I love those Christmas films about the little guy, y’know? Something about a small, independent business, where money is tight but their dream is too big to contain. They rise up, beat “the man”, and the family company triumphs just in time to carve the turkey. They’re lovely, aren’t they? Yeah, this isn’t one of those films.
We’re focussing today on Hats Off to Christmas!, both the title of the film and the name of the large corporation which sells seasonal hats. I know what you’re thinking: surely that company has gone under several times? No, actually, because this film is set in an alternate universe where people can’t get enough of leopard-print Santa caps, elf hats with jingling bells and other pieces of schmaltzy headgear. Don’t get me wrong, I like hats as much as the next guy- but when Mia (Haylie Duff, back again) tells her friend about mentoring the son of the CEO, she loses her shit. “Of course I know him, the prodigal son of Hats Off to Christmas!” she gushes. Seems the cool kids in high school were all the hat moguls. Fine, alright, whatever.
Just why does Mia have to mentor Nick, the heir to the company? He’s great at “business things”, as I gather from the limited “business things” dialogue. However, he’s lacking in the personal touch, and needs to learn to be a people person. What luck! Mia happens to be a single working mum, whose son has been in a wheelchair from the same car crash which killed her husband. That’s like the triple whammy of emotional baggage. Nick sees what’s going on, and realises he has to take his rightful place, not only as the head of the company, but as the “solution” of the seasonal movie. He’s gonna have to wife that woman, he knows it, we know it. He’s got to help the wheelchair bound boy win both the pumpkin carving contest and the soapbox derby, until he feels emotionally healed enough to walk again. I’m not fabricating here, this is all what happens. It’s like Simba taking his place in the circle of life, except bad and not full of heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I like this film alright enough. Nick sums it up best, by always offering to “toss the ball around sometime” with anyone he finds looking sad. The entire film is two hours of well-meaning tossers. That’s my sentiment about this movie, and I know it’s probably treason to talk shit about hats so much, but hey, don’t feel bad about it buddy! Maybe we can toss a ball around sometime.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.