As promised in Day 7’s review of A December Bride, Day 8 features Hallmark’s 2016 The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans (also author of the best-selling book by the same name) because both these movies involve couples with secret pacts.
In this movie, Elise and Nick notice each other and exchange eye rolls in the mall food court after each is serenaded by a troupe of Christmas carolers. When they return to their respective offices, situations arise requiring drastic measures.
Nick learns he’s a contender for the only new partner slot in his law firm – whose senior partners value family and commitment above all else. His problem? He doesn’t have a serious girlfriend and compared to his biggest rival, whose wife is pregnant, the scales of justice aren’t tipped his way. So, what does he do? He invents a girlfriend to bolster his chances when his boss invites him to the big Christmas Eve party the next week.
Meanwhile, Elise has had it with her ex-husband, Dan. When they fell in love and married, she shared half her travel agency, and now that they’re divorced, he refuses to sell his half back. Even worse, he stole Elise’s idea to track Santa’s reindeer on the local news, and convinced the station to hire his new girlfriend, Drew. In addition, he plans to reduce costs by cutting the charity travel the agency offers. Elise’s best friend suggests Elise needs a boyfriend to keep Dan off guard and to find joy outside work.
Elise and Nick bump into each other again in the mall and joke about being in the Christmas phobia club. Nick has an idea and proposes a contract.
The terms are seemingly simple:
- They meet for lunch everyday.
- They hold hands, but that’s all.
- They watch It’s A Wonderful Life together.
- The contract, which is softened to “promise” expires on Christmas Eve.
Nick is the perfect boyfriend. The gals in Elise’s office drool over his bouquets.
His co-workers love her.
As Elise and Nick spend more time together, and make social appearances, they discover they enjoy Christmas activities such as ice skating, ornament shopping, and a snowman contest. They begin to care for each other.
One area I believe could be improved would be to reduce the amount of exposition given to explain their background and motivations.
One thing I loved was watching Elise’s hairstyle transform as she warmed up to Nick, her severely pulled-back hair much looser and softer around her face.
When the details of the agreement surface in front of Elise’s friends (courtesy Dan), she’s humiliated and wants to call it all off, but then decides to keep her end of the deal. Nick is overwhelmed by guilt, so he confesses what he’s done to his boss.
I won’t spoil the ending, but it involves mistletoe.
I give this movie 3 of 5 Sprigs of Mistletoe. ♥♥♥