Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020)
November 22, 2020 7:44 AM - Subscribe

 
This is pure Christmas/Christian schmaltz, but I don't mind being preached at by someone like Dolly Parton, who sends more out into the world than just thoughts & prayers. I didn't find the songs particularly memorable, but everybody sings them well. I don't think it's a 'watch it every year' classic like 'Muppet Christmas Carol' or anything, but, it is what it is, and if you're in the mood for a Dolly Parton Christmas show, this is that show.

(And, as an Arrow fan, I got a kick out of seeing Josh Segarra (Arrow's Adrian Chase) playing a good-guy priest)
posted by oh yeah! at 8:01 AM on November 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


I have a self-imposed rule of no Christmas movies before Thanksgiving, but I will definitely watch this next weekend. I am sure it will be cheesy, but Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski are both amazing. I no longer have cable, so I appreciate that the streaming services have stepped up with cheesy holiday programming. How else would my tree get decorated?
posted by the primroses were over at 10:45 AM on November 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


save themselves from being bought out by a major corporation. (Netflix)
This made me lol.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:25 AM on November 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


A group of about 8 - 10 of us watched Ocean’s Eight and did a text snark/delight in the movie early in lockdown and had great fun. We are now all trying to get savvy with tele-party so we can do the same with movie tomorrow. I, too, have a strong no Christmas movies before thanksgiving rule, but this will be the first year I don’t start Christmas movies with a Muppet version. But how far, really, is Dolly Parton from The Muppets?
posted by Hopeful and Cynical at 3:36 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


The New York Times review is also a delight:
It’s bad, the sort of bad that knows what it is — campy rather than camp. “Campy” is camp with a diploma and a martini. And “Christmas on the Square” is a drunk.
...
We have on our hands the sort of knowing bad that names a pastor Christian. It’s the sort of bad that sets itself in a town that is doomed to become a mall, yet already has the peppy wink-wink of an Old Navy commercial. It’s the sort of bad that Christine Baranski can captain to yachtdom.
...
The songs aren’t Parton gold. They’re not even Parton bronze. What they are, though, is committed to the task at hand: some percentage of wit, wisdom and attitude that every number seems to call for and with double the amount of exposition.
...
Anybody who prefers their entertainment spiced, spiked, salted, smothered and smoked might have been waiting for Baranski vs. [Jenifer] Lewis. Their early scenes aren’t quite a cage match, but you could certainly use them to brine a turkey.
posted by cheshyre at 1:19 PM on November 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


It is now the holiday movie season, my tree is twinkling in the front window, and I have watched this less good but also less depressing (and shorter, thank the guardian angels) It's a Wonderful Life knock off - It's a Wonderful Lite?

It felt kind of like someone took the sketch of an idea destined for the main stage at Dollywood, added some extra songs and pitched it to Netflix. It is at about the production level of Heartstrings and not as good as Dumplin if you need a previous Netflix Dolly Parton productions barometer to go by.

The songs aren't classics, nor is the script, and the CGI is pretty laughable. Dolly starts out as a beggar in the square, begging Christine Baranski, the grinch evicting the town during the holidays, for change - lol, subtle! But it is fun, and the supporting cast doesn't let down Jenifer Lewis and Christine Baranski. It is Dolly's brand of Christian, which is heavy on forgiveness and joy, but still notably not secular, if that is a deal breaker for anyone.

I liked it. Those NYT review excerpts are about right, and if you aren't going to play Animal Crossing or wrap presents while holiday movies are playing, it might drag a little under the weight of your full attention. But as holiday ambient atmosphere, I think it works.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:18 PM on November 28, 2020


About 20 mins in and I'm already rooting for Christine Baranski to evict the sanctimonious lot of them.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2020


That was easily the most ridiculous cheese I've watched this holiday season. GOOD LORDY. Dolly dressed up as a "homeless person" (Little Match Girl?) is ...quite something. There are a lot of hilariously ridiculous lines. "The Wicked Witch of the Middle?" I laughed a lot.

This certainly is an industrious musical. At least 90% of it is sung, with the occasional spoken line.

This is literally the snarkiest/kinda rudest I have ever seen Dolly in my LIFE, as an angel, and it is priceless.

Oh, and my favorite: a kid who's probably around 8 years old, being left alone, BARTENDING. Don't you lose your license for that shit?

OF COURSE the secret baby is the pastor. OF COURSE.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:56 PM on December 23, 2020


My working theory for this movie is that Dolly is Satan. I mean, she's an angel, but mysteriously NOT in Heaven, and she keeps singing about bringing light, so who's she going to be but Lucifer?

Also, she causes (?) a life threatening car accident in order to bring about the villain's change of heart. And impregnates the pastor's wife with what I'm pretty sure is an antichrist baby. Maybe her interest in preserving the town is because it's already an outer enclave of Hell.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:22 PM on December 27 [2 favorites]


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