A Bulldog in Need of Spirit
It's the 22nd December and college student Sally Kroger (Marylee Osborne) doesn't do Christmas and the idea of returning home for the holidays to spend Christmas with her family is right down the list of things she should do. Things at home are not great either as her father is basically camped out at work and where her mum worked is closing down. But after being picked up by her dad at the airport and along with the rest of the family head to their holiday get away where whilst everyone is getting in to the swing of things Sally is being awkward. But somehow by magic a Christmas spirit called Chips (Henrique Couto) turns her in to a Bulldog and unless she learns to appreciate Christmas she is going to remain a dog.
I don't know what has happened but somehow this year I have found myself watching a few Christmas movies which have that feel of a small group of actors deciding to do their own small production of an independently written Christmas story and then somehow releasing it as a DVD as well. "A Bulldog for Christmas" is one of those movies where we have this group of unknown actors, some low budget camera work and well a lot of awkwardness as the comedy doesn't seem to work.
Now watching a movie where they barely mention a characters name makes it not the easiest especially when you also have actors you don't recognize because following what happens with each of the characters is not so simple. But "A Bulldog for Christmas" is after some build up quite simple as we have a variation on "The Family Man" / "It's a Wonderful Life" where Sally gets to view her family and life in a different way. Throw in some comedy about Sally being a dog and that is it.
Now I have a lot of issues with "A Bulldog for Christmas", people rocking a stationary car back and forth does not convince us that it is moving and jokes about when life gives you a bulldog you make lemonade are painful. But the longer you watch the more watchable it becomes and a scene featuring the bulldog chasing one of those large exercise balls is actually kind of amusing with some simple voice over work. Don't get me wrong as more often than not "A Bulldog for Christmas" doesn't work but every now and then a scene comes along which makes you smile.
What this all boils down to is that "A Bulldog for Christmas" is not a great Christmas movie and to be brutally truth is not that good, lacking the polish which makes it comparable with other Christmas movies. But whilst there is a lot wrong with "A Bulldog for Christmas" it occasionally gets some things very right and the longer it goes on the closer it gets to finding its groove with some entertaining scenes.