Monday, November 27, 2023

Adam and Alison Watch Christmas Movies: REPORTING FOR CHRISTMAS

 by Adam Thas and Alison Thas

We're back and watching movies for the holiday season!

Alison: For our first movie this season, Adam and I decided to try a local product that was shot only a few miles north of us in Long Grove, Illinois. It only took one viewing of the poster to realize the “Reporting” in Reporting for Christmas is not about the military, but instead follows Mary Romero (Tamara Feldman) as a big city reporter from Chicago who is sent to do a fluff piece about a toy company in a small town in Iowa. She quickly falls in love with the son of the owner, Blake Johnson (Matt Trudeau).
As a setting goes, you could not ask for somewhere nicer than Long Grove, especially during the winter. The small town feel works perfectly with the just right amount of snow in every scene. As far as a characters, Mary is very much a stereotype – obsessed with her career and could not see herself living anywhere except Chicago. I was not a big fan of Trudeau as the love interest, I found myself more fascinated with if his hair was dyed salt and pepper grey or not than what he was doing on the screen. While Reporting for Christmas brings a lot of the visuals that I love in these movies, the dialogue was laughable to the point of nonsense. For what it is, it’s in the middle as far as holiday movies goes. It’s not a great movie but definitely better than the movies we have opened the season with the past few years (I’m looking at you, Christmas on the Farm).

Adam: It would be very easy to dump on a movie like Reporting for Christmas. From the “coffee shop” that is clearly someone’s living room, or what may be the worst Christmas tree in cinematic history, there is plenty to find. Watching more than two dozen of these movies, there are things I’ve come to appreciate and look forward to in them. With most of these movies, their budget is microscopic compared to the normal Hollywood movie. With small budgets comes people who are just getting their start or maybe haven’t gotten a chance to star in something like this. First up, shout-out to Ellie Langshaw, who was in charge of set decoration. I cannot imagine that the budget for her department was very large and she did a great job making every scene feel full. Second shout-out goes to Kelvin John Davis, an actor with three credits on IMDB, who plays Crash the cameraman. He was charming, fun, and stole the show out of all the performances.
Being from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago where Reporting for Christmas was written, shot and directed, I was curious to why they chose an Aaron Rodgers look alike as the main love interest. However, after watching it I’m going to imagine that this movie is just trolling everyone’s favorite (former) Packers quarterback. At some point in the movie, Blake (our Aaron Rodgers doppelg√§nger), hates the media, lies, and then refuses to talk to reporters. The resemblance to Rodgers is so close that when our two main characters started to get close, my lovely wife shouted out, “Careful, he’s not vaccinated!”

Even with a few good performances or my imagined Aaron Rodgers trolling, it’s pretty hard to enjoy much in Reporting for Christmas. It was so desperate to pad the runtime in an empty and formulaic plot that there is literally a scene where the main character “tries the meatloaf.” I can appreciate the effort in making the movie; it just wasn’t very good. There are a lot of these movies out there, and if you check out our list below, you’ll see there are plenty better than this one.

Adam’s List:
1) Holidate (2020, Netflix)
2) Love Hard (2021, Netflix)
3) Your Christmas or Mine (2022, Amazon)
4) Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix)
5) Snowed Inn (2017, Hallmark)
6) The Princess Switch (2018, Netflix)
7) Falling for Christmas (2022, Netflix)
8) The Knight Before Christmas (2019, Netflix)
9) Midnight at the Magnolia (2020, Netflix)
10) Christmas Under Wraps (2014, Hallmark)
11) Reporting for Christmas (2023, Hulu)
12) The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020, Netflix)
13) The Noel Diary (2022, Netflix)
14) The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021, Netflix)
15) One Royal Holiday (2020, Hallmark)
16) Christmas on the Farm (2022, Hulu)
17) Holiday in the Wild (2019, Netflix)
18) Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018, Hallmark)
19) Three Wise Men and a Baby (2022, Hallmark)

Alison’s List:
1) The Princess Switch (2018, Netflix)
2) Your Christmas or Mine (2022, Amazon)
3) Love Hard (2021, Netflix)
4) Holiday Calendar (2018, Netflix)
5) Falling for Christmas (2022, Netflix)
6) Holidate (2020, Netflix)
7) The Knight Before Christmas (2019, Netflix)
8) Midnight at the Magnolia (2020, Netflix)
9) Christmas Under Wraps (2014, Hallmark)
10) Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018, Hallmark)
11) The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (2020, Netflix)
12) Snowed Inn (2017, Hallmark)
13) Reporting for Christmas (2023, Hulu)
14) The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021, Netflix)
15) One Royal Holiday (2020, Hallmark)
16) The Noel Diary (2022, Netflix)
17) Three Wise Men and a Baby (2022, Hallmark)
18) Christmas on the Farm (2022, Hulu)
19) Holiday in the Wild (2019, Netflix)

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