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Review: ABC Family’s Holidaze is Ho Ho Ho-Hum

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Jennie Garth  and Cameron Mathison star in a new ABC Family movie, Holidaze, as part of the channel's “25 Days of Christmas.” The film tells the story of Melody, a driven career woman who returns home during Thanksgiving — for work. 

Melody must get her family and former neighbors of Streetsville, Illinois to approve the building of a large retail conglomerate in their sleepy town. Matters are further complicated when Melody is flung back together with Carter (Mathison), her high school sweetheart, who vehemently opposes the new store. After hitting her head, the workaholic wakes up in an alternate universe where she never left home, and is married to Carter. 

Holidaze is essentially a retelling of 2000’s The Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage. That film itself was similar to the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.  Unlike the others, this movie is not one you’ll likely want to re-watch next year. 

Every December, ABC Family debuts Christmas movies like this, and some are more successful than others.  The Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar starrer, 12 Dates of Christmas, from 2011 is an example of how the channel successfully launches a holiday flick. 

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Like Holidaze, it was a retelling of a classic film with a female lead, this time Groundhog’s Day, and the result was utterly charming. You knew where it was going the entire time, yet still enjoyed the ride. 

Holidaze holds no such joy. Each character is a walking cliché. This could have been overlooked, if not for the poor acting. Most of the actors give uninspired performances, and seem bored with their own story. It’s hard to root for any of the characters because of it. 

You keep waiting for the movie to get better because, honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a cute holiday movie?  Unfortunately, this one never rises. There are a couple nice moments, like a cute tickle fight between Melody and her beau. Mathison being shirtless a lot of the time definitely helps! 

Viewers who enjoy holiday movies and take pleasure in the yearly “25 Days of Christmas” programming might still want to check this out, especially with most shows on winter hiatus. While there’s some mild adult humor, the rom-com is appropriate to sit and watch with the whole family. 

Holidaze airs Sunday, Dec. 8 at 8 pm EST on ABC Family. 

Photo Credit: ABC Family