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Case Number 26763: Small Claims Court

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Merry In-Laws

Gaiam // 2013 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 30th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum finds an all-too-sweet holiday treat.

The Charge

Look who's coming home for the holidays!

The Case

Merry In-Laws is one of those family Lifetime holiday features that is almost painless to watch…almost.

The story is about a guy (Lucas Bryant, The Vow) introducing his fiancée (Kassia Warshawski, Haunting Melissa) to his parents (Shelley Long and George Wendt, Cheers) with a certain amount of trepidation. You see they aren't who anybody thinks they are, and their secret is a holiday bombshell that drives the whole film. It's all too predictable, and you'll figure it all out too fast and wait for the characters to catch up.

The movie itself might have been better if we had more of Cheers alums Long and Wendt, but they both really are only in this thing sporadically. Instead we focus on the couple, and that's the least interesting part of the whole affair. Visual effects are pretty lame, the plot is predictable, and it has a treacle tenor to everything. Merry In-Laws is so damn sweet it could cause a cavity, and it kind of elicits the same pain. I left wishing it had better material for these guys, but alas, we are adrift in the snow banks of holiday specials.

The DVD is barebones, but at least the transfer is nice. Colors pop, and the clarity is enough to make it all work. The stereo mix is fine, and all in all, there is no reason to gripe—well, except that you still have to sit through this holiday schmaltz-fest. The best part is Shelley Long and George Wendt are still funny, although you feel they are slumming it in this one. It's fun to see them together again, but in the end, the material is too weak.

This is a disposable holiday treat that's too sweet to have any heft, and not enough smarts to keep it interesting. If you have a Lifetime holiday flick fan you are trying to please, Merry In-Laws might just work. There is a certain glee in seeing two Cheers stars together again, but then you realize what movie they are in.

The Verdict

Guilty of being too sugary and too sweet to be much more than what it is, an ugly holiday sweater of a film.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 68

Perp Profile

Studio: Gaiam
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Christmas
• Family
• Fantasy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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