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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is hardly Oscar material but it is a pleasant diversion that you can safely watch with your kids during the holidays.

    The setting in the context of a reality talk show production is a nice twist on the Christmas Carol genre.

    Your kids won't understand the poignancy of Gary Coleman's appearance in this movie but you may. Gary mentions the dearth of acting roles for an actor of his height. Gary gets a lot of screen time and I enjoyed that.

    William Shatner did a decent job in a self-deprecating role.

    Tori Spelling was solid in her lead role.

    Good lesson in "keeping people waiting"

    Nice pay-off at the end of the movie. Of course, we expect a Christmas Carol remake to have a happy ending.

    Ghost of Christmas Future was the weakest segment but it was short.

    The reality show producer playing bad guy in Christmas past and good guy at the end of the movie was a bit confusing.

    For those two reasons I had to knock off a point from 6 to 5.

    Caught this thanks to recent play on premium cable.
  • Carol (Tori Spelling) is the star of an afternoon talk show. Unhappily, she is quite the diva and makes life miserable for those around her, especially her assistant Rebecca (Nina Siemaszko). Rebecca, a single mother, needs the job desperately and works far harder than she should to keep getting a paycheck. Now, its Christmastime, a holiday Carol hates, so she is very testy. After sending Rebecca shopping for meager presents for the staff, Carol lays down to take a nap. But, ho, ho, ho! First, she gets a visit from her deceased aunt's ghost (Dinah Manoff), the pushy woman who once acted as Carol's manager. Auntie warns Carol that she better change her ways and be kinder, for she herself has to wander the earth as a ghost, due to her past behavior. Then, just as Carol recovers from this shock, she gets a visit from Christmas Past (Gary Coleman), Xmas Present, Dr. Bob (William Shatner), and, naturally, ghastly Christmas Future. Past takes Carol back to her childhood, where her aunt manipulated the young girl into school play stardom, by hook or by crook. Then, its on to her early acting days, where Carol had a nice boyfriend but got "too busy" in her career to see him anymore. Carol also makes an invisible trip to Rebecca's very humble home, to her sister's abode and to her, Carol's, funeral, where few folks come to mourn. Will the talk show hostess change her ways? You bet! This is really a nice film, even though it is one of many modern takes on Dickens classic story. Spelling does a fine job as the insufferable Carol and the rest of the cast is very good, too, including Coleman, Shatner, Manoff, Siemaszko, and others. Two romantic male roles are filled by real lookers, although they are not household names. Originally on Hallmark, the movie also boasts nice sets, costumes, script, direction, and camera work. All in all, if you love romantic dramas or uplifting Christmas flicks, take time to find this one. Just like carol singers, the movie will put you in the right mood and attitude for the holidays.
  • jwpeel-120 December 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    It has been a tradition since my first VHS recorder for me to collect several of the incarnations of the old chestnut by Charles Dickens, and I taped this one and "Karroll's Christmas" this year. Fortunately, when this one was run on the Hallmark Channel at the unGodly hour of 3 AM, I was spared having to edit commercials from it. This was, however, it's only saving grace.

    The writing was excruciatingly dull with almost no clever scenes to save it from being anything more than a teeny-bopper soaper like Beverly Hills 90210. In this one, a good man who was cast aside for her celebrity seems the only logical explanation for her transformation into a Scrooge-like TV talk show hostess. It wasted Dinah Manoff who just plays bitch goddess to the other bitch goddess Tori Spelling (who, by the way, had more coats of paint on her face than some colonial houses) and Bill Shatner is perhaps one of the few fun things in this otherwise dreary adaptation.

    Some of the best opportunities are wasted like the entrances of the ghosts. Aunt Marla's entrance could have been spectacularly funny in the hands of a decent writer, but this Christmas turkey didn't have one, evidently.

    Tori Spelling may be a lovely person, but she has all the acting skill of a mannequin, and that makes for a bad show all by itself.

    Yes, it was good to see Gary Coleman work again, but the script gives him nothing to do really except roll his eyes and spout truly lame dialogue.

    And what is most infuriating was that the transformation from Scroogedom to Tori "sweet and light" is as convincing as a passionate conservative. Now, if anyone wants to write the ultimate Scrooge tale of a George Bush and Karl Rove, we might have a refreshing change from the usual bad Christmas Carol Clones.

    I suppose if you're a fan of Ms. Spelling and/or 90210, this might be your cup of Christmas cheer. I'd prefer a stiff shot of scotch and a cold beer to wash it down myself. This one I just may cast away before it is with me here for a long long time.

    God save us everyone!
  • A Christmas Carol has always been one of my favorite stories. I consider it to be the only "perfect" story ever written. I consider it wonderful that a story written in 1843 by Charles Dickens could still be as important and topical today as a newspaper headline. I feel that in this age of rampant commercialism and trivilization of Christmas that Dicken's story is as important as ever. Hollywood has always tried to take advantage of our love of this wonderful book. There have been literally dozens and hundreds of adaptations. On the radio, Scrooge was played by John and Lionel Barrymore, on the stage he was played by Olivier. In the movies, he has been played by Sir Seymour Hicks, Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Bill Murray and Michael Caine and on television he has been played by Sterling Hayden, James Whitmore, Jack Klugman, Walter Matthau, George C. Scott, Henry Winkler, Jack Elam and Patrick Stewart. Its ironic that the best adaptation of Scrooge was done by a woman Susan Lucci in the classic 1995 Lifetime special Ebbie. THAT IS THE BEST VERSION OF THIS STORY TRUST ME FOLKS! However Tori Spelling does a fine job in this modern day version as well. Tori is the daughter of tv tycoon Aaron Spelling and got her start on her dad's tv show "Beverly Hills 90210" (boy do you suppose he helped get her the part?) I know its easy to be cynical and say that, but BUT Tori is a fine actress in her own right and to me she "earned her spurs" in this film playing a very challenging role. In playing Scrooge, you are in a sense playing three parts. Scrooge is a miserable miser in the beginning, and slowly evolving and showing remorse as the spirits visit him and then he is kind and loving in the end. To me Spelling accomplishes this very well. She plays Carol Cartman a "Ricki Lake" like tv trash host who cares only about herself and the Nielsen ratings. One night the ghost of her Aunt Marla(Marley)Dinah Manoff visits her and warns she will be visited by three....oh well you know the rest. Spelling gives a fine performance and really does well in the traditional "repentance" speech that Scrooge gives after Christmas future shows him his horrible fate if he doesn't change...(Why show me this if I am past all hope...I will change...I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year...I will live in the Past, Present and future...This is a very well made film from Hallmark and I give it high marks.
  • Just finished watching this on The Hallmark Channel. Thought it was a unusual twist on the "Ebenezer Scrooge" thing. I have always liked Tori Spelling and her movies! Tori, of course, stars in another version of A Christmas Carol. Most of the time, you see men as the Ebenezer. This time they make a female do it. I like how they switched between the different ghosts/spirits. I also liked seeing William Shatner, from Star Trek fame, and Gary Coleman, from Different Strokes, as a couple of the spirits! If you haven't caught this older movie, definitely go out and rent it! I liked this movie from beginning to end! Way to go on this one!
  • jboothmillard30 December 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw the title and instantly knew this TV made film was going to be a modernised version of the classic Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol, and with one or two names in the cast being good I gave it a go. Basically Carol Cartman (Scary Movie 2's Tori Spelling) is the conceited, cynical, selfish and cold sensationalist TV chat show host who has been moulded by her dead Aunt Marla (Dinah Manoff). It is Christmas Eve, and with her mean behaviour at its tether, her dead Aunt comes to haunt her and tell her she is making a big mistake being like she is, she could become what she has in the afterlife. Marla also tells Carol that she will be visited by three ghosts to see the error of her ways, and hopefully change her attitude towards family, work and Christmas. So the spirit to visit is the child star Ghost of Christmas Past (Diff'rent Strokes' Gary Coleman), who takes her back to see her childhood growing up with Aunt Marla, how she got her break to becoming a star of stage and then screen, and ultimately how manipulative her Aunt really was to get her any career at all. After returning Carol is next visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, in the form of TV nice guy Dr. Bob (Star Trek's William Shatner), who shows her what her nastiness is doing to the people in her life, including work employees and family. Finally the silent and cold looking chauffeur Ghost of Christmas Future (James Cromwell) who shows Carol how her life will turn out if she doesn't mend her ways and make amends, including of course her death. So when she wakes up she is a reformed person, starts being nice to Jimmy Fields (Final Destination 2's Michael Landes) and assistant Roberta (Nina Siemaszko). In the end, live on her show she ultimately expresses her newfound heart saying she will give loads to charity and take her crew on holiday to Hawaii, and finally spends time with her niece and sister. Also starring Paula Trickey as Beth, Jason Brooks as John Joyce and Holliston Coleman as Lily. Spelling makes a slightly cheesy but near good Scrooge figure, the supporting cast members do alright as well, particularly Coleman and Shatner, the modern day showbiz satire is amusing at times, I agree it is like a pantomime most of the time, but a not too bad seasonal comedy fantasy. Okay!
  • Certainly not just the 3rd female scrooge! What about Vanessa Williams in A Diva's Christmas Carol or Cicely Tyson in Ms. Scrooge, who was great by the way... Both worth watching! Cicely was fantastically mean and miserly, almost stomping on a child's fingers to stop him from picking a quarter up from the street. She got the quarter, of course. And Vanessa as the rock-star diva was cute too, another great variation of the classic story. I'm biased in that I would watch any variation of A Christmas Carol, including the animated versions, (I love the Mr. Magoo one also). It's an uplifting tale that can warm the heart of any Grinch, including me...
  • The whole plot..a updated version of Christmas Carol in which the Scrooge character is someone in the media intent upon exploitating the Holiday for business purposes,and gets their comeuppances...was already done,and done much better in Scrooged with Bill Murray. Tori Spelling is not very good as the Carol of the title. Spelling has actually done some good work in a few Indie films,she is not without talent....but every time she gets some cred from her work in small indie films she throws it away on garbage like this. The whole Bill Shanter/Star Trek bit was about as funny as a funeral. Attempts to modernize the Dickens classic are a dime a dozen,and this is one of the weaker efforts. All in all,a waste of time.
  • amurphy25 December 2006
    Though they used a ton of B-List actors, the movie, in my opinion was a pretty decient movie. It was actually a very nice spin on the original and wasn't too sappy. I am also not a very big fan of Tori Spelling, but she was actually pretty good in this movie as the self centered Talk Show Host. Granted, it is not the greatest adaptation of it, but it gets its point across without being too dumb. The acting and adaptation was actually what made it for me!Others include Gary Colman and William Shatner. I know I know, cheesy actors, but their characters of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present were actually pretty endearing characters. In my opinion, this is a lot better than Vh1's take on the tale in a Diva's Christmas Carol. The movie also stayed close to the main message that the original tale had. This is definitely better than the stars it has right now. I mean, I should have hated this movie, and I actually loved it! Tori Spelling did well!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***Contains SPOILERS*** **Spoiler alert**

    Tori Spelling (as Carol Cartman) at her best, playing the worst sort of person. An evil talk show host who thinks only of her self, and the almighty $$$. She treats her employees, friends and family like dirt. She will stop at nothing to be in the spot light. That is until she is visited by three ghosts. I thought the first ghost was a stroke of genius. It was great to see GARY COLEMAN as the Ghost of Christmas Past. It was really nice to see him in a movie again. He takes Carol (Tori) on a tour of her Christmas days of past. Then the Ghost of Christmas present shows up, who just happened to be the awesome WILLIAM SHATNER. Wow was that a wild idea. Anyway, he takes her on a tour of the Christmas present. By this time see has begun to see the error of her ways, Only to be show her possible future. In the end, she does see her errors, and corrects them. Turning her life around, and giving all who watch an overwhelming CHRISTMAS feeling. I give this movie a must see!!!

    The only thing I regret is this is a made for TV movie on the HALLMARK channel, and sadly they blitz you with tons of commercials!!! If you can get past those commercials, you got it made. This movie is awesome!!
  • One thing that brings this movie down, is it being one of the thousand movie remake of A Christmas Carol.

    Certaintly the best movie ever, best is one of my very few favorite Christmas movies. This one is number one on my fav list. Tori Spelling really showed her acting, finally someone wrote a script that would suit Spelling. Instead of her getting a script that always make her look like an awful actress.

    Was like Bill Murray in Scrooged (1988), which this movie in someways a lot of like it. Tori Spelling character was like Bill's a Scrooge after the famous life in the media changed them. I actually watch half of the A Christmas Carol and liked it better than Scrooged. And I love watching Scrooged all the time. Spelling love interest is Jason Brooks (Of Baywatch Hawaii)who both star in the tv movie The Alibi which Spelling and Brooks had a storyline in it too.

    Just didn't like William Shatner in the movie.

    Nevertheless a great movie for the whole family to watch

    I give it 5 stars
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A TV version of Scrooged, effectively, and the 1001th version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol! Tori Spelling is the eponymous Carol, a selfish TV Chat Show host.

    This really does have iconic TV actors, Star Trek's William Shatner, Different Strokes' Gary Coleman, Lois and Clark's Michael Landes, The West Wing's Nina Siemaszko and in an uncredited role, James Cromwell.

    Its the support cast that make the movie tolerable rather than Tori Spelling. I don't know her for her acting career, just for her being Aaron Spelling's daughter, and general tabloid fodder.

    The movie is typical TV mulch, and tries too hard to be a lot like Scrooged, momentarily funny, but not laugh-out-loud.

    So, yeah, One time viewing, its fine, but for repeats, definitely choose the superior Scrooged.
  • I especially loved seeing Jason Brooks in this film. I think he is a wonderful actor (miss him from Days and Baywatch Hawaii). He and Tori also did a movie called "Alibi" together in 1997.

    Not really a big fan of Tori but she did a good job and the movie puts you in a good holiday frame of mind. I thought the blonde hair was a BIG improvement over the old RED.


    Every year there seems to be 2-3 new versions of "A Christmas Carol". Since the original property is in public domain (Meaning anybody exploit material at no cost) I am afraid that we will forever see new spins on the story however I hope that are not as bad as this version.

    Tori Spelling is front and center in this edition. She plays a cheap self centered talk show host who abuses her staff and has very little to do with her own family,

    The screenplay here is just awful. There is not a consistent tone to any of it. The tweaks from the original book are just not good.

    Because the story of " A Christmas Carol" is well known to everyone its a problem that this film can not solve. Because we all know the story we know what is going to happen. There is no surprise element. Because there is huge lack of discovery. The film seems to run longer than the 85 minutes that it is.

    I will say Tori does an okay job. I have seen this story now told too many times now.

    If anybody wants to watch a good adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" then watch the 1938 Version. Its b/w and it is the versions that all further adaptions used as a template.
  • Each year, the Christmas/Chanukah season sees a plethora of new and reissued movies celebrating the holidays. Some are groaners, a few are terrific (such as "Comfort and Joy" elevated by Nancy McKeon and Steven Eckholt's performances), and a handful make seasonal films worth taking a chance on. "A Carol Christmas" is one of these. I almost skipped it because of Tori Spelling, but can't resist checking out the latest "Christmas Carol" pastiches. Tori's acting was better here than what I've seen previously to about the same degree that the reformed Carol was to the "bad" Carol. Gary Coleman, as the Ghost of Christmas Past, was surprisingly and wisely understated. Willam Shatner, whose "real life" counterpart was a Dr. Phil send-up, was campy as usual. But writer Tom Amundsen cleverly managed to fit the ghost's campiness within the "real world" of the story. Dinah Manoff was outstanding as the conniving Aunt Marla, on whose machinations the plot revolves. Initially, Jason Brooks struck me as an odd choice for Carol's love interest, but he won me over. The key to the success of "A Carol Christmas," in my opinion, is the fact that Amundsen, who wrote several episodes of the classic series "Perfect Strangers," combined some excellent comedy with a somewhat gentle touch when it came to copying Dickens' original. He was also restrained without being coy in the way he made his points about the moral messages in the film. "A Carol Christmas" is, in my opinion, far better than several big screen Christmas releases of the past two or three years, in which major stars have strained and struggled with overblown scripts in efforts that yielded precious few real laughs. A tip of the hat as well to the always reliable Michael Landes, and Nina Siemanszko (recurring in the Mystery Woman series on Hallmark). They and other supporting cast members gave this surprisingly good Christmas film a realism and poignancy that left us with smile on our lips and a warm feeling in our hearts.
  • sprtsgy24 November 2018
    I've watched a lot of Christmas movies. I love them. I love the classics. And I've come to enjoy the Hallmark movies. I've watched quite a few, and they range from OK too pretty good. But this one is a train wreck. It guts all the emotion out of the Dickens version of a Christmas Carol. The writing is him listed, and not worthy of its source material. The actors were in a losing proposition. There was not much they could do with this terrible script. So watch some of the other heartwarming movies this Christmas, but don't waste your time on this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    With a bigger name cast than most year-end Christmas TV movies, "A Carol Christmas" should have been better than just a fair film. William Shatner, Michael Landes, and Gary Coleman are among the better-known actors. And, the plot of this film is a modern day "Christmas Carol" story. The title even is a play on words of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." In this case, the Carol isn't a song or poem but a person.

    The Hallmark plot reprises the Dickens format of three ghosts - past, present and future. But, unfortunately, it is treated heavily with humor and a light touch. Without the drama it's almost whimsical at times. Carol Cartman's trips with the ghosts become much less believable as having any real effect on her. Tori Spelling plays her character well enough, especially in the first part as a modern day Scrooge. As Dickens described the character, Spelling plays well "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner."

    Her heavy use of makeup, especially lipstick, helps shape her image as a cold, frozen, bitter, totally self-absorbed person. When she changes toward the end, the heavy makeup is gone, her complexion softens, and she appears clean and kind. Good job, that.

    But again, the light-hearted treatment of the ghosts runs counter to this and detracts from Spelling's character as being seriously flawed. So, instead of a possible modern remake of "A Christmas Carol," this film turns out to be a modern tale that resembles the original format, but with comedy and humor that all but smothers the original story and its values.

    The original "Christmas Carol" is a timeless classic. So, it should lend itself to a modern adaptation, but one that keeps to the original story format. It would be set in modern times and with a super wealthy person who exists solely for wealth and power but who could have taken a different path in the past.
  • When I first saw this DVD in a bargain bin for three dollars, I really couldn't believe my luck: a Christmas movie starring Tori Spelling, William Shatner, AND Gary Coleman??? Needless to say, I snatched it up immediately and considered it a worthwhile investment.

    The movie itself was just as bad as any movie you'd expect to be combining Christmas and the three aforementioned "celebrities." The dialogue was inane, the characters were one dimensional, and Carol's character arc was completely unbelievable. The movie itself was a lifeless piece of boring that refused to end and made me feel used as a human being when the end did finally come.

    My advice: Don't watch this movie unless you have to and then only under the influence of some serious holiday eggnog.
  • alan-lohf10 January 2013
    Can someone please explain to me why Tori Spelling keeps on getting roles? Actors - and actresses - get work for one of two reasons (a) they have talent, or (b) they are beautiful/handsome/cute/etc. Tori Spelling doesn't even come close to qualifying on either criterion - she has all the talent of Hulk Hogan and the looks of, well, Hulk Hogan. So what is going on here? However, imagine my surprise when I watched this film - it is actually not too bad. My assessment has nothing to do with Tori Spelling - she is just as dreadful in this as she has been in everything else I've seen featuring her. The upside of this effort is a surprisingly good performance by another perennial disappointment - William Shatner. He may be an icon due to his role in the Star Trek series but William has, in my view, always been a terrible ham - overacting painfully whenever the opportunity has presented itself. But in this film his performance is clever and sharp. In fact, it is watchable almost solely due to his surprisingly witty contribution. Even Gary Coleman, definitely a contender for the worst actor of all time, manages to outshine Spelling with some reasonable delivery. So, if you are looking for a way to kill 90 minutes or so - and can turn a blind eye to Tori Spelling's trade mark incompetence - this movie is probably an option.
  • I have this movie on DVD but after some technical problems, i finally saw it on TV the other day.carol cartman is initially, a self-centred, career-driven, lonely bitch who well, yells at everyone a lot. Fumbling crew members, executive producers on her talk show which the show is centred on, her happily married sister,her single mother personal assistant who spends more time tending to carol's every whim than her daughters'(luckily brooks is on hand to lend a hand and maybe a little more).The death of carol's beloved aunt and mentor has left an enormous hole in her heart which has all but rotted away any niceness left in her.that is, until coleman shows up and tries to knock some sense into her by reminding her where she came from and what/who has made her the way she is.shatner shows her what is & a freaky limo driver shows her what could be, including an equally freaky scene which tori-haters worldwide may enjoy fantasising further about but for me, i didn't like watching that bit.coleman & shatner force her to re-evaluate her life & those in it.

    Bottom line-tori is very good at being bad.there is something in it for everyone, no matter what your level of tolerance towards her is.
  • Needless to say, I am a big fan of Dicken's story, and have seen many versions. Susan Lucci did the best "female" portrayal in Ebbie, but I would not dismiss the fine performance of Tori Spelling, someone I initially would not consider worth watching.

    I am a little biased in this one as her love interest (Jason Brooks) is a social worker.

    The story does not need retelling, as most are familiar with it. It is a story that embodies the real spirit of the holiday. How could anyone not "reform" after being visited by the Ghosts of Christmas, played comically and wonderfully here by Gary Coleman and William Shatner.

    A very interesting twist here substituting Tiny Tim's affliction with a custody battle. It was nice seeing Nina Siemaszko (Ellie Bartlet from "The West Wing") again.
  • A Carol Christmas is a modern version of scrooge. An egotistical presenter learns the error of her ways via some spirits of Christmas past, present and future.

    Despite a relatively high profile cast ( cameo performances from William Shatner and Gary Coleman)for a TV movie this one falls a bit flat. Tori Spelling does a decent job as the lead but the terrible dialogue and production is just too mushy and it just seems the film is going through the motions. To be honest the only emotion this film evoked from me was boredom.

    Whilst it's not horrendous and is at least watchable I'd save your mulled wine for better Christmas films.
  • This one really surprise me . This had me with title Normal it other way around,

    This times Carol who is a Host of her Hit chat show, she being really nasty to everyone, then she see her Aunt comes to tell her (Who's Dead) she will be seen by 3 ghost.

    This movie did have really nice twist as it women this time, Aunt say There something else I was going call you but it's rhymes with Rich

    There some funny jokes in this movie, some parts of the movie could have been bit more funny then they were.

    Some jokes were little to forced and then ending was really nice and sweet,

    Really great way to end this movie, I love the way they were reading the last pages of A Christmas Carol at the end of the movie.

    7 out of 10