Well, Merry Christmas, I guess! Even though it’s not even October yet, Netflix is getting the jump on the holiday season and releasing info on three upcoming Christmas-themed flicks: Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Holidate, and Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. Two of these titles are musicals, one is a rom-com. And all three will attempt to put you in the holiday spirit even though life is an endless cavalcade of Boschian nightmares!
Let’s kick things off with Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, shall we? Written and directed by David E. Talbert, the film is described as “A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages,” and “follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within.” The cast also includes Sharon Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Kieron Dyer, Justin Cornwell, Lisa Davina Phillip, and Hugh Bonneville. The movie also features oiginal songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and “This Day” performed by Usher and Kiana Ledé.
I just want to add that this plot – apprentice runs off with famed toymaker’s creation – is very similar to the absolutely bonkers 1985 movie Santa Claus: The Movie, where Dudley Moore plays a drunk elf who steals some of Santa’s magic and sells it to an evil Trumpian businessman, played by a very hammy John Lithgow. I’m sure Jingle Jangle will be a much more earnest movie, though. Look for it globally on Netflix on November 13, 2020.
Now it’s time for Holidate! Written by Tiffany Paulsen and directed by John Whitesell, this film follows two characters – Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) who hate the holidays. Why? Well: “They constantly find themselves single, sitting at the kids table, or stuck with awkward dates. But when these two strangers meet one particularly bad Christmas. They make a pact to be each other’s “holidate” for every festive occasion throughout the next year. With a mutual disdain for the holidays, and assuring themselves that they have no romantic interest in the other. They make the perfect team. However, as a year of absurd celebrations come to an end. Sloane and Jackson find that sharing everything they hate may just prove to be something they unexpectedly love.”
Also featuring Andrew Bachelor, Jessica Capshaw, Manish Dayal, Alex Moffat, Jake Manley, Cynthy Wu with Frances Fisher and Kristin Chenoweth. Holidate arrives on October 28, 2020 which seems very early for a Christmas movie. But hey, what the fuck do I know.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Finally, here’s…whatever this is! Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, which features Dolly Parton (duh), Treat Williams, Christine Baranski, and Jenifer Lewis, and was directed by Debbie Allen. In the film, “The citizens of a small, middle-America town fight to save themselves from being bought out by a major corporation.” By the look of this poster, Christine Baranski is the person representing the major corporation, and she wants to evict everyone in town! And I guess this takes place during Christmas! Also, based on this poster, Dolly Parton is playing God, looking out over the entire town. Seems about right. Look for this on November 22, 2020.