A Duff Belle
Following the death of his wife, lawyer Glenn Barrows (Dean Cain) has started to get his life back on track and has started dating Dani (Kristy Swanson). But whilst Glenn maybe getting things sorted his children Elliot (Jet Jurgensmeyer) and Phoebe (Meyrick Murphy) still miss their mum and are overly keen on Dani either. When they meet Kate (Haylie Duff) who is selling the cutest snow coloured puppies they manage to convince their father to get one despite fearing that he will be lumbered with it once the novelty of owning a dog has worn off. But whilst having the dog, which they name Belle, seems to help things Dani is not a dog fan and when Belle goes missing on Christmas Eve, Elliot and Phoebe with the help of their friends try to solve the mystery of the missing dog which they suspect Dani of being involved with.
Look, if all you want is some clean fun to entertain your young children then "A Belle for Christmas" might work as it is simple, inoffensive, features a dog and a couple of children and a lot of forced stereotypes which for young eyes makes them amusing. As such we have Dean Cain doing his usual good guy performance, Kristy Swanson doing pantomime nasty and then there is Haylie Duff who delivers the sweetness which means she is much more likeable, no make that more adorable than Kristy is as Dani. It is far too obvious but then for young children this level of obviousness combined with enough bows, ribbons and Christmas decorations to fill a department store and as I said it will be fine for them. At a push it even works as family viewing when in truth you plan to drop off after filling yourself with Christmas dinner.
But if you are a grown up and stumble across "A Belle for Christmas" and hope to be charmed by a good Christmas movie with some recognizable faces you are likely to be left wanting as it is aimed at the younger crowd. In fact if as a grown up you watch "A Belle for Christmas" without young children around who will be transfixed by the cute puppy it becomes hard work with nothing other than Haylie Duff being adorable to make it work.
What this all boils down to is that "A Belle for Christmas" didn't do it for me and as a grown up found it hard work from start to finish. But for a younger audience, which I am sure it is intended, it should work as a Christmas distraction.