When I first heard that Miz was going to be in another movie, I was excited as his last one wasn't really my speed. I was excited until I heard it was on ABC Family. It's one thing to make a cheesy Lifetime movie, but ABC Family makes cheesy movies about romance, but they're more geared toward kids and teens than mature adults. That had me wary from the start, but I still wanted to see the movie and write about it.
Francia Raisa plays Tory Bell, a former bounty hunter who moved to Manhattan to have a 'normal life' and become a sedate school teacher, until she's drawn back to New Jersey, and her family business. The problems arise when she has to team up with her former boyfriend, Mikey Muscles, who is still in love with her, and then her sweet and all too innocent fiance follows her home and ends up in the middle of it all. Tory tries to keep James, her fiance, from finding out about her past, and hilarity ensues. What I should say is that bad acting ensues, but did anyone really expect anything more from this movie. Honestly, I offered to watch the movie and write this review, and I'll be shocked if I am the only one working for WNW that was at all interested in seeing it.
April Telek plays Tory's mother, a busty cliché, but a total riot. Sadly I think she was created to be a lot like Beth, Dog's wife, but mixed with Jennifer Coolidge from Legally Blonde and American Pie. She says it like it is, sticks her foot in her mouth a lot of the time, and she's usually dressed to show off the girls. I hate to admit it, but other than being somewhat of a cookie cutter, she reminds me a lot of myself.
Michael Hanus as Tory's father was also a tough guy cliché, but not played as well as the mother, considering what he had to work with – leather vest and handcuffs tattooed on his upper arm – he wasn't too horrible.
Honestly, all the characters are cliched stereotypes, cookie cutter characters, cardboard cut-outs, exactly what I've been screaming about young WWE Superstars being lately. It seems as though the director and actors were more worried about getting the movie made than getting it made well.
Francia Raisa is young, too young to be playing this character. She's only 25, and while they covered that issue for the plot of this movie, they didn't take into account that Miz is eight years older than her, and her 'best friend' in the movie is actually six years older than her, but they're all supposed to be playing contemporaries. I know that an actor's actual age shouldn't matter too much in a movie, but Francia looks so much younger than everyone who is supposed to be her age that it's almost ridiculous.
The plot holes were big enough for Austin to drive his beer truck through. Beyond all the age issues, and the fact that genetically a tall, big boned, busty blonde and an a lanky man, who appears to be of Italian descent, cannot give birth to a very petite woman of Mexican and Honduran descent; the family went out to chop down a Christmas tree, and were all excited about it, but they already had a tree set up and decorated back at the house. That's just one of the major issues I saw! I'm not even going into how bad the shooting was, especially from characters that are supposed to be serious mobsters, who should be able to shoot a person in the open, not just keep hitting the wedding cake two feet to her left. I will say that I was glad to see the petite female main character was able to stand up for herself, and take Manucci down on her own, until she had to save the goody-goody fiance, then she needed Mikey to save them, of course.
Usually, in movies like this, the watchers are rooting for the ex-boyfriend to get the girl back, because the straight laced guy always has at least one major flaw. In Christmas Bounty, I wanted Tory to stay with the sweet fiance, and not go back to Mikey Muscles, who came off as quite a tool, and a slight jerk through much of the movie, other than when he was professing his love to the girl, and when he was telling her that her leaving him inspired him to better himself by going to college. I really thought she was going to stay with the sweet and wonderful guy who followed her home, and not run back to Miz, but they had to go cliché all the way.
I went into this movie worried for the worst, but hoping for the best. In the end I got the worst, and almost two hours of it.
Queen of WNW