Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holy Jim Caviezel, I'm Flying My Freak Flag

You know that Cheese-Whiz holiday movie called Unlikely Angel starring Dolly Parton? I adore it. So instead of doing a random holiday meme that I was tagged with two days ago, I want to sum up how I feel about this time of year by getting all up into this movie.
If you haven't seen it, it's about a less-than-angelic singer who dies and visits St. Peter at the pearly gates. He refuses her, but not before he gives her a second chance to earn angel wings. Her goal becomes to bring together a family that has lost the emotional ju-ju Hallmark says families should have this time of year. Story goal set, St. Pete drops a ticking time bomb to ensure you won't swig down the sap on a hearty sip of egg nog and nod off: by Christmas Eve. He drops her on this family's front lawn with a guitar. Because, really, who would Dolly be without her guitar?

The family mistakenly assumes she is the new nanny-stop me if you've heard this before-because the troublesome children have exhausted all other nannies. But Dolly's got spunk and a penchant for breaking out into Christmas carols and warming their adolescent hearts. She can't replace their dead mother, but she can be a go-to girly-girl because the overworked, overstressed non-Dad-of-the-year simply has no time for them anymore. He's emotionally vacant. Dolly plays matchmaker and brings cheer to a grieving family. At the risk of a no-surprise spoiler, she accomplishes her feat of bringing Hallmark to the family by midnight on Christmas Eve, thus earning her wings and a primo spot in the choir of heavenly hosts. Ick, you say? Whoa, there. Back up that four-wheel drive.

My opinion of this movie could be colored by my love for Dolly. At the risk of waving my freak flag in a parade of pop culture mainstream, she has a space in my ipod parked right next to Pantera and Avenged Sevenfold. Her I Will Always Love You voice has got to be about the closest things to angels singing as it gets. Like a preview of heaven. She has never apologized for who she is. She's never had to. She has risen above that which has defined her-which, don't get me started, but anyone who has ever told a joke at her expense has never known the emotional pain that goes along with that particular feature-and crafted an empire based on old-fashioned Southern values. Let's face it, the world could use a heaping dollup of that gravy on its plate.

The movie is trite and loaded with saccharine, but Holy Jim Caviezel, it makes you feel good at the end. For that one Christmas Eve night, all is right with the world. As it should be.

And please don't get me started on holiday Folgers commercials. You really don't want to go there.

If you want to fly your freak flag and watch, CMT is showing Unlikely Angel on December 21, 24, and--when else?--Christmas.


the walking man said...

"...based on old-fashioned Southern values..."

Inform my ignorance but just what might those values be?

I respect Dolly Parton for her long climb but that is one individual and you made a general statement Laura. Are you saying that those of us who have for generations lived north of the Mason-Dixon line are cretins and without manners and charm?

Rhett Butler must have been a Northerner at heart, besides you all gave us Rick Perry AND GW Bush. That is enough old fashioned southern charm for me.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't believe I've ever heard of this movie.

Maureen McGowan said...

Sometimes those super corny movies just work. Holly Jim Caviezel, I love it. :)

L.A. Mitchell said...

@TWM - Don't get that tank all in a bundle, my friend. This observation comes from a northerner at heart. Southern people tend to remember manners and chivalry and oh, make eye contact now and then with their fellow man.

@Charles - I'm thinking you should skip this one, Charles.

@Maureen - I can't take credit. Stu said it in Good Luck Chuck with Dane Cook. Made me laugh, too.

Sherry Isaac said...

You've convinced me. Setting the PVR...