Comedy Central meddles in the play of the holiday TV film A Clüsterfünke Christmas. Which is as severe as its goofy title. Derived from Saturday Night Live legends Anna Gasteig and Rachel Drach.
This parody takes a whimsical twist on the form you know and love/hate. But does A Clüsterfünke Christmas deliver a legit LOL? Or is it impossible to poke fun at an already insane film genre?
The plot sounds like a legit Hallmark Christmas movie.
But this parody has more Philadelphia cheese and frostbite. Vela Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) plays Holly, a newcomer to the hotel and resort industry.
Whose job is to persuade the rural AF Clüsterfünke Inn owners to leave their land for their bosses to invade and the country to mega – Terrain can transform resorts. There’s only one problem: He likes the old lady from Clüsterfünke (played by Gasteyer and Dratch). A bit more than his niece Frank (Cheyenne Jackson). But all of these new connections are threatened when his old friend waltzes through town and destroys his place!
I know the whole point of A Clüsterfünke Christmas is to poke fun at the signature movies. But um, I think Vela Lovell and Cheyenne Jackson could pull a real Hallmark sugar movie out of the park. They make a lot of sense in this genre.
The Yaletown neighbourhood loves the annual Christmas event. The Ginger Festival, Santa’s Fire Festival, Yaletown Woodcutting Competition. And the Clüsterfünke Sisters have to prepare for the annual post-Christmas whirlpool.
Named for the inn in the middle of the plot and several main characters, yeah. If you can think of a goofy last name like Clüsterfünke, use it as often as possible.
I find a crucial component to a successful parody easy to overlook. It helps to love what you dare to do. This is especially important when trying to parody something like a Hallmark Christmas movie, which is very close to parody. That’s why A Clüsterfünke Christmas has a deceptively high bar. That needs to be cleared away, so it’s not just a movie record. Will it be just 90 minutes of hate, or will it be a celebration of all the bullshit inherent in the genre? Undoubtedly the latter.
It’s pretty clear that Anna Gasteig and Rachel Drach have seen a dozen Hallmark Christmas films:
Simply because their script targets some particular tropes. He had a business phone call in all the jargon that said nothing. And he had a friend ask FaceTimes if Holly would come with him at a “little getaway event.” The film is only a step or twenty behind modern technology (Holly is a “web wizard”) and has product positioning that muffles Hallmark’s call for Balsam Hill.
Everything in this film, is from the mere background music to the dressing rooms to the laid-back cinematography, is incredibly accurate. You can put this in the background during a Christmas party. And people will probably think this is a legit Hallmark movie.
And because all the details are so well done, all the jokes come out ultimately. The film gets even weirder as Holly continues to blend into the Yaletown lifestyle. To the point where something terrible happens, and she’s swept away by a holiday broom (which is nothing, but you know it must be something in Yaletown).
These two sides of the film, carefully recreating the atmosphere and satirizing all the tropics. To work together to make a delightful film.
Clüsterfünke’s Christmas is extensive, comprehensive. And whimsical enough to appeal to those who hate Hallmark films, and Clüsterfünke’s surprising respect for the Hallmark aesthetic lets Hallmarkies know that the film is laughing at the Hallmark film, not the film. And since Gashtayer and Drach love Hallmark so much, they should start writing more of these kinds of films!