A more than welcome break from the monotony and generic feel of most Christmas flicks (or at least a decent chunk of them), A Clüsterfünke Christmas takes every cliche in the book and runs with it. Presenting itself as a parody of the traditional Hallmark Christmas crap, the script from SNL alums Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer brings big time laughs and preposterous dialogue! What is not to love? Snuggle up on the sofa with some hot chocolate and gear up for a game of fruitcake cornhole!
When real estate executive Holly (Vella Lovell) gets tasked with buying the Clüsterfünke Inn to make way for new resorts in Yuletown, Maine, she assumes that acquiring the property will be a total walk in the park. Little does she know, the strange owners, Hilda (Gasteyer) and Marga (Dratch), have no intention of selling. Holly meets their dashing lumberjack nephew, Frank (Cheyenne Jackson), who is also fiercely committed to keeping the Clüsterfünke Inn strictly family-based. Will Holly fall for the small-town charms of Yuletown and its friendly residents, or will she put her career first? I do not think it takes a rocket scientist to assess where this story is heading.
Any good parody has a firm grasp on picking fun at cliches. In Clüsterfünke Christmas, knockoff Christmas songs that sound a hell of a lot like the originals are peppered throughout, just like real ones would be in genuine Hallmark movies. “All I’ll Have for Christmas is Food” is just as effective as that Mariah Carey tune, no? The townspeople are hilariously-constructed caricatures. The only people of color work at a booth called “colorful representations,” while the town’s token gay man appears to be in the closet and works at the aptly-named Percy’s Closet. An adorable dog that makes several appearances eventually gets dubbed Blitzen.
The constant holiday references are always smartly-constructed, and the meta vibe blends perfectly. A scene where Holly’s BFF calls in for some “holiday exposition” made me giggle, and a mid-movie flashback that has Frank say in understanding “so that’s why she’s such a raging bitch!” is the epitome of the movie’s dark-edged humor. Cheyenne Jackson was an excellent choice as the smoldering lumberjack, and Vella Lovell from CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend makes for an engaging leading lady. Needlessly silly and entertaining from start to finish, A Clüsterfünke Christmas rises to the top of the Christmas-pile!
Come try the famous Clüsterfünke strudel when A Clüsterfünke Christmas debuts Saturday, December 4th at 7pm on Comedy Central.