It’s Christmas. We’ll Watch Anything
If there’s one thing movie makers know it’s that audiences for Christmas movies have absolutely no standards. They’ll watch anything as long as you throw in a little snow and a few jingle bells.
Take Netflix for instance.
“To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?” asked the entertainment company in a Tweet earlier this month.
It’s almost as if Netflix knows it peddles cinematic excrement to its subscribers. Now it’s mocking those who watch.
That’s an odd way to do business. I take consolation in knowing that one day Netflix will go the way of Blockbuster Video strip-mall stores, but for now it’s all we’ve got.
On the day of the taunting Tweet I decided to watch “A Christmas Prince” - a Netflix original movie - but I dozed off after about 20 minutes.
As best I can recall, the heroine is an aspiring reporter whose editor tells her to scrap her ethical qualms about lying in pursuit of a smoking hot story: A crown prince with a secret.
Our intrepid reporter heads to Aldovia where she quickly secures a job as a tutor to a member of the royal household. Apparently background checks aren’t done in this little kingdom.
Sorry, this is where my plot summary ends. I slept through the rest. But I’d be willing to bet the reporter/tutor and the prince fall in love, her cover is blown and she’s sent home. The prince follows her, proposes and she swings from American commoner to Aldovian royalty in 90 minutes.
How am I doing?
This happens at Christmas, which means “A Christmas Prince” is guaranteed an annual audience no matter how silly the plot, the script and the acting.
We watch multiple Christmas movies at my house. Everyone has his or her deeply flawed favorite. So far this December, we’ve accommodated various relatives with “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Family Stone,” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
If history is any predictor, “Love Actually” is coming, so is “Elf” and probably “Diehard.”
We’ll be spared “Christmas with the Kranks” this season because my son - a Tim Allen fan - is away and that’s his favorite.
Then again, maybe I’ll watch it, laugh at the tanning booth scene and pretend my boy’s here.
When I was a kid there were just a handful of Christmas movies and they were all in black and white.
My number one - my mother’s, really - was “The Bells of St. Mary’s.” The story of a handsome priest and a winsome nun at an inner city parish.
We watched it every year. Mom on the sofa, chain smoking Pall Malls. Me on the floor, trying to avoid her second-hand smoke.
My mother liked Father O’Malley, er, Bing Crosby. I liked the story. Especially the scene where the school principal, Sister Mary - played by Ingrid Bergman - takes aside a little boy who’s being bullied and teaches him how to box.
Next thing you know, the nun is watching a schoolyard fight through a window and shadow boxing. The bully is vanquished. Of course.
Hollywood wouldn’t make such a movie today. Kids aren’t allowed to fight back. They’re taught to find an adult and tattle. Better yet, lawyer up and sue.
Which is leading to all sorts of societal problems.
But, hey, let’s not get into that. It’s Christmas. Time to turn on Netflix and hope the company that’s soaking me for 11 bucks a month doesn’t decide to shame me for my movie choice on Twitter.