NEW YORK — The Hallmark Channel is branching out into new creative territory this year with the addition of a coming of age story about love and loss titled “A Pop Punk Christmas” to its holiday movie lineup, excited company executives confirmed.
“Let’s face it, we’ve been in a creative rut lately,” said Tanner McAdams, Hallmark Channel’s director of programming. “We’ve done the same plotlines to death. The handsome suitor is secretly a prince, the workaholic protagonist reconnects with her high school sweetheart. We wanted to tell a different, more authentic story this year, and what’s more authentic than punk rock? ‘A Pop Punk Christmas’ follows a disaffected lead singer who finds the Christmas spirit, and love, in the last place he’d ever expect: Holidaysburg, the suburban hometown he couldn’t move away from soon enough. Think ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ meets ‘New Found Glory’’ meets ‘Lolita.’”
The film stars Dean Cain as 28-year-old frontman Kyle Haskins of the band Hidden Kingdom, opposite Lacey Chabert as junior varsity field hockey captain Kayleigh Allen.
“Let’s just say Christmas isn’t really Kyle’s thing,” said Cain. “But on a visit home to reconnect with his divorced parents, he realizes the people he remembered as soulless suburbanites are way more authentic than his fake friends in the music industry. This is encapsulated in the character of Kayleigh, who he shares a meet cute with when they both reach for the same eyeliner at Claire’s. The incomparable Stephen Tobolowsky gives a star turn as the Scrooge-like principal who tries to stand in the way of true love, but I get the better of him by crashing the school’s battle of the bands disguised as Santa to skirt a restraining order.”
So far, the film has been universally panned by critics.
“For years, I’ve crapped on Hallmark movies for their derivative plots and saccharine sentimentality,” said Kate Aguilar, film critic at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But somehow this is worse. Much, much worse. You’d think Hallmark would have realized something was amiss when Cain prepared for his role by touring with Brand New and studying up on Megan’s Law. For the love of God, please get back to your roots and stick with the cheesy, milquetoast movie formula.”
At press time, Hallmark executives have announced they will be releasing an accompanying soundtrack featuring original “punk Christmas” songs such as “Merry Christmas (Piss Off)” and “Mature for Your Age.”