard of Noel, but now I think I have to see if it's available on Amazon. Thanks for the list. :)

  15. I don't watch many movies, but two of my favorite holiday ones are: 'The Christmas Carol' with Patrick Stewart and 'Make the Yuletide Gay,' a cute coming out movie.


  16. I admit I become addicted to the Hallmark, Lifetime,family channel holiday movies no matter how good or bad they be. Here are some that i do not think are bad...
    "The Mistle Tones", "A bride for CHristmas", "Holiday Spin", "Help for the Holidays", "Undercover Christmas", "Love at the Christmas Table", "Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

  17. To be honest I haven't had the time to watch much TV this year (new job, family issues, etc) but I used to watch Lifetime all Christmas long - now it is just the old standbys when I can find the time.

  18. I love 'A Christmas Carol'. Watch it every year.

  19. Thanks for the recs! I haven't seen any of those films.

  20. I'm not a big movie or tv watcher. I much prefer a good book

  21. I don't think I've seen any of those! My favorites are Christmas Vacation and The Nightmare Before Christmas. I watch them every year ^.^

    eripike at gmail dot com

  22. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be checking Netflix and see what I can watch with my daughter.


  23. oh man... Hallmark and Lifetime show the best I think... LOL... and sometimes ABC family...
    gosh! UGH! I can't think of a single one... names fail me. LOL!!... uh... I love a lot of cartoon ones. Like... disney remakes of Scrooge and the Tom and Jerry ones..(especially the nutcracker one! lol)


  24. Haven't heard of any of those. They may not have made it all the way down under to Australia :-)

  25. I must confess i still love Love Actually! : )

  26. I have not watched any of those but a few weeks ago I saw a Hallmark Christmas movie that I really liked. I can't remember the title but it was really sweet.

    cherrieluv4 @ gmail .com

  27. I Haven;''t hda time to watch movies on tv lately and it's a shame since Hallmark, LMN and lifetime are showing some fun Christmas themed ones. I'll have to stream the one you mentioned just so I can say I watched at least one Christmas movie.