Hoax for the Holidays

| October 30, 2011

Casey McMullan (Martha McIsaac) is the only atheist in the small, Catholic town of Nately. As the Christmas season draws near, she tries with all of her might to distance herself from the holiday cheer and spirituality that normally takes over the town during the holidays.
One day, in a fit of rage, Casey throws her coffee at the wall of Krowne’s Donuts, the local donut shop which also functions as her job, and the incredible happens. The figure ends up looking a lot like…Jesus. The strongly religious town sees it as a sign, and they take the celebration of the Christian holiday to the next level. Casey is stuck in the middle of it.

Hoax for the Holidays
(2011) is a faith-based film, and like a lot of faith-based films, it leans toward the tendency to be cheesy. In fact, it seems like much of the movie was spent building up the character of the atheist and making fun of religious stereotypes so that the film wouldn’t seem one-sided. Casey boasts “All I Got for Christmas Was a Hangover” tees and makes snide and stereotypical remarks about Catholics in an attempt to build up her character and verify her as being atheistic. This doesn’t help. The lack of a quality script and an unoriginal storyline just made this film seem all the more cliché. It’s predictable, and it takes a while for the plot to form, because the first half hour is spent attempting to develop the (forgettable) characters.
The film features some nice indie music by Dazmo, but the choices of the soundtrack that fill up the rest of the film seem a little silly. Quite a bit of the acting also leaves something to be desired. It’s also a little frustrating that the audience never gets to actually see the cross on the wall of the donut store. It’s always perfectly hidden by a bystander’s head or a Christmas tree.
Hoax for the Holidays is not a terrible movie; in fact, it will probably bring some Christmas cheer to a household longing for inspiration. It’s a great addition to a collection of cheesy Christmas movies, but don’t try to compare it to It’s a Wonderful Life. The fact that this film has a Christmas theme to it is really what saves it and separates it from being thrown to the ground with all the other reject movies.

About the Author:

Caress is a grad student from Chicago who has a deep fascination with film. Her love for movies began as an undergraduate at Roosevelt University, where her teacher suggested she write a movie review. Caress' favorite genres include indie dramas, foreign films, experimental films, and psychological thrillers. When she's not watching movies, Caress enjoys writing, photography, travel, fashion and music.
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