Wednesday, December 2, 2020

12 Pups of Christmas (2019) - 'Tis the Season

Streaming Services: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: 12 Pups of Christmas (2019)
Genre: Romance
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Feifer Worldwide, MarVista Entertainment
Director: Michael Feifer
Writer: Michael Feifer
Actors: Charlotte Sullivan, Donny Boaz, Elizabeth Small, Philip Boyd, Jen Nikolaisen, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Kat Marie, April Hobson, Caia Coley, Thomas Bell, Kiana Tavasti
Blurb from IMDb: Recently single and starting a new job in a different city, Erin, a canine therapist, is getting a fresh start. But just when she thought her new life would be the reset she needed, her self-centered boss, Martin, tasks Erin with finding homes for 12 puppies who were left behind after a photo shoot for his struggling GPS locator company - and all before Christmas. As they work together, Erin realizes Martin may not be so bad after all, and her take-charge attitude not only helps Martin save his company, but also reveals a calmer, better self that opens them both up to the idea of love.

Selina’s Point of View:
I firmly believe that this may be the worst movie we’ve seen in the history of our ‘Tis the Season series.
I’ll grant you that most Hallmark and Lifetime films can wind up being repetitive and boring. A lot of them can become guilty pleasures, though. The characters are usually relatable and they make you feel good. None of them re-invent the wheel, but that’s not what you expect from them anyway.
We’ve covered a lot of that type of film during our holiday season, and we know what to expect from them. The worst of them are usually still watchable, even if they’re not winning any awards.
That’s all I expected from 12 Pups of Christmas. It’s not like this was a case of seeming worse because it didn’t fit my expectations.
I have seen movies that are trying to be bad that have better acting, and a better script, than this one did.
It was difficult to watch. It was cringy, overdone, badly directed, and I’m pretty sure the writer learned how to craft a script from watching only the worst B-movies out there.

There were only two good things about 12 Pups of Christmas.
First of all, dogs. The dogs were adorable. I’m a dog person. That’s always a bonus. They were used less than you would expect, though. They took a backseat to the unbelievable human connections that the writer/director tried to force down our throats.
There was, however, the soundtrack.
Due to the fact that this wasn’t a big-budget production, they didn’t have access to the most popularly used, and mostly overdone, Christmas songs. That means they inserted much less used holiday songs that felt fresh. Unfortunately, the movie itself didn’t live up to any of it.
I cannot recommend 12 Pups of Christmas.

Cat’s Point of View:
Tis the season for Christmas movies again! It’s one of my very favorite holidays, and I usually go all-out with decorations and the like during this time of year. (Have I mentioned before I have two entire closets full of Christmas d├ęcor, and then some?)
I say usually because, well… it’s 2020 and it hasn’t FELT like December. My husband and I were just discussing our holiday budget earlier today and it didn’t really hit home how close the date is approaching until right then. So many plans have changed or been placed on hold due to various challenges this past year has brought – both COVID related and not.
Since everything’s been crazy, I’ve found it harder to get in the mood. I’m hoping that our usual round of holiday movies this month will be able to help turn that around.
That being said, let’s get into 12 Pups of Christmas, shall we?
I’m conflicted about this movie, and I’m not sure if it’s my general mood that’s made me Grinchy or if it’s the film, itself, that’s causing the issue.

It was hard to get into. Things felt so strained and awkward. Part of it felt like the acting, but then the situation was a bit on the wonky side, too. I was holding out hope that everything would smooth out. One has to expect a few bumps in the road in a made-for-TV holiday rom-com, right? Unfortunately, things didn’t start picking up for me until closer to the end.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to throw rotten tomatoes at anyone over this movie… but I can tell you I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again.
I do always try to find some positive in everything we watch, however. In the case of 12 Pups of Christmas, I’d have to say that it’s absolutely the set department and cinematography that wins the kudos from me. Some of the shots of New York City lit up for the holidays, and the obligatory skyline scenes were breathtaking. All of the staged set pieces that had Christmas decorations were straight out of my wildest decorating hopes and dreams. I loved it – and it was over the top in a very tasteful way. Nothing felt tacky or too contrived. The puppies were also pretty adorable.
All told, this wasn’t a bad start to get our feet wet while jumping into the festive season – it just wasn’t the best. So many of the movies we’ve watched in the past have set the bar rather high so this one fell a bit short.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating1.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating1.5/5
Trust the Dice Parental Advisory Rating: PG
Movie Trailer:

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