Movie Review: The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014)
Synopsis: Firefighter Zachary has a good life. He is liked by his peers, people think of him as a hero, he has a successful side business flipping homes and he dates models. He also has no interest in a long-term relationship. At least until he adopts a stray cat and meets a veterinary student, Marilee.
Review: Even though I wasn't a big fan of this movie's sequel, The Nine Kittens of Christmas, there were some elements in that movie that made me interested in at least giving this film a chance. Even then, I had some serious doubts about it. As it turns out, however, we ended up enjoying it more than expected.
I think the thing I liked best about this film was the way Zachary's (Routh) relationship with Marilee (Sustad) develops. Even though there was some physical attraction for the both of them from the time they meet in the cat food aisle, the movie has things progress at a much-more-realistic pace than some other films, with them starting out more as friends and gradually falling in love with each other. This made it much more believable they would work out as a couple.
The fact both Zachary and Marilee were both hoping to remain unattached was also an interesting element. In Marilee's case, I could see why she would want to avoid dating until she became a veterinarian, since she seemed like she had a lot on her plate as it was. And, Zachary seemed to have one beautiful woman after another wanting to date him, what guy wouldn't want that?
I do think the movie should have given the cats a bit more screen time, especially Ambrose. The movie seemed to hint he had some special gifts, especially when it came to bringing Zachary and Marilee together. It would have been great to see much more of him as a result of that.
Final Opinion: I had some doubts about this film but it ended up being a cute, romantic movie that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. I still wouldn't recommend the sequel but this is a film worth watching at least once.
My Grade: B