One Christmas Eve
Written by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Directed by Jay Russell
Ever have one of those crazy nights where all sorts of weird stuff happens, and then you pick up a bunch of new best friends and a dog? Sure, we all have many times, and One Christmas Eve celebrates that phenomenon with Christmas flair! One Christmas Eve is a comedy movie which I didn’t know Hallmark even did, but I guess so because here it is! One Christmas Eve is an uneven holiday film that jumps around tonally and has some major missteps, but also does a few things surprisingly well that worked out enough to win me over in the end.
Nell Blackmore (Anne Heche) is freaking out trying to ensure the first Christmas after her divorce is a magical one for her two children. Opera-obsessed bad singer Emma (Alissa Skovbye) and video gamer Alden (Griffin Kane) are less than worried that Christmas won’t be special, because kids will be kids. Cesar Cortez (Carlos Gómez) is a worker looking to get him and be miserable during Christmas break, only to find someone dumped a puppy in front of his store. With no one around as it’s late at night on Christmas Eve, he looks for a happy family to dump the dog on the doorstep of to pass the buck. He picks the Blackmores, but his attempt to flee after buzzing the doorbell is foiled when he slips on a sled and injures his leg. Nell suddenly has to deal with someone injured on her property while a mystery dog entrances her children.
Thus begins the troubles for the night, as they go to the hospital. Nell parks the van in the loading zone, thinking it will just be a minute, but ends up taking forever (as someone who has been to the ER several times, you should expect to sacrifice many hours waiting around). She also first meets Dr. Chen (Brian Tee), who will take care of the family during each of their visits tonight. Alden takes the dog for a walk and ends up falling down a hole in a building under construction. Emma wanders out to go find him, and their van gets towed thanks to Reggie (Kevin Daniels) the security guard. Thus as soon as Cesar is free to go to the hospital, they’re back, with Alden having a broken wrist and Emma having cold exposure. That was rather poorly executed, her coat gets caught on a fence so she just leaves it, and suddenly is hospitalized even though it doesn’t seem that cold, and she’s fine a short bit later.