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Picks and Pans Review: Undercover Christmas

updated 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (Sun., Dec. 7, 9 p.m. ET)

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If a woman insists that a man is not her type and the guy says the same about her, it's a virtual law of TV movies that they'll be in each other's arms by the finish. So it's up to the actors to hold our interest in this basically unsurprising love story.

Jami Gertz (Still Standing) has a nice mix of brazenness and innocence as Brandi, a cocktail waitress persuaded to testify against her tax-cheat boyfriend (Cameron Bancroft). Jake (Shawn Christian), the stiff FBI agent protecting Brandi, brings her home to his rich family for Christmas and falls for her in spite of himself. Unlikely? Sure. But Judging Amy's Tyne Daly is comic perfection in her early scenes as Jake's condescending mother.

What's wrong, then? Plenty. Daly's character turns wildly inconsistent, while Jake's father (Winston Rekert) is so insufferable that we're totally unmoved when he finally apologizes for being a jerk.

ROMANCE

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