Lifetime TV movie review: 12 Men of Christmas

There are three things that all New Yorkers strive for the perfect job, the perfect apartment and the perfect fiancé.–E.J. Baxter

This Bostonian also seeks the perfect job and the perfect apartment [the fiance, not so much– but this is happily-ever-after Lifetime TV], so these goals are not relegated to New Yorkers. E.J. Baxter [Kristin Chenoweth], a high powered, unyielding, strong-minded New York publicist loses her job and fiancé in the same night. For some reason, her only job option is moving to a small town in Montana to spearhead the fundraising for the local search-and-rescue team. Her brilliant idea is a calendar which features provocative pictures of members of the team. Think of it as a less revealing version of Calendar Girls. This script is not nearly as clever or funny and it is also very predictable. The immensely talented and versatile Kristin Chenoweth [Pushing Daisies] turns in a delightful, engaging performance. She starts out as the typical fish out of water as writers adore to do with city women —ooh let’s drop them off in the middle of nowhere and see what happens– [think Sandra Bullock in The Proposal].

The calendar is not an easy proposition for the town. E.J. uses her charm and highly effective PR skills to get each man to commit to participating. She takes muffins to certain guys and fly fishes with another. Of course there’s one holdout. When she first arrives in town she has a run in with a guy who she thinks is a typical townie and he thinks she is a snobby, difficult urbanite. There’s immediate chemistry between E.J. and Will (Josh Hopkins), a sporting goods store owner. The only connection this TV movie has to the holiday is that Christmas occurs in December. Chenoweth makes 12 Men of Christmas and while we know how it all will end, it’s still sort of a sweet trifle.

Airs on Lifetime TV, December 5, 2009 at 9 pm EST.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by Lifetime TV publicity

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