If you like the cattiness of The Real Housewives, then you’ll love the 2012 ABC Family original movie (now Freeform) The Mistle-Tones. It’s Mean Girls and Glee wrapped up into one movie but with full-grown women instead of high-schoolers. Think painful, modernized holiday songs and show-choir choreography mixed with lots of wine chugging and faux fur.
It’s a week before Christmas and Holly (Tia Mowry) only has one chance to join the Snow Belles, an a capella group started by her dead mother. The Snow Belles are worshiped for their Christmas Eve performance at the Deck the Mall Spectacular (because mall concerts are all the rage). Leader of the Snow Belles Marci (Tori Spelling), a fan of velour tracksuits, passes over Holly’s belted rendition of “O Holy Night.”
Holly starts a rival group with misfits from her boring corporate job, including the strict but hot boss, Nick (Jonathan Patrick Moore). The group of outcasts, now the Mistle-Tones, challenge the Snow Belles to a Christmas Eve sing-off.
Cue lots of musical montages and suddenly, a week has passed. Unsurprisingly, the Mistle-Tones look and sounds fantastic. As proved through Pitch Perfect and High School Musical, outcasts have the best voices.
Hot boss Nick is an ugly workaholic, until he removes his glasses and bam! Total babe. Of course, this transformation sets up the perfect love story. Nick and Holly make out in a closet (during an office holiday party). But there’s a catch: Nick is offered a job in Southeast Asia and his plane leaves that night.
The next day, twenty groups compete for the coveted Christmas Eve spot and thousands of people gather at the mall to watch. But Nick is nowhere to be found! Holly tries to call but he doesn’t answer. Spoiler: he’s on a plane to Southeast Asia.
The show must go on, with or without Nick. The Mistle-Tones give a sub-par performance, easily shown up by the Snow Belles’ dramatic escalator entrance. But wouldn’t you know it, Nick shows up on a truck and wins Holly back with song. It all ends with a rock/a capella version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
It’s hard to keep a straight face through The Mistle-Tones, especially because Spelling thoroughly commits to her role as a mean girl. She has too many fantastic lines to count, including, “She is peppermint-barking up the wrong tree.” Over-the-top winks to the camera are groan-worthy, but in a fun way. It’s complete silliness and has no substance, meaning it’s definitely worth another three viewings and a sing-along.
The Mistle-Tones is available to stream on Hulu.