Roasting a Chestnut - Broadcasting & Cable

Roasting a Chestnut

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Sorry Lifetime, but I've got to roast this Chestnut.

I must admit to being a closet Lifetime Holiday movie fan. The car crash that sends the high-octane ad exec Nancy McKeon into an alternate world of low-pressure Christmas joy with her soulmate, the soulmates separated at the department store Santa in their childhood reunited by the magic of Christmas. Soulmates, magic, Christmas. I'm a sucker for all that kind of stuff.

Remember, I'm the quiche-eating guy who picked an oil painting over a big-screen TV for Christmas this year, so maybe this isn't front-page news.

But all copies of Lifetime's latest holiday offering, Christmas on Chestnut Street, should be heaped on an open fire. When it wasn't unintentionally, I hope, mocking Alzheimers, it was offering up some of the most ludicrous stereotypes including a Frenchman whose accent seemed out of Monty Python, and a Jewish family kvetching about everything and throwing in "oy veys" and "goyem" in case we didn't get the point.

There was not a likable character in the bunch, from the lead to the least extra, with the redemptive closing moment–where everyone lights a candle rather than continue to curse the darkness –redeeming noone except the viewing audience because the thing is finally over.

Who screened this movie at the network and thought it was good, or even passable.

By John Eggerton

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