Well, turns out that yes, yes she did.
Because although a movie starring Grumpy Cat sounds like a terrible idea, the geniuses over at Lifetime managed to play up the commercialization and meme-ification of this irresistible fluff ball like champs, making me realize that I did indeed need a little more Grumpy Cat in my life, even though I didn't know it.
The movie is narrated by Grumpy Cat, who, in the movie, is living in a mall pet store. The oft-passed over feline has spent her whole life in the store, (nobody will adopt her because of her dour expression) and it's given her a very Grinch-like outlook on life... and on Christmas.
Cue Crystal, an adorably awkward young tween who works at the pet store because it's better than trying to fit in anywhere else. One afternoon, on her way to work, Crystal confesses her teen angst to a mysterious mall Santa, who then gives her a magic wishing coin. She uses it to wish for a friend who will understand her, and voilà — when she arrives at the pet store, she can suddenly understand everything Grumpy Cat says. The two are then forced to work together to save the pet store when some wannabe musicians steal the pet store's prized (and very valuable) pooch to fund their band.
The movie uses a lot of familiar Christmas movie tropes, which may scare people off, but they shouldn't because every one of those cheesy holiday tropes is very well-played. So, in honor of my unexpectedly unbridled enthusiasm, here are six reasons I fell in love with Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever.
I was having a hard time imagining Aubrey Plaza's voice fitting Grumpy Cat because in my mind she always sounded like Harvey Fierstein — low, growly and like she had a pack-a-day cigarette habit. But Plaza is perfect! Her deadpan delivery of such lines as, "Don't get sappy on me. Wait, this is a Lifetime movie!" are well-timed and super funny, and she totally nails all of Grumpy Cat's so-strange-it's-hilarious meta-commentary.
There are quite a few jokes about Lifetime movies in this film along with digs at said overused (but applied anyway) Christmas movie tropes, making it very clear the studio isn't taking itself too seriously here. As a matter of fact, Grumpy Cat herself repeatedly tells audiences they could probably find something better to do with their time, but since they've decided to watch the movie anyway, why not just live-tweet it along with her? That irreverence, dipped in lighthearted snark, are what keep the film from feeling like "just another Christmas movie" and instead lands it in Actually-Pretty-Clever Land.
Hands down one of the weirdest (and most wonderful) elements of the movie are its occasional pop-up Grumpy Cat graphics that streak across the screen with commentary on the film's plot. They may show up in the form of a Grumpy Cat Cupid when the "B story line" begins, or as Grumpy Cat Santa warning you of a commercial break by announcing it's, "Time to sell you stuff." These moments were so strange that I imagine it's only a matter of time till someone constructs a drinking game around them.
The animal voices and personalities in the film might seem stereotypical, but the movie is so self-aware that their personalities feel more like meta-jokes than lazy writing. And on top of it all, you've got Grumpy Cat delivering Grade A snark to her fellow pet store inhabitant buffoons... and to us. For instance, at one point, Grumpy tells the audiences, "Some are born great, others achieve greatness, and some watch Christmas movies starring cats. I think you know who you are."
I am definitely in the third category, and it's OK.
I don't want to ruin things for you, so I'll just say that Grumpy has quite an imagination, and it sometimes leads to unexpected and absolutely ridiculous scenarios like the one captured in the above photo. And who doesn't love the idea of Grumpy Cat driving a car? Grumpy people, that's who! And Grumpy herself would be the first to clap those grumps on the back for it.
At the end of the day, every solid Christmas movie has to have heart. Even the notoriously twisted Bad Santa saw Billy Bob Thornton's character showing some honest-to-goodness depth of character at the end of its bad-tempered journey. Well, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever is no exception — and that's a good thing! Because this is a film you can watch (with your family!) without choking on saccharine sentimentality, while still leaving everyone with good feels.
Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever airs on Lifetime on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 8/7c.
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