Crazy for Christmas (2005)
Some Calming Christmas Charm
Christmas can be a crazy time, the stress of present buying, making sure there is enough food for the Christmas meal and worrying yourself ragged as to how you are going to pay for it all. It's when it gets too much you need a bit of simple Christmas cheer to make you forget all the stresses and relax for an hour or so and "Crazy for Christmas" is exactly what the doctor orders. This is the most simple, most obvious and cutest Christmas movie you can watch but that is part of the reason why it is so entertaining because you don't need to think about it to enjoy it. The other reason why it is entertaining is Howard Hesseman who oozes cheeky charm as an eccentric millionaire handing out cash to everyone he meets.
As a single mum Shannon McManus-Johnson (Andrea Roth - War) is finding it hard to get the presents which her young son would like for Christmas and just as hard to balance being a mother and her job as a chauffeur. So when she is asked to do a chauffeur job on Christmas eve she is reluctant but with the chance of double money plus a bonus it is impossible to turn down. What she doesn't realise is that she will be driving around eccentric millionaire Fred Nickells (Howard Hesseman - Flight of the Navigator) who takes joy in handing out $100 bills where ever he goes and that she will end up having a TV reporter trailing them around the city as he tries to get the scoop on Fred's eccentric ways. But that is nothing to what she learns about Fred and why he chose her specifically to be his chauffeur for the day.
I won't lie, from the opening scene where we hear Fred Nickells ordering a limo with a specific driver you can guess there will be a reason, a deeper connection as to why he picked single mum Shannon McManus-Johnson. And as the story plays out with Shannon becoming more and more bemused by Fred's eccentric ways as he hands out $100 bills to everyone and anyone you know that his kindly nature is not just him being stupid but something to do with her. It's just as obvious when we meet the handsome TV reporter Peter Archer and you know that beautiful single mum and handsome TV reporter will get it together with a little bit of mischievous match making from Fred. Basically everything about "Crazy for Christmas" is obvious and to make sure it is obvious they sign post pretty much everything which could have been a twist.
But do you know what it doesn't really matter as "Crazy for Christmas" is a movie which just wants to entertain on a sweet, simple level. It just wants to spread a little joy, a little romance and basically make you smile and to be honest it does. There is something quite lovely about it's simplicity and whilst it does layer on the sentimentality very thick, and there is a cringe worthy reference to "Miracle on 34th Street", it basically makes you relax and allows you to feel festive again.
A big reason why "Crazy for Christmas" works is not so much in the casting of Andrea Roth as Shannon or Yannick Bisson as Peter as they are both cliche and beautiful people but it is the casting of Howard Hesseman as Fred the eccentric millionaire. Hesseman may over act but the playfulness he instils in Fred is wonderful and there is a real sense of mischief maker about him which just makes you smile. Watching Fred dish out wads of cash to buy everyone hot dogs or do a touch of match making is just simple and fun exactly what the rest of the movie is.
What this all boils to is that "Crazy for Christmas" is simply a fun, easy going made for TV Christmas movie which will achieve what it sets out to do and that is put a smile on your face. It's the sort of movie you can chill out to when you need to de-stress and need something fun to watch which doesn't need thinking about.
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