No matter what the quality of the film, there’s always a sure fire way to get the punters in: cast somebody they know and love. I’m pretty sure we all knew Mamma Mia! wasn’t going to be an Oscar winner, but we flocked in droves to the cinema to see lovely Meryl Streep playing karaoke for an hour or two. If you needed any excuse to see A Christmas Dance, look no further: it’s the dad from The National Tree! I know! His acting has improved since 2009, he pouts a lot less- either that or he’s surrounded by more wooden characters which is quite the possibility.

Andrew McCarthy plays Jack, a business type dating his boss’ daughter Demi (Stephanie Mills). For some reason nobody will shut up about how Jack should propose after only a few months. Demi’s doing the same, but chooses a weird method to prompt him by dating several other guys. Her reason? Why, it’s the odd adage, “it’s only cheating if you’re engaged”. Oh yes, of course, we’re in crazy land. Personally I’d ditch her: she’s only interested in material wealth and sports an infuriatingly high-pitched voice, plus the whole terrible concept of fidelity. However, Jack is an idiot and decides to take dance lessons to impress her. Enter Christine (Michelle Nolden), who’s his dance instructor and totally a catch.

McCarthy's classic Family Favourite acting expression.
McCarthy’s classic Family Favourite facial expression.

Christine’s been taken by a severe case of the seasonal movies trauma: her dad died of a heart attack, and now she’s being kicked out of her studio by none other than the company Jack works for! Christine rings Jack’s office to complain, and he panics and has the entire conversation in a British accent. It’s dire, but extremely entertaining when he offers to call himself. Jack, you are an idiot. This film should be called A Christmas Idiot. Jack goes for lunch with Demi’s dad, who gives this big speech about how you need to know influential people to get ahead. This is where the film reaches its peak on the ironymeter as people stuck in the seasonal movie limbo of Hollywood talk about making it big. You keep dreaming, guys. All cattiness aside, A Christmas Dance is surprisingly delightful. I know, I’m shocked too. The problem with it, though, is that it doesn’t really go full on seasonal movie. Yes, there’s the brilliant “soundtrack”- four bars of piano played ad nauseum. But it’s flying too close to the chick flick collection, like an Icarus with wings made of Drew Barrymore’s hair. That’s a noble effort there, A Christmas Dance. Either try harder or be honest and put a bit of tinsel on.

Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.

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