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I have been a member of IMDb for 13 years, and this is the first time I've written a review. That's how dreadful this film was to watch! People must be warned...
Even for a made-for-TV Christmas movie, the plot is markedly formulaic. The moral message feels forced, and the pace and timescale are incohesive. The dialogue is flat, and the dramatic elements are predictable and poorly executed. The sets and locations are reasonable, but the special effects are hilarious. Lots of fans, slow-motion and fake electrical discharges that wouldn't look out of place in a low-budget 1980s sci-fi flick.
The characters are trite, and the lead Donna Spangler is wooden to the point of unintentional comedy. Her stilted delivery made me cringe, and as with the rest of the movie, I kept waiting for the punchline that never came. Dean Cain has demonstrated his acting chops in other roles, but in this one he is background noise in bad sunglasses. I second another review that says he did provide the only laugh-aloud moment in the whole film, but even that was unintentional.
The young secondary lead Ravin Spangler is reasonable yet unremarkable as a spoiled rich girl turned good. Mara Rydell as the maid Lucille had potential, but was not utilised effectively. There are several other supporting characters in the film who appear to be there as furniture. They have few lines, wander about in the background of scenes where no background characters are necessary, and they contribute nothing to the plot.
The one dim bright spot in the whole festive failure is Brandon Tyler Russell, who plays his character 'Jerry' in a manner that evokes genuine sympathy. Jerry is essentially the only character who is given any depth, warmth or likability.
On a final note, the movie doesn't have much of a Christmas setting or feel to it. Aside from a few decorations and a brief Christmas party, the plot could have taken place at any time of year. Overall, I'd say give this movie a miss. There are plenty of made-for-TV Christmas movies that get it right. This is not one of them.
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