What It's Like to Be Single At Christmas, According to ABC Family Original Movies
One network in particular deals in twinkly music and real world fairy tales all year round, but during the holidays, things get especially sparkly and bright for their slew of original holiday movies as a part its annual ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas movies tradition. And because they deal in cheesy romance, it only makes sense that we're treated to loads of single ladies dealing with the holiday blues. After all, they have to be free to hook up with the former CW hunks enlisted to win their hearts in just under two hours. This also means they frequently come with sassy single sidekicks who are there to say "whoo-wee" whenever a hot guy walks into frame. But all that's to be expected. What's not expected is just how insane these movies insist single ladies are at Christmas.
It's practically a holiday tradition on ABC Family to deliver tales of women who are too smart to deal with men, only to have their hearts melted by tinsel and Christmas carols. Who needs tales of family and charity? At Christmas, all ABC Family wants is an excuse to make a hunk (who probably appears shirtless at one point) to sweep a single lady (and the network's audience) off their feet.
They're Single Because They Work Too Hard
Movies: Holidaze, Santa Baby, Desperately Seeking Santa, Christmas Cupid
You know, because any woman with a demanding job clearly can't muster a spare second to think about relationships. She's too busy filling out spreadsheets to bother with a human connection with the perfectly handsome man the movie has placed at her feet. She's too heartless to notice the twinkle in the guy's eye every time he looks at her -- even when, for the first half of the movie, he thinks she's kind of an asshole (and generally, she is). And for some reason, most of these women are working for malls or mega stores, because duh, women love shopping and apparently have no other career aspirations.
In the immortal facial contortions of one Carrie Bradshaw:
In the case of Jenni Garth in Holidaze, she's too cold to even bond with her old flame as they walk through the house he bought for her. She's ready to bulldoze the thing for the Walmart-esque company she works for until she literally falls down the stairs, bumps her head, and goes into another dimension. That's right. In order for this fast-paced businesswoman, who only cares about one-night stands and promotions, to thaw her rock-hard heart, she needs to travel into bizarro world where she's married to her hunky ex, who warms her up by sleeping naked. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Suddenly, she understands everything and is a warm, loving person, back from the brink of her "problematic" aspirations.
So, take it from ABC Family, ladies. Don't aspire to take on demanding jobs, you'll only turn into a heartless Grinch like Jennifer in Desperately Seeking Santa (shames hottie Nick Zano on the coffee line before falling for him) or Mary in Santa Baby (who makes her assistant work on Thanksgiving as the Macy's parade goes by their office, apparently).
You hear that? Career bad. Giving it all up and getting back together with a high school sweetheart good.
They Can't Succeed on Their Own, But Will Settle For a Romantic Conclusion Instead
Movies: The Mistle-tones
In this ABC Family original, Tia Mowry-Hardrict (formerly half of the Sister, Sister duo) wants to perform with the town's favorite glorified glee club, the Snow Belles, which her mother founded, but is cut out because of the lead singer's jealousy of her amazing singing voice. Her solution is to start her own group, the Mistle-tones, and blackmail her boss with a video of him singing karaoke really well in order to make the group good.
Come concert time, her group performs terribly because her new boyfriend/boss takes a job in Asia instead of coming to sing with them. Her "incredible" singing voice wasn't enough on its own. Nope. She needed that chiseled jaw to win the competition for her.
The solution? She ditches the Snow Belles concert out of jealousy and bitterness, waltzes the streets alone, and just happens upon her beau singing Christmas carols on a float in the town square. File under: things that definitely happen to humans all the time. While she's apparently not talented enough to win a competition, she is talented enough to win her boss' heart by singing with him on a float in the middle of town with everyone watching as they explain exactly why they need to be together.
What's success, anyway? 'Tis far better to make out in front of your parents and a crowd of total strangers than to succeed at the thing you've been working on for the entire movie, right? Hello?
They're All Afraid of Their Mothers
Movies: Take your pick
From Christina Millian in Snowglobe (her mother tries to set her up with every single man she lays eyes on) to Jenny McCarthy in Santa Baby (literally falls off a treadmill when her mother calls) and Jenni Garth in Holidaze (deathly afraid of her mother's small town sweetness and charm), these women cannot stand their mothers. Garth's character even plans a Thanksgiving vacation on the beach to avoid her.
Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like the notion that every woman is so irked by her mother that it merits an entire plot point. Yep, there's definitely no rich story line about motherhood and connection to be had there. Just have Melissa Joan Hart scream like a banshee every time her mother gives her a call.
They're Just Flat-Out Insane
Movies: Holiday in Handcuffs, 12 Dates of Christmas
At least when ABC Family is busy giving businesswomen a bad name, they're attempting to make a valid excuse for why a woman has remained single: "she's just driven," though it often comes out as "she's heartless Grinch who hates feelings." In the case of single women whose careers aren't the problem (ABC's Family's insinuation, not mine), the reason they're single is because they're absolutely bat-shit crazy.
Take Melissa Joan Hart in Holiday in Handcuffs, for example. She's so desperately alone and desperate for a job (she's too flaky to find a good one) that when she's faced with having to go to her mother's for Christmas without her handsome date (he's just dumped her because he only said nice things to her to get her into bed because all men are dogs, amirite ladies?) she holds Mario Lopez up at gunpoint while she's got a clown-level perm in hair and drags him to her mother's. Let me say that again: she's so afraid of dealing with Christmas alone, she steals a gun and kidnaps Mario Lopez.
What's sad is that her behavior is more understandable than Amy Smart's in 12 Dates of Christmas. It's Groundhog Day for Christmas Eve (minus the awesomeness of Bill Murray) and Kate (Smart) goes on a journey of self-discovery in which she learns that she is too obsessed with marriage, too afraid of dying alone, and that she's in love with Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Miles, her Christmas Eve blind date.
Unfortunately, she doesn't even spend a great deal of her 12 recurring dates with Miles, but instead spends a lot of it grilling her ex for information about why they didn't get married. When she does hang out with her new hunka burnin' love, she tells him after about 10 deja vu days in that she's falling in love with him based on next to nothing. This is supposed to be understandable because while he's had a few hours with her, she's had an entire movie with him, but it's still insane. It's also completely nuts when she stalks one of the kids from the hockey team Miles coaches so she can help him and win Miles' heart with her multitudes of stalkerish knowledge. Did I mention that despite the fact that she has a family, she's spending Christmas Eve hanging out with this blind date because she's so worried about spending another Christmas without a boyfriend? Who can blame her? Everyone knows only losers spend Christmas without a make-out buddy. Family is for suckers (and the sane).
Ah, the sweet message of a great Christmas movie: if you don't want to die alone, trick a guy into being your boyfriend.
Note to self: do not aspire to become a high-powered single woman in a ABC Family original movie.
Images: ABC Family (3); Wifflegif (5)