This is another of those films about a woman in a coma who sets out to stop Big Business buying out her small town– how is this now a subgenre I recognise and see regularly in seasonal films? What is it about a horrible car crash and potential loss of business that screams Christmas!!! to Jack Angelo and his pals?
Laurel Springs is a sleepy small American town with a cafe called Best Cafe and children with low expectations (buying a tree is like a highlight for them. Buying the tree). Charlotte runs Laurel Springs’ newspaper- on WordPress, no less! No comment, big love to WordPress, xoxo. She’s looking after her nephew and niece whilst her brother’s in Afghanistan and is accused of caring too much about people. The citizens of Laurel Springs are grateful for all of the sunlight streaming out of her bum.
For a while I wondered if all of this set-up actually was the coma dream, but that’s yet to come! There’s only one person Charlotte doesn’t like- of course he is the Big Business rep. (Also, the coach/Troy’s dad from High School Musical!) Their spirit selves discover they can manipulate the living wold but only good acts will restore them to their bodies. I don’t know what bad deeds get them… Hell, I guess?
The film’s premise is super original as long as you haven’t seen Ghost or Just Like Heaven. I also reckon a solid knowledge of Troy’s HSM arc would have benefitted these two substantially- if only Big Business knew he could do his job, and show human affection! This is singing vs. basketball all over again!
Laurel Springs has a lot of faith in ghost Charlotte- oh yeah, they totally clock and buy into her spirit guiding the town. Unfortunately we don’t get the conversation: “mom, your sister-in-law is a kind of ghost and stopped a boy from making out with me today!” (actual scene).
Highlights include Business’ dismay at “this much” Christmas decoration, AKA a regularly decorated tree, as well as the occurrence of the line “we’re in this together” (WAHEYYY) and an old woman whose baffled mute acting makes it look like she’s flat-out forgotten her lines.
Brace yourself for a ridiculously schmaltzy ending, including the return of Charlotte’s brother from Afghanistan. “Did you have something to do with this?” His children ask their aunt, because surely if she could stop wars, why did she let it carry on for so long?