There’s rum in my apple cider, a chill in the air, and an awful made-for-TV movie paused in the background. It must be the holiday season, you guys! Time to review some dreck starring some randos!
Today’s selection comes courtesy of my friend Alicia Gomes, who posted a single still from this movie that sold me. So fashion a noose out of tinsel, because here comes ABCFamily’s “The Mistle-Tones”!!:
We meet our heroine Holly (BECAUSE CHRISTMAS) as she’s rushing to audition for the local Christmas-themed singing group the Snow Belles. The Belles are ruled with an iron fist by this monster:
And I don’t mean she’s a monster in that she’s a horrible person – though 3 minutes in you can already tell that she is. I mean that Tori Spelling’s face drives terror deep into my heart. It’s so large and plastic-y, I find it utterly offensive. This blonde gollum better not get too much screen time.
Her name is Marci and she’s totally rolling her eyes at all the earnest auditioners. And even worse, she denies Holly the right to audition because she’s a little late. Even though her mother was the one who founded the damn Belles in the first place! Damn! Holly jumps on stage and sings a little anyway, because she’s obviously not as terrified of Marci’s dead dead eyes as she should be.
Everyone in the room is visibly blown away by her talent, and I’m just impressed because I didn’t know Sister or her Sister could sing:
Marci assures Holly she’ll be taken into consideration, and takes the rest of the Belles off to “deliberate and caffeinate”. Christ, between the near-constant singing and the cutesy rhymes, I can now say with all certainty that this movie is definitely trying to kill me. AND IT’S ONLY 7 MINUTES IN.
Holly goes off to work in an office that looks so so much like one I temped in for a while that I’m just waiting to see if her female co-workers vomit as much as mine did. (Seriously – lot of eating disorders at that place. But also great coffee!) Meanwhile Marci tells the Belles she wants to give the open spot to some chick named Stacy who I guess she is friends with. Two other Belles agree with her, but one named Barb has the audacity to say she thinks Holly should be considered. THE SEEDS OF MUTINY HAVE BEEN SOWN. Also, Marci’s dog wants to die so badly:
Marci calls and delights in giving Holly the bad news. Right after which poor Holly gets a dressing down by her handsome, stick-up-his-butt Scrooge of a boss, who will undoubtedly turn out to be the love of her life. His name is Nick (AS IN SAINT NICK AKA SANTA BECAUSE CHRISTMAS) and he is just NOT into the holidays. I bet that won’t change.
Holly is positively miserable about not making it into the Snow Belles, and complains to her sister that she wanted to be in the group as a way to honor their mother’s memory. Basically accusing her sister of not honoring their dead mom by just having a couple of kids and being a contributing member of society. Me-OW. Her sister ignores her rude as hell implications and tells her to quit bitching and start her own damn Christmas group.
So Holly goes to the Mall and asks Santa (really) whether he’d allow a second group to perform alongside The Snow Belles at the Christmas Eve Spectacular. Santa is all hepped up on goofballs, and so he’s like, “We’ll have a battle of the Christmas bands and whoever wins gets to sing at the Spectacular!!”
Marci finds out, and Marci is so mad:
I took that picture with my phone because it was too good a face to miss. How did she ever get on television? That is a face only a mother could love. (Her mother does not)
So Holly has to put together her own group, and she basically just recruits the closest 3 co-workers in the cube farm. There’s AJ the over-eager office player, Bernie the ginger chick from HR, and Larry – the fat guy. They rehearse in their company’s massive warehouse, which is also a perfect place for AJ to hide their bodies, after he’s murdered them all:
This leads us to a wholly unpleasant mash-up of Holly’s group and the Snow Belles both practicing their respective versions of the 12 Days of Christmas:
Holly isn’t too optimistic about her as-yet-unnamed group’s chances against the Snow Belles, and seems to think they’re missing something. So on the way home from another warehouse practice she crashes her car into a snow bank and heads into the local karaoke bar to get twisted. While there, who does she see singing his ass off on stage? Why, it’s her no-fun boss Nick!!!!!!:
He’s amazing, and so Holly tries to convince him to join her group. When he says no, she blackmails him into it – threatening to tell the whole office that he is a human being with a soul who is great at Kenny Loggins covers. So he joins them at the next rehearsal and tells them their business:
But he also gives them pointers on their song and dance routine, pointers which amount to “open your mouth” and “sing better”. But it seems to be working, or so the montage of their subsequent practices would have me believe. Nick gets closer to Holly during these montages as well, setting up their inevitable Christmas Eve
Stacy is spying on them! Who is Stacy? She’s the newest Snow Belle and she’s recording Holly’s group to take the intel back to her master. Rut-roh!
Holly thought of a name! The Mistle-Tones! It came to her when she looked at mistletoe, in case you were wondering how her thought process worked. Don’t wonder about that, though – wonder where she gets her wack-ass coats:
Holly heads home after a romantic car ride with Nick to find Marci waiting for her. Marci has seen the Mistle-Tones rehearsal tape, and she feels threatened. She tells Holly that TAAA-DAAAAA!! She’s in the Snow Belles now!! That’s all Holly has ever wanted, you guys – do you think she’ll turn her back on her new group and her new friends, just to honor her dead Mom’s memory?
At the office holiday party, Holly tells Nick about her dilemma. And just as she has resolved to tell the group to hit the bricks so she can join the Snow Belles, Nick starts singing “Frosty The Snowman” karaoke. Powerless to resist the charms of a song about a sentient and assuredly bloodthirsty snowman, Holly decides to stay with the Mistle-Tones and also to make out with Nick. Life is so perfect, man! Until Nick gets a call from “Corporate” telling him he needs to fly to Mumbai in the morning to keep doing whatever amorphous job it is that he does on the other side of the world. BUT THE AUDITIONS FOR THE CHRISTMAS EVE SPECTACULAR ARE TOMORROW WHAT OF THE MISTLE-TONES?!?!
The next day, the auditions get underway and boy, howdy – what a hoot! They open with a group called the Chest-Notes, and of course they are a Chippendales Holiday Group:
Then a white guy comes out and raps under the name “Luda-Kris Kringle” and I am not smiling anymore. Did you get Chris Bridges’ permission to use his name like that, ABCFamily? Because copyright infringement is no jo-ho-ho-ho-ke.
Holly is frantically trying to reach Nick, as their time to perform is approaching. Did he take the job in India? Rather than throw his entire career away to perform at a mall? WHAT A BASTARD!!
The Mistle-Tones go up on stage sans Nick, and perform an entirely too choreographed version of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”:
They don’t do great, and everyone is disappointed. Next up is the Snow Belles, and I finally realized why they made Marci the “lead” singer – it’s because she can’t move as quickly as the rest of the group. So while they do all the dance moves in the background, she stays up front with that mouth, looking to swallow the most innocent among us:
Ahahahaha – remember how Tori Spelling got drunk at a Benihana and fell onto the hibachi grill? But now SHE’S suing them for damages? It’s like, either you can handle the drinks that come out of the Buddha Belly glass, or you can’t. That’s not on Benihana, girl.
So everyone just leaves after the Snow Belles perform, and so now I guess we just wait for the results? Holly is pretty sure her group is out, and so goes home and lets her Dad try and comfort her. Her Dad is the Dad from Family Matters, by the way:
He tells her the only thing her mom cared about when singing with the Snow Belles was having fun with her friends. Which is a very sneaky Dad way to tell her to stop being a spoiled bitch. Nick calls – he took the job in India! Which like, yeah, OK! Good for him! Enjoy Mumbai and don’t get Slumdogged!
On Christmas Eve, Holly’s hilarious sister drags her to the Christmas Eve Spectacular that the Belles are performing at. I guess they did win? There was no announcement or anything. Jesus, we’ve had 46 unnecessary minutes of Tori Spelling making faces, we couldn’t have cut one and made it official?
Holly tries to be the bigger person and wishes Marci and the Snow Belles a Merry Christmas, even as Marci continues to be a super B to her. She watches the performance and then heads outside into the street to kill herself, I guess? But instead of a merciful speeding truck coming at her, it’s a Christmas float with Nick and the Mistle-Tones on it.
He turned down the promotion and flew back from India and still had time to put all this together I guess? Who does this guy think he is, The Christmas Consultant?
Holly joins him and the rest of the Tones on the float and they scream-sing “Please Come Home For Christmas” together. Marci and the Snow Belles stomp outside and complain about the float stealing their thunder. But even they are swayed by the performance, and their brittle hearts break into a million pieces:
And that’s where it ends! And this is where my Holiday Season of reviewing begins. One a week through New Years is the goal, so if you have a movie suggestion, please leave it in the comments! No more Tori Spelling movies, though. I mean it. I can’t look at that again for a while.
*Photo Credit: Getty Images