By Julie Pendray
IDYLLWILD, CALIF. — Residents of the tiny mountain village of Idyllwild, in Southern California, can see themselves on television on Christmas night by tuning into the movie “Naughty & Nice” on UPTV. The romantic comedy is scheduled to be shown at 6 p.m. Christmas Day and 2 p.m. Dec. 26 (Pacific Standard Time).
Viewers will recognize scenes shot over the summer in and around businesses such as Wooley’s, Higher Grounds Coffee House and Jo ‘An’s Restaurant & Bar. Many locals were extras in the film. Some huddled in the dark, drinking hot chocolate and waiting to do their part in a Christmas play scene, for example, filmed in the garden at Jo ‘An’s.
‘Naughty & Nice” tells the story of a cynical Los Angeles radio comic (Pepper Sterling) who angers an important advertising executive with his on-air antics and is sent to work at a sister station in a small town as remediation. There he goes tandem on the air with Sandy Love, an endearing romantic, in a show called Dr. Love in the Morning.
When sparks fly between the two hosts with opposite world views, listeners love it. As the audience grows, the two find that chemistry is growing too. It all turns into unexpected love in the mountains, in a snowy holiday season.
Sandy Love is played by Haylie Duff who has appeared in TV’s “Chicago Hope” and “Boston Public.” She also appeared in the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” and alongside her younger sister Hillary Duff in the Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire.”
The movie was produced by Carrie LeGrand, whose TV credits include “The Real Housewives of Horror,” and directed by Sam Irvin, who has directed movies such as “Guilty As Charged,” starring Rod Steiger. UPTV declined to discuss the budget of “Naughty & Nice”, in an interview by email.
Though this holiday season’s mountain comedy unfolds in what is meant to be a tiny Colorado town, the action actually happened in an unincorporated community of about 3,800 residents, a mile in elevation above Palm Springs in the national forest. Idyllwild has been used as a shooting location for many movies since Cecil B. Demille discovered it in 1914, according to Idyllwild Area Historical Society. Elvis Presley came to town for the filming of “Kid Galahad” for example in about 1962. Since then, the town has become known for its eclectic ambiance of visiting and resident actors, moviemakers, writers, visual artists and musicians.
For cynics, “Naughty & Nice” may not be the first movie choice — unless perhaps you live in Idyllwild and want to watch your neighbors on the screen — but the movie comes recommended by folks such as the Dove Foundation, who are watchdogs for family friendly viewing.
UPTV can be found on most cable systems around the country as well as DirecTV channel 338, DISH Network channel 188 and Verizon FIOS channel 224, according to the its web site.
UP is a TV entertainment brand designed to uplift audiences. It offers original movies, dramatic and reality series, comedies and specials, as well as gMovies, the “first faith-friendly streaming entertainment service,” the website states.
** Were you an extra in ‘Naughty & Nice’? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below this story to tell us about the experience. You can send the link for this story to your friends to remind them to watch on Dec. 25 and 26.