We’re switching over to Direct TV streaming which means I need to watch a whole lotta Hallmark Christmas movies!
Honestly, they’re not all going to get watched. There’s just too many. Thankfully the streaming service includes both the Hallmark channel and Hallmark Mysteries & Movies. Or maybe it’s Movies & Mysteries. I’m not sure.
Anyway, I watched a few and here are my thoughts.
The first one I watched was Just In Time For Christmas. I liked it.
Small town girl living in Washington gets the job offer of a lifetime- tenure track at Yale along with publishing her thesis and turning it into a #1 best-selling book. The offer, of course, comes in as she’s driving to meet her boyfriend who is planning on proposing to her. He proposes, she can’t say yes, and she ends up taking a carriage ride with William Shatner. At the end of the ride she sees the Northern Lights and is propelled three years into the future.
It seems she took the offer at Yale. Her thesis was indeed turned into a best-selling novel. She had an amazing house, amazing wardrobe, and plenty of money. And she did also get offered tenure at Yale. But alas, her boyfriend had moved on after she left him to live her life in New Haven.
Her boyfriend was a coffee shop owner. In present day he had only the one shop but in the future he had a second shop and was opening a third. He was also now engaged to the woman who had worked for him at the shop.
She realizes that everything she has in life means nothing without love.
Now, let me tell you why I liked this one. I felt myself getting sucked into it. I’m thinking, “Yeah, you don’t really have anything if you’re all alone.” And then I reined myself in. Obviously, to Lindsey (that was the character’s name) she and Jason had never broken up. He had had three years to adjust to this new life without her but she was just now discovering all the changes. But I’m thinking to myself, “In three years she didn’t meet anyone else? It’s Jason or no one?”
Believe me, Jason was a lovely fellow. He was very easy on the eyes, sweet, supportive, and he owned a coffee shop! I have nothing against Jason. I’m just saying, in three years she never met a single soul? She is transported into the future, discovers she has millions in her bank account, has an amazing home, a best-selling book, and a job at Yale, but there was no new man in this new future? Not that she needs one, of course, but you watch enough of these movies where people wake up in a different time period and they almost always have a spouse or significant other they know nothing about.
As I was saying, I reined myself in. Why should Lindsey give up her dreams and her success for Jason’s? Maybe they were two great people who simply had separate paths to take? Or, maybe Jason could have followed Lindsey while she followed her dreams? Hmmm….
And that is the part I liked about it. Hallmark is always getting a bad rap about the high powered business woman leaving the big city for love and small town living. In this one she flat out tells him (thanks to her three year time leap) that she knows she’s going to be successful but being successful won’t mean nearly as much without having someone with whom she can share her success. She asks him to come with her to New Haven. Funny story. She’s going to a college town. He runs a coffee shop. He gets the brilliant idea that maybe a coffee shop in that area might be a big hit. Ya think?
I’ll give it a 10. I liked both of the leads. I liked the message and the fact that Lindsey didn’t sacrifice everything for Jason. I liked the fact that Jason actually left his life behind for Lindsey. Christopher Lloyd played her grandfather and it was nice seeing him again. Plus William Shatner as the Christmas elf or fairy godfather, whatever magical being he was supposed to be, is always fun.
Another one I watched was A Bride For Christmas. This is one of those movies that makes me shake my head and ask, “Hallmark, WTF are you doing?”
Jessie has bailed on two previous grooms when we meet her at her engagement party. She makes it down the aisle at her third wedding but keeps on going right out the back door. Why on earth you would keep throwing engagement parties and big ass weddings for a woman who has already bolted on two previous weddings is my first question.
Then we meet Aiden playing poker with three of his work colleagues. He wins. There’s snarky conversation. It’s apparent that Aiden thinks marriage is a trap and the end of the line for a man. A bet is soon made regarding him getting a woman to agree to get engaged before Christmas. The spoils of this bet? A freaking office! If he wins he gets the corner office and if he loses he gives up his office with no windows and has to take a cubicle. What. The. Ever. Living. Hell? You’re going to get engaged in about three weeks time so that you can get a better office? Have you ever heard of getting promoted? Just tossing that out there as an idea.
Anyway, they meet at an art show. He hits on her. She says no. Her sister says yes on her behalf. She and her sister are interior designers so her sister pushes her onto him for some unknown reason that is supposedly for business opportunities. She decorates his apartment amazingly well. They share stories about their lives. There’s volunteering at a dog shelter. A dog is adopted and then returned. Aiden sticks up for the dog which causes Jessie to kiss him and realize “he’s the one”. They’re planning the wedding- mere weeks after meeting and, oh yeah, only weeks after walking out of her third wedding. She finds out about the bet from her ex-fiance and breaks up with Aiden. Sadly, she finds out this information after he’s already called off the bet and taken his place in the cubicle. She will not even entertain his explanation. Wow- he’s in a cubicle for nothing now. Her MOM shows up at Aiden’s place of work, asks him if he loves Jessie, and when he assures her that he does, announces, “Then let’s get busy planning a wedding.” Again, I ask, What. The. Ever. Living. Hell?
Jessie goes to the shelter on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day (I don’t really know which) to tend to the dogs and give them their treats. Goes to give Jake, the returned dog, a treat and finds out he’s been adopted. Again. Jessie is sad but she fights through it, happy for Jake that he found a family. It’s Christmas, after all.
Jessie and her sister show up at their parents’ house for Christmas. Jessie is conveniently wearing white. Her sister will make an equally lovely bridesmaid in Christmas red. The pastor who has attempted to perform her prior weddings is there.
“What are you doing here, Father/Pastor So and So?”
Her dad is in a tux.
“Dad, why are you in a tux?”
“Because we’re in a Hallmark Christmas movie, Jessie. Shit’s about to get real.”
Well, look-y here! Who do we have? It’s Aiden. He’s in a tuxedo, too! What is going on? And why do you have Jake the dog jumping up and down all over you in your spiffy dress up clothes, Aiden? You probably guessed it by now- Aiden has adopted the dog that was returned, the one he valiantly defended causing Jessie to realize how much she loved him. He tells Jessie he loves her and wants to marry her, and by golly this dog has a real family now because it’s not just Aiden’s dog, it’s Jessie’s too (yeah, I think I forgot to mention the part about Jessie always wanting a dog but someone in the family was allergic)! This particular wedding (her fourth, if you’re keeping score) goes off without a hitch.
I don’t know where they got the little veil. Maybe her mom purchased it when she was busy planning Jessie’s wedding behind her back.
I know it’s a movie and it’s not supposed to make sense, or rather, dwell in reality, but come on! Why is Hallmark so intent on marrying off people? These people had known each other for weeks! He asked her out in order to win a bet. She broke off three prior engagements (to be fair I believe that possibly with the other weddings she never made it to with the other weddings she never made it to the actual wedding day; I think they were canceled before then.) and she’s just walking down the aisle on Christmas Eve, marrying a guy she said she never wanted to see again a week earlier? It wasn’t even a spur of the moment, “Let’s get married! We’ll run down to the courthouse or fly to Vegas!” This was an ambush wedding! It would be like someone inviting you over for Thanksgiving dinner and when you show up your wedding is set up for you and the host announces, “Meet your groom! Let’s do this!” And you do.
I do have to admit I’m a sucker for a dog. It is possible that I would marry a guy if he showed up and offered me a dog. With the caveat that I had to marry him in order to get the dog, of course. Possible. Not 100%. Honestly, come to think of it, I think the only part of that wedding that made sense was the dog.
So that was it for me. I did watch three others but I’m not going to write about them. Nothing outrageous happened. Now that we’ve got Direct Stream I’m pretty sure I get the Hallmark channel so I can watch these movies whenever I want. I plan to immerse myself in them this Christmas, even if they are ridiculous at times. 127 days until Christmas!