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A Very Married Christmas (2004)

TV Movie  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama  |  5 December 2004 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 211 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Lighthearted Christmas TV Movie about a man whose quiet, boring life begins to unravel when he finds out that his wife is having an affair and wants a divorce. Only after he meets a ... See full summary »

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(novel), (teleplay)
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Title: A Very Married Christmas (TV Movie 2004)

A Very Married Christmas (TV Movie 2004) on IMDb 5.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Griffin
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Ellen Griffin
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Donna
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Ozzy Larson
Jordy Benattar ...
Zoe Griffin
Rod Wilson ...
J.J.
Andrew Chalmers ...
Gabe
...
Osa Larson
Tannis Burnett ...
Mrs. Pierce
...
Luigi
Jack Jessop ...
Paul
Martin Villafana ...
Eli
Mark-Cameron Fraser ...
Karl
...
Bambi
...
Fantasy Peter
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Storyline

Lighthearted Christmas TV Movie about a man whose quiet, boring life begins to unravel when he finds out that his wife is having an affair and wants a divorce. Only after he meets a volunteer Santa, is he able to experience what a true Christmas miracle can be. Written by Evad Y.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | based on novel | See All (2) »

Taglines:

It takes a lifetime of marriage to find your way back to true love.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

5 December 2004 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Indifferent Suns
26 November 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is a baffling movie. The TV just happened to be on when it started, but I only took attention when I heard Joe Mantegna's voice. Now there is one actor who can always be relied on not to phone in his performance. Then I saw Jean Smart, who had impressed me as the First Lady of USA in '24' as one of the most believable characters in a show that was full of nonsense – entertaining nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. The iconic Charles Durning, still with us at the time of writing, gave me one more reason to watch. And when the severely underrated Kari Matchett appeared, I knew I had to sit this one through, though I had, based on program information, beforehand dismissed this movie as "Yet Another 13-in-a-Dozen-American-Xmas-Movie". Matchett had managed to fly 6 years under my radar until she appeared as the only good thing in the miserable Cube 2: Hypercube. Thankfully she's received plenty of roles after that movie, appearing as a guest star in many high profile series such as '24', 'ER', 'Ugly Betty' and 'Criminal Minds', but ironically all her proper star roles were in series that were short-lived: she was superb in 'Invasion', great in 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip', did what she could in the doomed 'Heartland' and delighted in 'Crash'. I'm looking forward to see her in 'Covert Affairs', which predictably lasted only 27 episodes in USA.

But I digress. 'A Very Married Christmas' surprised me positively at the start. The scenes of Joe Mantegna's character Frank imagining his wife's "hobbies" were hilarious and his narration was witty. Also, Mantegna reminded us with his facial expressions and timing that he is also a great comedian. The writer and director seemed to be on fire as well, surprising us with office comedy, well-placed match cuts plus rare iris-ins and iris-outs. Scenes and shots had imagination: the mall bench scene, the doorstep shot, the pie shot, the bed shot, the "carried away" scene, the "incident" scene and "the office meeting" scene. But then something happened.

At around three fifths into the movie, at the "closing time" scene, the movie suddenly fell flat on its face. It seemed that from that point on, a team of replacement writer & director took over, despite not having the talent that had delivered what we had seen so far. We had seen some quality dramedy (which is a really hard genre), but the replacements could not even decide whether to do "serious" drama or "plain" comedy, let alone provide either. Worse still, one character spoils the ending for the audience, the writer treating us like dummies, and another character is not even given an exit scene – they just vanish from the movie! And then there are the mandatory "life lessons" and American-Xmas-Movie clichés, which seemed so blessedly absent over half of the movie.

In all senses, the first three fifths are an entertaining 8/10 movie, but then there is an abrupt collapse into a dreary 2/10 waste of time – and you can tell from the actors' performances that they too have lost the joy. It's hard to rate such a schizophrenic movie, so an indifferent 5/10 that's just below the IMDb average of 5.5 (at the time of writing) seems appropriate. *Now* I understand why it took *seven* years for this movie to get a premiere in Finland. I wonder if the original novel is better…


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