Hello and welcome to a very special edition of Buried Credits we have dubbed “Star Wars Month”! For three weeks in January we will be exploring the films of the three main actors of the original Star Wars trilogy! Buried Credits, a column that deep dives into the IMDB pages of favorite actors, directors, and writers to find their lost, forgotten, or unknown film and TV credits, continues this week with works featuring Carrie Fisher.
It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012)
Hallmark Channel Original Movies to me are like Syfy Original films: they’re never the best, but they always have their heart in the right place. It’s Christmas, Carol! a modern retelling of the Charles Dickens’ timeless novel A Christmas Carol that follows the rude, pompous, barely humane owner of a book publishing company Carol (Emmanuelle Vaugier) on Christmas Eve. It starts off as we get to know our very “lovely” Carol, a ruthless boss who makes everyone work on Christmas day, tells her best worker that she can’t have a leave of absence to go live with the love of her life for a year or so, and fires a single mother of two who suggests they publish a book based on its quality as opposed to its commercial appeal. She is, all-round, a pretty terrible person who lacks a real soul. That night, however, she is visited by the ghost of her deceased boss Eve (Carrie Fisher) and is shown memories of her past, what’s currently going on in the present, and the happy and sad versions of the future that could be, in order for Eve to try and change Carol back into the kind and loving person she once was.
It’s Christmas, Carol! is far from the best movie I’ve ever seen, but again like most Syfy Original films, I enjoy it. For all its rough spots, you really can’t question its heart and the movie never takes itself too seriously; for example, there is a scene where Carol is trying to guess what “movie” they are in after realizing that she’s part of A Christmas Carol and Eve is shouting out Christmas movie names before finally saying: “It’s not Star Wars is it?” It’s moments like these that remind us not to take this film too seriously either and just to have a good time with it.
Having never read A Christmas Carol I can’t say if this is an adaptation Dicken’s would be proud of, but knowing the outline of the classic story and its themes I can say it follows the same beats. The movie has an emotional center and you’d be a cold soul not to find it heartwarming, but at the same time it’s a Hallmark movie so it’s also full of horribly written and hamfisted attempts at romance. On top of that, despite knowing the original story, we all know how it’s going to end. It’s a Hallmark Christmas film and it feels very much like that, so we all know everyone is going to be OK, end up happy, and nothing bad will happen in the long run which makes it very predictable.
Fisher here is great as always, but very different at the same time. Eve’s character seems to have been written just for Carrie Fisher as it honestly feels like a very basic non-sporadic version of Fisher herself. She portrays a fun, goofy, often-eccentric character who just loves books, art, and people. That’s really how Fisher was, especially if you ever watched her on talk shows or interviews. Here, she’s just a bit more refined and focused, as if her best personality traits have been taken and moulded to fit the narrative of the story. She’s great in this. Not her best, that’s for sure, but she’s absolutely adorable and a perfect fit for a nice Christmas film.
It’s Christmas, Carol! is a fun film, but it’s also not that great. There are enough modern deviations from the original tale to make it more unique to watch, some fun cheesy acting, caring space mom Carrie Fisher, and never takes itself too seriously. But it’s also cheesy at times to a fault, obviously predictable with it being a Hallmark Christmas film, and full of dumb, nonsensical romantic scenes. I enjoy it and people who love Christmas movies or cheesy movies will enjoy it, but I’d be hard pressed to call it a treasure. If you want a feel good, but often bad and cheesy Christmas film, then it’s very obviously Buried Treasure. But outside of watching it during Christmas time for those merits, it’s nothing to really write home about. I will say this at least: despite my verdict being unsure as a whole, I will be rewatching this one next Christmas for sure!