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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Christmas in Connecticut
Christmas in Connecticut
Warner Bros. // Unrated // October 5, 2004
List Price: $19.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Daniel W. Kelly | posted December 13, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
Christmas in Connecticut is a 1992 remake of an old 1945 film. This time around, it features a big cast, Arnold Schwarzenegger as director, and a whole lot of cliché setups. It's not totally unwatchable….

The Story:
…it's just like catching a holiday film on Lifetime, which means it's almost unwatchable. Elizabeth (Dyan Cannon) is a successful TV cooking show host who's supposedly as family-oriented as Martha Stewart. But Elizabeth's prison cell is her life. She's none of those things. She's a marketing scam created by her show's producer, Alex (Tony Curtis). Alex cooks up a new marketing scheme when country boy Jeff (Kris Kristofferson) becomes a hero after saving a young boy from the wilderness—and having his own cabin in the woods burn down. Jeff needs money, and Elizabeth needs a ratings boost. So Alex creates a holiday show concept to benefit them both. Elizabeth will broadcast live from her home—a home he creates in Connecticut, where she has a husband (Alex will play that role) a daughter, a son-in-law, and some grandkids. And according to this special, country boy Jeff is a huge fan of Elizabeth's and is going to join her family for dinner. Truth is, Jeff just needs the money. So nothing at the Connecticut home is real. And naturally, Jeff and Elizabeth begin falling in love, she's a horrible homemaker and it gets harder to hide the truth in ever mounting slip ups, and Alex is trying to get her into bed since his role is as her husband—although, Curtis is just way too queer acting for me to believe he's interested in a woman. Of course I shouldn't talk, because I myself find Dyan Cannon to be one of the few redeeming qualities of the movie. I've always been a fan of her flippant attitude, wild hair, and puffy, pouting lips. Kristofferson is not bad either. The movie is just way too silly. Many of the outdoor shots look like they were filmed on a sound studio for a Nick & Jessica holiday variety hour special (hey, I figured Sonny & Cher or Carpenters variety hour references would be too dated at this point). Although, this makes the big square dance scene feel appropriate. Anyway, the movie is just too predictable and not heartwarming enough to make up for it. There's just nothing special about this film. Not even the part where one of the characters puts on some dark sunglasses and gives us the "I'll be back" in-joke.

The DVD

Video:
This made-for-TV movie has a 1:33:1 aspect ratio. This is one bad transfer. Pixelation and grain abound (avoid watching this one in progressive scan). There are specs and dust, and the picture lacks sufficient color saturation. As a result, the blacks stand out too much,and the colors are often bland.

Sound:
The Dolby 2.0 track is decoded with Pro Logic, bringing sound into the rear speakers. I don't know why. The film sounds like it's in MONO surround, if you get my drift. There's no bass response, the audio is flat and somewhat muffled. Once in a while, I thought I detected a hint of stereo separation.

Extras:
Pretty straightforward extras. Scene Selection offers 25 chapters. There is actually an English or French audio track. Subtitles give you three options: English, French, Spanish. And finally, you get really poor quality trailers for both the original 1945 Christmas in Connecticut and this one.

Final Thoughts:
Do yourself a favor. Wait until Christmas in Connecticut is on Lifetime during the holidays, and then keep it on in the background while writing out your holiday cards. Or better yet—switch channels to the Yule Log.

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