Tag Archives: Mariah Carey

The Star

In nearly every church staging of the nativity story, some beatific, well-behaved little girl is cast as Mary, some lucky boy as her Joseph, and then about 30 of their friends as various sheep and camels and goats and whatnot (in Love Actually, Emma Thompson is surprised to learn there was not just one lobster but several, plus an octopus and a Spider-Man) – the point is, there are lots of kids and very few roles, so they’ve always been padded out with the animal brethren likely to be hanging around a manger.

In this particular retelling of the nativity story, the humans take a back seat to the animals; for once, they’re the stars, especially a brave young miniature donkey named Bo (Steven Yeun). Bo dreams about being in the royal caravan but in fact is locked up in a mill grinding grain all day. His buddy Dave, a dove (Keegan-Michael Key), eggs him on.

Meanwhile, Mary (Gina Rodriguez) and Joseph (Zachary Levi) are celebrating their wedding feast and about to have a VERY awkward conversation. Boy is she relieved when a wayward runaway donkey crashes the party and gives her a few minutes’ reprieve. Anyway, eventually she and Joseph start their trek to Bethlehem and Bo and Dave find a helpful sheep named Ruth (Aidy Bryant) to lead the way and help Bo with a Lassie moment.

Meanwhile, a trio camels (Tyler Perry, Oprah, Tracy Morgan) belonging to the three wisemen are also having a moment trying to get their human cargo to a baby foretold by the stars.

Every nativity scene you’ve ever seen has a donkey. Now you’ll actually appreciate him.

The Star is actually a charming little movie full of big voice talent and quirky little moments to make your season bright.

A Christmas Melody

This movie is achingly bad from the very first. Lacey Chabert, aka, the littlest Party of Fiver, aka one of the mean girls, aka hasn’t worked since “stars” as a single mom who has to give up her dream of being a fashion designer in L.A. to move back home to Ohio for Christmas, with her young daughter in tow.

Things look up very briefly when Kathy Najimi makes a brief appearance as her bubbly aunt, but it’s fleeting and as soon as Najimi’s offscreen, things go downhill rather fast.

So fast in fact that before I know it Mariah Carey is now making my day much worse, downloadappearing as the PTA mom who’s about to make Lacey Chabert’s life even more unbearable, as if being exiled to Ohio wasn’t bad enough. Now she has to put up with some old rival from high school one-upping her and flaunting the lifestyle that dentistry bought her. Some very talented directors have occasionally elicited some not-terrible performances from Carey (I’m thinking of Precious here, and I’m not sure what else) but whoever directed this monstrosity is clearly cowed by her. She’s more wooden than a nutcracker and she’s making hand gestures like she’s Celine Dion, live in concert.

The movie unfolds exactly as a Christmas movie must: little girl finds acceptance by singing in the school pageant, mom falls in love with the music teacher, a major department store wants to buy her designs but she’s already┬áso happy in Ohio she doesn’t need to pursue her other dreams anymore. Oh, and the school janitor may or may not be Santa Claus.

Questions?