Ho No No
I love Christmas movies, I even love made for TV Christmas movies despite knowing that they will usually be cheesy, cliche affairs. But having watched more Christmas movies than I care to remember I don't think I have watched one as blatantly cheesy as "The Christmas Consultant". I don't know whether it was intentional but guess it was as this festive feast of frivolity starring David Hasselhoff makes most Christmas movies look like Oscar material due to its cheesiness. And unfortunately whilst "The Christmas Consultant" is amusing the cheesiness is too much.
Maya (Caroline Rhea - The Perfect Man) and Jack Fletcher (Barclay Hope) are busy not only with their family of three but also with their busy careers so when it comes to Christmas and having all the family due over it becomes a bit too much. In need of help they hire Owen (David Hasselhoff - Piranha 3DD), a Christmas Consultant who loves Christmas and will not only organize everything for you but will make sure everyone has a good time. And all is going well as Owen brings the Fletcher family together with his enthusiasm and various festive activities but it turns Maya into a green eyed monster as she becomes jealous that her children end up loving Owen for making such a fantastic Christmas.
The irony of "The Christmas Consultant" is that the basic storyline is in itself not bad. It may be a bit of a cliche that both Maya and Jack are snowed under with work and have three children that they are slowly failing as parents but it provides a reasonable basis. And the whole idea of hiring a Christmas consultant who enthusiastically loves Christmas is not bad either especially as it becomes obvious that this enthusiasm for Christmas with his wife and children he talks about maybe like a smile on a clown, masquerading the truth. In fact the whole thing of Maya becoming jealous as she ends up feeling left out is also nice, not brilliant but enough for a fun little chaotic Christmas movie.
Now we certainly get chaos, there is one heck of a meltdown when things get too much in the Fletcher household and Owen's over enthusiasm has a chaos of all of its own. But the trouble is that everything is so over the top that it goes beyond being amusingly cheesy to being painfully cheesy. A scene where Owen takes the kids carol singing turns into an amplified fiasco and rather than being funny as they try and out sing some other carollers it just grates. And so it goes on with pretty much every scene of cheesy humour pushed beyond the limits of being fun.
Now all of this may have been intentional, maybe director John Bradshaw was trying for the most cheesiest Christmas movie going, he certainly gets a cheesy performance from David Hasselhoff as Owen. But it is that thing of going too far and David Hasselhoff's over enthusiastic performance at times feels like he has an energizer bunny stuffed somewhere. It's the same with everyone and it all becomes too chaotic as actors seem to be trying to out do each other in being over the top and cheesy.
What this boils down to is that as Christmas movies go "The Christmas Consultant" goes beyond the point of being amusingly cheesy and ends up painful. It's a shame as the actual storyline isn't bad and the actual setting, especially the shop window scenes are good but the over the top cheesiness ruins it. Yet to be honest I reckon if next year I saw "The Christmas Consultant" appear on the TV schedule I might just have to watch it again as whilst painful because when it gets it right it is good.