The Bureau of Christmas Carols
It's Christmas time and the "Bureau of Yuletide Affairs" haven chosen Jack (Tom Arnold - All I Want for Christmas) to get the seasonal treatment as he has turned into a complete Christmas Scrooge due to bad childhood memories and an upsetting divorce. So the spirits of Christmas Past (Leslie Jordan), Present (Andrea Roth - Crazy for Christmas) and Future are prepped to go in to action. Trouble is that the spirit of Christmas Past has become cynical himself and scarpers off leaving Jack stranded back in 1965. It means the spirit of Christmas Spirit must track both Jack and Christmas Past down and guide him back to the present. And maybe as Jack and the spirit of Christmas Present visit various Christmas pasts it will help Jack to fall in love with Christmas again.
Leslie Jordan screeching "Charles Dickens was a two bit hack" or the spirit of Christmas Present shocked that they once sold rifles to children are just a couple of the many truly funny scenes in the surprising "Chasing Christmas". But sadly this Christmas movie has the sort of production which doesn't quite match up to the creativity of the writing. Basically "Chasing Christmas" feels like the production team had to cut corners with scenes looking like they walked in to a shop or borrowed an empty office and asked to use it for half an hour to quickly film scenes. Basically, visually it lacks that finesse and attention to detail, from start to finish, which means it doesn't hold your attention the whole time.
But when you look beyond the production "Chasing Christmas" is a very good movie and a wonderful play on "A Christmas Carol" with a semi behind scenes feel as we learn Charles Dickens stole the idea from the "Bureau of Yuletide Affairs", which is why "Charles Dickens was a two bit hack". But from start to finish this is full of fun ideas and great casting with Leslie Jordan making the movie's early scenes as the cynical spirit of Christmas Past, bringing plenty of attitude to the role. But then this is followed by the equally entertaining Andrea Roth who delivers a mix of bubbly and prim & proper to make her scenes just as much fun especially with Tom Arnold doing a nice job of being a Christmas Scrooge. But it is very much the observations on the past from Jack explaining back in 1965 they didn't lock cars to Christmas Present being confronted by the misogynistic attitude of a store manager.
What this all boils down to is that "Chasing Christmas" is one of those movies where the ideas and the writing are at times brilliant but the production sometimes feels a little cheap which unfortunately lets it down.