Holly dreams of joining the Snow Belles, a Christmas singing group started by her late mother. But when the head Belle slams the door, Holly recruits a ragtag band of coworkers, including her hard-nosed boss, to challenge the Belles’ dominance. Can they unseat the champs, and can Holly and her boss make beautiful music together?
Contest as Plot Device
Ends w/ Kiss or Ring
You’d expect a movie about competing Christmas carol singing groups to include more than a mere 3 Christmas Cliches. But what “The Mistle-Tones” lacks in heart-tugging tropes it makes up for in its upbeat, Glee-esque production.
We open up on auditions for the Snow Belles, the reigning (and only?) Christmas singing group in town. They headline the yearly "Deck the Mall Christmas Eve Spectacular", and Holly (Tia Mowry, our favorite sister from “Sister, Sister”) dreams of becoming a Belle. But when Holly doesn’t make the cut, she initiates the Contest as Plot Device auditions to compete for that mall performance spot. Scrounging together some charming office misfits, Holly creates The Mistle-Tones. Cue the singalong montages in the company warehouse while the group attempts to avoid their workaholic boss.
ABC Family called this a made-for-TV-musical, but we disagree with that classification. It’s a movie of many musical interludes, almost all of which made Jess smile and bop along. You’ll need to suspend judgment to effectively watch the Deck the Mall auditions, where the shirtless Chestnuts do one-armed push-ups to “Deck the Halls” and where Ludacris Kringle raps an autotuned “Away in a Manger.” But the momentum leading into these final scenes somehow works, making you root for the Mistle-Tones to win, even when they don’t stand a chance.
And yes, we know Tori Spelling is in it. We don’t talk about that.
Rob's Final Take: Merry
I can't deny that the tunes were catchy. But I wish that the Christmas music helped to tell the story, instead of just happening along the way.
Jess's Final Take: Very Merry
Christmas spirit = music. And the “Joy to the World” montage will warm any heart, even if it’s three sizes too small.