Two news broadcasters who previously were in love fight for a position as a morning talk show host that they both want, ultimately finding what made them like each other so much in the first... Read allTwo news broadcasters who previously were in love fight for a position as a morning talk show host that they both want, ultimately finding what made them like each other so much in the first place.Two news broadcasters who previously were in love fight for a position as a morning talk show host that they both want, ultimately finding what made them like each other so much in the first place.
Neither actor has incredible dramatic range and, two decades after the height of their fame, their late-twentieth-century pin-up good looks are a little woolly around the edges. But what both bring (aside from audience affection from the roles that made them famous) is a kind of polished professional charm and facility with mild light comedy shenanigans that makes them perfectly paired with both this sort of material and each other.
Both Cain and Hart's biggest theatrical box office success in recent times has been courtesy of the dreadful God's Not Dead franchise (a series so hamfistedly awful that it's genuinely hard to say whether it's more offensive to the atheists it mocks or the Christians it claims to represent). Fortunately there are no big theological issues that the movie is ill equipped to tackle here. In fact, what we have is a setup that plays far more to the leads' strengths in slick presentation of lightweight fluff. That's because it's a story all about two old flames competing for a job presenting a breakfast TV magazine show. Slick festive fluff about making slick festive fluff, in other words.
As is practically the law for such movies, one of the potential couple is from a small town, the other the big city. In this case, Hart is a reporter for a local TV station back in Connecticut, having lost out on a New York news anchor job to her then-boyfriend (Cain) years earlier. Fortunately, a "mad as hell and not going to take it any more", Network-style, on-air rant somehow puts her in the running for the coveted morning show gig when it blows up on social media. (This movie is obsessed with mentioning "social media" in generic terms every five minutes, as if desperate to remind everyone that this is happening in the present day, despite its evergreen concept).
Cain, whose years as Clark Kent provide him at the very least with a grounding in playing "guy whose love interest is a better journalist than him", has the more interesting arc of the two. And in fact that is kind of related to how the movie makes it clear that Hart's character is better at what they do. You see, Cain's reporter is the son of a bigshot news anchor and has a few issues over living up to daddy's legacy. It also turns out that his father pulled some strings to land him the New York job all those years ago, even though Hart's character was the first choice candidate.
Given Cain's notoriously unpleasant politics in real life, it's kind of interesting to see him playing a character realising that he hasn't got where he is on merit but through nepotism. Whatever Cain believes in reality, his performance as a man coming to terms with living in a world where privilege trumps being the best candidate for a job is pretty good. He convinces that he genuinely wants to make amends for his unconscious benefitting from an accident of birth. There's also something potentially interesting in how the character rejects the world of serious news reporting by realising his skill set is better suited for the more "feminine", "frivolous" world of morning show segments. That's also a nice contrast to the real Cain's insistence on rigid gender roles in the actual world.
I was slightly disappointed, though, that, having condemned his father for meddling in his career, the dad didn't really have any comeuppance or learn anything at the end.
Anyway, the rest of the story plays out with comforting predictability. Our two leads' other rivals for the job are underdeveloped and disappear from proceedings pretty quickly, but the magazine show format does allow a legitimate reason to pile on the festive montages. Carol singing, seasonal baking, hanging up Christmas decorations, it's all covered here, up to and including a decades-old Christmas cake that's apparently the real headline grabber.
There's nothing in particular here that you wouldn't find in Sabrina and Supes's other holiday offerings, then, but Broadcasting Christmas is nevertheless a pretty solid demonstration of why these actors fit this particular niche.
- Dec 20, 2020