Criminally Cute Christmas Rom-Com
On face value "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" is a cute little Christmas movie which reminded me of "Curly Sue" but done as a Christmas movie. Now if you haven't seen "Curly Sue" I'll explain because in "On the 2nd Day of Christmas", and through a contrived series of contrived circumstances, a department store security guard ends up baby sitting a shoplifting Aunt and her niece for Christmas and unsurprisingly they fall for each other. But for those who also feel movies, especially those which are aimed as family entertainment, have a moral responsibility then "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" may leave you conflicted because crime goes unpunished.
Trish (Mary Stuart Masterson - Bad Girls) and her niece Patsy (Lauren Pratt) are quite a double act when it comes to picking pockets. That is until they unwittingly try to pick the pocket of Mr. Limber (Lawrence Dane) in his own department store as security guard Bert (Mark Ruffalo - The Dentist) is on to them. With Mr. Limber in not such a charitable mood he calls the police even if it means Patsy will end up being put in to care over Christmas, except he is too late as the social offices are already closed so instead he orders Bert to baby sit them for Christmas whether he likes it or not. Despite Tracy blaming Bert for their situation as the three of them spend time together they feel the magic of Christmas except on Boxing Day Mr. Limber expects them to return to the department store so he can have the police charge them.
So in many ways "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" has an old feel about it with it being based around a department store at Christmas and kind of reminds me of "Holiday Affair" with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. But as such it would be fair to say that this romantic comedy doesn't throw many surprises at us as we watch Trish and Bert grow fond of each other as they are forced to spend Christmas together. You can guess how this will all end up with a touch of Santa Claus magic as little Stacy is upset when Santa doesn't visit her as they are staying at Bert's place. But it is fun and the whole set up of Bert coming from a family of cops and Tracy meeting them all, at the time uncomfortably pretending to be his girlfriend, is mildly amusing and basically cute which is the intention as it wants to be a cute Christmas movie and on face value it succeeds.
But as I said if you take family movies seriously and expect them to show some form of moral responsibility then "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" may leave you conflicted because here people get away with crime. Now I am not just on about Trish and Stacy but they also lead Bert astray when they guilt him into stealing a Christmas tree for his empty apartment. I must admit that whilst I tend to not let this sort of thing get in the way of the entertainment value there are times when "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" almost seems to be saying that if you are cute then pick pocketing is okay.
Aside from that it also has to be said that when it comes to the romantic side of the movie "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" lacks real chemistry, again going for cute instead. So there is something cute about Trish and Bert falling for each other and both Mary Stuart Masterson and Mark Ruffalo have a certain cuteness about them but it isn't anything more than a stock romantic element from a rom-com. And adding to the cuteness is Lauren Pratt as Patsy, who to be fair plays the part of cute child perfectly.
What this all boils down to is that "On the 2nd Day of Christmas" is a cute Christmas rom-com which is aimed at all the family and on face value is entertaining. But for those who believe movies have a moral responsibility to show that crime no matter what is wrong may find it simply wrong despite being cute.