Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Welcome back dear readers. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did. I spent it with some new friends in Kansas City Missouri. I don’t remember a lot of the trip but I do know for sure that there was no gravy waterboarding and that this is definitely reality and Hallmark is not controlling our every action. In fact, Hallmark loves us deeply. How can we tell? Because they give us movies like this one: Superman Loves Cats, aka: The Nine Lives of Christmas.
Fireman Zachary Stone (Routh) is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad after all. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee (Sustad), an animal lover and veterinary student who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. Chemistry immediately develops between the two, but will they find a way together despite themselves?
Let's get one thing straight here, friends. This movie stars actual Superman who is also a fireman and ALSO loves cats. This is basically XXX spinster porn and it delivers on it's premise early and often. Within the first 15 seconds there is an adorable cat on screen and he is followed quickly by Superman posing for a hunky fireman calendar.
Anyways, Superman is being photographed by a smoking hot red-head photographer. She puts the moves on ol' Supes but he's not having it. There's some throwaway dialogue about this being because he's a confirmed bachelor but I'm pretty sure that Superman hooking up with a redhead photographer is going to give him some confusing Jimmy Olsen feelings and he doesn't want any part of that. We can't be sure. Superman is a complicated guy.
Suddenly the fire bell rings! Superman springs into action with some other stock fireman characters. There's a meathead guy and a black guy and a chief with a mustache. No need to develop those characters beyond those stock roles and besides there's no time! SHIT'S ON FIRE! The fire engine roars out of the gates of the Hall of Firefighting which is decorated for Christmas even though it is CLEARLY July and this call is probably for a forest fire. Good thing this Earth's yellow sun is what gives mighty Kal-El his amazing powers!
The firemen are on their way to save the day in what is sure to be an exciting action sequence so now is the perfect time to cut away to a frumpy graduate student in a classroom. It's our female protagonist, Lois LOLcat! She's a veterinary student with a plucky best friend who says that Lois LOLcat should try and get on a dating site called Just Desserts. In a new personal low-point, I paused the movie to see if that site actually existed. It does not.
Anyways, we now know that Lois LOLcat is a single lady and she's got no time for guys until she's done with school! People in this movie have lots of self-imposed rules about dating. I bet the plot wouldn't fall apart without them!
So Lois LOLcat is headed home to do nerdy graduate student things but she's cut off by none other than the speeding firetruck! It must be on it's way to the fire! Yes! Superman will save the day again but not before he uses his super eye contact to give Lois LOLcat a knowing Superman smile from the speeding truck. Superman, you really are the best! [Ending becomes evident at the six minute mark.]
Lois LOLcat heads to the Daily Planet of Pets pet shop where she works as an intrepid salesperson. She sure does love cats!
The blaze apparently quelled, Superman returns to his fortress of solitude. We didn't get to see him heroically save a family of campers from that forest fire but that's okay because now we get to see him save that cat that was in scene one from a dog. Supes is happy to once again save the day but he tells the cat that he's not a commitment guy and the cat can't enter the fortress of solitude. The son of Jor-El is really laying that "no commitment" line on pretty thick. Stop spending so much time with Batman, Clark. He's turning you into an asshole too!
That sneaky cat somehow breaks into the fortress of solitude anyway! Superman is like "get out cat!" but that cat won't leave so Superman says "okay fine, you win." This cat has succeeded where the likes of Brainiac, Bizarro and even Darkseid have failed! The Man of Steel has been beaten!
We're left to contemplate this impossible turn of events as the scene shifts to Lois LOLcat returning home to what appears to be the saddest walk up apartment building in all of Metropolis. If that wasn't enough, she's stopped by the complex's most diabolical villain: Laverne Luthor! She's Lex's second cousin and not quite as good at real estate schemes but she's knows how to terrorize this one particular apartment building! She tells Lois LOLcat that she thought she heard a cat last night and CATS ARE NOT ALLOWED! Luthor, you fiend! Lois LOLcat is a master of deception and easily fools her though. Victorious, she heads up to her single-lady apartment and of course there's a cat there. Shockingly, there is only ONE cat. This, dear readers, stretches credulity to it's absolute limit and really took me out of the world of the movie.
THE NEXT DAY: Superman finally calls the number on the cat's tag only to discover that the cat belonged to an old lady and the planet that said old lady lived on has since exploded. Superman is filled with super-empathy. He names the cat Streaky the Supercat and Streaky formally joins Superman's fight for justice.
Supes heads to the grocery store to get some some food for his new ally in the quest for peace and lucky for him Lois LOLcat is on the scene to help. She proceeds to to flirt with the Last Son of Krypton by talking about cat diarrhea.
Okay. I'm going to break character here for a moment because this is important. Ladies, Hallmark is selling you a false bill of good here. When approaching a hunky, unwed man in a grocery store do not start talking about your extensive experience with cat diarrhea. I am here to tell you in no uncertain terms that as a hunky, unwed man who grocery shops this will not only NOT net you a towering firefighter who is emotionally distant but you can totally change, it will bring the conversation to an immediate halt. Just don't do it.
Back to our story.
Superman is all about this cat diarrhea conversation and wants to know more about this charming earth woman. He asks her why she has so much ice cream in her cart? Is she having a party? Can Superman come? No, she says, "it's all for me. I'm super depressed." Before they part Superman stops a speeding cart and saves Lois LOLcat from having to leave a note on someone's windshield. Superman, you've done it again! He gives Lois LOLcat another knowing Superman smile and is off.
BACK AT THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE: Oh no! General Zod's flunkie Ursa has broken into the Fortress of Solitude and has used red Kryptonite to put Superman under her control. She monologues about how much she hates cats so that we know she is evil and then forces Superman to take her to dinner. Ursa, you wretch!
MEANWHILE: Lois LOLcat is going all over town telling people that she and Superman are a thing. She really felt good about that diarrhea convo and is telling people he's totally going to take her to the Christmas party. She runs into the red kryptonite controlled Superman at the restaurant and he reminds her that he's a confirmed bachelor. Lois LOLcat is undeterred. She knows that she has a deep arsenal of stories about cat excrement. More than enough to to win the day eventually. The red kryptonite forces Supes to return to Ursa but he gives Lois LOLcat another knowing Superman smile before he goes. We know you're in there, Superman! Fight it!
Ursa forces Superman to bring Streaky the Supercat to the Daily Planet of Pets pet store. But why? OH NO. In a shocking reveal the pet store is owned by none other than General Zod! Superman manages to save Streaky the Super Cat but not before Zod can totally fire Lois LOLcat.
BACK AT THE HALL OF FIREFIGHTING: Superman is beginning to resist Ursa's red kryptonite. He just can't forget that magical cat diarrhea conversation with Lois LOLcat. The other stock firefighter charterers tell Superman he is falling in love and he's like no way my parents had marital problems and I don't want none of that. The stock fireman are like how do you even know that? Your parents exploded along with your home planet when you were a baby! Superman says, "I'm Superman and if you question me again I'll throw you into space." That red kryptonite isn't gone yet!
Superman returns to his fortress of solitude to find Streaky the Supercat gone! Ursa has cast him out! Superman summons all of his super-will and breaks the spell of the red kryptonite! He dumps Ursa and banishes her to the phantom zone.
Free of Ursa's control Superman speeds to the Hall of Firefighting. Good news, Lois LOLcat has found Streaky the Super Cat and everyone is reunited. You'd think the movie was over now but you'd be dead wrong. Superman and Lois LOLcat start hanging out but they're not dates! The man of Steel isn't about to get friend-zoned though! He defeats Laverne Luthor and invites Lois LOLCat to come live with him at the fortress of solitude. She accepts but she takes this as a roommate situation and there is no funny business. Superman (and I) are now completely perplexed. Lois LOLcat is now living with actual Superman who is also a firefighter and loves cats and totally doting on her like a loving spouse and she's still giving him the friend treatment. Have I misread the situation? Is Lois LOLcat the true villain of this story?
Just when all seems lost Supes and Lois LOLcat head for the Christmas Tree lot. Oh thank God! The CHRISTMAS MAGIC at last. These two are gonna get their G-rated make out on and everyone can live happily ever in this fantasy world where hunky fireman want to hear about your cat's bowel movements on the reg.
Well, dear readers, here is where my frndly app jumped ahead to live TV for no reason other than it's not a great app. Live TV was of course THE END CREDITS. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This is what I get for pausing to see if that dating site was real!
There is only one choice. We're gonna write the end of this ourselves.
Superman and Lois LOLcat have found the perfect tree for them and their cats. Light piano music plays as it begins to softly snow. Superman gently caresses Lois LOLcat's cheek as she looks deeply into his eyes. Their lips inch ever closer... WHEN OUT OF NOWHERE Metallo attacks! His robot body has been painted red to contrast the green kryptonite that powers his cyborg body. What a cruel twist on those most beloved of Christmas colors!
Superman rushes Lois LOLcat to safety and flies at Metallo knocking him straight through the brick wall of a nearby factory. Superman realizes his mistake too late -- it's a tinsel factory. Metallo absorbs the festive metals and grows taller than the Daily Planet of Pets building! Superman races to face him but Giant-Size Tinsel Metallo blasts him with a ray from his kryptonite core, sending the Man Steel crashing to the ground! Lois LOLcat runs to his side. Depleted from the Kryptonite blast, Superman can barely speak. Lois LOLcat tells him some facts about cat poop and he manages one last knowing Superman smile. Superman whispers that he needs to tell her something but stops as a large shadow forms around them. Giant-Size Tinsel Metallo is about to squash them both flat! This is the end, dear readers!
At the last second Giant-Size Tinsel Metallo is knocked flat on his shiny metal ass by none other than Santa Claus in his sleigh! Santa uses Christmas Magic to return Metallo to normal size. Superman is right behind him and uses his heat vision to seal Metallo's kryptonite core! Metallo is defeated and Christmas is saved! Without a word Santa flies away leaving Superman with a knowing Santa Claus smile.
Superman extends his hand and lifts Lois LOLcat from the wreckage. They kiss underneath the mistletoe as the town cheers. Also: a stranger comes up to Lois LOLcat and offers her a veterinary practice of her very own. NOICE!
The next night Superman and Lois LOLcat are at the big Christmas party and they're totally a couple now as both have admited their dating rules were dumb and also a plot contrivance. They exchange presents and guess what?! They both got each other a kitten so now they have even MORE cats! Christmas ends with Lois LOLcat surrounded by her Superman firefighter and now four cats. What could be better? Merry Christmas everyone!
PS: This one re-airs on 12/14 and when it does we'll see how well we did guessing the ending. I feel like I'm close.
PS some more: I've been getting requests to offer an actual "yes or no" review on these so I'm going to start adding that to the end. To catch up:
Coming Home for Christmas: Pretty standard issue "change the guy" rom-com. Extra points because I grew up with the Wonder Years and am a sucker for Winnie Cooper.
Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater: a good one to make fun of in that it's central premise is ridiculous.
A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love: This was borderline unwatchable and I almost stopped. I legitimately had no idea it was based on a true story. And apparently there are multiple of these. The first one had Kathie Lee in it, God help us.
The Nine Live of Christmas: I legitimately liked this one. It knows it's ridiculous and leans into it. It's the rom-com equivalent of Sharknado. It's trying to be kitchy and it's easy to have fun with that. Routh remains a charmer (and is a better Superman than Cavill - fight me) and makes the whole thing work.