Friday, November 3, 2023

The Christmas Classic: Movie Review

Every Christmas rom-com rolled into one ridiculous but funny story.
The Christmas Classic is every Christmas cliché wrapped into a ski competition to save the chalet. But the story is also told with tongue firmly in cheek and having as much fun with it as possible. Elizabeth (Malin Akerman) works for her fiancé’s father’s real estate company and has been tasked with buying a ski resort in her small hometown in New Mexico.   2023

Directed by: Shane Dax Taylor

Screenplay by: Shane Dax Taylor, Austin Nichols

Starring: Malin Akerman, Ryan Hansen

Meanwhile, the ski resort is owned by her ex-boyfriend, Randy (Ryan Hansen), and it’s about to host their annual Christmas Classic which has been won by her sister, Lynn (Amy Smart), every year. If there is one trope that I love every time, it’s the ex-boyfriend who is still really good friends with the family. And with Ryan Hansen playing said ex-boyfriend, it works perfectly. Elizabeth’s father adores him, he’s best friends with Lynn’s husband, so it’s really only a matter of time before Elizabeth falls back in love with him. The family reminds me of the family in Single All the Way but remain in the background more in this one, which is a blessing since the two leads were made for a film like this.

The Christmas Classic is definitely going for the adult rom-com version of the Hallmark Christmas movie. It’s a step up from the made-for-TV version mostly because it was shot on location in New Mexico with a real ski hill and green lawns; it looks like a real town, not look like a fake Christmas movie set town. There are also a few characters that work surprisingly well – namely, Carlos Alazraqui as local celebrity Dick Mountain, and Wes Hager as evil fiancé Connor. Dick Mountain provides commentary on the Classic challenges for the local TV channel complete with puns and innuendoes; and Connor shows up once he’s certain that Elizabeth isn’t going to be able to close the deal. Connor is particularly great because he accepts all of the ridiculous constraints at face value but just doesn’t trust his future wife. It’s funny at times, silly at times, but also way too familiar at every point.

Everything written here sounds ridiculous and it is. It gets funnier as it goes along once you realize they just keep building onto each nonsense challenge obstacle. Ryan Hansen and Malin Akerman are both great, but prepare yourself for the fact that Hansen plays the straight man, an almost normal character, except he’s the one that says, “sure I’ll sell my family’s ski resort but as long as you win this ridiculous Christmas ski challenge” which gets the whole ridiculous ball rolling.

Want a different Christmas movie or just more holiday-themed movies? Holiday Movies