Flick Thought: 12 Dates of Christmas

Hey Lyfers! I’ve been away doing some life things, but don’t worry! I’m still plugging away and anyone who sticks around for my inconsistent ass is my favorite.

So far, I’ve learned it’s really hard to watch a new movie every day, not only because they all start to run together after awhile, but because I’m kind of pretentious (and I say that with as much disdain as it deserves) when it comes to movies. I have an annoying background in film as well as critical theory so it’s hard for me to unplug and just watch a movie. I’ve been channeling Roger Ebert’s advice to judge films against themselves, though.

In fact, it was that advice exactly that made me capable of sitting through 2011’s gem 12 Dates of Christmas. I’M TRYING TO BE CHRISTMAS-Y LEAVE ME ALONE.

Actually, don’t. Hang out with me because I’m fun and occasionally kind of helpful.

Let me just start by saying that when I began watching this film, I was unaware that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was not only going to serve as the inspiration behind the title…but also most of the score of the film. I counted four different versions of that song playing throughout the film. I’ve not seen many things more painfully on the nose than that. You know, I personally don’t even enjoy that song all that much. But there it was. Roughly once every twenty minutes.

Okay God fine.

I want you to imagine 1993 film Groundhog Day. Got it? You know how that film had some interesting existential themes regarding meaning, authenticity, our need for change and our deep, deep need to feel like what we do matters? Someone did the math once (I don’t remember where I saw it) and estimated that Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again for ten years in that film. That’s some dark shit.

Now I want you to scratch out all that meaning and replace February 2 with December 24. And instead of Bill Murray being doomed to live the same day over and over again because he’s kind of a dick and clearly needs to learn something, it’s Amy Smart The Busy Selfish Business Woman trying to get her shit together over the course of like, two weeks.

Does she do it? Yes. Does the film end happily? Yes. Is it a cute ABC Family holiday time film? Absolutely.

Should you watch it from a distance and not really think about it because if you do it’s going to be like trying to pick up half-set Jell-O? Yes.

I don’t want to be an asshole because it’s the holidays. I really don’t. But I have serious objections to The Token Black Guy in this film. The choice to have him look like a criminal only to show in the next scene that he busted out of a group home to take care of a puppy is there lazy and formulaic meets offensive. That was a shit choice and it’s seemingly innocent shit like that that makes it okay for people to say things like “It’s not that I have a problem with black people, but you have to admit there’s a lot of black on black crime in this country.” No. No no no. Benign racism, everywhere.

In Summary
This is the worst Christmas film I’ve ever seen. BUT, if you want to see Amy Smart in a way more interesting (albeit much darker) film regarding the perils of time travel, check out The Butterfly Effect. That’ll probably make you feel a little sick, but it’ll stick with you for years if you’re anything like me.

Until tomorrow! 😀 😀 😀 Stay classy!



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