Sunday, November 27, 2016

December Bride

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Tragic dead parent who was the embodiment of the holiday spirit
  • A flirty/romantic cookie or gingerbread decorating scene
  • A flirty/romantic tree decorating scene
  • A classic "you have dirt on your face let me wipe it off" moment
  • A charming little town Christmas tradition/festival/event that is the biggest event of the year (Holiday Tour of Homes Charity Event)
  • A Christmas proposal or wedding

Do you know what this house needs? More giant pinecones! I'M THE BEST DESIGNER.


Synopsis:

Interior decorator and obsessed-with-becoming-a-December bride Layla irrationally blames Seth for the fact that her bitchy cousin stole her fiancee at some weird work function because he was, like, there when they met? Layla's ex-fiancee and cousin apparently speed to the alter and she is scolded by Judgey McJudgerson Aunt Lorraine for not wanting to go to the wedding so Seth magically reappears and offers to be her date so she doesn't feel like a total loser. He escalates things quickly at the ceremony by proposing to her in front of everyone and, uh-oh shenanigans, they decide to continue to lie to her entire family because a guy that the filthy rich Seth knows needs an interior decorator and will only decide to hire her if she does a great job with Seth's house at a charity event for rich people who like to tour atrociously and overly decorated homes on Christmas eve or something. 

Will December Bride show us is that having a fake fiancee is way better than Tinder when it comes to finding true love? 


Favorite Lines: 

Layla: "I just never imagined I would go to my cousin and ex-fiancee's wedding. What little girl dreams about that?"

Seth: "I was born in a suit and tie but you got me to loosen up and have a little fun, albeit, off-key."


Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

Holy Crap, are they implying that Seth is her cousin?  I don't think incest makes for a feel good family Christmas movie.  Oh, ok, he is not the cousin, thank god!  But why was this scene oddly and inexplicably drawn out?  Why did we have to wait so long to reveal who the cousin who stole her fiancee was? This is not the right kind of suspense, Hallmark.

Her fiancee is hardcore flirting with her cousin directly in front of her face. This is really awkward.

Aunt Lorraine sucks. Her cousin STOLE her fiancee.  I'm not sure what Ann Landers or Miss Manners would say - but I have to imagine that they would agree that you do not need to forgive your cousin for stealing your fiancee within the first year of the betrayal. If we can decipher Hallmark's timeline, the cousin and fiancee hooked up at most 6 months ago, possibly as recently as 3-4 months ago (assuming time to meet, feel a connection, feel bad about the connection, hook up, feel bad about the hook up, hook up again and finally break the engagement news to sad, unsuspecting Layla).  So, Aunt Lorraine, shut it.

 "All we have in this life is family." Does that apply to everything, Aunt Lorraine? Like, sure, Uncle Charlie likes to skin cats in the basement while listening to Journey but we'll still go to his kid's christening.

What does Seth do? Will they explain this soon? So far all we know is that he has an office and he's rich.

Holiday Tour of Homes Charity Event. The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of charity events.

Why is Layla carring a binder, a telephone, and a three hole punch to do her job? What do those things have to do with her being an interior decorator? Shouldn't there be like measuring tape or something? 

It makes no sense why Layla is mad at Seth. None. He wasn't responsible for her ex-fiancee being a douche rocket or her cousin being slutty. This is highly upsetting. Seth should not be blamed for douche rockets and sluts.

These decorations are literally eating the tree. If Layla can't decorate a tree how can she be good at her job?

DO NOT FORCE HER TO GO TO THE WEDDING, AUNT LORRAINE.  If this was 10 years down the line, maybe I could see your point.  But right now, Layla should be allowed to cry in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerry's, call the SEC and say her fiancee made a profit off insider trading, and burn down her cousin's new shop because she is the injured party.

This is a very low budget wedding. It's totally in the back of an Elks Club.

Layla and Seth are aggressively out dancing the bride and groom. Because, you know, they were dirty filthy cheaters.

"Christmas-y. You really love that word. What does that mean?" Um, Layla if we have to explain that to you, you aren't good at your job or life.

Wow, this deal was a whole lot simpler than the one in "Mistletoe Promise".  Nothing to sign, nothing incriminating in email, and (perhaps most importantly) everyone gets something out of this deal.

Why does no one ever write down the measurements they take?  Clearly all of the curtains or designs for the office will be wrong.  It is impossible for her to remember all of this. Another sign that she is a terrible interior decorator.

OK, so Seth is supposed to be a total workaholic, but you want me to believe that he had time to do a community theater production? And that's how they met? No, I don't buy it. And, there has been no previous mention of either Seth or Layla having a love of theater or performing. I am generally willing to believe whatever you want me to believe, like a magic Mrs. Clause suit and a Venetian canal filled Northpole, but this is pushing it.

We also still have no idea what Seth does.

Layla - do not feel bad about lying to Aunt Lorraine.  She deserves it. Aunt Lorraine is next level terrible.

WTF is that red thing? WHY IS LAYLA TOTAL GARBAGE AT HER JOB? 
"But Layla always wanted to be a December Bride!" That's the ONLY problem Layla's dad has with this rushed, perfunctory engagement? What about the fact that she is getting married to a man you have never met or heard of until, like, three minutes ago? This family is bonkers.

There are not enough giant pinecones in this movie.

"This is much more fun than work." WHICH IS WHAT, SETH???

My boyfriend just had an apoplectic fit over how they tied the Christmas tree to the car. Something about roof or root balls. And Russians. And "You lie, Hallmark! You lie!"

This apology from her cousin is utter crap. That was clearly an unrepentant-I-stole-your-fiancee-and-your-December-wedding-date-and-expect-you-to-be-okay-with-it sorry.

Seth's parents are really snotty about decorating your own tree. "We hire people for that sort of thing." At this point, my boyfriend may or may not have screamed "bourgeois" and "fucks"at the TV.

Why all the pressure for her to be a December bride THIS December?  Guys, it will be December again in a year, unless time mysteriously doesn't work the same way in the Hallmarkverse. Just back off and let her be, dammit.

Or don't.

Conclusion: You can be total crap at your job and still land a big account as long as you are fake engaged to a man who does vague financial type things for people. Also, hire Hallmark to be your wedding planner because you can get married in less than two days. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Christmas Cookies

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Workaholic woman who no longer believes in the magic of Christmas who has a workaholic, stuffy boyfriend
  • Big looming corporate company that is a threat to small town life and/or will be closing down a local business and/or factory
  • An uber romantic horse drawn carriage ride through the city
  • Features a charming little inn or B&B that is one of the centerpieces of the town and/or is named after some Christmas derivative (Gingerbread Inn)
  • A small town whose sole purpose is to celebrate Christmas and/or is named after some Christmas derivative (Cookie Jar)
  • A gingerbread house or cookie decorating scene
  • A small town contest, Christmas based, that's the biggest event of the year

The handsome factory owner sure knows how to defend the towns honor. And point at stuff. 


Synopsis:

An evil corporation without a soul, National Foods, is desperate to buy Aunt Sally's Cookie company so they send a bahumbug workaholic single woman to close the deal with the charming, handsome small town factory owner by Christmas Eve. In between negotiating the contract to wipe out thousands of jobs and decimate the small town of Cookie Jar and eating a massive amount of christmas cookies, Hannah rides a sleigh and builds a snowman with the precocious little girl next door, gets life advice from the gentle, matronly proprietor of the Gingerbread Inn, judges a Gingerbread building competition, attends a giant Christmas Tree Lightening Ceremony Dance thing and avoids her whiney, stuffy workaholic Christmas-Eve-party-obsessed boyfriend.

Will Hannah realize that there was no reason for her to hate Christmas due to the giant gaping plot hole of never having explained the reasoning behind her Christmas disdain in the first place? Will Christmas Cookies finally teach the residents of a small town that they can't spend a massive amount of their funding on giant Christmas competitions while refusing to pump the money into the only business that is keeping their town alive? 

Favorite Line: 

Jake: It isn't always about the money.
Hannah: Well, Aunt Sally's isn't exactly rolling in the dough.


Betty: "Well, what does anything mean if you just know it?" Ummm, what? Is Betty high?


Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

Let's zoom in as close as we possibly can to the horse drawn carriage ride so we can desperately hide the fact that we are obviously not really outside in a horse drawn carriage.

I am thirty seconds in and I already hate Gavin, Hannah's stuffy-don't-worry-they-aren't-meant-to-be boyfriend. Whiney Gavin (WG) is obsessed with Christmas parties because that's where all of his co-workers show off their wives. Sounds like an excellent quality in a man.

This is Gavin. Gavin is a whiney bitch. Don't be like Gavin. 
Hannah has an unnecessarily flighty sister who reminds her that her company, National Foods, might just put a bid on the Aunt Sally Cookie Factory in Cookie Jar, a town they used to visit as children.

There's nothing like buying out a company whose entire town is financially dependent on that company right on the holiday that keeps them in business. Why not send the workaholic woman with a disdain for Christmas? Annnnd, of course, Hannah goes to Cookie Jar on behalf of her evil corporate overlord boss. She plans on closing the deal in a day. Done and done. Except she completely forgets she’s in a Hallmark Movie: a Christmas Hallmark Movie. DEALS NEVER GET DONE IN ONE DAY IN HALLMARK WORLD, HANNAH.

The train drops her off and a pickup truck taxi, "Ed's Taxi Service", with an entirely-too-handsome-to-be-a-down-on-his-luck cabbie is there to take her to the hotel. Annnnd cue the slow, agonizing pause to acknowledge their mutual attraction. Also, they never introduce themselves. That's awkward. And highly foreshadow-y.

Why can't Hannah seem to get her ass into the truck? Oh, right she’s been a city girl for too long. She just can't handle getting into a pick up truck and needs the entirely-too-handsome-to-be-a-down-on-his-luck cabbie's help.

Look! She’s clicking away at her phone. See! She really IS a workaholic. Corporate America is always a text away.

Obviously Hannah is staying at the adorable quaint Gingerbread Inn which, along with its gentle maternal proprietor, Betty, will invariably tug at her childhood heart strings. AND yes! The cookies are right in the SAME place they were when Hannah and her family used to visit all those years ago. Obvi.

She’s staying in the Peppermint Room which is on the top floor and there is no elevator. Bitch, you want the top floor, there is no elevator in life. #metaphor

Ugh. Hannah’s on the phone with WG. She states she’s going to close the deal tomorrow and be back in time for his everyone-pimps-out-their-wives office Christmas party but she totally doesn’t want to go to this party. I don't want to go to this party. This party and Gavin suck.

Wait. Huh? Betty has just revealed that everyone in Cookie Jar works at Aunt Sally's and no recipes are ever written down. Huh. This is probably information that will not become essential later.

Next day is Hannah's big meeting with the factory owner. Hannah is taken on a small tour of the factory on the way to Jake’s office. OH, HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE! EPIC TWIST 30 MINUTES IN! Down-on-his-luck cabbie Ed is really Jake, the down-on-his-luck Aunt Sally's Cookies factory owner.

Uh-oh. Ed/Jake has to "mull" the deal over for three days. But Hannah only brought one suitcase! Like, she did not plan for three days of outfits (even though every subsequent scene has her wearing two new outfits per day) AND this means she'll miss WG's super important 1960s-wife-key-swapping office Christmas party.

Also, her business proposal fit into one red, three pronged folder my kid uses at school. Huh.

UGH. Another WG phone call. He is totally pissed she’s not going to be at his let's-sell-our-wives-into-slavery office christmas party. “If you want to be there, you’ll find a way.” Control issues much? She apologizes for wanting a career. WHAT? I nearly set my TV on fire.

Hannah desperately needs advice. Shall she turn to the soft, supportive inn owner?“You gotta feel it. Christmas is what you make it. Or bake it.” Betty and her maternal smile, has Hannah contemplating life, probably.

How do we make Jake more appealing? Oh! Oh! Oh! I know! Let's make him have a special bond with the precocious little girl named Bonnie, who lives next door to the inn! This will lead to a flirtatious snowman building scene, a flirtatious sleigh-riding scene, and a flirtatious ice scraping scene. Yes, I said ice scraping.

Hi. I'm Jake. I own a failing cookie factory and in my spare time, I build snowmen with underage townies.  
They go sledding and, of course, it's charming and flirtatious until the camera angle is Bonnie's perspective at the front and OH MY GOD it looks like they are going over the side of the fucking mountain but, no, jk, they safely tumble at the end and laugh and laugh and laugh.

How long does it take to scrape the ice off a windshield? It's been seventeen minutes. Maybe you guys should just turn the car and the heat on and let it melt. Also why is no one concerned by the little girl sleeping in the back in the freezing cold? She might have hypothermia.

Of course there's a gingerbread competition the next day. Someone just yelled, “We get to eat the houses after!” Yeah, OK, so, no, you shouldn’t. Gingerbread for construction is horrifying. I just watched a real baking competition on The Food Network and in order to build a solid house, the gingerbread has to be dried for days otherwise it collapses. Also, this is how we get ants.

Wait. The winner of the GB competition gets a life-time supply of Aunt Sally's cookies? Worst. Prize. Ever. 97% of the people who live in this town work in the cookie factory and eat those fucking cookies all the time. Am I the only asshole who would rather have cash?

The wholesome waitress who wants to go to medical school in order to become the town’s doctor sadly informs Hannah that she won’t be able to go if the factory leaves town. Which will basically lead to all of her dreams dying and the burning resentment of her family. Thanks, evil food corp.

Sled race the next day! Jesus, this town has a lot of competitions. My town sucks.

Jake has somehow (wha-at?) hurt his ankle and Bonnie asks if Hannah can sled with them. PEOPLE! This is a competition. There are rules! Thankfully in this world of icing covered perfection, their competitors are fine with the extra weight because one of the competitors takes great pride in fat shaming her husband in front of god and everyone. Apparently, the husband eats enough to make up for the weight difference; she laughs they’ll win anyway. And of course they do. Yay! More cookies and eventual life-threatening diabetes for the husband!

Fucking WG shows up at the after party. WHY? “You weren’t answering my calls.” He puts his arm possessively around Hannah and takes her out of smooching range from Jake. “Hannah is my significant other.” Hold on. Who actually calls anyone their “significant other?” Like honestly. Sure, as adults calling someone our boyfriend or girlfriend, especially when you're in your 40s, sounds kind of weird, but actually calling someone your SO is way weirder. And dry.

WG proposes??? WTF. Hannah is speechless. I am speechless.

SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUUUP ABOUT YOUR SEX RING OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, GAVIN.

Gavin leaves to get on the train that just arrived, which SURPRISE her evil corporate overlord boss is on. “I came to close the deal.” She gives him the signed paperwork, but, alas, the train has left the station and now bossman is stuck in Cookie Jar, which is a relief because now he doesn’t have to attend three Christmas parties; one of which is at his house. Apparently he left his family to deal with the party. What a dick.

Standing in the Gingerbread Inn’s lobby, Hannah is also surprised by her flighty sister. Like, fuck, everyone is now in Cookie Jar. OMG. We are heading to a big ending, guys.

They eat cookies together.

Hannah explains she ended it with WG, FINALLY. “Oh. Is that a hug or a high five situation?” Her sister won me over with that line. Hannah's sister is the secret heroine of this movie.

They eat more cookies together.

OK, so we’re now at the big dance / dinner thing and Jake grabs a mic and tells the town, with Hannah and her big asshole boss standing there, that he’s sold the factory. No one’s shocked; everyone is very complacent that their town is about to go under and all of their lives are going to be destroyed. But, well, that's life, I guess.

Hannah and her sister are STILL eating cookies while Jake explains that maternal Betty will probably have to go on welfare. It suddenly dawns on Hannah that the factory is useless without the employees since, as Betty so thoughtfully explained in the beginning of the movie, only one person knows one part of the recipe; they aren’t written down anywhere.

Hannah takes the stage and goes into a long pitch to her boss about how he’ll have to hire all of the employees in order to get the recipe. It’s all very touching and wow and Christmas is what you make it / bake it and hope and love and faith and yay and snow and weeeeee and small towns conquer all.

Bossman, overwhelmed with Hannah’s passion (because that’s how it works in corporate America) gives her the Aunt Sally account and rips up the contract in a frenzied cookie high. The factory and town are saved! Cookies for everyone! And Jake and Hannah finally kiss.

In just three days she changed from wanting a big corporate career to wanting to be with a man who pretended to be a cabbie. Ah, love.


Conclusion: 

With its extravagant town festivities, fat shaming townies, and sled races, this movie is icing covered perfection! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Every Christmas Has A Story

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:
  • Cold-never-been-married woman who has a fear of abandonment and no longer believes in the magic of Christmas
  • Someone who is repeatedly referred to as a Scrooge
  • Overly enthusiastic (and frequent) mentions of the Christmas Spirit
  • Features a charming little inn or B&B that is one of the centerpieces of the movie and/or is named after some Christmas derivative
  • A small town whose sole purpose is to celebrate Christmas and/or is named after some Christmas derivative (Hollyvale)
  • A gingerbread house or cookie decorating scene
Always choose a guy dressed as an elf, ladies. ALWAYS
Synopsis:

Kate Harper, famous tv host, works awkwardly with her ex-boyfriend Jack on their delightful hit morning show. Things go awry when she pushes an Asian man into a Christmas tree, declares she is meh on Christmas, and garners the anger of a thousand green-and-red-poster carrying protestors. In order to win back the love of the public and find her darn Christmas Spirit, she is sent to the small failing town of Hollyvale with her blue-eyed-still-desperately-in-love-with-her ex. Why is the "biggest little Christmas town in the country" in a drastic economic downturn? Are child labor laws being violated because there is an underage girl managing the only inn in Hollyvale? And will Kate and Jack finally be able to put aside their differences to find out why no one in North Dakota wears a real winter coat even though it is minus 10 degrees?

If you are dying for the answers to these questions and more, you must watch Every Christmas Has a Story right now!


Favorite Line: 

Mayor: "I don't know. We might just put a little Ho-Ho-Ho back in your day."

Jack: "Sorry, Katie."
Kate: "I asked you not to call me that."
Jack: "Why not?"
Kate: "Because that's what you used to call me when I loved you and you loved me. And that was a long time ago."


Random Thoughts We Had During this Movie: 

Do morning show hosts really practice their tagline in the mirror every morning? If so, that's upsetting.

This secretary is a nosy bitch.

This make-up artist's sole reason for being in this movie is so that we can find out what really happened between Jack and Kate all of those long holidays ago. She should also be fired. Because she has applied zero make-up to Kate's face and Kate is about to go on national TV. Less exposition and more doing your actual job, Wendy!

Colin Ferguson is just the right amount of excitable. Although he doesn't seem to be a very good producer. Considering the fact that he just let his talent punch an Asian man into a Christmas tree and declare that she hates Christmas. Is this really how TV works? I thought every minute was scheduled and once the time slot of one show ended, it was automatically programmed to switch to the next show. How does the left over footage just go live? How does this big of a mistake happen? Also the technology in this booth looks suspiciously like my high-school AV club.

There is a guy in this meeting whose entire purpose is to recite the viral hashtags Kate's tussle with the Asian guy generated. #bahhumbugkatescrooge #harperhatestheholidays #sendkatecoalforchristmas

Everyone at this TV station is total crap at their jobs.

Every town should have a mayor who entices famous TV personalities to visit by filming a heart-warming commercial and imploring them to find their Christmas Spirit. Although he probably blew all of the town's budget on it. Sorry folks, we no longer have the money to fix pot hole riddled Main Street or collect the garbage or recycling in town but the good news is that we can now keep Mayor Drysdale's unhealthy obsession with an LA talk show host alive!

Does anyone else keep getting lost in Colin Ferguson's blue, blue eyes?

Did no one at the TV station do any research into this town? They simply believed the video the mayor made and immediately sent their morning team off to stay in the middle of North Dakota for a week? That's next level bonkers. Don't they have research assistants?

In case we didn't know they were sent somewhere cold, Jack makes frighteningly loud "brrrr" and "ugh" noises while shivering violently through the airport. The heated airport.

I think Mia Walker, the underage manager of the Hollyvale inn, killed the people who owned the inn and buried them in the basement. Why else would she be so defensive about working behind the front desk? Also, look at her DEAD EYES...

My name is Mia. I like ice-skating, christmas cookies, and MURDER.

Ahhhhh. We now come to the real reason the town is dying. Their giant Christmas Tree has been missing for years. Warning: If your entire town's economic growth is tied to a Douglas fir, you might want to move.

That creepy doll in the store window is giving Kate straight up Vietnam flashback face. She must have a tragic family backstory.

Colin Ferguson elevates this movie with the sheer brilliant wattage of his smile alone.

I wouldn't eat Mia's food. She seems perfectly capable of poisoning her guests.

Christmas has projectile vomited all over this warehouse.

"You used to drive me nuts with this stuff. Back in school. You'd get a hold of, like, a story or a lead and you wouldn't let go. No matter what. Until you had taken it as far as you possibly could." Um. Jack. You went to journalism school and you're a producer. Shouldn't you know what a reporter does?

Mia is terrifying. Like "children of the corn" terrifying. She is going to single white female Kate's life.

Wait. They dated for 3 plus years and he didn't know that her dad had walked out on her? Did they NEVER talk during those 3 years? They clearly spent Christmases together. Surely, in between sipping hot cocoa, making out and chasing stories a "btw my dad left me at Christmas and now sends me one letter per year" would have eventually slipped out.

I want someone to look at me the way Colin Ferguson looks into that glass of vodka soda with lime.

Is it just me or is there a romance brewing between Mayor Drysdale and Hollis, the missing rich townie who withheld Hollyvale's giant Christmas tree due to his tragic past?

I don't know much about producing a live television segment, but I am 97% sure it involves more than simply holding up an iPad. Wouldn't they need some sort of van nearby with video equipment? Right now they have a camera, which appears to be connected to nothing, and an iPad. How is this going live to LA?

Colin Ferguson can stand on a Christmas float and pelt me with candy while dressed like an elf anytime he wants.

SANTA JUST TOOK OFF HIS BEARD ON LIVE TV! Assuming we are wrong and LA is actually witnessing this train wreck of a live feed, Santa can't just de-beard on TV. That would destroy the dreams and hearts of millions of young children. WTF. How is no one fired for this?

Conclusion:

You too can find your Christmas Spirit if the mayor of a small town has an uninhibited passionate fixation on you, your ex is a crappy producer with eyes as blue as Christmas dreams, and you single-handedly revive a small town's economy by solving the mystery of their missing Christmas tree. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Mistletoe Promise

Hallmark Holiday Movie Checklist:

  • Character named Nick or Holly and/or some other christmas derivative
  • A workaholic (this movie has two!) who just doesn't have time for a normal relationship
  • Flirty ice skating scene
  • Bosses making their employees travel to their extravagant Christmas Eve parties instead of being at home with their families 
  • Picking out a Christmas tree scene
  • Two main characters compete in a Christmas themed contest
  • An ├╝ber romantic horse drawn carriage ride through the city



OMG Christmas Selfies, guys!
The Synopsis:

Two workaholic, self-proclaimed "Christmasphobes" are harassed by aggressive mall Christmas carolers, a douchey ex-husband with a car show model girlfriend who likes posing on snowmobiles, and a law-firm that sounds suspiciously like a cult obsessed with marriage and fertility. Plagued by the aforementioned pressures, Nick and Elise decide to to sign a contract (aka the Mistletoe Promise) to be each other's boyfriend/girlfriend for the Holiday season. With the end goal of getting Nick promoted to partner and a less defined objective of "helping" Elise with her ex, these two negotiate an agreement that will take them through some of Christmas' greatest challenges such as a viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life", a whimsical office snowman building competition, a festive office tree-trimming party, an office ice-skating outing, yet another office Christmas party, and the infamous "Partner's Meeting" on Christmas Eve. 

Will these two get swept up in the joy of building a solid fake relationship and lying to everyone they care about or will they let love and the Christmas Spirit pass them by? 

Favorite Scene in the Movie:

Obviously it was the Reindeer Report. Because, you know, it makes perfect sense for a small travel agency to sponsor and run the "most watched local news program of the year." 

I'm still confused on this segment. Is it a weather report? A Geography lesson? 


Favorite Line:

"Darts are great for arm flab." 

Random Thoughts We Had While Watching this Movie:

These Christmas carolers are horribly aggressive. 

There is literally nothing redeeming about Elise's ex-husband. Can't we have a flashback of him stroking a puppy lovingly or something? Because as it stands now, I cannot see why she would ever have given him the time of day, let alone married him and given him half of the company she started. 

Wow. Nick's boss is totally Hallmark's cheaper version of Antonio Sabato Jr.: 

Behold! Antonio Sabato Jr, light 
Nick is up for partner and all they can afford to give him is a candy cane as a symbol of their faith in him? I don't think this firm is doing too well, Nick. You may want to update your resume.

This firm is really obsessed with being married and having children. His boss has mentioned it 2397 times in the first twenty minutes. 

No, but seriously, can we go back to the carolers? They are now undulating around her in a frenzy of festive hostility and I think one of them just spit in her face. The lady in the Santa hat has crazy eyes. I have never felt more seething hatred in the words "figgy pudding." 

Villainous Bradford, Nick's competition for partner, tells the BEST endings to stories. I'm going to relay them all for your reading pleasure:
  1. "I say, what do you call the other 364 days a year? He says, 'I call em' come here, boy." Um, what? That's just gibberish. 
  2. "So the apartment doesn't have a stick of furniture, we're there with the pieces all over the floor, and the instructions are in SWEDISH!" This one incited near hysterical laughter. No, seriously, hysterical laughter. 
  3. "See we didn't realize they speed the gondolas up when they are closing the ski park. We thought we had plenty of time to finish!" Oh, Bradford, I just can't even.  
"We don't date retail after thirty. Retail people are predatory at Christmas." Holly, the sassy, ethnically ambiguous best friend, just imparted some solid words of advice for single women everywhere. Holly is the secret heroine of this movie. 

Ok, NO.  The MOST famous line from one of the MOST famous Christmas movies of all time cannot be an inside joke between them. The whole point of an inside joke is that no one else gets it. EVERYONE gets "every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings." Everyone. 

The charity component to her travel agency is called "History Kids Charity Outreach Program". They need to rebrand, like, now. History Kids? What does that even mean? Are these kids just severely undereducated in history and need expensive tutors?

This is the third time we have seen these carolers. I don't think they have jobs. Maybe they are homeless. Maybe they have killed all of the people who wouldn't listen to their carols. Maybe they have stolen the clothes of all their victims. This is a mystery we will never solve. 

"I am a divorced woman who does good works in the world." This reeks vaguely of judgement. Why does her divorce need to be pointed out again? We are very well aware of the ex husband who owns half of her company. Hallmark, are you suggesting that we're not supposed to like divorced women? Do divorced woman normally avoid doing "good works"? Is that a thing? 

Ok, Nick's boss is totally on to something with this Christmas Tree Trimming party. Why pay to decorate your giant tree when you can just make your employees bring over all the decorations and do it for you?  This is how the rich stay rich, people. 

Was Elise really just asked to re-plate the candies by Nick's boss' wife?  She is literally touching all of them and moving them from one plate to another.  How does this help the party in any way?

Another speech about the importance of marriage and children in their law firm. If you aren't married you are clearly nothing. 

Who the hell "wees" and "woos" while ice skating? And why are there an inordinate amount of semi professional skaters at this firm? I'm pretty sure if I was forced to go ice-skating with my colleagues there would be more alcohol and less skating. Also, I would probably break something. 

Oh, god. Nick and Elyse are now singing "figgy pudding" in the same cold, dead-eyed way that the carolers did in the beginning. Maybe the murder is spreading. Maybe this is really a horror movie in the guise of a heart-warming Christmas tale.  

"She is a divorced woman but she still has more empathy and grace than anyone I've ever known." STILL? Wow, Hallmark really hates divorced women. 

Here comes the awkward and public reveal of their fake relationship and subsequent lying to everyone. Will Bradford tell another hilarious joke? Will Nick's boss be unusually forgiving? Will the senior partner they just introduced to us in the last five minutes of the movie be charmed by Nick's complex web of lies and promote him to partner anyway? 

"Your reindeer report has been getting a lot of philanthropy calls. A lot of do gooders want to fund our History Kids Charity Outreach Program!" This line is wrong on so many levels. WHO TALKS LIKE THIS? Oh. Siri does. Maybe Siri wrote this movie. 

Cue Nick's grand romantic gesture. Of rebuilding the creepy snowmen they made together in her snowman building contest? Huh. Not the way I would have gone but okay. 

Ok, so, I now know that love should be the greatest gift of all. But Nick got the partnership at the firm and she walked away with literally nothing but Nick's creepy snowmen. Her ex still owns half her company and the only way she can get out from under him is to sell it and start over? This Mistletoe Promise was suspiciously one-sided. 

Conclusion: Signing a fake relationship contract with a stranger, after bonding over Wonton Soup and murderous Christmas carolers, to fool your friends, your ex, or your boss ALWAYS works out in the end. Except if you're a divorced woman. Because you deserve nothing.