Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The return of the cheese

It’s finally happened. I’ve gone over a year without posting on my blog. Ordinarily, this would be where I hang up my spurs and call it a day as so many other bloggers have done. But one thing keeps me going:
Cheesy Christmas movies!
Things have changed a lot since I started the tradition lo, these many years ago. Back then I was pretty much limited to the few I could find on the Internet Archive. A couple of those I still enjoy going back to every so often. I have a special soft spot, for example, for “Beyond Tomorrow” and “Son of the Navy.”

But thanks to the treasure storehouse that is YouTube, we have more cheese to select from than the whole south of France. Part of my workday is spent doing stuff that requires neither reading nor writing, and that time is often spent with a video playing on my phone. Nothing heavy; preferably something I don’t have to look at and can follow by audio. Being as how ’tis the season, I started browsing the other day through Hallmark Christmas movies. (Seriously, I had no idea there were so many.) This led me to a fluff-fest called “Snowglobe.”

“Snowglobe” is one of those films that takes a magical premise and tries to mold it to seasonal sentimentality. Young Angela Moreno (pertly played by Christina Milian) lives with the sort of family that make you want to move out of state and change your name. That is to say, she doesn’t actually live with them per se, but you’d never know it from the way they crowd into her life and make free of her apartment.

Meanwhile, Angela dreams of a perfect traditional Christmas right out of a Victorian diorama. Or, in this case, a snow globe given to her by the usual magical deliveryman. As she falls asleep gazing at it and dreaming of a spherical paradise, she finds herself sucked inside it, where she’s greeted by a tall, handsome fellow with perfect teeth and a perpetually bewildered look. Mister Perfect invites her to stay at The Inn, where mouthwatering food magically appears in the kitchen of a sweet grandma archetype. It’s all too good to be true, so naturally, it is.

This is supposed to be the point when she realizes that her perfect Christmas really isn’t what she wanted. Nuh-uh. The Snowglobians find their way into Brooklyn and hilarity ensues.

There are a couple of factors below the surface of this film. One is the ethnic/racial element, which is never actually mentioned but hangs out in the living room dropping elephant poo on the carpet. Angela’s mother is of Italian extraction and her father a black man from Cuba. Obviously, the globe people are as white-bread as you can get (think of the cheerleaders from that hoary old SNL sketch). The new love interest the family picks out for her (Josh Cooke, who apparently is in a season of “Longmire” I haven’t seen yet) is somewhere in between: all Brooklyn, still WASPish.
The other is that the globules (what do you call the denizens, anyway?) aren’t just paper dolls. In their own plasticky way they have feelings too and Angela’s self-centered (but not malicious) meddling has impacted their lives.

Obviously, we’re not talking high art here. It’s cheese. Enjoy.