Thursday, December 4, 2008


Holiday Movie Category: Mistletoe Ménage a Trois


Laurie Strode’s hot Mom, Night of the Bargain Hunter, weird Oedipal cuddling, a sarcastic Colonel Potter, squeaky annoying 40s kid, and Bob Mitchum, the coolest X-mas cat on Earth.

More details here.


Buxom Connie Ennis (Janet Leigh) works as a comparison shopper during X-mas where she goes from store to store, buys stuff, and then returns the stuff the next day. Actually, I don’t know what the hell she does but it helps her to meet toy salesman Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum). Connie is a war widow trying to support her irritating son Timmy (Gordon Gebert) in New York, but times are tough for the little family. In swoop toy salesman Steve and lawyer Carl Davis (Wendell Corey). Carl is already dating Connie and seems to be a good provider with a successful career. They make plans for marrying on New Year’s Eve, but when she meets good-natured Steve and inadvertently gets him fired, she begins to doubt her love for Carl. The pair spends an afternoon together where Steve lays out his sob story (WWII vet, out of work, has prospects in California, blah blah) and Connie lays out her sob story (WWII widow, has a lousy job, mouthy brat, big boobs, blah blah). The two get separated in a crowd of nutty X-mas shoppers but later, when Steve finds her and Carl in her apartment, there’s plenty of awkward moments and ‘splaining to do. Steve discovers his angle by buttering up to Timmy and getting him a prized toy train for X-mas. Carl is instantly threatened by Steve and Connie plays it out like she wants nothing to do with him. But it’s all a ruse. It takes only a mere 24 hours for Connie to toss her future, her child’s security, and her future out the window for big stud Steve. Torn between two lovers, feeling like fool, she tries to love both of them, but breaks all the rules. In the end, it’s not the spirit of X-mas or her cherubic boy’s smile, but assured orgasms that helps Connie make the right decision.


Although absent are the kind old fat guy and a bitter little kid ready to turn, Holiday Affair has a lot in common with X-mas classic Miracle on 34th Street. Both are set in X-mas, both have two attractive leads, and both feature a single mom who needs rescuing from self-sufficiency and independence. But in atypical Hollywood fashion, the romantic plot does not pit jerk boyfriend against sexy underdog who saves her. Boyfriend is not a jerk, in fact Carl is an alright guy, ready to be a father, and has a promising future. It’s really hard to dislike him. Steve is basically a hobo. A spectacularly cool and attractive hobo with a heart of gold, but still a hobo. Although daring and different, ultimately this approach doesn’t work. Sure, there’s chemistry between Leigh and Mitchum, but you can’t help but feel bad for Carl, so the resolution feels kind of sour. Child star Gebert is cute at first, but his grating little voice and deadly sweetness tends to grind you patience close to the hour mark. But the leads are wonderful and work well together in this light holiday comedy despite unlikely motivations and an unsatisfying ending.

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