• Sun, Dec 1 - 11:10 am ET

Lifetime’s Dear Secret Santa Totally Rips Off The Lake House, Which Is A Terrible Movie To Rip Off

Lifetime movie Dear Secret Santa Lamorne Morris and Tatyana Ali

That’s right. After Jennifer leaves her own Christmas card in the box, her pen pal reveals that he’s actually Jack (New Girl‘s Lamore Morris, who is underutilized as usual), her best friend and neighbor growing up who — in a shocking twist for a Lifetime Christmas movie — has been in love with her his whole life without her catching on. But the weird thing about Jack is that he’s been dead for three years after dying in a car accident on Christmas day. I already knew this twist was coming because it was hinted at in the movie’s plot description. But I figured it was either a ghost situation or Jack had written the letters before he died. I guess that would have been too much like another critically panned eyeroll-inducer called P.S. I Love You, so they decided to go the “sending letters through a wormhole in a mailbox” route. As you’ve likely deduced, that just so happens to be the exact plot of The Lake House, a movie which was already pretty unoriginal in that it was a remake of a Korean movie.

At first I thought that Dear Secret Santa had added the “preventing somebody’s death through time travel” aspect to the plot, forgetting that it is indeed part of The Lake House‘s plot. Both of these movies decide to change the past, which if you ask me is pretty terrible (even though Family Guy is welcome to do it because it’s a cartoon and I’d like Brian back, please). Not only could it create a butterfly effect and have disastrous consequences, but it’s just so damn expected. I would have loved to see Jennifer come to terms with the fact that her one true love died before they could be together and moved on with her life, accepting that some things you just can’t change.

But that’s not what happens at all. After writing a card telling Jack not to go out on Christmas and throwing his lucky penny down the wishing well, Jennifer gets into a car accident and wakes up in the hospital with everyone there — including Jack. I thought for a second this was going to be some kind of Wizard of Oz “you were there, and you were there” moment, but it wasn’t, thank goodness. Too bad Lifetime revealed that Jennifer and Jack would end up together by teasing the last scene of the movie — in which they exchange presents by the tree — during a commercial break. Gosh darn it, Lifetime. First you rip off one of the corniest movies of the twenty-first century and then you ruin the ending even though we all saw it coming in the first place? It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.

P.S. This movie features the fake search engine Gobble, which happens to be the name of a fake social networking site in another Lifetime Christmas movie, All About Christmas Eve. #themoreyouknow

(Images: Lifetime)

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

    …Is to wrong that I totally lost it at the Gobble thing?

  • Justine

    I stopped watching to catch a couple of games and when Ituned back in I realized they ripped of The Lake House. Then I remembered seeing a Hallmark movie from which The Lake House seemingly borrowed and modified called The Love Letter (1998).http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140340/

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Hmm, very interesting. That one even came out before the movie The Lake House was based on.

  • Cbalducc

    I thought Bill Cobbs was cool. He makes a good Bill Cosby sub.

  • Mrs Flan

    Sorry, I enjoyed the movie.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Why are you sorry?

  • Mrs Flan

    It seems it is getting bashed because they stole the idea from another movie, that flopped. Personally I love the actors in this movie.

    • Phil

      The Lake House was a remake of the South Korean (2000) motion picture Il Mare (The Sea). So The Lake House might be considered a rip-off itself.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Yes, I mention that in my post. But the difference is that The Lake House credits Il Mare as its inspiration. As far as I can tell Dear Secret Santa doesn’t credit any source material.

  • MommaJen

    ok explain to me the damn ending….did they go back in time to 3 years ago before he died? did she alter the universe?? So many unanswered questions…….
    also i loved the dad…bill cobbs rocks.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      I thought he got the card 3 years ago warning him to not go out on Christmas, so they altered history. Because when she was in the hospital she said something like “You got the card,” and he nodded. But I don’t know why a car accident was necessary.

    • Cbalducc

      What was even MORE fantastical than the “wrinkle in time” was the fact that Ms. Ali’s makeup came through the car accident unsmudged!

  • Snow White

    I agree with Mommajen. There were a lot of unanswered questions.

  • jdanton2

    Jordin Sparks did a great job in her role .

  • Fontella

    Total RIPOFF and HORRIBLE sings by Tatyana Ali!…. Just stand and look pretty on screen please.