Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Recipe for a Perfect Christmas DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
In the spirit of full disclosure, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas is 100% chick flick, brought to you by Lifetime. As I am, in fact a “chick” I may be genetically predisposed to liking such films. Those of you with overwhelming testosterone levels should know that there are no explosions, nudity, or gunfights.  Just a lot of touchy-feely moments with obvious pauses that were set aside for commercial interruption for the leading moisturizers and PMS pills.  Having said that it’s a very cute movie, one that could score you points with the ladies in your life if you rent it or stuff it under the Christmas tree.   You have my permission to act like you thought of that yourself.

Film (3 out of 5 stars) 

JJ Jenner (Carly Pope) has everything going for her.  She’s young, cute, living in the big city and just got a big promotion. One day JJ is the executive assistant to the food critic.  Overnight, she becomes the food critic, and is given one probationary issue to prove herself.  JJ tries to focus on her job while her mom tries to make up for many lost years with one family Christmas.  Having no time for family bonding, JJ enlists the help of a young chef named Alex, who desperately wants his restaurant reviewed.
Alex (Bobby Canavale) agrees to date JJ’s mom, played by Christine Baranski, so JJ will finally be able to get some work done.  A coworker rightfully asks the question “you traded your mother for a review?”  That is exactly what she did. You can probably guess where this Lifetime movie is headed –JJ develops a crush on Alex, and is rather unhappy she set him up with her mother.  Alex is on the verge of losing his restaurant and JJ is on the verge of losing her mother.  In typical chick flick fashion JJ’s grinchy heart grows three sizes and she manages to fix everyone’s problems.

Video (2 out of 5 stars) 

Sitting down at my big screen TV, the aspect ratio of this film(1.33:1) leaves 6-8 inches of black on the left and right sides of my screen.   As I have said before, I’m perfectly fine with the typical widescreen bars at the top and bottom but I like my movie to fill my screen from left to right. There is absolutely nothing special about the video quality – exactly as expected for a made for TV film.

Audio (1 out of 5 stars) 

Again, nothing special here. The DVD box claims is Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound, and I have to believe them. There are no sound options to change and nothing but level dialogue to use when gauging the audio quality.

Special Features (0 out of 5 stars) 

There are no special features at all.

Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars) 

Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, was definitely written by someone with a recipe for a chick flick. It has a cranky daughter, a misunderstood mother, a love interest and happy ending.  I’m disappointed that they didn’t put in the effort of adding a special feature or two as I come to expect some deleted scenes, a trailer, and a few outtakes from most DVDs these days. The movie itself was good and deserves a place in your mother’s Christmas stocking this year.  Most moms I know won’t miss the special features anyway.
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