I didn’t realize this was one of those Hallmark Specials until I already had my workout pad and weights all spread on the floor and got comfy. (Yes, a little fitness routine during my evening shows is comfort food for me.)
But when “HallMark’s Magic Stocking” came onscreen, I gave my mother the stink eye. What was this? It’s not a real movie. Normally she DVRs a nice film for us, so I thought to myself, “Give it a try.”
I even took some notes:
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- There was a sad but attractive widow facing her first Christmas alone
- There’s a handsome single guy building a Christmas Gazebo in the town square (a monument to his grandfather)
- There was a cute kid
- It had a quirky grandmother
- Puppies were involved
It didn’t take long to notice the awkward acting, but my mother said, “These are light holiday shows, with nice people. The actors are probably trying to break into Hollywood.”
It was really goofy. Dorky, even. The titular stocking decided to gift the little girl with the puppy she so desperately desired, and produced a silver locket to the lead character (the widow), for unknown reasons.
Then the grandmother pranked her grieving daughter into going on a date with the handsome single younger man, while avoiding the affections of the nice older single man pursuing her. But, then — the narrative thickens — to convince the older man to prank the sad widow, she had to go on a “real date” with said older guy who made the awful mistake of buying her every bouquet in the local flower shop. The horrors!
Yeah, are you bored yet too?
I sat there through other people’s sweetly awkward dates and wondered when the stocking was going to perform magic again. I’d say I made it though an hour of this monument to mediocrity before packing up my equipment and heading to bed.
I’m sure the little girl gets her puppy, the widow finds love again, and the quirky grandmother has a steamy night to remember. But I didn’t care enough to find out because THIS ISN’T A PLOT.
I’m not even going to look for a photo to attach to this post, because: boring. If you like these little Christmas “movies”, that’s very nice for you, and I’m sorry to be a Grinch on your parade. It’s now the morning after and it’s raining like the Dickens (excuse the holiday pun), while my mother is curled up under a fuzzy blanket watching another Hallmark Christmas Special. I asked her the title but already forgot it.
She’s LOVING this stuff. You might too. I know she’s lined up at least a dozen more syrupy Hallmark Christmas Specials I won’t be watching. My favorite Christmas films fall onto the Lethal Weapon/Die Hard end of the spectrum. And Home Alone, even, and Love, Actually. So I’m not completely unsentimental.
Movie Grade: C-
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)
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Jill Florio Administrator
Sometimes, listening to myself, I think I must be a completely dreadful person. Looking on Twitter, I see a lot of people really liking Magic Stocking, and Hallmark Christmas Specials, and undemanding plots that are cinematic comfort food.
All I can really say to these nicer people is that I’ve been weaned on Star Wars Marathons on Christmas Day, and my tastes are skewed to intergalactic Jedi conflict. Which, by the way, is intensely spiritual from a certain point of view.
To make up for being a grinch, I watched the classic 1966 animated Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas and reviewed it with high marks. I even cried a little at the end, because my heart grew three sizes today.