Haul Out The Holly is now my favorite Lacey Chabert holiday movie. Without a doubt this movie was innovative, hilarious, touching and so full of Christmas cheer that my grinch heart may have melted and I wanted to partake in holiday spirit.
That doesn’t ever happen. I maintain my grinch spirit for as long as humanly possible, because then I don’t have to partake in the holiday spirit, can put on my Grinch sweatsuit and ignore the world around me.
But Haul Out The Holly just made Christmas spirit feel different.
Emily has just broken up with her deadbeat boyfriend and has gone home for the holidays. She’s all set to stay in their apartment, but her name is no longer on the lease and he tells her that he isn’t leaving. She’s going to have to move out and she decides to head home for the holidays to spend it with her parents.
Only she doesn’t really like heading home for the holidays. Her parents way overdo Christmas. Christmas is more about the community than it is about them. But she makes the choice to go home after her parents make her a promise that they won’t pressure her about the holidays.
Turns out it’s an easy deal for them, because the two are heading out to Florida. They have decided that is where they are going to retired to. Emily is shocked and wants to know why they would have her come home if they were leaving.
She wants to go with, but they tell her that the best place for her is at home. She seems to want to fight that, which I don’t get, because the peace and silence of a big ass house on my own – don’t have to ask me twice. Only it doesn’t take long before, even I (the never optimist) understand that there is no peace and quiet.
I am old enough to remember Chabert on Party of Five (which I love) and have seen all of her Hallmark movies. But what shines about her in this movie is the comedic timing and delivery of some really witty writing. This movie feels quintessential Hallmark, but it’s just so different than what we’ve grown to expect from the channel.
The writing on many Hallmark movies is great, but there are some phenomenal ones, like Three Wise Men and a Baby and this one. The writing is fantastic – lines that feel youthful and fun. The delivery of the lines is amazing. But that’s also because it has a phenomenal ensemble cast.
Lacey Chabert (The Wedding Veil), Wes Brown (Sweet Pecan Summer), Stephen Tobolowsky (Spaceballs), Melissa Peterman (Reba), Ellen Travolta (Charles in Charge) and Peter Jacobson (House) all star in the movie which is about the most dedicated Christmas street that I have ever seen. The whole community takes it to heart, even having things written into their HOA codes, so that everyone in the community has to participate.
Wes Brown stars as Jared, who is absolutely the most hilarious that I have ever seen him. Jared is over the top in love with Christmas and the power that being HOA president gives him. He gets a power high over that feeling and loves every second of it. He loves to write a citation, which honestly, is some of the best parts of the movie.
But it’s the way that Chabert and Brown deliver their witty lines to each other and their facial reactions that make me laugh. Their reactions to each other are impeccable and so well timed.
It’s Jared’s annoyance that gets Emily on board with doing everything that he can in order to bring her up to the Christmas spirit that is expected of a person living on Evergreen Lane. With every citiation that Emily is given, she’s forced to work them off with helping with various tasks or community service. It’s doing this that she finds herself regaining the love that she didn’t know that she had for her community and also finding a love for the people in her community.
The entire community rallies around each other which makes me love this community even more. When they fail, they fail together. When they win, they win together.
It comes time for Santa and you can tell how much Jared loves the holiday when he’s upset that he’s not chosen as Santa. It’s as if it not being chosen as Santa destroyed his Christmas spirit. But being asked eventually by Emily to be Santa is one of the most touching moments.
When Christmas comes, Emily is expecting to spend the day alone, but she’s pleasantly surprised when she gets to spend the day with her parents. They’ve returned early, and hey, even though they are over the top, who really wants to spend the holidays alone.
But it’s the gift that they give her – the keys to the house because they are giving her the house – which is everything. They know she’s found a home where she was meant to be.
The home that she grew up in.
- The nutcracker situation was some funny shit
- I didn’t think I would end up liking Pamela, but I did
- What a cookie bake off hahaha
- The citations are a lot
- Jared is a lot but I am here for it
- Have I mentioned how amazing Lacey is? Cause if not doing it again.
- The way that they all take this HOA so seriously
- OMG the people helping Emily decorate