Watching Hallmark's My Christmas Love (Pt 3)
I watched a Hallmark Christmas movie, curious to see what got all these white ladies excited about Christmas. It’s much scarier and more hilarious than I thought.
Last time on My Christmas Love…
Children’s book author Cynthia is going home for the holidays and her little sister Janet’s marriage and brings her illustrator Liam because her boyfriend of five months, Jason, broke up with her. Liam is clearly in love with her, and Cynthia’s dad knows it and ships it. Twelve Days of Christmas gifts show up at the door, and Cynthia thinks they’re for her, so she tries to solve the mystery of who sent them, starting with all her exes in town. One (Grant) is now a priest, and the other (Scott) takes ownership of the gifts. Liam is forced to the sidelines to watch Cynthia not do work for their deadline and focus on chasing a fairytale romance.
Now let's suffer through part three...
Scott, who shows signs of mental abuse and manipulation tendencies, shows up to the barn, for some reason, instead of the house, and comes upon Liam chopping wood in the winter without a coat on. (Liam sure loves gray!) Yes, Scott, approach this guy who spent last night sketching your date from memory and is holding an ax. DROP THAT BLADE INTO HIS NECK, LIAM! I NEED BLOOD!
Liam is making Scott uncomfortable while holding up the ax and realizes it, so he drops it. HE DROPS THE FUCKING AX! No blood. What the fuck kind of sci-fi horror-thriller film is this? Oh, Scott is asking Liam for advice. Liam says he be fine with his “flowers” and “face.” I can’t tell if Liam wants to kiss him or kill him, and I support either. But neither of those options are on the table apparently, as he reluctantly agrees to help Liam. Scott’s thinking putt-putt, but Liam shoots it down by saying, “It’s freezing out.” Cynthia’s dad Tom tells Liam as Cynthia and Scott leave that he overheard Liam give Scott advice, saying, “He’s all-day dumb.” My heart is full for this man, and now I know why he runs The Most Dangerous Game. And I just noticed their front door is a bright red stain while the rest of the wood on the house is various shades of brown stain. Who designed the set? The same Christmas decorations in their house are scattered throughout town and even in downtown Boston. They really half-assed the sets.
Scott takes Cynthia to the community center for dancing at the Christmas Cotillion, where the rest of the guests are all played by sexual dysfunction commercial actors. The next day, rather than working, Cynthia and Liam play pool in their attic workspace. Who paired these two together at the publishing house? They get nothing done! She asks Liam if it’s okay that she brings Scott as her plus-one instead of him, but Liam can still go, soooo okay. Way to make it weird, Cynthia.
Ohhhhh the nine ladies dancing arrive at the door, and Robot Roger is learning to dance by watching them. I think he’s reprogramming himself to erase Janet’s original programming. Roger points out that Janet is finally getting into the holiday spirit. Cynthia runs into the room, missing the performance, followed by Liam. Liam knows one of the dancers, Maggie, and she calls him Lemur. Now it’s Liam’s turn to make Cynthia feel like poop when he introduces Maggie as his college friend. She stays and talks with him on the couch, and Cynthia pounds some grape in the kitchen. She’s super jealous and pouting that these two out-of-towners are invading their Christmas carnival like a white person mad at non-white immigrants for coming to the U.S. I’m telling you: Cynthia is a white supremacist. Tom even outright tells her as she’s eating her hair, not paying him mind, that it must be hard to see the person she’s attracted to “carrying on with some old flame.” I see what you did there, Tom, vague enough to reference both Liam and Cynthia. She absently agrees and he asks how many fingers he’s holding up. She says three. It is indeed three. He just wanted to check to see if she could see what’s right in front of her. God, Tom’s got to feel so tired of this dumb shit. Someone get Janet down here to roll her eyes! Tom leaves her to wallow in self-misery, and in his place an empty space to help us see her loneliness.
Cynthia misses the leaping lords, being at the carnival. Robot Roger is at Father Grant’s dart booth, angrily throwing darts and missing the balloons. Grant has no business being a priest, being that pretty. LOOK AT THAT SMILE, PEOPLE. What a waste. Roger is super vague about his problem of withholding information for a surprise, afraid it might backfire on him. A surprise big wedding. But guess what: the expert on love—a celibate priest—gives him sage advice. “Don’t let doubt and fear get in your way. When your intention is out of love, destiny has proven time and again, it always works out.” Roger takes another shot and pops the balloon! Way to go, Roger! You’re going to get boxed by Janet now!
Liam and Cynthia are snuggling up with their dates to the carnival and make longing eye at each other. Because Maggie isn’t an idiot, she starts playing this game of jealousy for Liam, like they’re in high school. She knows Liam’s into Cynthia. She puts his arm around her with protests from Liam that he doesn’t like Cynthia. Maggie looks back at Cynthia to see the ultimate pouty face.
Tom absentmindedly looks into space while everyone is dancing, and his pursuer Esther approaches him with a Christmas cookie. It’s probably for dogs, and he never once considers that. He likes her gingerbread cookies o much that he takes another. Esther got them cookies, y’all. She tells him he’s not doing anyone any good being a shut-in. He’s been busy, he tells he, “getting Janet married off.” Like they’re in a Jane Austen novel. You have ONE JOB, Tom, to make an arch! And you haven’t even finished that, I don’t think! Esther fully expects to see more of you (by that, she means all of you) come spring. GET. IT. ESTHER.
Cynthia and Scott arrive at her door, and she’s not feeling the goodnight kiss. She instead treats him like a distant friend. Liam awaits her at the door with an Irish coffee sans the coffee. He tells her it’s not going to work out with Maggie, and she’s settling with Scott, she supposes.
The next morning, Janet tries on her “wedding” dress for Cynthia, and it’s white. Look, Janet, if you really wanted a dress you could wear to parties, you would have gotten a black dress. You chose white, which is the worst possible choice. And do you really think that you’ll be going to parties once you’re married to Roger? Roger! He’ll make you stay in to play games on your calculators. Cynthia thinks it’s ridiculous to not wear an actual wedding dress. She HEARS Janet, but she’s not listening. Once again, no one cares about what Janet thinks, and it’s her wedding. So that’s cool.
The pipers show up, and Tom offers them breakfast if they do some work, setting up the wedding. This doesn’t feel right. RUN, PIPERS, RUN! At the wedding rehearsal, Roger thanks everyone for being there and makes an accounting joke about filing a joint tax return. Cynthia tells Scott to call off the finale so that it doesn’t steal Janet’s thunder. He gets it: twelve pipers piping would be very distracting. Not annoying? No one’s going to say annoying?! Then it hits her: this dude just go the present wrong. He isn’t the one doing it! She tests him by asking him to sing the song. They are whispering, yet the entire restaurant is listening to them like they can all hear. There are gems in there like “six geese a’goosing” and going from seven to nine. Scott, as we now know, can’t count.
Tom can’t handle it anymore and breaks it up to have a toast. Of course, Cynthia makes it all about her and interrupts Toms’ speech about Janet marrying a mathematical genius (Whoa, Tom, calm down.) to leave in anger. Scott follows and tells her he never lied; she just assumed it was him, and he let her. He refers to her as Cindy, because he still doesn’t know her name, and she tells him to call her by her actual name. She asks if he really thinks she’s that superficial that she’d value presents over actual connection, and he says nothing. It could be because he doesn’t know any vocabulary past second grade, but he assures her they’ll get through it! Then she breaks up with him and leaves to go to the house. She comes in and rubs her hands all over him.
He asks what happened, but he knows, she says. He was the gift giver! He straight-up denies that over-the-top nonsense. He’s all about crystal pine cones that act as disco balls. She tells him to stop messing with her. It couldn’t have been anyone. “Why? Because there’s nobody else left?” LIAM! THAT IS A THIRD-DEGREE BURN! THAT IS SOME MAPLE TREE QUALITY SHADE! Oh then he gets real with her and acts like he deserves to get laid or something because he came on this two week trip for a reason. And she thought it was simply to work on the book, which rarely happened, and he said it wasn’t. He came along hoping to force her into falling in love with him, or vaguely, non-threateningly put, “hoping she’d see.” Just when I started to like him, he goes and gets aggressive about his manpain. Liam packs up and goes because he doesn’t want to be her leftovers. He leaves the most important part of working: his sketchbook.
The soon-to-be-married couple gets home, and they note the drama. Duh. That shit follows Cynthia. You know this. Janet kinds a folder Roger left out for information on a big island honeymoon. Why can’t it be porn like a normal person? He says it’s a little something he’s been thinking about, and she says, like always, “We already talked about this.” I’m starting to sense that she was the one talking about it, and he just went along with it. That’s a theme with these sisters, isn’t it? She claims she can’t leave her dad and that Cynthia has infected him with the romance bug. She’s just trying to keep the family together, but everyone keeps ruining it. That’s what you get for listening to a priest for relationship, Roger. Of course, you can’t go to Cynthia. Why not Tom?
In the barn (also decorated for Christmas), Janet and Cynthia pop open champagne and drink it straight from the bottle. Janet complains about Roger secretly planning a Caribbean honeymoon. Cynthia stresses a romantic gesture every once in a while isn’t a bad thing. It can be fun. It doesn’t have to be Twelve Days of Christmas extravaganza, though. She reveals that she agreed to marry Roger because it made sense. They got along, he’s good to her, they’re friends. But he seems to not be happy. She’s afraid to lose love, so she fears connecting. She hates that she’s in love. This is supposed to be a mechanical arrangement, based on mathematical and scientific equations. Then the topic of Scott comes up, and Cynthia says she’s done chasing guys. Maybe she’ll try to be more like Janet. Cynthia, that would involve lots of replacing organic parts of you with bioengineered technical parts.
The Twelve Days of Christmas finale is upon us, and they all dance and play around the tree with that abducted woman singing the entire song now. The six geese a-laying were on the pillows the family used to have a pillow fight without Roger, so at some point these hooligans stole those pillows. Now I’m convinced this is some sort of robbery and human trafficking criminal organization. Now the family has two partridges, four turtle doves, and six French hens. The letter is addressed to Tom, and it’s his wife. DUH. And now Cynthia is still making this about her still. She was waiting for someone to make these romantic gestures for her, but she needs to be the one! Oh okay, that’s what we’re getting out of this.
She excuses herself from the family hug after reading her mom’s letter and runs to stop Liam from leaving on the bus. She runs up in front of the bus, and he yells at her to get out of the street. She steps aside, and the bus leaves. On the other side of the street, Liam waits for her on the bench. For once he’s in blue and not gray. I still don’t like him after he pulled that male privilege entitlement to grab some pussy and throw a hissyfit over it. She manages to persuade him that he’s been the one. She’s always loved him. He’s been such a good friend, and that has to be the foundation. She tells him she loves him, and I vomit. He pulls her in and tells her he loves her, and they mack on each other where the buses drive through. So hopefully it ends with them being hit because this is awful.
The wedding is a cast of characters with at least two of each group of Twelve Days of Christmas performers. Either they’re all crashing or some of them know the couple. I don’t know. But it’s weird. Janet broke down and is wearing her mom’s dress, and I want someone to drop pig’s blood on it and yell, “Love isn’t real!” But Robot Roger is as excited as he can get, which is this face.
Scott is there because I guess he already said he was coming, so he can’t back out now! Grant is officiating this circus wedding in a conservatory (which is awesome). While in line for food, Esther greets Tom, and he says he’s glad she made it. She starts to walk away, thinking she’s unwanted. But he stops her and asks her to dance. Because he can see what’s right in front of him, unlike his dumbass daughter. In Tom fashion, he speaks in symbolism, telling Esther he might be a little slow. She knows and picks up on the metaphor and goes it with it. This woman is a winner and steals the movie. I’m going to put her photo on my tree!
Grant awkwardly sits between Maggie and Scott and introduces them as she makes eyes at Scott, as if we didn’t know this was going to happen, just like in every romantic comedy. Maggie is way too smart for this guy. Don’t do it, Maggie. I know he’s all chiseled and shit, but he’s got nothing else going for him. You’ll see. Just get a good (ehhhh maybe) lay and be done. Father Grant sends them off to the dance floor. Everyone is paired off, even Father, who dances with some working single mom. Everyone is paired off on the dance floor, and the turtle doves hang above them, shitting all over everyone.
I can’t stress how disappointed I am that the robot uprising or the Most Dangerous Game did not occur. This could have been something great, but it was shrouded in the stupidity of an idealistic, shallow character. Maybe they’re saving those for the sequels. It’s incredibly telling that the creative team behind this movie is men because they show a completely lack of understanding of, well, anything--especially of how women actually feel and the dangers of male manipulation and pain. I hope that Cynthia grows up, gets some normal ornaments, starts wearing weather-appropriate clothing, and adds some color into her life. Also, why does Tom have an animal barn but no animals except for the influx of birds from his late wife?
If you watched this with me, I’m sorry. If you didn’t, I gave you the entire story so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome for my own manpain that I’m releasing in a much more appropriate way than the childish, possessive, obsessive behaviors of the men in this movie.
© 2016 SE Andres