Joy for Christmas

The Mystery of the Lost Plot. Or Was it Kidnapped?

This movie began by ticking me off. Cindy Busby plays a publicist whose boss screws up a booking with their client leading to great embarrassment for her. Then he turns around and throws her under the bus when it was his fault. And apparently, it is not the first time. Now, most “Hallmark” heroines would suck it up and take one for the team, but not Cindy. She ups and quits on the spot! Her boss is horrified because she is his star employee. So as quickly as it made me angry, it immediately redeemed itself.

At a loss as to her next career move, the family business beckons. Her sister is a top executive with the family firm and she tells her that they need her desperately. All of the money meant to fund their big charity of the year has been swindled. Cindy left the firm after her father, under the apparent influence of his second wife and her son, had gotten away from the charity, community and people-focused ethos begun by her dead mother and is now solely focused on profits. So it’s the two sisters, “the Silver Belles” against the rest of the family. This is shaping up nicely into an interesting story involving more than a hint of family skullduggery with a dose of wicked stepmother and an equally wicked half-brother. And maybe even some justice served, groveling, and redemption on the horizon.

To save the charitable event she recruits a fellow victim of the charity swindler, Sam Page, a famous ex-baseball player. It isn’t easy because he eschews social events and is a famous scrooge. It seems like a high cost and low probability of benefit scheme, and it’s boring. But with only the support of her sister, she finally succeeds in getting his help. Romance proceeds but they fail in attracting enough donations to benefit the needy children. And disappointingly for the intrigue and plot, the stepmother turns nice and helpful all of a sudden.

Cindy and Sam have fallen in love and shared intimate confidences. At the end of the failed event her still wicked stepbrother spitefully twists her words about Sam to him which results in hurt, confusion, and a breakup.

Ok, it’s all shaping up as usual and I was all set for the misunderstanding to be cleared up, the charity saved at the last minute, and best of all for the bad stepbrother to get his comeuppance. Then the story just falls apart at the seams. I don’t know what happened but either the writers either lost the plot or the powers that be in charge of family values at GAC tampered with the script. Without warning or explanation, the stepbrother’s firmly established conniving bad guy persona gets abandoned and he’s suddenly all about goodness, family values, rainbows, and unicorns. The charity and the romance are rescued in a non-related plot development and the bad guy is as happy as the rest of the family. It was downright insulting. So this was an 8, got demoted to a 6 or 7 during the middle, and ended up a 1. I’ll be nice and up it to a 3 out of respect for Cindy Busby and Sam Page who were great together.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

December 29, 2021

5 thoughts on “Joy for Christmas

    • If only you were hired as a consultant. How can they be so obtuse, when doing it “right”, wait a minute that’s too subjective… lets go with real…wouldn’t lessen anything or irritate their base. I don’t see anyone getting huffy about comeuppance. Grrrr. I’m watching Northanger again more carefully and being thrilled a little. Felicity Jones would have been my idea of a perfect girlfriend. Perhaps they should have made Persuasion ala Clueless? Think it would have sailed through? Some day I’m going to take gentle issue with you about just two of your many wonderfully cogent reviews…..the Luke and Erin S&S&S and Just my Type, jointly. Most respectfully. 🙂 And one more totally out of place thing. I’ve been going through old yearbooks online which is so cool but everybody was so young and beautiful and now they’re either not or dead and it’s put me in a melancholy funk and I played this song because it’s wonderful and along those lines and it’s all true. Her high school boyfriend John was killed on his way home after taking her to their prom!!! of all things and her best friend Mary Margaret(Margaret Mary in real life) died in 2008 and Nanci died last year. It’s a lovely, haunting tune and it’s become an earworm so here you take it. 😉

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  1. Thanks 😉 I watched the 2005 P&P again last night and it’s such a different experience now……I appreciate the humor and the situations. Charlotte Lucas’s admonition to Lizzy in the swing means more now and I’ve added that dawn meeting to those other two big moments. I’m always going to feel bad for Lady Catherine’s daughter I’m afraid.

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  2. I didn’t see Joy for Christmas last year (2021) but have just watched it a year later, and can’t believe how absurd the plot is. A large, successful investment company sponsors a toy giveaway every Christmas. They hired another company to solicit and manage donations to the annual charity and that company has declared bankruptcy and the donated funds have mysteriously disappeared. So what does the investment company do? They frantically try to get new donations, from largely new donors; and in order to get those new donors they need to find some celebrity or somebody “big” who can help bring in new donations — otherwise, there may not be any toys for children this Christmas!

    Oh, and for some reason they don’t want the press to find out that their donations were essentially stolen. They fear it will turn into a negative story about their charity. What??

    How about this? Put out a press release, let the community know what happened, that the funds were mishandled by a bankrupt company — and make it clear that, not to worry, the investment company will match all of the lost donations and the toy giveaway will go on as usual, so that every kid will get a Christmas present.

    How would that turn into a negative story? It would be positive. The highly-profitable, large investment firm would not have to scramble for new donors to their charity. They would step up and replace the missing donations. Of course. To do what this script has them do is absurd. But then there would be no story. No goofy second act about “showing” the male love interest what Christmas looks and feels like. And yes, let’s start with ice skating, not because it’s a Christmas event, but because it’s a trope in these kinds of movies.

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