Genre: “I’ve Given Up On Love…Who Dis?” Holiday Romance
New Holiday Spirit or Ghost of Christmas Past?: Runaway Bride meets She’s All That during Hallmark Christmastime in this comedy of errors romance.
Synopsis: Jessie bolted from three engagements, worried she didn’t feel like they were “The One”. Aiden is a cocksure guy who thinks he can win anything. So when Aiden takes a bet to get engaged to Jessie by Christmas? Well, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just fine.
Unwrap or regift?: The fact that I typed out the “New…or” movie blurb at the three minute mark and didn’t change a thing, shows you how paint by numbers this is. You’ll be able to call out everything that’s gonna happen scene by scene, but y’know what? It’s still sweet.
The onscreen chemistry between the two is fantastic. Arielle Kebbel and Andrew Walker are able to take two damaged characters and make them sweetly believable, even with all the crazy holiday romance stuff.
If you look too closely at the plot, you’ll see tons of unbelievable things, like how two sexually active adults get get married before they sleep together. But there’s good stuff done right as well. For example, Jessie’s sister (a cheeky, open hearted Jordana Largy) is a lesbian, but it’s played as a matter of fact rather than a source of difference between the two. More of this type of representation, please, Hollywood.
Also, while the story is nuts, it’s played straighter than you’d expect, with only witty repartee between characters delivering chuckles. The lack of silly slapstick in what could have been an overblown farce is refreshing. As is the quality of the talent that lifts this predictable tale to a higher level than it might warrant, but reaches nonetheless.
Grab some sugar cookies and shortbread, and give this sappy yet satisfying film a try. And no, I’m not just saying that because shelter dogs play a part in the plot. But it don’t hurt. Yay puppies!
Score: 2.5 out of 5 Hos.