Nothing in Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever makes much sense because it’s all so inane. The movie, as you’ve probably realized by now, gets weirdly meta. It opens with Grumpy Cat narrating, “You don’t have to watch it, but I know you’re going to. So.” And she’s right, of course, because so many people are going to watch this thing, even though they don’t necessarily want to. At one point, we see Aubrey Plaza in the recording booth voicing Grumpy Cat. There’s a fantasy sequence where Grumpy Cat dreams about becoming a famous Internet cat — complete with a shot of the “I had fun once. It was awful” meme, the words appearing on the screen in that infamous meme font — and eventually getting her own Lifetime movie.
The one thing I can sort of, very hesitantly, praise about the movie is that it does make fun of its network. When Grumpy Cat is in peril, she reminds viewers that she can’t die — it’s her movie, after all, but most importantly: How would Lifetime continue to capitalize on this cat’s face by making a sequel like Grumpy Cat’s Worst Vacation Ever? The movie mentions this so-far-nonexistent but most-likely-happening sequel twice. Then, of course, it ruins the humor with an uncomfortable “joke” about Lifetime’s penchant for disturbing molestation stories. When our tween heroine is reunited with her mother (spoiler: the child doesn’t die), her mother asks, “Those guys didn’t do anything to you, did they?” And Grumpy Cat’s voice-over responds, “That’s a… different kind of Lifetime movie.” Yikes, Lifetime.
Mostly, though, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is another shameless cash grab (Grumpy Cat’s pimps her official merchandise more than once) and a shoddy attempt at getting attention for the network (Grumpy Cat also breaks the fourth wall by telling viewers to tweet while watching the movie with the hashtag #WorstChristmasEver). It’s terribly written (by two writers), with jokes ranging from “Beautiful? On what planet? Planet ugly?” to “Devil’s advocat.” That’s the level of humor you’re going to get from a Lifetime movie about a grumpy cat, but, well, what did you expect?
Grumpy Cat is right about one thing: people are going to watch this. But trust me, no matter how much you want to avoid relatives this Thanksgiving, this movie is a waste of your time. Don’t give Lifetime the ratings. Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever was inevitable, but maybe, just maybe, we can kill the sequel before it happens.