Christmas on the Menu


Josie’s bakery failed because of a review by Tanner, an influential restaurant critic. She is working at her friend Nina’s restaurant and preparing to go home for Christmas to develop a menu for her Mom’s Bed and Breakfast when Tanner walks in with his editor, Pepper. Nina serves him Josie’s new dessert, her Red Velvet Cheesecake, and Tanner loves it. When Josie goes home to the B&B, surprise surprise, Tanner shows up. He explained that his original review was not so mean, but it was re-edited to get more notice and to boost circulation. The romance begins.

I liked Kim Shaw’s performance in this, but a lot of the movie didn’t make sense. First, Cynthia Gibb looks way too young to be a 35-year-old’s mother. (Good for Her!) Also, the actor who played Kim’s ex-boyfriend was 7 years younger than her and they were supposed to be the same age. Kim Shaw has a very fresh-faced look and looks young, but somehow, the ages seemed squished together. I was confused by why the ex-boyfriend was hanging around Kim’s mother all the time at the B&B.

The love interest/food critic was handsome but kind of a non-entity. And since when does a professional food critic agree to only give a good review or no review? His editor, Pepper, was the antagonist who doctored honest reviews to make them negative. And food critic just let her do that without a peep. What a wimp. Where is the integrity? She follows Tanner to the B&B because she “likes likes” him, and presumably to prevent Tanner from repairing his relationship with Josie. Luckily, also present at the grand opening of Mom’s B&B were two nationally known reviewers who loved everything. If the little newspaper gave a bad review, it would reflect on them, not Josie, the chef (who was also famous and lauded in her own right anyway.) To sabotage Josie’s dessert, Pepper eats a whole big bowl of Kim’s special whipped cream the night before! A trigger warning for binge-eaters would not have gone amiss. And she didn’t even deny it! Why didn’t she just say she broke the bowl when she was getting something else out of the refrigerator? Such a strange choice to sabotage a rival. Pepper needs her own movie, especially since we saw the glimmerings of regret as she drove off. Or it may have been all that whipped cream.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

December 20, 2020

Sharing Christmas

Lazy Writing and Set Decoration

Oh this was dreadful. I tuned in because I’ve liked the male lead, Bobby Campo, in several other stories. Let me get right to it. A CHRISTMAS Store that is struggling at CHRISTMAS? Maybe their busy months are June and July? Why didn’t they just make it a “holiday” store, so they could sell stuff year round? Are they paying the rent for that very large store IN NEW YORK CITY, that had NO MERCHANDISE IN IT? Seriously, it looked more like a nicely decorated hotel lobby. If anyone has ever been in a genuine Christmas store, you will know that they are chock full of Christmassy ornaments, decorations, Cards, Toys, Christmas Trees, wrappings, Candy, Food, Gingerbread houses, etc. etc. etc. You can hardly walk. The stuff they did have was the same stuff you can see in any department store. And all I saw was little ornaments and doo-dads. How is it that a retail businessman, her father, was totally unaware of the terms of his lease? That he was oblivious to the fact that a billion dollar building could not be sold without offering him first refusal? And how does Bobby’s rich daddy, so totally charmed by the empty floorspace and lack of shelves or merchandise (or customers) in this CHRISTMAS store at CHRISTMAS, comes out of nowhere to invest with these totally clueless store owners to buy and manage a billion dollar building? I Just couldn’t get past all of the dumbness. Sorry for the shouting, downvote me to your heart’s content.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

December 14, 2021

Broadcasting Christmas

3 Stars for Melissa Alone

I love Melissa Joan Hart, I really do. But this Christmas offering is pretty dull. Our heroine is competing with our hero (Dean Cain) for the co-host chair on Regis and Kathie Lee. No. Regis and Kelly. No. Kelly and Michael. No. In this movie it is called Rise and Shine. They are former lovers and co-workers. Melissa broke up with Dean because he was chosen over her for a big promotion 6 years prior, and she was just so embarrassed about that. Melissa looks young enough still to pass as an under 35 broadcaster on her way up. But Dean Cain, at 50, just looks absurd trying to play the role of a person of approximately the same age. At one point he pleads with influential Dad at the dinner table that he wants to earn the National spot on his own without Daddy interfering. Grow Up, Superman!

Melissa was great as usual. Her rant on live TV when she promotes herself, a virtual unknown, for the Network morning show is funny and entertaining. And her charm and naturalness in trying out for the job would have won her the opportunity immediately in real life over the 3 no-talents she is competing against. There’s a big reveal at the end, which you see coming a mile away, which really does Dean Cain no favors in making his role believable or sympathetic. I enjoyed Jackee Harry’s work in this, and am glad to see Cynthia Gibb still working despite playing her own age. Holy Cow! I just realized that that was Richard Kline playing Melissa’s Dad. Totally did not recognize him! **6 Stars out of 10**

December 1, 2016