It's yet another version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with a gender-bender twist. Tori Spelling stars as Carol Cummings, a fabulously wealthy and enormously successful TV talk show host -- and a first-class shrew. Caring little for anything but the money and the celebrity that her job accrues, Carol mercilessly bullies and harangues everyone with whom she works, from her ulcerated producer Jimmy Fields (Michael Landes) to her long-suffering personal assistant Roberta Timmons (Nina Siemaszko), a single mom who dares not risk losing her job -- especially with Christmas just a few days away. While feverishly putting together a Yuletide TV special, Carol is visited by the ghost of her Aunt Marla (Dinah Manoff), who in her time was an even more insufferable diva than her niece. Warning Carol to change her ways before it is too late, Aunt Marla further proclaims that Carol will that evening be visited by three spirits who will show her the error of her ways. From this point forward it's the same old story, though it's fun to watch Gary Coleman as the Ghost of Christmas Past (appropriately in the form of a washed-up sitcom star!) and especially William Shatner as a Dr. Phil-style Ghost of Christmas Present. Also, the film represents one of the few times that the Scrooge character has a living love interest -- namely, Jason Brooks as John, a well-known Good Samaritan who continues to pine for Carol even after she has decided that he's the proverbial millstone around her neck. A Carol Christmas was first telecast by cable's Hallmark Channel on December 7, 2003.
by Hal Erickson synopsis