You might think that The Christmas Consultant is going to be your run-of-the-mill seasonal film. True enough, it has all the essentials: obvious MS Word font for the titles, creepy animatronics, and a hectic family life. The Fletchers have got to organise the perfect Christmas, whilst keeping family and work colleagues happy.
The bulk of the pressure has fallen on Maya (Caroline Rhea), especially as her Serbian business partner wants an “original” and “different” Christmas party on the 24th before he signs any deals over. Considering how much of a national stereotype he is in the film, barely stringing together two sentences of fluent English, I was surprised he was after something “original” but the guy’s very easily placated with some Russian vodka. Serbians aside, the kids and the in-laws aren’t easily impressed, so the Fletchers agree to rope in a consultant. Here’s where our film differs from other seasonal fodder; they managed to get David Hasselhoff on board! Germany is screaming with delight.
The Hoff comes into their home, glasses and waistcoat on and ready to spread some Christmas cheer. Most of his organisation seems to be dictating which size tree is best and plying relatives with alcohol. Of course, Maya and Jack’s surly teenage daughter can’t be bought over so easily (read: legally), so the Hoff reverts to other tactics: namely threats. Seriously, there’s a line where he says she’d better behave or he’d “make Guantanamo Bay look like Disneyland”. Everybody laughs the tension away, and she gets set up with the pizza boy. Personally I would’ve just refused to give her any presents in reply to her complaints that the pagan rituals of Christmas have become swamped with commercialism. Bah humbug, and bah ignorant- Christmas customs actually stem from several Pagan, Pre-Christian, Christian, and secular practises. Me and Wikipedia 1, teenage girl 0.
As you can guess, the film descends into finding out whether the Hoff or Caroline Rhea is better at raising children. I’m not willing to put money on Aunt Hilda or “jump in my car”, and rightly so as both are revealed as crazy. Maya trashes the party in an “underappreciated” rage (as if smashing shit will get you appreciated), and the Hoff it turns out has been lying about having a wife and kids! We all laugh. It’s a “she’s been dead for 5 years” plot twist that everybody saw coming, and is hastily covered up by the kids’ pitchy acoustic version of O Come All Ye Faithful.
Overall, it’s a fairly enjoyable if not completely predictable festive romp. It’s completely worth watching for the fat kid bully who gets pelted in the face with fruitcake (holiday tradition), but apart from that I’d say the same of this film as I would of David Hasselhoff’s repertoire: you could probably do better.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.