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VH1's A Diva's Christmas Carol is Visited by the Ghosts of 3 Critics

By Coolia, Traveling Jam, and Nerdia

Coolia's Visitation

My main thought is "Why did this movie even get made?" It offers nothing new. It just seems a way for VH-1 to acknowledge that both divas and Christmas are, as Ebony (Vanessa Williams) says, "a marketing machine you can't ignore."

Vanessa is not a very good actress, nor very convincingly bitchy. It would have been better to cast a true diva who can be diva-like and also act-Cher or Whitney.

The horror of John Taylor! He looked like a wannabe Guns 'N Roses roadie. His appearance put me right off my eggnog. The first shot of him lounging in those leather pants with the three chicks and the JD bottle...he was not looking good..he was looking pretty lumpy and wide. He still has a bit of charm, hints of the devilish smile, but mostly he's fallen on hard times. I wonder if he enjoys being slovenly-a few years ago Traveling Jam and I saw him in concert with the Neurotic Outsiders and he played shirtless in a blazer with his gut lapping over his belt. The John Taylor who pranced and posed through numerous Duran Duran videos would have never appeared on stage like that. He always kept his kimonos buttoned up.

There were some funny lines but they didn't work coming from Vanessa, such as Ebony's "Where did you go to school? La academy de minimum wage?" remark to the stagehand. The attempts at humor fell flat. Kathy Griffin from Suddenly Susan was amusing as The Ghost of Christmas Past. She was the one bright spot.

The child welfare flashback seemed too heavy for this frothy flick. But I have to acknowledge that VH-1 did a good job of cross-pollinating by incorporating references to Where are They Now? and Behind the Music.

As Ebony said, "Christmas exists for one reason--to sell crap to the masses.'" By uttering this line, Vanessa showed true wisdom and insight into the nature of her product. This crap stinks. It smells worse than John Taylor's sweaty wristband.

Traveling Jam's Visitation

Well, I finally got around to watching the videotaped A Diva's Christmas Carol. I spaced out and only recorded about half of the show. I still managed to get John Taylor's cameo. Based on what I saw, I'm pretty glad I didn't have to sit through the whole movie.

VH-1 promoted the living poo out of this movie. Nonstop. Jobless and stationed in front of the TV for long amounts of time during the promotion period, I had seen most of the movie anyway. However, I must admit, I was looking forward to this film especially since John Taylor was going to be in it. I had high hopes of a Cheesy smorgasbord, but my hopes were quickly dashed.

Overall the movie sucked. I wasn't moved in any emotional sphere: no laughing, no crying, not even a grin or grimace. It hardly ranked a .5 the Richter Scale of Kitsch. The last line too...how horrible was it? "Nobody pees on the diva." Eh??? Is this a line Vanessa wants to claim on her acting resume? I mean at least Patrick Swayze can be proud of "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."

And using the Behind the Music scenario as the Ghost of Christmas Future--puhleeze. Is this a VH-1 commercial or a movie?

A Diva's Christmas Carol wasn't a total waste; I actually learned something. John Taylor can't act. I didn't mind his long hair and cowboy get-up, but considering this was my teenage heartthrob, he certainly wasn't causing any palpitations here. So disappointing! And that was the part I was looking forward to the most.

Tiffany put it best: "Coulda been so beautiful, coulda been so right." But it wasn't . VH-1 should just stick to videos and Behind the Music and leave the made-for-TV movies to UPN.

Nerdia's Visitation

Jesus Christ, enough with the Diva crap! I don't think I can stand it anymore.

But hey, this isn't so bad. I mean, not the royally bad you would expect from some made-for-music-TV shew. In the first few seconds, with the remote firmly in my shaking, Diva-weary hand, Vanessa Williams is playing a pretty bitchily good bitch, I'm thinking. I am inexplicably entranced. They call her Ebony! Isn't that cute. Like Ebenezer but African-Americanized. She's tight with her money, full of bah and humbug. She mistreats her employees and even has a niece to match Scrooge's nephew. How special.

I must admit, at first the idea of reviewing this Diva-thing made me grumpy. For one, Charles Dickens this aint. And if it's not some VH-1 Save The Music Foundation piece of crap, I aint reviewin' it. And isn't it annoying that everyone's a movie studio today. Hey, where's MY movie studio? But isn't Vanessa bitchy? My favorite dethroned Miss American. She's so bitchy!

Her character Ebony is from Patterson, New Jersey. The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by a scene stealing Kathy Griffin (Vanessa: "Stop haunting me!"; Kathy: "Stop being so hauntable!"), tells her that. She takes her though her obvious Diana-Ross-isms of a girl group and diva-worthy breakup. So far, the writing isn't annoying me. I can't pick out mock-worthy lines anyway. ("This isn't Where are They Now?. That's on later.") I keep watching. The Ghost of Christmas Present, is played by a Duran Duranian, John Taylor, who is now so porky it must be seen to be believed. The Ghost of Christmas Future is played by a show: Behind the Music. Hmm, how clever in an utterly annoying and despicable way. I'm not the product placement police, but this one gets under my craw. Behind the Music as some kind of all-knowing, wise and judgmental entity! Give me a freakin' break! Is that narrator an indentured servant or something? "The remarkable life and tragic death of a diva." Gag me with a diva!

Ironically, the music of Ebony and her former girl group is pee-yew bad. Music such as this probably would never see the light of VH-1 in an ad for maxi-pads. But what does amaze me about this movie is how multi-interracial it is in a completely non-racial way. It's truly touching to this scrooge.

I give it a solid B.2.

For Ape Culture's reviews of Divas Past...

Divas 99: Look Back in Anger

Divas Live Ad Nauseum (2000)

Men Strike Back

Discuss this movie and divas in general in the Ape Culture forum.


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