Brooke- Holly Khun
Marc- Sam McNary
(cuteness of the kid: grade A)
This is one of the first movies Annelise and I disagree on. I dislike it – she says she would BUY it. Big difference.
A homemade Jingle Bells song opens the movie. I only heard a few seconds of it because I pressed mute, which is exactly what it deserved.
Now we are at the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in Chicago and we find out that our female lead, Holly, played by Brooke D’Orsay, is the creative director for the Radcliffe center (a sound-alike for the Rockefeller Center) and that people keep referring to her as Miss Christmas.
Holly and her assistant are very pretty girls and both are willowy slim.
Disclaimer: I will never, ever body shame an actor whether they are slim or not slim, but I do expect to see women and men representative of different sizes and shapes. Since this topic of discussion can be touchy, just suffice it to say, if I would personally like to identify with someone who is my size during this movie, these two girls are not it. However, in the interest of fairness to Hallmark I will be keeping my eyes open for someone who is around a size 12 and, fingers crossed, it is not the villain or Santa Claus.
Holly has been overwhelmed this year with finding the big tree for the Radcliffe Center and has been so busy she hasn’t been able to date! Oh dear, she sounds like a lonely, workaholic female lead!
It looks like Holly’s boss is ethnic which is good in that this representation is present, and bad in that we are going to find out that this B be crazy!
The Problem: Due to circumstances beyond Holly’s control, she has a very short time frame to find a replacement tree for the Christmas ceremony. Oh, my gosh….no big tree…Christmas is dead.
Luckily, Holly receives a letter from an 8-year old boy with a photo of the perfect tree, so she goes to the small town of Klaus, Wisconsin, to find Mr. Right, I mean a tree.
Hmmm, I am wondering why she didn’t call ahead first? Did she call and I missed it? Or did she just trust the note written in crayon from an 8 year-old? I’ll have to re-watch the movie to find out, (reminder: add to my To Do List…next Christmas).
Product Placement – I notice that the car she is driving has had the front insignia covered over so apparently Hallmark is not doing any product placement for companies that are not paying for it. You go Hallmark!
More goofy music plays which sounds like it was written in 5 minutes by children.
Oh my! Holly grew up on a Christmas tree farm. She is NOT a city girl! What an exciting plot twist! (yawn)
“Meet Cute” is actually cute – Holly meets Sam, played by Marc Blucas, before she knows who he is, (the owner of the tree she needs). Basically, he says, “Bah Humbug” and she says “How dare you dis Christmas!”, and then they part ways.
Holly: “Don’t you walk away from me! I grew up on a Christmas tree farm!”
Check box the male lead who hates Christmas verses the female lead who loves Christmas.
So immediately on entering the town she meets the 8 year-old’s aunt, (what luck!), who is the sister of the man, (Sam) who owns the tree. Actually, immediately upon entering the town she actually met Sam himself so either this is a freaking small town or the director has a shooting schedule of 12 days so screw believability.
Holly asks Sam for the tree, and he says it is not for sale so she responds, “Oh I am not asking to buy it – the whole thing is donation based and most people are happy to do it.”
What!!! So, let me get this straight - a strange woman comes up to Sam out of the blue and says, “I want your tree and by the way you are going to donate it,” and we are expecting him to say yes? I get it that most of the trees Holly gets for her ceremony historically come from tree owners who already want to donate, but the fact is, Sam’s son sent the letter without his permission. Since Sam did not agree to donate anything shouldn’t actual payment be one of Holly’s strategies?
Does she have 0 dollars extra in her budget? Is there some sort of Santa Code that precludes payment?
Look near the bottom of this honkin’ tree….holy moly that’s a person.
Okay, here comes the part which makes me dislike the female lead. Sam has JUST showed her that his parents initials are carved into this tree and he has explained the significance of this to her, and the first thing she says is, “Don’t you want to share this story with the world?”
No Holly he doesn’t, because “the world” will be interested for all of 30 seconds, before a flying squirrel that saved a baby grabs their attention. After that, all Sam will be left with is a mammoth tree stump and some tears.
Since I can’t really decide if I am a proponent of carving a tree up or not, you guys need to make up your own caption on this one.
However, because Annelise really likes this movie, I am going to just rationalize this moment and pretend Holly is so freaked out by her job that she doesn’t know what she is saying. I think the constant phone calls and texts she keeps getting from her crazy boss asking, “Do we have the tree yet? Did they say yes?” could literally be construed as harassment, so I think this will work.
Hey Holly, boss just called...
Next Holly learns that Sam’s mom passed away last year and that is why he doesn’t want to give away the tree. She turns to go, but then the little boy who wrote the letter shows up and gets her to stay.
In Holly’s defense, she does explain why the Radcliffe tree is an important symbol, and actually gives a presentation to the family on it. I am sure the history of the tree lighting was touching, but I wouldn’t know since I was too overwhelmed with the amount of cookies she bought for 4 people.
Those are some awesome Christmas cookies kid.
So why are you biting into a boring old vanilla wafer?