CHRISTMAS MOVIE REVIEW 2016 – DAY 7 : A December Bride

I’ve mentioned my fascination with similarly themed Christmas movies. Once again, I managed to find – in close proximity – two movies that reminded me of one another. First I watched Hallmark’s 2016 A December Bride, written by Karen Berger, so I’ll review it first for Day 7.  We’ll visit Hallmark’s 2016 The Mistletoe Promise, written by Richard Paul Evans for Day 8.

a-december-bride

(Though different set-ups, the similarities involve secret pacts between the couples. For a hilarious secret pact, I suggest Hitched For the Holidays, which I reviewed in 2015.)

As soon as the main character, Layla, introduces her cousin Jessica to her fiancé Jack at a business function, her December wedding is doomed when they immediately hit it off.  We see Layla’s nervousness as she watches their eyes connect, and blames Seth, an acquaintance who suggests that Jessica and Jack could help each other business-wise. I wondered why she was so insecure at this late date and why she had to blame Seth?

Caving to family pressure, and having secured her cute neighbor as her date, she agrees to attend the wedding, but at the last minute, he gets sick. Desperate, she allows Seth to take her – to make it up to her – after they bump into one another near his office where she’s on her way to pitch her abilities as a professional house-stager to the realty developer in town, as she tries to move on from being an eternal design assistant. He’s not buying.

But, it turns out he’s a wedding guest, and  assumes she and Seth are a couple, so as a favor to Seth… he agrees to give Layla a trial run – if she can turn Seth’s pathetically under-decorated, yet luxurious bachelor home into a holiday paradise for the Christmas Tour of Homes.

bachelor-pad-day-7

Okay, it’s not this bad.

(PS: Yes, we’ve seen the bachelor pad makeover before too, per A Bride For Christmas, which I also recommend from last year.)

As this puts her into direct competition with her boss, she’s promptly fired. Now she has to win the tour’s highest honor.  As she and Seth are linked together, they’re invited to more holiday functions as a couple, and somehow… to save face, it pops out that they’re engaged. They decide to carry the charade through until Christmas.

During the process of preparing Seth’s home for Christmas – trimming the tree, making wreaths, stringing popcorn – their attraction grows, though Layla holds back.

The unresolved issue of forgiving Jessica (and Jack) still weighs her down. One sticking point for me was not that Layla should forgive, rather it was that Jessica didn’t seem truly contrite – merely that all should be forgiven because she and Jack fell in love.

I felt there should be something more from Jessica. Where’s the sense of honor when the two cousins were so close? And, why did she also steal Layla’s dream of a December wedding? She is not the “December Bride” this movie is about.

However, all the story lines neatly wind up, so I give this movie 3.5 of 5 popcorn strands.

♥♥♥.5

popcorn-strand

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Include, Exclude, or Omit?

It’s the middle of January, and what’s happening with me?  I’m already thinking of next Christmas.

January Christmas

The temperature is 5 degrees today with a windchill of -14.  The sun is the brightest it’s been this month and the reflection from the new snow is almost daring me to come outside. Sorry, Mr. Sol; I’m content to look. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 25!!!

Drum roll please. Merry Christmas! I’ve saved the best for last, and though you may have already guessed, the Day 25 selection for my Christmas Movie Review on Christmas Day is It’s A Wonderful Life – 1946, Liberty Films.

Day 25 - It's a wonderful life
I choose this movie for one reason.

It’s my favorite.  (The fact that we named our dog ZuZu might tip my hand.)

Day 25 - george and zuzu.jpg

George and Zuzu

headshot as an elf

ZuZu’s first Christmas

Why it is my favorite? Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 24

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the Day 24 selection for my Christmas Movie Review is… yes, A Christmas Story – 1983, MGM. Those who know me well will wonder what took me so long to review this movie.

Day 24 - A christmas story

The answer is simple. I want to end my 25 day Countdown to Christmas with positive reviews – no big surprises – but movies you can count on to bring a smile and a little “believing to see” the miracles around. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 22

Though I thought twice about reviewing a movie that no doubt has been reviewed too many times to count, I couldn’t help myself.  Elf – 2003, New Line Cinema, is my selection for Day 22 of my Christmas Movie Review.

Day 22 - Elf

In fact, I resisted watching Elf until last summer (I know, crazy.) when a friend loaned me her DVD.  It is one those movies that make you wonder why you held out so long.  You may think my review is a foregone conclusion, but I do have a caveat. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 21

I finally watched Snow – 2004, ABC Family, my selection for Day 21 of My Christmas Movie Review.

Day 21, Snow

I’d been looking forward to seeing Snow, excited that one of my favorite actors, Tom Cavanagh (please see my Day 13 review for Trading Christmas), plays Santa.  And the story pivots around a reindeer – I love reindeer. Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 16

Aha. I’m going a little off script on the Day 16 selection for my Christmas Movie Review (in case you’re pre-screening for minors) with Holiday in Handcuffs – 2007, ABC Family.

Day 16 - Holiday-In-Handcuffs

This movie skips the traditional decorating the tree and baking Christmas cookies scenes in favor of spiking the eggnog for Grandma, ironically played by June Lockhart – everyone’s favorite TV mom from Lassie.  Combine the language and creepy old man at the gas station, and I don’t see watching this selection with wee ones who soak up every word. You won’t find a real Santa in sight.  Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 15

Ice Sculpture Christmas – 2015, Hallmark, is my Day 15 selection for my Christmas Movie Review.  Though it might seem predictable (and it ultimately is), there are a few moments that break the mold (ha) along the way.

Day 15 - ice-sculpture-christmas

Break out (I’m on a roll.) moments include:

  • Ice sculpting facts and techniques that made the movie more real, and piqued my interest in the art. It actually gave me a new respect for the skill involved, and no, I’m not jumping into a new hobby.

Continue reading

Christmas Movie Review – Day 14

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Or not.

My Day 14 selection for my Christmas Movie Review Countdown is Christmas With The Kranks – 2004, Feature Family/Comedy.

Day 14 - Christmas-with-the-Kranks

Since we aren’t putting up a tree this year (thanks to crazy new kitty Storm, aka El Niño), I can identity with the premise of not doing Christmas for a change. Kind of. At least the decorations. Continue reading