It's that special time of year when Lifetime drags out all of the Christmas themed made-for-TV movies out of their vault. I hate this time of year. In the Lifetime universe, the only thing about as strong as a man's desire to rape, abuse, and/or murder woman is the Christmas Spirit.
So here we have Stolen Miracle. The best thing I have to say about it is that at least it doesn't pretend to not be in Canada. The accents are out in full force. One woman even reacts at the idea of a hotel in town by exclaiming "This isn't Toronto, ya know!" So, there's that.
The film opens on December 23rd in a church. Awwww, a Christmas pageant. The children are all dressed as shepherds and sheep and wise men. The children are non-plussed by the whole ordeal. The parents, however, are going absolutely ga-ga. Laughter and smiles all around. (This is basically the opposite of every Christmas pageant ever. By the time the Wise Men show up most of the parents want to crack into the egg nog.) Then one of the mothers collapses in a pregnant heap and needs to be taken to the emergency room to shit out a baby.
The baby is delivered and it's healthy. It's also the cleanest fucking baby I've ever seen. My roommate pointed it out thusly: "Lifetime births never show the raspberry jam and cream cheese." Nice.
Now we're introduced to a family. The mom is a cop with an unspeakably horrible haircut. Short hair on ladies is fine and dandy. But it probably shouldn't be shorter than mine. And I am by no means a "long haired freaky person."
So, yeah, we have cop mom. Cop mom, Jane, is overworked and her family never gets to see her. Her husband accuses her of spending too much time with her former partner and current boss. Her children feel neglected and HOLY SHIT!!! Her pre-teen son! George Michael Bluth! His voice hasn't even changed yet! I am suddenly very excited about Stolen Miracle.
OK. I got off-track there. Jane's husband is upset for not getting any intimate times and Jane's son is upset because she refuses to buy him a scooter for Christmas. Scooters are too dangerous or something. My opinion on the "danger" of scooters is best illustrated two-and-a-half minutes into this Undeclared clip.
And now we're introduced to a third family. Ugh. These are clearly the bad guys. The dude is wearing a black wife-beater, drinking Budweiser, and watching NASCAR. And he's unemployed and on parole. Lifetime paints in broad strokes. The woman is fake-pregnant and is crazy. She looks like a much older version of popular DC blogger Rebecca Armendariz.
So, there's the set up. Crazy Lady, who goes by both Margaret and Mary, takes the newborn baby right out of the hospital and leaves. Nervous breakdowns and hospital lock downs ensue. Margaret escapes.
The chase begins but with some additional drama: the baby hadn't been feeding. It could get malnourished and dehydrated if not fed as soon as possible. So, the cops are on the clock. Volunteers from all over town are knocking on doors to find this child. Others are, awesomely, going through dumpsters. This freaks out the grieving mother even further.
I've been told that these reviews run too long so I guess I should "cut to the chase," as it were. The ex-con boyfriend demands that Mary return the baby. She threatens to frame him. When the police throw up roadblocks, the happy couple decides to make a run for it. They break the roadblock and end up at a convenience store. When the ex-con see a television with his mugshot on it, he flees and leaves Mary and the baby. Jane spots the car and chases it into a lake. Yes, really. So now everyone thinks the baby is dead.
Nope, she's in a hotel and acting even more erratically. The baby won't drink formula and is freaking out from all the starvation. One witness even sees her throw the baby, hard, onto a bed. Yet Jane is still one step behind. By the time she sleuths her way to the hotel, Mary is hitchhiking on a big rig.
Jane finally traces Mary to her childhood home. We find her in the balcony during a midnight Mass on Christmas morning. (Please note that the baby is supposed to be 36 hours old and it looks like it's about ready to start crawling.) Jane wrestles the baby away and all ends well.
Jane relents to letting George Michael have his scooter. It turns out her brother died at his age when he was hit by a car. Since then, Jane has wanted to protect everyone. It's why she won't let the littlest Bluth have a scooter and why she became a cop. Jane's husband apologizes for accusing his wife of having an affair and Merry Christmas everyone!
See, ladies. A job, a family...you can have it all!
ACTUAL AWESOMENESS: 4
The film was gray and joyless. But, and I rarely have the opportunity to say this about Lifetime movies, it got better as it went along. It even ended with a joke (George Michael immediately crashing his scooter) that made me giggle. That never happens in these humorless movies. Well played.
IRONIC AWESOMENESS: 6
Every scene with the bad guys was pure gold. They mugged and overacted through 20 minutes of screen time. Each scene that they were featured in lifted my spirits tremendously. Every word of stilted dialogue was fantastic.
HEY! IT'S THAT GUY!: 9
George. Michael. Bluth. Before puberty. The man who coined the term "They brushed our teeth with their dicks!" speaking in a boyish squeal. All of it priceless.
Minus one point for not featuring a single other famous person. Like, Jane was on Season One of 24. That's it. Lame.
Slight penalty for not featuring a black police officer. But any story where a woman has to juggle a family and a job while searching for a kidnapped baby has to score high here. It just has to.
GRAND TOTAL: 26
Not bad. Not bad at all. Although it should be noted that if it weren't for the presence of Michael Cera, this movie would have scored a 17. So, viewer beware.