HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Marry Me For Christmas
HTS Overall Score:65
It’s past Halloween and that means it’s time for Christmas movies. This time in the form of UP TV’s “Marry Me for Christmas”. As someone who’s seen a ton of DTV movies over the years, I’m always a little wary of these Tyler Perry wannabe films that cram a happy message in a short 87 minute runtime for the BET style viewer. Sometimes they end up being pretty fun, but other times they are cliché ridden and derivative as they come. Unfortunately “Marry Me for Christmas” ends up being the latter, with the same tired old tropes re wrapped for another year.
Marci (Malinda Williams) is a successful advertising agent, running her own business, and the deal of a lifetime has fallen into her lap. She has a major player asking her agency to give them a new makeover and this is the one that could shoot her right into the major leagues. However, it’s also Christmas time and she hasn’t been back to her family in 4 years. Not to mention the fact that her cousin, Dana (Tamara Bass) is leaving the country for 5 years and Marci would REALLY like to see her off before she leaves. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Marci begs her employee, Adam (Brad James) to come with her to her family Christmas and finish their work on the client up there. Agreeing to come up to the Chandler family Christmas gathering, Adam and Marci get a bit more than they bargained for.
Full of the classic big family exuberance, Adam is mistaken for being Marci’s fiancée and soon gets bamboozled into blurting out that they are getting married next year. Adam begs Marci to set things straight, but with so many people cooing and clucking over the couple it’s hard to find time to make that record unbent. Deviating ever so slightly from the expected path, we see that Adam has a few ulterior motives up his sleeve. Thinking her can make a hostile takeover of Marci’s firm, he tries his best to make the unintended “engagement” into a real one as a backdoor means to an end. At the same time, Franklin (Jason Weaver), a childhood friend of Marci’s shows up with a crush that’s lasted for decades to make the decision even harder.
“Marry Me for Christmas” runs a bit like the Disney film “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, but adds a bit more murkiness to the waters by having Adam being a little bit less than honest with his intentions. Despite that change, the movie still suffers from being heavily cookie cutter in nature and definitely a paint by the numbers routine. The acting is livable, and the filmography is certainly better than the other UP TV films I’ve seen from Alchemy over the years, but the lack of any real intelligence in the writing keeps the film from ever really taking off or becoming that entertaining. There are some moments of sweetness and truth, but the heavy coating of Saccharine that is laid over the entire film gets a bit nauseating at times. Adam is a sleaze ball, and the audience picks up that little tidbit quite early on in the film, but the rest of the characters are pretty easy to see a mile away, and the sudden “acceptance” of Franklin’s love for her at the ending comes COMPLETELY out of left field, almost crammed in there with a crowbar just to tick off a check box in the script.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57689[/img]“Marry Me for Christmas” has a rather pleasant image to the film, even though it never does anything spectacular with the digital photography. The movie is detailed well, with a clean looking image that doesn’t have much, if any, digital noise or distractions at all. The color palette is a bit flat, with decent saturation, but nothing that ever really pops off the page. Sometimes lighting and camera looks will change depending on the shot (even in the same room) as it looks like the cinematographer didn’t put a whole lot of effort into evening the lighting in a given shot. Black levels show some crush, but only in certain really dark scenes. Overall it’s clean and pleasing, if just not a spectacular looking film.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=57697[/img]The 5.1 Dolby Digital track mirrors the video encode. There is nothing spectacular or fantastic about the sound design, as it IS a simple comedy, but everything it is asked to do, the track does quite well. Dialog is crisp and clean, locked up in the front channel. There isn’t a whole lot of surround usage, but every bit of dialog is perfectly legible and without any sort of distortion or fading common in lower budget films. LFE is used mainly for the score, and even then rather sparingly, but it is pleasant and well blended with the rest of the track.
“Marry Me for Christmas” isn’t a terribly offensive movie, but it is in no way a good or entertaining movie either. The cliché’s are big enough to drive a truck through and the acting is definitely on par with most Hallmark or UP TV movie standards, which is to say just passable. The best way to describe it is as just “bland”. Audio and video work well for the limited budget of the film and the lack of extras is to be expected. While I try to find the good in most movies, I would just say to skip this one.
Starring: Chace Beck, Dawn Halfkenny, Brad James
Director: Roger Melvin
Written By: Rhonda Baraka
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 87 Minutes
DVD Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Buy Marry Me For Christmas DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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