TV MOVIE "Holiday Spin"

WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime

REASON TO WATCH See what L.I. guy Ralph Macchio got from "Dancing With the Stars" last year.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Huntington's Half Hollow Hills West grad gets to work those big brown eyes a bunch here, playing a late-arrived dad trying to win over the son he abandoned as a kid. When the moody teen (hottie Garrett Clayton) comes to live above Dad's ballroom studio, he gets involved in dance intrigue while continuing to train down the street toward his goal of being a mixed martial arts fighter.

He can't dance. Don't ask him.

Oh. Wait. When Dad's studio is about to go under, and his prize female pupil (Allie Bertram, "So You Think You Can Dance Canada") needs a partner for a big-money Christmas competition, broody son must search his soul, and his soles, to pick a path toward adulthood.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MY SAY It's got to be hard to come up with a new holiday movie script these days, considering how quickly the likes of Lifetime and Hallmark Channel keep chewing through Christmas concepts. "Holiday Spin" takes a spin on a dance theme that brings some freshness.

But the story's incidents, dialogue and direction prove disappointingly predictable, from the early tragedy that sets the plot in motion, to the dancers' personal feuds, to the big you've-pushed-me-so-far-I-must-pummel-you confrontation. Of course, "It's never too late to try to make things right." Because "Everything happens for a reason." (And why set the story in Miami, when it's clearly shot in Canada? Gray light. Dead giveaway.)

BOTTOM LINE Ach, who cares? It's Christmas. Seasonal sentiment, and Macchio's sensitivity, outshine lots of obstacles.