For Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Movies we have a surreal film called “All She Wants for Christmas”. It’s lower quality than the usual Christmas movie but cohesive enough to watch all the way through, especially if, like me, you enjoy those strangely written films that make you go “huh?”. Early on it seemed like it might be “The Room” of Christmas flicks (If you know what that is you’re my kind of movie watcher. If you haven’t, grab a half case of beer, drop by and we can watch it. Trust me, you’ll need the beer.), but, while it doesn’t reach those dizzying heights of weirdness, it does have flashes of that kind of odd brilliance. Some of my favorite quotes were “You know better than to fall for the seasonal help” and “If you don’t have a little Christmas in your life every day, you’re not really living”. Great wisdom indeed.
Our movie gets into the action straightaway, with Noel, an efficiency expert working on her MBA thesis at the local christmas ornament factory, accidentally knocking an inflatable snowman loose while helping decorate the town square for Christmas. Naturally, the snowman rockets into the sky and comes down some distance away, landing on the cab of a gasoline tanker and causing a massive, fiery explosion. No, wait. It lands on the Jeep of a handsome stranger to the town, Justin. That’s right. This meet-cute/near fatal accident leads to a blossoming friendship and Noel gets Justin a seasonal job at the Aiken’s Christmas Ornament factory, the town’s main employer. We find the two meeting again in the employee mess where Noel is instructing the lunch lady how to be more efficient playing meatloaf. This is the only scene where we see her efficiency expert skills at work, so enjoy it.
Noel and Justin begin to date, sharing a meal at Mitzi’s diner, where “newcomers always want second helpings” of the goulash. Justin wows with his tales of world travel and Sherpa anecdotes. A love blossoms. Inevitably, the relationship is endangered, this time by the arrival of a new manager for the factory, the dead former owner’s granddaughter who seems hell bent on shutting down the factory. The town, too, is threatened. First by the arrival of retail supergiant GlobaMart, which, the owner of Mitzi’s explains, will somehow destroy the local restaurant scene. Second, the near insolvency of the Aiken’s Ornament Factory threatens the spirit of the town, the motto of which is “Merry all year long”.
Will the year long merriment be threatened? Will the relationship survive? Does Justin have a secret? (Yes, of course he does.) Will the factory shut down because it’s loses we’re subsidized old Mr Aikens? Will the extras mill about confusedly in the protest scenes? Will Justin lead a workers revolt and seize the means of production or will he prove to be an agent of the capitalist pig dogs that run Christmas like a business? And why is every woman in the investment group strangely silent when Justin comes around? These questions and more will all be answered in a mere 80 minutes by “All She Wants for Christmas”.
I give the film 3 out of 5 Inflatable Reindeer Yard Decorations for its lack of coherence but also decent level of watchability as well as the occasional oddness. Also the extras are just great. Seriously. As for Christmasness I give it a 4 out of 5 Waving Santa Statues. It revolves around decorations, and there are plenty of them. There’s even an official town “lighting of the decorations”. Not of the tree, the decorations. Spoiler alert: It even snows on Christmas!