Alex and Laurie Co-Recap: A Firehouse Christmas (2016)

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Cozy in for a long winter’s bitchfest, my friends. This one was a fuckin’ doozy and you can tell right from its extremely serious, unfestive poster.

Laurie
Alex, it’s not even 7:30 a.m. and I’m already riled up just thinking about TALKING ABOUT this movie.
It is a strong contender, if not outright winner, of the Worst Christmas Movie of 2016. But to be fair, I haven’t watched all of this year’s offerings yet.
I still feel very confident with my declaration.

Alex
No arguments here, it’s a disaster of a movie with questionable decisions all around. I’d be surprised if there was even a script at all. It would make me feel better for this movie if there wasn’t

Laurie
This movie should’ve been called FIRE AND ICE.

Alex
That would’ve been a better title since fire and ice have always been natural enemies.

Laurie
Let’s explain why! we meet Mary, a former figure skater and Olympic gold medalist, whose currently on a failing tour for her latest book; it’s all about marriage and she’s currently in a custody battle with her ex-husband. great timing!

Alex
Her agent Rob calls her from a cruise ship to tell her her sales suck, so she should get herself into a fake relationship to boost sales asap. Bingo! She decides to sucker her ex into a fake reconciliation. This begins a series of Rob calling her for approximately thirty seconds at a time from various international ports via green screen.1

We also meet Mary’s dad, a guy who goes by the name Honest Jay (which tells you that he’s the exact opposite), a car salesman and head of town council. He was also her figure skating coach where she won two gold medals in the 2002 Olympics even though Wikipedia begs to differ. He doesn’t think it’s a good idea for Mary to involve Tom in this fake relationship, especially because he’s dating a firefighter.

Laurie
For a second, I thought we were going to see our first on-screen queer relationship, but no, he’s just referring to Jenny Jenkins, the hot female firefighter in town; who is, as we speak, going to put out an abandoned house fire and save a trapped child!

Alex
First off, kudos for actual fire. I was surprised. But that quickly fades out of view when Jenny and Parker enter the house and announce at least ten times “Fire Department, anybody in here?”. A simple “anybody in here?” probably would’ve sufficed. Do you really need to announce you’re the fire department?! Is this town full of people that are running into burning buildings? Like is there a guy in this town whose sexually attracted to fire and therefore people stuck in a burning building are reluctant to respond unless they announce they’re actually the fire department and not some crazy weirdo?!

Laurie
Parker and Jenny are seemingly the only firefighters capable of doing this job, even though Parker clearly almost dies (or at worst, gets trapped in the basement) when he falls through weakened floorboards.2
This is all extremely dangerous, but you’d never guess by the other firefighters casually lingering outside, including the fire chief, who is the only person to stop Tom (who was randomly driving by?!) from running inside to rescue his girlfriend EVEN THOUGH SHE DOES THIS FOR A LIVING!
What was his plan? I need to know!

Alex
I’m not even sure why Parker is holding on so tight to those SNL level effects.
I mean, he was just searching the basement. If he falls through, it’s not like he’s unprepared. He could easily land on his feet and make his way up the basement stairs again as shown a minute earlier. Instead, we get a slow-mo hero shot of Jenny running back in and pulling him to safety before they dive out of the way of an explosion. Hilariously, the explosion affects nobody else near the premises as the other firefighters continue to spray the house with the hose without even flinching.

Laurie
BUT WHAT ABOUT TOM’S PLAN TO RESCUE JENNY!
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Alex
I doubt he’s running into rescue Jenny, it’s more likely he’s the fire loving delinquent that has caused the actual fire department to have to announce their presence during search and rescue.

Laurie
Tom doesn’t seem concerned about trying to run into a burning house, even though his daughter Sadie is right there and would presumably not want her dad to burn alive in a moment of pure foolishness.

Alex
Jenny saves the little boy trapped inside the house as well, and here marks the first time the movie shows us that none of its actors know how to cry as witnessed by the mom crying for her son. That’s probably the best crying the movie features as it only gets worse from there.

Laurie
What’s presumably the next day, Jenny and the fire brigade are going to get breakfast. They park the fire truck near Honest Jay’s car lot and here comes the man himself, raging about it. He loathes Jenny.

Alex
It was in a fire zone! Jenny also weirdly goes around to her colleagues, pointing and saying “Food? Food? Breakfast?” as if they hadn’t all probably agreed they were going to the breakfast place they just parked near.

Laurie
But not before telling Parker that breakfast is on him because he owes her one! The man almost lost his life, Jenny! then! she doesn’t even go get her breakfast, she demands that he takes her order for her so she can make googly eyes at her wet paper bag of a boyfriend, who’s there to drop off gifts for a toy drive.

Alex
Then, Mary and Sadie show up and Mary immediately starts telling Tom that he has to fake a reconciliation with her until Christmas. If he doesn’t go along with it, she’s taking Sadie, because that’s something she can do. Tom gives up without even a fight, to which Marie responds “I always win.” His first job is to show up at Honest Jay’s house later to film something for a local TV show.

Laurie
He also protests that “this is my year” and I’m HOPING that it means it’s his year to have Sadie for Christmas, but considering what we’ll learn about Tom, I wouldn’t be surprised if he agreed to a yearly custody hand-off.
So a big source of conflict, even though the ongoing custody battle would’ve been enough, is that Honest Jay is obsessed with Sadie learning figure skating  whereas Sadie is actually into Tom’s sport – hockey. this could not infuriate Honest Jay more.

Alex
One of his favourite sayings is that kids don’t know what they need!

Laurie
So this ugly group of people go their separate ways; Sadie goes off with her mom, and Tom and Jenny reminisce about how they met a year ago at the toy drive when he moved to town. He then texts her mom on her behalf to find out what she wants for a gift (Mary’s book, autographed!). This is 100% a plot contrivance that helps us get from point A to point B in a later scene.
In an unlikely turn of events, we find out that Tom owns his own vintage toy shop after retiring as a Silver medal winning Olympic hockey player BECAUSE THAT’S A THING THAT HAPPENS.

Alex
Before they can kiss, in busts Parker who is for some reason awkward about interrupting, and tells them they’ve got a call. Jenny proceeds to delay and continue to chat with Tom for a whole minute more. People’s lives could’ve been at stake!!!! …except it turned out it was just the old folks’ home.
Their lives don’t matter.
They old.

Laurie
So they go to the nursing home which is being TERRORIZED by this senile man on a motorized cart, whipping donuts on the carpet and knocking shit over
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Alex
That’s apparently worthy of a call to the fire department despite a serial arsonist terrorizing the town. Jenny decides to take the man’s blood pressure but begins overpumping it and dragging the poor man closer to a TV where Mary’s interview is airing live; she’s explaining her and Tom are still in love and working on their marriage, much to Jenny’s surprise and anger.

Laurie
Tom never told her he agreed to Mary’s blackmail! Did he even tell her about the blackmail at all or was he just hoping she wouldn’t find out?!

Alex
Well, no sooner does Jenny almost blood-pressure this old man to death, she and Parker get a call for a fire – at Honest Jay’s house!

Laurie
Apparently, the TV crew’s electrical wiring has caused a fire to his outdoor nativity set and he’s LOSING his mind
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Alex
Of course Jenny arrives and as she’s nonchalantly setting up the hose to douse the flames, Honest Jay keeps repeating, “What are you doing!” and “Don’t do that” and”You’ll ruin it!” even though the fire would eventually spread? Honest Jay proclaims heads will roll for this! Dude, she just saved your house from potentially going up in flames.
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Laurie
Sadie, however, is LOVING THIS. Tom shows up and just gets further crushed by the balls by Mary, because he’s entirely useless.
Then we get this super weird moment where Parker, packing the fire truck up with Jenny, notices a dude lurking in a truck nearby. Jenny notices this and asks if it’s a friend of his, but he brushes her off and makes it really obvious that it’s Someone Important.
The music is so chilling, I was positive something bad was legitimately going to happen.
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Alex
I also was expecting a mystery worthy of Detective Alex but alas it was not to be.

Laurie
So there’s a really weird scene where Tom, Sadie, and Jenny go out to eat and the three of them are sitting in their booth with Tom ever so slightly leaning away from the table, having an extremely adult phone call with his lawyer ABOUT Sadie and the custody bullshit.
She’s literally right there. Could not be any closer unless she was sitting beside him.
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And she even calls him out for it, asking who he was talking to. “A friend,” he lies and she sees right through his feeble little lies. Poor Sadie.

Alex
Probably in an attempt to get away from her crappy parents fighting, Sadie goes outside to play in the outdoor ballpit right next to the restaurant. Obviously all three end up in the ballpit after apparently running out on the bill since no one stayed back to pay.
An outdoor ballpit also just seems like an illogical idea. What if it rains?

Laurie
Alex, this movie defies all common sense and logic. An outdoor ball pit is the least of my grievances. These people have a very awkward toy drive dinner to get to!

Alex
It’s set at the firehouse for consistency’s sake and to save on set decorations. It’s also revealed that this is where Jenny and Tom met a year ago. They’re sitting with Parker, his completely mute wife, and the fire chief. Suddenly, an innocent game of “what was the best Christmas gift you ever received?” turns shockingly dark, shockingly quick.

Laurie
Haha is it because Parker makes everything super serious right away.

Alex
Yeah, it’s all Jenny with “I got a toy firefighter helmet!” 🙂 and Tom with “I got skates!” 😀 and Parker with “My dad walked out on me!” :O
Read the room, Parker! Plus he was the one who asked the question!

Laurie
Sooo that brings us to Parker’s stalker. Turns out it’s his deadbeat daddy!

Alex
You don’t want to recount Parker’s story furthermore? Well I will because it’s kinda funny. He was five and got up early Christmas morning but wasn’t allowed to open presents so he ate all the candy canes and puked on the presents. His dad cleaned him up and two weeks later, left him and his mom forever. He hasn’t seen him since…until today.

Laurie
But let’s go back a moment to when Tom says his best gift was skates because he is NOT, as one would assume, talking about skates he received as the question asked. No, he is in fact referring to the hockey skates that he has bought for Sadie and is planning on giving to her this Christmas.
Reason 3563 why Tom is shitty: HE’S THAT PROUD OF HIS OWN GIFT, HE CALLS IT THE BEST GIFT.

Alex
Anyway, everyone at the table agrees Parker should talk to his dad except Parker’s wife who remains silent.

Laurie
I like to think that Parker’s wife knows that she’s sitting with a table full of assholes who think they know better than the dude who was abandoned by his own father.

Alex
Next up Honest Jay announces that Mary is the top toy donor. Jenny is outraged because she knows Tom donated more toys, meaning Mary or Honest Jay has cheated. Reason number 7034 that Tom is shitty: he rolls over and says it’s ok.

Laurie
Dude no!
Tom’s face and posture when he THINKS he’s getting the big congratulatory cake and applause is soooo gross and self-satisfied.
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Look at that face!

Alex
It can’t be worse than the proud face Honest Jay gives when he tells everyone he molded Sadie’s feet in her sleep so her figure skates he got her would fit perfectly.

Laurie
LOL DON’T JUMP AHEAD!
So what happens next is the fire chief tries making bland conversation with Tom about his vintage toy store when Honest Jay decides right then and there he’s had ENOUGH!

Alex
After that totally inappropriate confrontation, Tom and Jenny leave and talk about their relationship with Tom eventually deciding he won’t put up with Mary’s lies…which of course he’ll flip flop on in a scene or two.
I also have a note here I can’t read. Jenny Chewage? I think is what it says?

Laurie
lol cleavage.

Alex
Ah yes correct.
Here is a shot of said cleavage.
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Laurie
You forget that the only reason he tries to build himself a spine is because Jenny’s getting real sick of this shit and also wants him to verbally commit to her.
But he is incredibly vague and is like Justin Bobby from The Hills (don’t worry about understanding this reference, Alex) who’s all, “What we have is special and doesn’t need a label”

Alex
In a vain effort to equal out Jenny’s sudden cleavage, we get Tom opening the door to his store (where he apparently lives) completely shirtless.10

Laurie
His Christmas gift to Sadie has finally arrived: hockey skates that look approximately two years old. GREAT GIFT, DAD.

Alex
Furthermore they’re player skates but they’re signed by Henrik Lundqvist, goalie of the NY Rangers!
While that doesn’t really matter, the skates are clearly too big for Sadie to wear even though her team plays in the semifinals right after Christmas (which is why Tom is desperate to get them to her.
Also what kind of stupid hockey league is finishing up its season in January? Playoffs aren’t until March or April at the earliest!

Laurie
You’re clearly asking the questions our readers will care about.

Alex
I’m clearly asking why I haven’t been hired to be a script supervisor yet!
He’s really proud of his gift and at this point, he gets a phone call from the judge, which goes absolutely nowhere as the movie just drops this plot point immediately. This is our first but not last time hearing Tom’s ringtone, which is a really bizarre Three Tenors-esque song of “It’s a call, it’s a call, it’s a call for youuuuu!”.
No one would ever have this ringtone.

Laurie
So the next scene is Jenny washing the fire truck when she spots Deadbeat Daddy (a retired fire chief, don’t ya know) lurking in his truck nearby. She goes into tiger mom mode but totally softens when he spins his sad story about splitting up with Parker’s mom, then getting remarried to a woman who forced him to cut all ties…even though he’d already left by that point.

Alex
He’s not very redeemable but he gives Jenny a letter to give to Parker that he says will explain everything. Jenny gladly accepts because she’s more of a meddler than those kids on Scooby Doo.

Laurie
Even after he admits to her that Parker has already threatened him with a restraining order (!!!) and returned the letter like, six times.

Alex
And before Jenny can try to give the letter to Parker *ding ding ding* another fucking fire. Why is no one actively looking for the arsonist!?

Laurie
Reason 10,378 why Tom sucks: when Mary calls him to basically lay on the guilt trip about Sadie, he instantly crumbles under the pressure and agrees to go along with her crappy scheme to boost sales. This includes a photo op with Santa, an appearance at her book signing, and a family interview for the local tv show.

Alex
We then get a crappy montage of Tom and Honest Jay having a skate wrap off. It’s as lame as it sounds and they’re not even aware there’s a competition but Tom’s smugness of his wrapping prowess makes him the winner. His other gifts include a doll that Mary always wanted as a kid (that Honest Jay eschewed in favour of figure skates, naturally), a plastic firefighter helmet from Jenny’s past, and a huge diamond ring for her, if she wants it.

Laurie
Hilariously Honest Jay really seems to struggle with wrapping paper which is exactly what I look like every year.
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So it’s Christmas Eve and the morning of the book signing/photo op/TV interview, and Mary wakes up with the world’s largest zit on her forehead and is freaking the fuck out. Honest Jay’s solution is to throw a slab of steak on her face.
“Get this piece of meat off of me!” she yells, which is probably not the first time Honest Jay has had a woman say that to him.

Alex
Even worse the steak is clearly taken from the freezer but flops around like it’s straight off the cow.
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Laurie
No Alex.
That steak is straight out of those little kid kitchen sets with fake food.

Alex
Either way that steak to the face trick saved Mary at Nationals and it can save her again!

Laurie
Mary and Honest Jay argue about Sadie’s Christmas gifts because he reiterates that she’ll be getting FIGURE SKATES, and not the tablet she obviously wants, because kids don’t know what they need!
Just then, Rob calls from Green Screen Thailand (“What happened to Barbados?” “Barbados, pfft! Raining!”) to tell her that they had a massive surge of pre-sales which has gotten her very close to the New York Times Best Seller List.
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Alex
Rob of course continues his streak of hanging up quickly but at least he gives an excuse this time that it’s $10 a minute.

Laurie
Hilariously right behind Mary, Honest Jay grumbles that he didn’t buy enough books (thus not getting her on the list yet) and wanders off to “fix this”.

Alex
Sadie comes trotting down to make fun of Mary’s zit only to get sent right back upstairs because Mary has a call to make to Tom.

Laurie
OKAY so Tom tries to play hardball with Mary and ONCE AGAIN gets played by her, agreeing to come along…but only to the tv interview and photo, no book signing!
Tom is the world’s shittiest negotiator as the book signing is the least public or permanent event and he only does this because Mary threatens to not let Sadie get her hockey skates.
THIS IS WHAT YOUR LEGAL COUNSEL IS FOR, TOM!

Alex
Obviously having overheard her mother threaten her father on Christmas Eve, Sadie’s crying on the stairs…although that would give crying a bad name. This is the second time the crying has looked fake. It can’t be the actors making these choices right?

Laurie
I feel bad saying this about a kid actor (actually no I don’t but I feel bad writing it on the internet) but she looks like Screech trying to muster up tears.


Alex
Don’t worry, the rest of the crying is adults from now on but it’s still no better.
At Mary’s book signing, she only has two people show up which is embarassing for her and is also being filmed for that interview, meaning that it will be a national embarrassment as well.

Laurie
Honest Jay, always lurking and never working, is more worried about Sadie playing a lame game with local kids rather than practicing her skating (she’s in the town square! how could she possibly be skating right now!).
When I first saw this scene I didn’t see Sadie and thought he was just scolding a group of random children.

Alex
Sadly not out of character.
Tom finally shows up for the Santa photo op, which is to take place as her book signing takes a ‘break’.

Laurie
Unfortunately, Jenny chooses this opportunity to show up at the book signing (remember how her parents are big Mary Hamilton fans?).
Tom did not tell her he was going to be there, I’m pretty sure, right?
Scratch that.
It’s very obvious he never told her!

Alex
We get a bizarre and just flat out ridiculous scene with Santa; I kinda want to write all of this because i’m afraid you’re going to miss all the details but alas I’ll try and include you. It starts with Mary arguing with Santa that she’s on a tight timeline but Santa’s on break because he’s union, bitch. As Jenny is stealing, then not stealing a copy of Mary’s book, then getting Parker to forge Mary’s autograph, we overhear Mary herself arguing with Santa…except Santa isn’t saying anything in return. So all we hear for some reason is poorly edited (and the exact same) voiceovers of her bullying Santa.

Laurie
Jenny finally gets curious enough to check out why all the locals have gathered around only to discover her boyfriend trying to haul his ex-wife off Santa Claus while she fat shames him (Sadie seems delighted by this, which: rude).
Mary also drops in that if Tom loves her, he’d support her with this! This is a record scratch moment for Jenny obviously
but when Mary pushes Santa, causing a piece of his sandwich to lodge in his fat throat, Jenny casually steps up to save the day.

Alex
Sadie begins an expository chant of “Santa’s choking, save Santa!” and the other kids join in too. Jenny of course takes her time getting over there which seems to be a reoccurring theme here of her taking life endangering events much too casually. She appears to dry hump Santa to get the lodged sandwich piece from his mouth which is spat right into Mary’s hair; all in slow motion!

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Sadie also starts another expository chant of “Jenny saved Santa!” because you the viewer are no doubt browsing the internet by now while absent mindedly listening to the movie in the background. To top it off, the TV crew has been filming this whole time so Mary tries to save face by signing Jenny’s book (which now contains Parker’s forgery as well) and saying she’s the real hero.

Laurie
This next part is just appalling so let me break it down:
When Jenny confronts Tom, he hides behind the excuse that Mary wouldn’t let him give the skates to Sadie until after Christmas, when it’s too late.
She calls him out for falling for Mary’s shit and stalks off. yay Jenny!
Still in the town square in front of his daughter and locals, he loudly yells at Mary that they’re DONE, THEY’RE OVER, NO CHANCE IN HELL OF THEM GETTING BACK TOGETHER!
He literally says “the war is on, Mary!”
Fantastic parenting all around.

Alex
Sadie interrupts to cry “What about me?” to which Honest Jay snaps at her that these are adult matters.

Laurie
Sadie runs off after Jenny and, much like he did with Jenny and will continue to do throughout the movie, Tom does that thing where you say the person’s name weakly to stop them from leaving, but you don’t actually make any attempt to stop them, so Sadie goes to be with the only sane person, Jenny.
Mary tells him that there’s no way Sadie’s getting Tom’s gifts on Christmas Day and he’s all YOU WANNA BET and Honest Jay’s all BRING IT (he actually says that).
Tom wanders over to Jenny, who’s busy comforting poor Sadie before she’s called away by Mary and Honest Jay.
Inexplicably, Tom deduces that Sadie is going to be heartbroken. Perhaps by her parents showing zero restraint in publicly airing their dirty laundry over her custody?
NO, TOM THINKS SHE’LL BE DEVASTATED BY NOT GETTING THE HOCKEY SKATES (THAT SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW EXIST)!
I want Tom to burn in a fucking fire.

Alex
Too bad he’s got a brilliant plan after Jenny tells him Santa “always finds a way.”. He slaps on a Santa suit, but it’s just a lamely stuffed Santa jacket and his jeans and his plan doesn’t even require it. Even though it’s Christmas Eve, he leaves his shop unlocked in the middle of the day! Shouldn’t that be a busy time for you Tom! I haven’t seen any other employees working in this store!

Laurie
Tom doesn’t give a shit about anything except those fucking skates.
I wish there was a sequel to this movie in which the town’s serial arsonist traps Tom in his store and burns it down.

In BROAD FUCKING DAYLIGHT, Tom waltzes right up Honest Jay’s driveway to do some serious trespassing with his stupid Santa bag even though Honest Jay had just threatened him to stay clear away from his house.

Alex
But the door is of course locked…and clearly Tom just thought it would be open because he’s completely flabbergasted by this (which I guess makes his leaving his shop more legit). After looking around, he decides the chimney is the best way to get in.

Laurie
The movie cuts away for us to choke on some forced sappiness. Even though Jenny has watched a family disintegrate before her eyes, she decides to force Deadbeat Daddy’s letter on Parker and guilt the shit out of him into reading it when he is clearly in pain.
Where’s that MIND YA BUSINESS fresh prince gif when you need it?
Also, are you going to make fun of Parker’s crying?

Alex
You know I am. So the letter basically explains NOTHING. It’s literally just his dad saying he’s missed Parker and he’s sorry. Of course it’s poorly narrated by his dad while we slowly zoom in on some of the worst crying I’ve ever seen. I was on the verge of tears as well. Tears of laughter. I almost did a spit take at the end when Parker sobs “dad…daddy”
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Again this crying can’t be the actors’ choices. It wouldn’t suprise me if the director of this movie forced this crying method on them because secretly he’s a robot created to direct christmas movies and has never actually seen anyone cry.

Laurie
That’s one theory.
In a scene that cracked me up, Honest Jay takes Mary and Sadie out for lunch at Joe’s (no ball pit scene this time, sadly) and loudly toasts to all the patrons that his daughter has just made it onto the NYTBSL.
Mary’s immediately suspich because she had literally three sales all day, but Honest Jay insists Rob’s assistant called him (and not Mary??) earlier with the good news.
Even though the other patrons are now back to their own meals, he continues to toast her.
And… is Sadie drinking fucking whiskey? She’s holding a tumbler with amber liquid at the bottom…
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THIS IS WHAT THIS FAMILY HAS DRIVEN HER TO. She is drinking hard liquor in the middle of the day and nobody cares!

Alex
I think she would have a better childhood being raised by the arsonist.
And now that we know where Honest Jay is, let’s go back to Tom robbing his house. Tom has somehow found a ladder and climbs onto the roof for my favourite scene.

It was already bad enough that this is clearly a green screened roof but the addition of this PLANE CRASH makes me oh so joyful. Clearly that is a shot of a plane from directly underneath but because we’re watching this scene from a horizontal angle the way they’ve superimposed it has made it look like that plane will crash directly into the ground and at a high speed, no less. There’s no explosion but I suspect there were no survivors and that it’s the work of the town arsonist.

By the end of this scene Tom of course gets stuck in the chimney despite there clearly being plenty of room.

Laurie
As we’ll see in a bit, this chimney makes no sense. Honest Jay, Mary, and Sadie roll up to see Tom’s car parked outside because he’s SO STUPID.

Alex
Hey now he parked it like 3 houses down.

Laurie
Honest Jay gets all murderer in the face, excited at the prospect of beating the shit out of Tom but they can’t find him anywhere.

Alex
Just at that time, Tom gets a call from Jenny but as he tries to answer and ask for her help getting out of the chimney, he drops his phone and yells what should’ve been his catchphrase for the entire movie: “Ah, frankincense!”

Laurie
Hearing the ringtone and determined to find Tom, Honest Jay and Sadie are running around the house when Mary gets a call from a beachy Rob. He’s got some bad news – she’s off the NYTBSL.
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But why, she screams!

Alex
Turns out, Honest Jay bought all the books to ensure Mary would be a success and the NYT’s somehow found out. Mary is crestfallen and Rob tells her they have until Monday to figure it out, or else the NYT will write a story about her shitty scam artist dad committing fraud.

Laurie
Mary doesn’t reveal that she knows the truth yet, because Honest Jay runs in to tell her that the TV crew is here for the Christmas Eve interview (which is not a thing).
And they want a fire in the fireplace!!! Tom is freaking out until he hears that the flue is broken, so a lit Christmas tree will have to do.

Alex
As the interview starts, Tom’s logic in this situation continues to make less and less sense: he’s stuck, he knows he’s stuck, yet I guess he’s too proud or too afraid of being murdered to come out. But the more he waits, the worse it gets. Is his plan to just live there for the rest of his life?

Laurie
He could’ve played it off as Santa arriving for the live TV interview to surprise his daughter with skates!
Then Honest Jay wouldn’t be able to a) murder him or b) take the skates away, or at least not until the crew has left.

Alex
Tom also doesn’t remember he has a date with Jenny, one that he’s currently missing. Naturally she’s been seated right where she can watch the live TV interview while waiting for her insufferable boyfriend.

Laurie
So Sadie and Mary are shittily co-reading The Night Before Christmas on air while Honest Jay just sits off to the side and Tom slides further down the chimney because it’s literally been HOURS that he’s been stuck, causing a bunch of soot to dislodge.
The host makes a joke about chimney mice but Honest Jay is like a fucking war vet, obsessing over what’s up there (despite this all being live and in the camera’s background).

Alex
Meanwhile, Tom begins reciting the story along with Mary and Sadie because his logic is super confusing. I guess he finally realized the severity of the situation.

Laurie
Honest Jay screaming “WHO’S UP THERE?” into the chimney is one of the funniest parts of this whole movie.
Like, he had already suspected Tom was inside the house and now when he hears a male voice speaking, and can probably see a body up there, HE STILL HAS TO YELL THAT?

Alex
The TV crew cuts to an Honest Jay commercial, which Jenny shuts off even though it’s the restaurant’s bar television, so she can try calling Tom again. The phone vibrates at the bottom of the chimney and Honest Jay is now just like a dog with a squirrel trapped above it.
But first, Parker’s dad shows up at the bar and tells Jenny he’s meeting Parker there in five minutes, all thanks to her meddling ways.

Laurie
You’re jumping ahead!!
First, Mary gets a Life Lesson from the TV host while Honest Jay is getting blasted from chimney soot as he realizes his ex-son-in-law is the chimney sweeper du jour.18

“IT’S TOM. HE’S IN MY FIREPLACE.”
The host is all, Mary you gotta get right with yourself and stop trying to please everyone. Except the ONLY PERSON she tries to please is Honest Jay and he’s a fucking psychopath.

Alex
I know you loved this scene so I’ll let you throw some adjectives about it.

Laurie
OMG so then Honest Jay picks up the fire poker and starts stabbing up into the chimney, trying to literally impale Tom, while Sadie is pleading GRANDPA NO!
She even calls 911!!!
19
This poor kid is gonna be on COPS before she turns 13

Alex
Except 911 clearly recognizes her, probably because she’s called so many times before, so it’s not that big of a deal. She states she needs Jenny Jenkins to come rescue her dad from the chimney.

Laurie
Back to the bar: this Parker/Deadbeat Daddy reunion is SO PRIVATE to be having in front of other people, let alone people dining on Christmas Eve.
Parker’s sobbing again and Deadbeat Daddy’s like, let’s just calm down now, let’s not rehash the past (aka how shitty of a father I am!!!).
27

Alex
You left out that Deadbeat Daddy finds out he’s also a Deadbeat Granddaddy.

Laurie
So Jenny gets the call and arrives at Honest Jay’s alone and climbs the roof in order to rescue her dumb shit of a boyfriend, rather than leave his stupid ass stranded. Instead, she snipes at him for not doing any of this for Sadie but for himself (right!), but she still feels bad enough to try and save him.

Alex
So even though Tom appears to be about halfway down the chimney of a two-storey house, Jenny can easily bend over and almost reach him despite neither of them being Michael Jordan in the finale of Space Jam.

That sliding type of action shot hasn’t worked in anything since the 1960s Batman series.

Laurie
Firefighter or not, Tom should have just let gravity do the job and slid the rest of the way down! (I mean, Honest Jay IS waiting there with his fire poker but still)
Instead he pulled his poor girlfriend in with him because he’d rather let everyone else do the work for him in life than do shit for himself.

Alex
Sadie’s first reaction to all of this is to ask Jenny if she wants to stay to open the first Christmas present, but Tom and Jenny need to have a serious talk. Sadie complains about adults constantly having “secret meetings” without her. Instead of talking though, Jenny just says “Tom…” and then walks out of the house.

Laurie
Listen.
If I were Jenny, I’d be out of that house so fucking fast, nothing could stop me.
Tom’s chiseled face and physique does not make up for being the worst!

Alex
Well at least he’s got the good sense to follow her outside where she breaks up with because he’s still playing games (with her heart) and because his life is hella dramatic. Sadie watches her sole friend in the world leave and adds it to her list of therapy fodder.

Laurie
Sadie then has to listen to everyone else fight over grandpa’s garbage opinions about girl sports v. boy sports, and what’s best for her (despite doing shit that is continually traumatizing her).

Alex
Well she’s had enough! After some more fighting about the skates, Sadie finally explodes and yells at the adults to stop fighting and that she wishes she could break up with all of them like Jenny did! She then goes to her room to spare herself more trauma.

Laurie
Maybe SADIE’S the arsonist? It would explain so much, including her dead eyes
20
She desperately seeks attention and comfort, and literally the only person in the movie who provides it to her is Jenny…a firefighter!

Alex
So she lights fires to attract Jenny…interesting theory.
Anyway it’s time for more character mood swings and flip flops! Mary, upon seeing Tom’s gifts, such as the ring for Jenny and the doll for her, finally confronts Honest Jay who BTW she calls James throughout even though he’s her dad. She tells him too many of her Christmases were ruined by her having to go figure skating. She’s broke, living at home with him and is basically a trophy on his mantle. If Sadie wants to play hockey and get a tablet for Christmas then that’s what she should get. Mary is moving out tomorrow!

Laurie
But her book sales are abysmal! If she’s broke, where is she going? Is she uprooting Sadie with her?
MAKE BETTER DECISIONS, MARY, but also you are very correct in moving the furthest away from Honest Jay.

Alex
Her gamble pays off though and Honest Jay asks for forgiveness and it’s apparently given because Mary never really wanted to move out anyways. Honest Jay’s only admission of wrongdoing is packaged under the idea that he lost the “spirit of Christmas” despite clearly being an asshole for YEARS. This whole story will likely repeat next year because people don’t change instantaneously. Also it wouldn’t be a Christmas movie if it weren’t revealed that Mary’s mom is dead!

Laurie
Tom, still OBSESSED with the fucking skates and nothing else, goes to Sadie’s room to bother her even more and give her the gift because he has to prove he’s the best gift giver in this family.
All the kid wants is to be reassured that none of this is her fault, that they’ve been acting selfish around her, and will do better to be a good family to one another. IT’S NOT DIFFICULT.

Alex
That said, she enjoys the skates despite my previous comments that they’re too big and are player skates signed by a goalie. Furthermore if she wears the skates, won’t the autograph come off rendering them just a regular pair?
Now it’s time for Sadie to give Tom a gift – a handmade Christmas card with a drawing of Jenny, Tom, Sadie and Mary all holding hands…away in the corner is Honest Jay.
21
Tom asks “Why’s grandpa all alone?” and then she gives him this look.
28

Laurie
That part was so funny to me.
Here he is, being the world’s worst grandpa and father (with Tom as a close second), and his punishment is that he’s banished to being alone forever even within his own family.
He barely gets a redemption arc! It’s perfect.

Alex
All he does is promise to stop controlling his family and just become a regular grandpa.
Sadie comes to apologize to her mom for her outburst, despite it being completely warranted. Mary admits that Tom has finally fought back against her controlling ways and therefore Jenny deserves him and he can have Sadie for Christmas…because she’s still an object to be passed around between them, despite all the promises for change.

Laurie
If Sadie isn’t already the town’s budding arsonist at this point, she definitely will be.
There is ZERO chance Honest Jay – who went from trying to stab his ex-son-in-law moments ago!!! – is going to change that dramatically.
But sure, let’s give ol’ HJ a moment of kindness when he admits that Tom and Jenny are a part of their family (who the fuck would want to ever be in this family willingly?!).

Alex
But there’s one thing still left! Tom needs to get Jenny back and he’ll need all their help!
Jenny has run off to the firehouse, her only home, which is completely isolated so she can cry alone.
Her crying is seriously the worst of the bunch (a fact I thought impossible after Parkers initial cry).
It’s so fake and sad sounding and also seems to go on longer than any of the other ones.

Laurie
I am very disappointed that we never got a Honest Jay cry scene tbh.
ANYWAY jenny is holed upstairs, crying away, when she hears Sadie and others call out her name.
Ugh this whole final scene is the shit cherry on top of a shit cake with regards to Tom.
He proves once and for all that he has no idea about how anything works and doesn’t really seem to care, because he has literally gathered all the locals (including the crazy senior in a wheelchair, who is out WAY past his bedtime!) in the firehouse, along with Mary and Honest Jay, who only had the nicey-nice reconciliation after Jenny had already left.

Alex
They all share how she’s amazing and helped them. There’s the lady whose son she saved from the house fire, and then Parker recounts how she saved his life while Parker’s dad recounts how she brought them together and that he’ll get to meet his grandson tomorrow morning. Why tomorrow? Why not tonight? And furthermore where is this grandson again? Parker’s mute wife is right there next to him, again not saying a word. Are we supposed to believe they found a babysitter on Christmas Eve!?

Laurie
Also…why I have such a big problem with this scene is that…that shit isn’t Jenny’s issue.
She’s not lacking confidence about herself. She’s totally cool.
She doesn’t need these people to be like “WE LOVE YOU JENNY YOU’RE OUR HERO”, she just wanted her stupid fucking boyfriend to get his shit figured out!
You KNOW that anytime they fight from now on, Tom’s gonna be like, “but what about when I saved you on Christmas eve”.

Alex
More like the time he used the townsfolk as a public display so that she would have to take him back.
And take him back she does, all because he says “I love you”.
Jenny is literally shocked by this and makes him repeat it multiple times, like to the point that it’s clear that Tom has never said it to her before despite the fact they’ve been dating a year.

Laurie
Oh no, he has definitely never said those words before.
Knowing Tom, he probably took it back like five hours later during an argument.

Alex
As Tom loudly proclaims that he does, in fact, love her, Jenny slides down the fire pole, which is hilarious and unnecessary.
giphy-29
Tom then asks her to marry him with a sparkling piece of product placement.
22
Do you really think it’s wise to marry someone who only told you 30 seconds earlier that they loved you? I’m a dude and I’m all for playing it cool at the start of the relationship but it seriously shouldn’t take a year to get to the “I love you point”. But even if it did, once you get there, the next words out of your mouth should not be “will you marry me?”!!!

Laurie
Oh absolutely agreed.

Alex
Even worse, Tom’s proposal is “Will you be my forever wife?” which is just a terrible, bad combination of words that’s not as romantic sounding as they clearly think it is.

Laurie
LOL “as opposed to Mary, my not-forever wife, standing right beside me”.

Alex
Oh god it hurts to think how he proposed to Mary.

Laurie
Probably involved their love of the ice.

Alex
“Will you be my ice ice baby?”

Laurie
This is probably not far off from the reality.
Anyway Jenny says yes because everyone she knows just freely accepts shitty behaviour from others. Everyone’s super happy when it starts snowing, which is a big deal because it hasn’t snowed on Christmas Day in 30 years.
Well, everyone’s happy…except Honest Jay.23

And that’s because Honest Jay’s whole promo is that any cars purchased from him during the month of December are free if it snows on Christmas Day. Behind him is the fire chief, who’s thrilled because he just bought a car yesterday!

Alex
At least he accepts his fate and that’s honourable since 1) we know he bought all of Mary’s books and probably spent a fortune and 2) he’s about to give away a bunch of cars for free. Honest Jay is going to be broke…but he accepts it like a man and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.

Laurie
You know that Honest Jay is calling his lawyers on Christmas Day to renege on this deal and find a loophole.

Alex
I’m surprised he’s not his own lawyer.

Laurie
lol that is a very good point. He probably is. Same nickname too, I’m sure. Either way, I love that Honest Jay’s story arc goes from: meddling father > crappy grandpa > evil ex-father-in-law > evil father and grandpa and ex-father-in-law > MURDEROUS > semi-contrite > laughingstock.
So, that ends our tale of woe and misery on Christmas…

Alex
But wait there’s more! After Jenny accepts the proposal and makes out with Tom, we see Sadie wearing the firemans hat that Tom had bought for Jenny. The movie decides that it doesn’t have time to give Jenny the sentimental gift but instead it has time for her and Sadie to make the heart symbol to each other with their hands. Why!? This wasn’t a thing they did all movie! Why now!?
2425

To hammer home the heart theme, the movie also has the gall to end on a heart-shaped wipe into a message boldly stating MERRY CHRISTMAS and then the credits. Sadly because the movie is so jumbled and bad, this doesn’t even make it into the top 10 worst choices.

Laurie
I don’t remember this so I must’ve been in a rage blackout by then.
OMG ALEX.
THE MOVIE WRITER BRIAN SKIBA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE HORRIBLE DEAN CAIN CHRISTMAS MOVIES.
Including Beverly Hills Christmas, Defending Santa, AND the supremely awful Merry Ex-Mas which ALSO featured bad CGI, shitty people going through divorce, and crazy old people!

Alex
This shouldn’t come as big as a surprise to you. Frankly if you’re into writing or directing Christmas movies you’ve got Dean Cain on your resume somewhere.

Laurie
True.
Now I’m even angrier.
Alright I think that about covers it. There’s probably no need to cap it off with our final thoughts…
Scratch that.
My final words are fuck you, brian skiba!
Alex? Final words?

Alex
My final words will be a promise to write ‘Firehouse Christmas 2: Firestarter’
It will get dark.

Laurie
Perfect.
Now, we couldn’t be more opposite on our final rating so here goes nothing.

THE END

Laurie’s Rating:
1 Rating
Alex’s Rating:

4 Rating

 

 

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One thought on “Alex and Laurie Co-Recap: A Firehouse Christmas (2016)

  1. The blog post was fun, however, I think a little more attention should be paid to the punctuation. There were punctuation marks in random spots where they shouldn’t be and it was distracting.

    Like

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