Steven Weber in The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve (2004)

Another Twelve Days

If I asked you to name a movie where a character lives the same day over and over again I would wager that you would say "Groundhog Day" as Bill Murray's comedy is so well known. But it isn't the only movie to use the whole rpeating day theme and in 2004 it was used in the made for TV Christmas movie "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" starring Steven Weber and Molly Shannon. That is not the only recognizable element to "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" as we have a workaholic father who puts business before family plus a small touch of Scrooge as he expects his assistant to work all hours as well. It is a fun idea but sadly "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" lacks a spark as whilst there is comedy, comedy and more comedy it never really makes you laugh.

It's Christmas Eve and Calvin Carter (Steven Weber - Love Letters) is excited, not because Christmas is near but because he has an important business meeting for a lucrative contract and nothing is going to get in his way. As such he not only stands up his girlfriend Rhianna (Stefanie von Pfetten) for lunch and misses his son's carol service but he also forces his assistant to work when he should be with his family. And when the day ends Calvin thinks it has been a perfect day till the sign outside his office falls on his head and he wakes up in a hospital with nurse Angie (Molly Shannon - My Boss's Daughter) standing over him. After drifting off he wakes up again only to discover it is the start of Christmas Eve again and he has the whole day to relive and this continues a cycle of him ending up not only reliving the day but meeting Angie in hospital.

Molly Shannon in The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve (2004)

So as you can see "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" doesn't have a lot of originality about it as on top of the "Groundhog Day" idea as Calvin relives Christmas Eve again and again we also have other standard cliches from being a workaholic father to trying to act a good guy but failing because he doesn't mean it. As such it isn't a great spoiler when I say that for 11 days Calvin continually ends up failing to escape the cycle as he doesn't understand why he has to relive Christmas Eve until right at the last he discovers the purpose of all of this. It isn't completely terrible for being so obvious but it does make it one of those Christmas movies you could put on whilst doing other things and not really miss much if you take your eyes off of it for a few minutes.

But whilst "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" is in fairness a fun idea for a movie it does lack one crucial element and that is as a comedy it lacks spark. It tries to be amusing especially through the various ways that Calvin ends up in the hospital each night from a finger pointing sign flattening him like a pancake to a Wile E Coyote drain cover moment but it all seems so flat. In fact it is so flat it is also lacking another expected Christmas element and that is cheese which might appeal to some people but for me that lack of cheesy scenes left it feeling unfinished.

As for the acting, well Steve Weber is amusing enough as Calvin but he just doesn't get across the manic part of the character you expect whilst Molly Shannon as Nurse Angie lacks that mischievousness which her character is calling out for. It is the same through out as none of the performances and characters really jump off of the screen which again is what this sort of movie needs even if it does feel over the top.

What this all boils down to is that "The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve" is an entertaining little Christmas movie which nicely uses ideas from other movies. But it never really comes to life when it comes to the humour and so ends up feeling surprisingly low-key.

Tags: TV Christmas Movies, Christmas Movies