Previously, on Smart Girls Stupid Things: ABC Family Gets You Psyched for Christmas with Angels and Dogs
Let me start by saying that this movie is worth watching (in the so-bad-but-so-good way), mostly because of Chad Michael Murray and his emotional face, and the confusion between Cupid, angels, and ghosts, which never seems to be resolved.
It all begins with Mariah singing “Santa’s gonna come and make you mine this Christmas,” because Santa’s a criminal. And of course, with a shot of Christina Milian (Sloane, a publicist) lookin’ super busy and important. Tossing her hair and knocking back her empty Starbucks cup.
Sloane is working hard planning a Christmas Day launch party for a lush actress, Caitlin Quinn, who is starring in a family movie. As Sloane is sucking up to her boss, Andrew, we find out that she is actually sleeping with him to get a promotion.
Throughout her busy day, we see Sloane trying to make time for her friends and family, who are used to being sadly neglected in lieu of her VERY important job. Side note: Sloane’s mom is played by Tia and Tamara Mowry’s mom in Sister Sister. Con.nec.tions.
Yea this woman. Unfortunately, not this man.
Finally: stuff happens. Caitlin Quinn gets on a yacht and chokes on a martini olive. And dies. Immediately after her death she shows up in Sloane’s apartment and informs her that she will be visited by three ghosts. “Too bad it wasn’t an apple martini, or she’d be alive today.”
“Distraught,” Sloane goes to the hospital to see Sloane’s body (unsure of the necessity of that…) and lo and behold– her exboyfriend Patrick, played by Chad Michael Murray, is a doctor there! And now I’m interested.
It becomes clear to the audience and to Patrick that Sloane really only cares that Caitlin Quinn died because it’s going to ruin the launch party. Luckily Caitlin Quinn’s ghost shows up in the morgue to make her rethink that! “Just like Marley from a Christmas Carol.” Ok yes, because if you make direct reference to the work you’re hawking, that makes it a smart movie!
Quick segue, though, it’s not like someone died or something – Sloane and Patrick need to rehash their relationship in the hospital cafeteria. It turns out she didn’t move with him when he went to “the middle of the nowhere” for med school, so they had to break up. But she misses him. And says so. And grabs his hand.
The next morning, she is visited again by the ghost of CQ. Sloane pretty much is accompanied by the ghost of Caitlin Quinn for the rest of the movie. Wearing booty shorts and carrying a martini the whole time. She DIED choking on a martini olive, how is that ok?
Since we need to be convinced that Sloane is a horrible person before the first ghost arrives and tries to improve her that very night, we watch next as Sloane decides to make CQ’s memorial service the same event as the launch party. On Christmas day. So no one gets the day off, despite the existence of families.
Cuteness update: Patrick calls Sloane to make sure she’s ok. And to ask her out.
But then, it’s midnight, Day One. Ghost of Christmas Past:
Caitlin transports Sloane to her high school football field, where her high school boyfriend is standing in his football uniform. Caitlin informs Sloane that instead of the “ordinary boring traditional ghosts like in Charles Dickens, I’ve arranged for you to be visited by 3 ex-boyfriends.” “Are you telling me that Brad is the Ghost of Christmas Past?” “Actually, since he’s your ex-boyfriend, he’s the Ghost of Ex-Mas Past.” WHY ARE YOU REMAKING GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST?????
Look at those girlfriends, lurking in their picture frames.
Sloane is taken back to watch scenes of childhood and high school and college and all different associated boyfriends of the past…which means we get to see more Chad Michael Murray, college boyfriend, kaCHING! We see the scene where Sloane actually LEFT him in the middle of the night! And broke up with him in a note (though not a post-it, which is the most epic in bad form and can cause one to knock a vase of carnations over). As Sloane rewatches this event from the past, she sees Patrick come back to the empty apartment they shared, and finds out that he actually was planning to propose! That coupled with his niceness and hotness means they are MEANT TO BE!!!!!
Her high school boyfriend and the ghost of Caitlin Quinn show her all the boyfriends she’s dated up til now. And lecture her about how all she does is “trade up.” “You don’t care what your heart wants. All you care about is the shoddy wrapping, not what’s inside.” Yes Sloane, listen to the spirit of your high school boyfriend, dressed up in his full football pads.
The very next morning, Sloane finds out her boss/bf Andrew is cheating on her, and they break up. Then she calls Patrick and they go out that night. They are having a great date, until Andrew shows up…and proposes. And…she accepts. The palpable awkwardness of this scene is pretty much too much to watch, and it’s compounded by the fact that her (now) fiance is NOT attractive, and Chad Michael Murray is, and she just leaves him sitting at their table as she accepts Andrew’s proposal. I will say though: at least there wasn’t an entire bottle of jelly or another condiment on the restaurant table as the poor man’s version of product placement (see Lucky 7 and Welch’s grape jelly). ABC Fam has definitely upped the props budget.
Midnight, 2nd Night: Ghost of Ex-Mas Present, where Sloane sees all the people she’s hurting with her current behavior. Which is, um, everyone.
When she wakes up the next morning, she tries to repair relationships but fails. Mostly she just prepares more for the super important launch party the next day. We all know that Christmas is a popular day for launch parties of family movies.
Midnight, 3rd Night: Ghosts of Ex-Mas Yet to Come turns out to be…Santa. “Santa” is actually Andrew, her fiance, dressed up. It takes Sloane a little while to get that if Andrew is the Ghost of Ex-Mas Yet to Come, that means they will be exes in the future. He takes her to see her future life, where they are divorced and she has no friends or family left because she cares too much about her job. The night ends with Sloane looking at her future self dying alone in a hospital bed, holding her own future hand.
And thus the movie starts its grand resolution, where Sloane makes peace with everyone and becomes an awesome person, and of course gets together with Chad Michael Murray despite having accepted someone else’s proposal right in front of him two days earlier.
Best parts of the last 10 minutes:
When Sloane apologizes to Patrick: I’m sorry “for running away instead of taking your ring and becoming your wife.” Christina Milian uttering the word wife in reference to herself is just…hilarious.
At the memorial service/launch party, it’s time for the ghost of Caitlin Quinn and Sloane to say goodbye for real. Once they have, Caitlin suddenly gains angel wings and vanishes up to heaven, as a photo montage of shots of her from the movie fills the screen.
And because making continual reference to the means of someone’s death is funny, the whole thing ends with Sloane saying “Merry ExMas, Caitlin” while waving a martini olive. Really?
Since I could’ve only made you want to watch this movie more by sharing all details about it, here it is.