Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is Not the Worst

Tardar Sauce pays homage to Toonces in Lifetime's Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever.
Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (Photo: Chris Helcermanas-Benge / Lifetime)

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is not the worst Christmas movie out there HEAR ME OUT.

“It’s a…Film!”

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, debuting on Lifetime Saturday at 8pm.

Premise

Baffling Internet meme Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce, as voiced by Parks and Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza) reluctantly befriends 12-year-old Crystal (Meghan Charpentier) as they try to thwart a mall robbery. Oh, and there’s a Christmas wish that allows Crystal to directly communicate with Grumpy throughout the movie.

Who is Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever For?

I’m not sure if target demos were a big concern in the making of this, as the whole movie is designed to be a cash grab. It certainly works as a movie for kids, and there is just enough to keep adults connected to the action.

What Works

The movie does a fantastic job of intentionally placing such low expectations for the viewer. First, the font choice for the opening credits matches the font used by The Brady Bunch, which sets the bar in terms of stakes and hilarity (read: lower than low). There are talking head moments with Grumpy Cat that are deliberately low budget, with content scolding the viewers for wasting their time. One even encourages viewers to live tweet with the tag #WhyAmIWatchingThis. Although meta jokes can be low-hanging fruit, the movie knows that this is a Lifetime joint and plays with that knowledge, landing a couple of decent lines in the process.

What Doesn’t Work

The B-Story (Crystal’s mom going to a Christmas party of a smitten kitten coworker) is a snooze, which Grumpy Cat points out as soon as those characters are introduced. The voiceover work for the other animals in the movie isn’t great, but at least Lifetime didn’t do the creepy animated lips thing that you often see in straight-to-video releases.

Verdict

I went into Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever with the mindset that it would be terrible but needing a post for Friday afternoon. By about the halfway point I fully acknowledge that I was watching this movie voluntarily and wanted to see how things played out. One of the meta jokes within the story was how this was a cash grab for all players involved, and all players should benefit. I think I’m recommending this?

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv
  • Aaron Mucciolo

    You had me at my spit take at the word ‘Lifetime’.