Lifetime’s A Country Christmas Story Is The Least Christmasy Christmas Movie Of All Time

Lifetime Movie A Country Christmas Story November 2013

Grace and her mom and her grandma and her choir teacher take a school bus to the competition because apparently their other cars couldn’t fit them or something. Maybe the movie’s quirkiness level wasn’t high enough and Zooey Deschanel wasn’t available so they resorted to this. When they finally arrive at the hotel in Pigeon Forge, there’s a Christmas tree in the distant background! Do you see it? I swear it was there. Don’t tell me I hallucinated it.

Anyway, they’re greeted by a nice fellow who immediately assumes that Grace and her mother aren’t related because Grace is half black, and when he’s corrected he says, verbatim, “Oh, I think that’s so special!” Commence eye roll in 3… 2… The race comments just get more and more frequent from there, because apparently pointing out that there’s a black person in your country music competition is the new black.

Of course Grace’s father shows up to support her and proceeds to turn into a blubbering mess begging for forgiveness and lamenting his own lack of success as a musician. Even though he and Grace make up and all seems to be mended, he and the mother still manage to get into an argument over who hugs Grace first before she goes on stage because they’re still the absolute worst. Dolly Parton witnesses this awkwardness and goes into Grace’s dressing room to give her a pep talk. I can’t decide if this would be embarrassing or inspiring if it happened to me, but I would really like Dolly Parton to say I’m a “precious little gem” when I’m sad, so I wouldn’t complain.

So the contest begins with a dozen Christmas trees on the stage to remind us that this movie is about Christmas even though the holiday hasn’t been mentioned for an hour and a half. Grace’s competitors are an annoying country caricature named Mary Lou Memphis (Camille Sanders) and a cute cowboy-hat-wearing Texan who plays the piano named Jamie Warner (Dillon James Galanski) Jamie and Grace share so many flirty glances I thought they would be married by the end of the movie, but we don’t get to see that part. Of course Mary Lou and Jamie sing goofy, stereotypically country songs called “Fiddlin’ Around” and “Dirt Road Dream” while Grace goes the Taylor Swift route and sings “Miss You, Miss Me,” an extremely literal ballad about how much her parents suck that includes the lyric “You didn’t dee-vorce me” and turns her name into a pun at least twice.

Thankfully the judges make the right decision and crown Jamie the winner. But of course Grace is the real winner in her horrible parents’ eyes. And those parents, by the way, get back together at the end of the movie, because apparently divorced couples are incapable of staying divorced by the end of movies. We end the movie singing “Silent Night,” but that still doesn’t make this a Christmas movie. At the end of Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, Jodi sings “O Holy Night” like a creeper but they didn’t name it Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Christmas Secret.

(Images: Lifetime)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Cbalducc

      I wonder if this was the first Lifetime movie to feature an interracial relationship.

      • Kayla

        No. I saw one about a painting with Stacey Dash but it might not have been an original Lifetime movie. In February they premiered a Lifetime original Twist of Faith which featured an interracial relationship.

        The parents lacked chemistry and slapping them together at the end was unnecessary. They should have just had them all have dinner with the teacher. It would have been better to show them making an attempt to get along instead of the instant reunion.

        Also, the time frame felt off. Their trip back in time didn’t feel like a year earlier. The previous Christmas scene with the present fit but then it seemed like a whole lot of months came and went without it appearing as if more than a few days had gone by.

      • Cbalducc

        I meant a sexual relationship. Of course, there were no sex scenes, but the fact that there was a biracial child implies the characters must have had sex in the past.

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    • Debiro1

      Thanks. I thought it was just me. Your review was better than the movie! Lol. I TRULY was concerned every time Grace went to the piano teacher’s house alone. Ewwww! Didn’t seem to bother her mom one bit though. Weird. And if I see just ONE more movie about a parent not wanting their kid to sing or play an instrument (Sister Act 2, Joyful Noise, etc.), I will puke. Most kids today don’t know how to do ANYthing. Most parents would be ecstatic if their kid was even remotely interested in singing and head over heels if they actually wanted to learn how to play an instrument. I bought my niece a guitar four years ago. She’s only picked it up twice in that period of time. All she wants to do is tweet and instagram. And as far as interracial couples and kids are concerned, if you throw a rock, you’ll hit one. Being shocked and amazed by that is so old school. Give me a break, writers!

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Thanks for reading!

    • Brian

      Jill…while we are suckers for holiday movies and actually enjoyed this movie, I thought your review was hilarious and spot-on. “An extremely literal ballad about how her parents suck…” Crying from laughter!

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Thanks for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed.

    • Sandy Carter

      I actually enjoyed the movie. It was so good that I cried. Why do people nit pick things like what was wrote here? Why bring up bi-racial child? It was a loving, caring family show and really if you think about it, isn’t that what Jesus is all about? The miracle of the family getting back together; isn’t Jesus about miracles? When Jesus was born, “Christmas” didn’t He bring all this with Him? I loved the joy in the movie.

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    • Carl Tarkenton

      Much better than the usual ‘Lifetime’ offerings…LOVED this movie (Go Sandy!)…Jill’s review? Not so much. : ) Ouch, Jill…might need some hot Christmas cocoa to warm that cold heart. ; ) – Carl

      • Jill O’Rourke

        You don’t have to tell me about Christmas cocoa. My doctor’s been upping my dosage. Still cold as ice.

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