Home By Christmas Movie Review–Misandry For Christmas
The folks out at Lifetime sent out a big passel of Christmas movies, one of which was Home By Christmas, a movie that will once again show Lifetime‘s darker side–not because the movie is scary, but because the movie clearly hates men.
Home By Christmas joins Julia Bedford, a wife, mother, and homemaker living the good domestic life in a suburb with her husband (who’s doing pretty well on the job front, by the way) and sixteen year old daughter. But what Julia discovers will destroy her world: hubby’s been sleeping around. And naturally, Julia thinks divorce. Hubby meanwhile has planned ahead and hidden most of his assets, meaning that Julia’s take in the divorce is slim at best. She takes a minimum wage job to help support herself and her daughter into a small apartment, and her daughter quickly chafes at the lack of space and suburban comfort. In a further blow to Julia, her daughter moves back in with her father and his new girlfriend. Julia, meanwhile, is left to move into her car–no child means no child support–and soon, Julia, now at her lowest, is left to find a little of that Christmas magic when she needs it the most.
And yes, once again, Men Are Terrible And Will Hurt You Because This Is Lifetime. Note how it’s the husband’s cheating that kicks off Julia’s grand odyssey of poverty and self-discovery, specifically set up to make him look like a jerk. On the plus side, the daughter also looks like a jerk, so there’s a note of equal opportunity jerkitude here. In fact, the daughter is a master of jerk behavior–she’s so wildly unpleasant to listen to that most of her early lines actually will cause you pain to listen to. At least, they hurt me like a big old set of knitting needles rammed into my ears.
Linda Hamilton, meanwhile, is a far cry from the Sarah Connor role that made her famous. Give her some credit, it’s a great sign that she can take her classic badass persona and turn herself into a sad cringing milksop of a woman who gets walked on so often she needs a big “Welcome” tattooed on her lower back.
The development is also something to see–in fact, about halfway through Home By Christmas starts getting downright heartwarming. Hamilton’s playing the role surprisingly well, and this woman’s resourcefulness is something of a minor miracle.
Home By Christmas watches like a Horatio Alger novel come to living, breathing life–it’s entertaining, sure, but if the thing were any more clearly scripted they’d be handing out checklists with every copy so you could tick off exactly what was supposed to happen next.
Sure, it’s simplistic, and the first half is downright painful, but the whole effect is actually pretty decent. This’ll hit some people better than others, but then, that’s sort of the point. Guys looking for a good action flick or plenty of blood will not be satisfied by this nor were they meant to. This is, once again, Lifetime preaching to the choir, so not surprisingly, it will have somewhat limited appeal.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives Home By Christmas a six out of ten because it’s pretty well done, but it’s very niche and very simplistic. It’ll never replace The Grinch as a holiday classic, but it still does the job passably well.