Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! A time for Americans to remember the union of the pilgrims and native Americans where nothing bad happened. I mean, um, there was the whole, um…hey look, I found a vaguely Thanksgiving related crap film!
Rock Burdock (Evan Williams) is an enterprising teen vlogger who offers up his Sitka spruce to be moved and replanted at the White House as America’s national tree. After all, Rock tells us, it’s all about giving. Let’s completely ignore the fact that Rock’s dad Corey (Andrew McCarthy) had planted the tree at Rock’s birth and it holds a wealth of emotional significance for their relationship. Who knows, on that note maybe it’s Rock biting back at his dad for being named after the massive stone his father kicked aside in order to plant the tree. Regardless, ToyCo sends their marketing agent Faith (Kari Matchett) to collect the tree. Corey’s confusion is for some reason conveyed by pouting, something he does throughout the film at his constant disapproval with Rock. I don’t blame him, Rock is a complete prat. Plus he gives these melodramatic moody speeches: “This is my chance to do something really cool. I could meet the president! But you don’t care about me, do you? All you care about is the tree.”
From here it becomes your basic father-son roadtrip, only with a giant spruce tied to a trailer on the back of their ride. Rock vlogs throughout his journey for the marketing campaign, his personal website, and the courtship of the lovely Katie (Paula Brancati), his web pal from Wyoming. It would be sweet to see their chats online if it weren’t for the third-and fourth-wheels. There’s wacky Ash from India (whose video was the whole potatoes on forks dancing shebang you’ll have seen a hundred times before), and Ming from China who is given some of the lamest lines I’ve heard in film history. Case in point: “hey guys, it rained today!” There’s a reason Ming isn’t the love interest. Rock and Katie meet across the crowds of literally tens of people (turns out America isn’t as batshit about trees as the Burdock family), and it’s a brief encounter as Katie’s not allowed to join them on the journey. Rock’s ultimate romantic solution? He hides her under the tarpaulin- yes, with THE TREE- so she can secretly come along! 2009’s answer to Romeo. U no she is da 1 if she is as craze as u!!!11!1
Despite these crazy antics, a forest fire, and a threat to chop down the tree and put it in a stand (that’s as tense as the film gets, very low risk), Rock and gang succeed and deliver the tree, claiming the spruce to be America itself. Yes, that is right, I listened super carefully to check. There’s just too much going for The National Tree, if you don’t watch it you’re missing out on top quality bad seasonal movie. The opening credits are done in the style of a Windows slideshow setting, with freaking Comic Sans- and it’s just as schlocky throughout. There’s very little understanding of how young people talk, so plenty of COOL!s and AWESOME!s, plus the bad guy legitimately yells “You’ll regret this!” Beautiful. Sit down with a bunch of loved ones who won’t judge and have yourself a brilliant Thanksgiving.
Rating: Ho Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.