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To quote my short review of Lifetime’s 12 Men of Christmas that ran in EW: “The only reason to watch this trivial holiday movie—with Kristin Chenoweth as an NYC bitch who finds herself after moving to Montana—is to gawk at Cougar Town‘s Josh Hopkins, who plays her love interest, often with a bare (and chiseled!) chest.”
That hasn’t changed, and only struck me more so as I watched the two-hour pic again Saturday, when it premiered at 9 p.m. The movie is supposed to be about Chenoweth’s Amanda Woodward-esque character E.J., who moves to small-town Montana and shakes things up by commissioning a torso-happy calendar featuring the local search-and-rescue guys and, of course, her rocky relationship with town bad boy Will (Hopkins). Despite all that blah-blah-blah plot: This movie is really about Hopkins’ wonderfully maintained upper body. I’m convinced that the producers quickly realized this, too, which is why they so gratuitously featured his man muscles throughout.
For your viewing pleasure—and so you don’t waste time with, you know, the rest of the movie—I’m providing you with a minute-by-minute breakdown of when it’s crucial to stop your DVR and check in on Hopkins’ Very, Very Merry chiseledness:
0:24: The first sighting of Hopkins’ Will. E.J. goes to the Post Office to mail something and sees him, then does a double take, setting up their flirty relationship. Even clothed in his mountain-man wear, he’s a God.
0:30: The first sighting of Hopkins’ rockin’ bod. He’s skinny-dipping in a pool at a house that E.J. goes to scout out, and what do you know? He pulls himself up out of the water, totally nude, right in front of E.J. (If I had that body, I’d be similarly unashamed.) Granted, we viewers don’t get to see the goods, but what they do show — cuts of his legs, pecs, back, chest — is undoubtedly nice enough. Walking toward E.J. in his birthday suit, he goads her: “Are you enjoying the view?” Will says, apparently referring to the beautiful, surrounding landscape (although we all know what he’s really talking about). Her retort, flicking her eyes down toward his no-no: “Let’s just say Montana’s not all it’s cracked up to be.” Burn! But the sexually charged banter continues: “It’ll grow on you,” Will replies. (I mean. I mean! I’m sure it will!) To which she says: “Don’t count on it.” Burn times two! All in all, the folks who shot and edited this scene were smart cookies: They cut it just right, so that trashy viewers like myself would get a thrill, yet it’d still be (pretty much) PG-13.
1:18: The montage-ish photoshoots for all the men included in the calendar begins. I’m a fan of Mr. May, Mr. June, and Mr. September. But again, it’s all about Mr. December, a.k.a. Hopkins, who poses for his shot (with a horse, no less!) at…
1:22: Surrounded by snow, Champagne bottle and glass in hand, next to said horse. Did the producers of this movie pull this straight out of my dreams?
1:31: This is the first time you see how the actual calendar shot of Hopkins turns out, when E.J. gets the first shipment of her big project. Shocker: He’s still completely adorable! (And: shirtless!)
1:33: Now we’re, sadly, to the last shot of Hopkins without his top on, so you — like me — will have to savor it. (That is, until you hit restart on your DVR. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.) Consequently, Chenoweth is in the scene, too, and it’s nothing too special. (It’s actually the scene that the above photo is taken from.) But still…
Did you miss Lifetime’s 12 Men of Christmas? You can catch Men in repeats at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Sunday; and 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Don’t forget to consult this oh-so-chesty (and handy!) guide while you’re watching.
More from EW.com’s PopWatch: