Plot: Noelle (Cindy Busby) has what seems to be a great life, but to her, there has always been something missing. Her writing career seems poised to blossom and her boyfriend Todd (Christopher Russell) is successful and handsome, but she longs for a family and in specific, a dog to call her own. While Todd is allergic to everything under the sun, Noelle sneaks around those allergies and adopts a hypoallergenic puppy, hoping to surprise him for Christmas. He is indeed quite surprised and when the little dog all but destroys their apartment, Noelle names him Buster. But Todd doesn’t take Buster’s antics well and he not only insists that the dog leaves, but he breaks off the relationship with Noelle also, leaving her out in the cold. A coworker offers to take Noelle and Buster to his family’s Christmas, but will this excursion into the countryside relax her or just give her time to sulk about her loss?
Entertainment Value: This one follows the usual holiday romance formula, but benefits from a brisk sense of humor and a wonderful lead in Cindy Busby, so A Puppy for Christmas winds up as a light, fun watch. The narrative is predictable of course, but moves at a nice pace and emphasizes the humorous elements. So yes, you’ve likely taken this story for a ride before, but this movie is able to make it a fun ride, which is to me, is what matters. And to be honest, I think a good amount of the fans of these holiday romances appreciate the basic formula, so I doubt many will be let down just because it doesn’t break new ground. I think the brisk pace and light tone work wonders here, as the movie leans on the humor above all else, giving us colorful characters and a steady flow of laughs. The romance is a prominent part of the narrative, but it isn’t pushed at all costs, which lets the characters shine a little more and to me, A Puppy for Christmas is just a better comedy than most of its seasonal peers. I also think the presence of Cindy Busby makes a world of difference, as she is so much fun to watch and elevates the material time and again. I think this is much better than most might think, a cute and enjoyable holiday romance with some good laughs.
I was lured into based on Cindy Busby in the lead, as she is such a magnetic screen presence and I knew if nothing else, the movie would be a fun watch just because of her involvement. As I mentioned before, she carries the movie and really makes the material work better than it should, with her attitude and enthusiasm. The energy that she brings to the role really stands out and she is a true lead here, able to bring out the best in both the script and her costars. I like that she doesn’t go for a typical, milquetoast romantic lead here, instead she brings some attitude to the role and her bursts of frustration can be so fun. She really has great comedic skills as well, with good timing and an ability to make the lines hit just right. I think A Puppy for Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as good without Busby, as she is fantastic here. The cast here also includes Christopher Russell, Greyston Holt, Derek McGrath, and Victoria Snow.
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