The Mistle-Tones (TV Movie) Review

the-mistle-tones-149032-posterIt’ll be Christmas in less than two weeks, man. How did that happen? I guess I’d better buy a turkey soon…

But instead of doing the chores that matter, I’m fighting off a hangover from Friday night (still) and enjoying the lead up to the big day in my pants. Which means mince pies and this Made for TV Christmas gem.

My choice this week and I deliberately went for something as cheesy as possible. I think I can safely say that I’ve delivered. This is a steaming pile of glittery poo with a sprig of holly on top.

The Mistle-Tones (2012)

Director: Paul Hoen
Stars: Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tori Spelling

IMDB Synopsis: A talented singer forms a musical group and challenges her rivals to a competition on Christmas Eve.

My Review:

Holly (yes honestly) is a singer who dreams of being part of the local Christmas girl group, The Snow Belles. Her dead mother founded the group you see, over 30 years ago.

Unfortunately, The Belles of Holly’s generation are now run by Queen Bitch, Marci (think a cut-price Regina George played by Tori Spelling) and her band of merry minions.

They’re holding auditions that very morning and even though Holly is running late (cat flushes the toilet then ruins her dress), she makes it just in time to wow the group with her voice, which is predictably that of a wee angel.

“This isn’t Scrapbookers Anonymous?”

Marci is no fool however and gives the last position in The Belles to the less talented Staci, so as not to be upstaged (sensible). Holly is left gutted and to top it all off, her boss is being kind of anal and dickish. (But he is hot).

Peed off, Holly is driving when she gets the idea to form her own band. Why not right? So she hot foots it into the mall and gets the boss to agree to a talent show, opening up the competition to anyone who fancies entering.

So now all our Holly has to do is put together a group so she can smash the shit out of The Snow Belles once and for all. And she has a week to do so – but where does one find secretly talented individuals at such short notice, hmmm?

Luckily she seems to work in a densely saturated talent factory and enlists Larry from Purchasing (Jason Rogel), Bernie from HR (Megan Kathleen Duffy) and AJ from I’m Not Sure Where (Andy Gala) – all of who can sing but not really dance and have no pizzazz, basically (as they say in the business).

Missing something, but it’s not denim

How on earth will Holly get around this? While she tries to work it out she ends up in a bar she’s never been to on Karaoke Night, where she bumps into Hot Boss Nick (Jonathon Patrick Moore). Only he’s not acting like her boss, more like Jon Bon Jovi and guess what? He’s goooooooooood.

So Holly finds a (nefarious) way to get him to help the group win Deck the Mall and show The Belles who’s the best.


Will Holly become the Ultimate Belle? Will Marci get egg(nog) on her face, as well as her well-deserved comeuppence? What’s her major malfunction anyway?

“On Wednesdays we wear…” YES WE KNOW

Will Nick help The Mistle-Tones become more than mediocre? And is he doing all this for good reason, AKA because he lurves Holly? What about the promotion he so desperately wants?

Would Holly’s Mum be proud of Holly? And OMG did you know that Holly’s Dad is Reginald VelJohnson (Sargent Powell from Die Hard (1988), no less)?

All these neatly posed questions and more will be tackled, you know the drill.

My Thoughts:

This was terrible but enjoyable.

Sister Sister‘s Tia is likeable enough and I wonder if that’s actually her voice. Pretty sure that Tori’s singing voice isn’t her own but you never know, her dad could definitely afford singing lessons growing up.

I wish Marci had been bitchier and in the film more, a bit more sabotage wouldn’t have gone amiss. It would also have been nice to find out more about what’s made Marci  such a stone cold c—. I have a weird obsession with Tori Spelling, I don’t know why.

“Overdressed, Moi?”

All in all, this film is what it is but exactly what I wanted on a Sunday afternoon of carb scoffing.

My Rating: 3/5. More bitchiness and general tomfoolery would have pumped the rating right up.

That’s my view, but does Jillian share it? Find out here.

Lovestruck: The Musical (Film) Review

lovestruck-the-musical-cover-poster-artworkFinally, the schmaltzy love fest to end all schmaltzy love fests! This is the straight-to-TV version of a liquified Homer Simpson donut with extra sugar added – and it is a joy.

But first *spoilers*!

Lovestruck: The Musical (2013)

Director: Sanaa Hamri
Stars: Jane Seymour, Sara Paxton, Chelsea Kane

IMDB Synopsis: A jaded woman who never fulfilled her dreams of a Broadway career pushes her daughter to have one. Daughter rebels and goes to Italy to get married. The mother drinks a potion that makes her young again and tries to sabotage the wedding.

My Review: 

Look, any film that starts with Jane Seymour covering Gaga‘s Let’s Dance is a-okay with me. As slightly bitter former Broadway star, Harper Hutton, she is a total fox and actually quite likable, which surprised me. Not wanting her daughter, Mirabella (yes, really) to miss out on the stardom she never quite achieved herself, she is unimpressed when Mirabella announces she’ll be staying in Italy after her wedding to former Italian playboy, Marco (of course).

In a rage she tells her daughter that she’s loco to marry a man she has only known for three months, and in the process of dropping her unwanted truth nuggets, manages to get herself dis-invited to the wedding.

“This never happens when I do Born This Way”

She also hurts herself during the Gaga number, an echo of the injury that caused her beloved career to slip through her fingers all that time ago (Seymour is like 89, right?). Rather than taking this shit lying down, Harper jumps on the nearest plane and finds herself in Italy, fully prepared to halt the wedding and drag Mirabella back. UGH – I hate that name so much, I am going to stop typing it, now.

Of course, before we launch into Harper’s plan to stop her daughter’s wedding, I should mention that there’s some magic8c8a424a3f908be6687170f679dc5f06 afoot. In the wake of twisting her knee showing some backing dancers how to work it like a boss, Harper calls for some aspirin. Sadly, none of the dancers carry aspirin but one does find an old ancient filing cabinet that houses a long discarded bottle of vitality potion, and passes it over.

Like any sensible adult who has just been handed a bottle of something containing god knows what, Harper takes a big old swig after she’s touched down in Italy. It makes her leg feel much better but also knocks about 30 years off her age. Delighted at this new development, Harper rushes off to seduce her son-in-law-to-be-or-not-to-be (creepy). Not before checking she’s back to full flexibility, though (she is).

I want to know if seduction was the plan before she got on the plane and took the youth juice. Also, I always dance around airports with strange men to Whitney Houston, don’t you? Question: where’s the footballer casually heading in top to toe kit?

When she meets up with M and her BFF, annoying Noelle, Harper pretends to be long-lost second cousin, Debbie. Queue lots of high jinx (and musical tomfoolery) as the girls embark on M’s bachelorette party. Harper is subjected to the bawdry tale of how her angelic daughter popped her cherry to a horny Parisienne and then has to perform Like a Virgin on a pile of silky sarongs without a single penis straw in sight.

The main thing I took from this scene is that I wish I had bigger hair.

“Wooooooooooo! We’ve all got fingers!”

Meanwhile, Young Harper has pretty much sewn up her plan to pull the groom by just turning up and kissing him but then she starts to regret it as she realises – shock, horror – he really has changed his man-whore ways and does love his fiancé.

Sadly, M and her mahoosive hair overhear him confessing their kiss to his sexist friend, so the jig is up, although she doesn’t know it’s Debbie (AKA Mum). Instead she believes it’s her best friend, Noelle.

This turn of events changes the rules of the game as Harper decides to save her daughter’s relationship instead. Oh and then her lying cheating ex-husband turns up to mix things up.

“Oh okey kokey kokey, oh okey kokey kokey…”

I don’t want to ruin the rest of this love fest by giving too much away and the truth of the matter is that it’s light on plot as it is. Whatever it is you assume is going to happen will probably happen.

Will M change her name so people don’t dislike her as much? Will she make it down the aisle at all? Will these stupid men ever learn to keep their dicks in their jockeys? And what does a frizzy haired ginger gots to do to get a Barbie barnet like half the cast?

Most importantly, will Noelle ever forgive M for automatically assuming that she’s a great big slapper who would willingly cheat with the groom on her best friend’s wedding day, just because she’s had a few glasses of fizz? I’m sorry but I would have a few things to say about that accusation if it was me, rather than hmmming and hawwwwing about whether I actually had done it because I was quite drunk.

The answer should have been “Hell no, you bitch!”, not “I don’t think so…”. Just saying, Noelle.

And finally, what of Harper? Will she stay young forever, or accept her lot in life thus finally finding the pure happiness that has eluded her for so long?

What the hell do you think?

My Thoughts:

Honestly, what’s not to like? This is a thoroughly camp contemporary musical with colourful backdrops and Jane fricking Seymour, man. If you’re not into these things I’d avoid this one. Luckily for me, I’m all over it like well, me on a chocolate cake.

It’s sweet, satisfying and, in a weekend of binge watching OITNB, the perfect temporary antidote to lesbian love triangles, prison slop and prejudice against the trans community.

The cast are more likable that you’d expect, the sets and costumes are gloriously decadent; and frankly, it stacks up pretty well against bigger productions of a similar nature, such as Mama Mia (2008) and Walking on Sunshine (2014).

There are worse ways to spend Sunday afternoon, anyway.

My Rating:

3.5/5 – As a film, it’s a 3, for the enjoyment factor 4 – so I’ve split the difference.

No companion cast this week as I don’t have the time, yo. Poor excuse, but I’ll be coming up with something later in the week.

Incidentally, it’s the TV Movie genre this week and next. This was a fine choice to kick it off and I’m hoping next week’s will hold up my end of things, as it looks and sounds INCREDIBLE!

Pop on over to Jillian’s place next to see what she has to say!