Sappy Christmas Rom-Coms: THE DEFINITIVE RANKING, PART #2

Life / Friday, December 15th, 2017



And let me tell you, I REALLY needed the pick me up of writing about these ridiculous films after the week I’ve had. It’s been nuts. I chatted a bit about the holiday blues back in my Monday post, but let me tell you; it’s only gotten worse. But writing has ALWAYS been my fave form of self-care, and I can’t type even one of these synopsis without giggling uncontrollably.

Let’s review!

A few years ago, I realized just how terrible and addictive sappy, made-for-TV Christmas Rom Coms can be after watching several hours of Ion Channel Holiday Programming. Since then, I’ve made it a point to track down a couple of Lifetime, Hallmark, and Ion Christmas rom-coms each season. Recently, I declared myself a bona-fide expert in the genre, and my first ranking post was released last week, counting down numbers #10-#6.

In case you forgot: I created a list of the common elements in Sappy Christmas Rom-Coms:

  • A snowball fight
  • A sleigh ride
  • An elevator kiss
  • Female Lead who is a “workaholic” at the start of the movie.
  • Current boyfriend who hates Christmas/is a tool
  • A Best Friend character who also happens to be the only person of color/gay person in the movie
  • A New Love Interest who loves children, puppies, and all things festive.
  • Female Lead must unexpectedly travel somewhere that is far away and covered in snow. Note: I live in Boston and there is almost never snow by Christmas here.That starts in January 
  • A big dance/party/ball in the last 1/3 of the movie where the Female Lead gets to dress up really fancy.
  • A Villainous Millionaire who is trying to take over some plot of land that has sentimental value to the Female Lead.

All of the movies on my list contain at least three of the above elements. I am ranking these from best to worst; so the worst movie will be #1, and the least terrible will be #10. That said, #10 is still pretty crappy, but I made it through ten of these ridiculous movies in the last two weeks just because I really wanted to rank them.

#5: Back to Christmas This Ion movie also has a second name, and I am confused. Did they think changing the name would make it better somehow? It was first called “Correcting Christmas,” which I actually like better than the vague title Netflix has slapped on it.

Ali is a super busy professional in LA who tells her family she doesn’t have time for Christmas this year and then goes out to eat diner food. At the diner she meets Ginny, who was actually really fun and comedic to watch on screen. Ginny has unexplained magical powers, and lures Ali into her circle of trust over a plate of fries. We learn that Ali used to love Christmas, but that she broke up with her boyfriend, Cameron, on Christmas morning last year because he didn’t propose. Now she regrets it. Ali goes back to her apartment, and falls into a wine-induced sleep. When she awakens, PRESTO! She has time-traveled back to last Christmas! She’s in her parent’s mansion, her boyfriend Cameron is there, and so is her old pal/ handsome neighbor, Nick! Over the course of many, many events, including a gift wrapping event and a very fancy cocktail party, we learn that Cameron doesn’t like Christmas and Nick loves kids and puppies and all things festive. It’s clear where this is going, right? Nick and Ali don’t go on a sleigh ride, but they do go on a late-night jaunt to look at christmas lights. In the end, YOU GUESSED IT,  Nick and Ali end up together. And Cameron goes to Hawaii or some other tropical place for the holidays and doesn’t look back.

Number of Sappy Christmas Rom-Com Key Elements: 4

#4: The Christmas Crush This movie is kind of confusing because it has two names. It was originally on Lifetime and was called “Holiday High School Reunion,” but then for some reason when it moved to Netflix it was named “The Christmas Crush.” You know something is wrong with a movie that can’t even agree on its own name.

Georgia is a fashion assistant in LA, and still day-dreams about her meathead ex boyfriend from high school. Georgia isn’t too happy with her demanding but mostly menial career, and her dad is kind of an a-hole about it, too. She heads home for the holidays, and is soon greeted by a trio of throughly un-believable characters: Tori, Katie, and Heather, her high school glee-club teammates. Or….are they cheerleaders? I have no idea, because throughout the movie they call themselves a glee club and break into song, but then there are these really cheesy flashbacks when they all look like cheerleaders. They’re also all really terrible stereotypical female characters with no depth, which is super annoying. Eventually we meet Ben, Georgia’s best “artsy” guy friend from high school. Ben is played by Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls, and he tries to profess his love to Georgia in almost every scene, but ends up interrupted in some nonsensical way, like Georgia’s ex, Craig, suddenly playing a bongo. There’s no snowball fight in this one since it is set in southern California, but there is a food fight and I think that counts. Nearly the entire movie takes place during the high school reunion event, so Georgia and all of her classmates are super dressed up, although Georgia spills punch on her white dress (as if any female in her late 20’s wastes money on a white dress that she can NEVER wear to any of the billion weddings she must attend) right at the start, and spends the rest of the movie covered in stain that’s super inconsistent scene-to-scene. Random s**t just keeps happening in this movie; they TP the principals office, Georgia and the glee club keep singing weird christmas songs even though they’re at a non-denominational school gathering, and some 18 year old shows up and say’s she’s Ben’s girlfriend. In the end Georgia and Ben make out and literally none is surprised.

Number of Sappy Christmas Rom-Com Key Elements: 3

#3: My Santa: In this movie, Seth Cohen’s first season girlfriend from The OC and the brother from Mrs. Doubtfire have the weirdest romance ever. 

Jen is a single mom to the most annoying 7-year-old ever. She is also a reporter, and often flirts with her good looking but not so spirited co-worker, Sam. Jen is desperately trying to get her hands on a popular action figure for her son’s christmas gift, and gets super heated when a local santa PROMISES her kid that he’ll get that darn toy. She confronts the santa and finds a super handsome and festive young guy named Chris beneath the beard. They begin a weird and disjointed romance that I literally didn’t understand. I felt like these two characters went from just hanging out to desperately loving one another in the amount of time that it takes me to decide what to eat for dinner. However, they hit a snag when Chris reveals that he is ACTUALLY Santa’s son, and only in town to find a wife. Jen understandably thinks he’s insane, and totally breaks up with him. Eventually they reconcile, and they all ride off on his sleigh together in the end. It’s bonkers. But oddly, the least believable moment in the entire movie is a flashback scene when we see Jen getting dumped by her ex-husband. Her fake crying is awful and the guy they cast as her husband is super weird.

Number of Sappy Christmas Rom-Com Key Elements: 3

#2: A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale This was one of the last movies I pushed through, and it was for sure a waste of my time. 

Luce is a college student who has a little too much access to her parent’s credit card at the start of the movie. She and her boyfriend break up because he doesn’t really like christmas- or her. Then her credit card gets declined, so Luce races home to her parent’s mansion to demand answers. Instead, she finds that her parents have jetted off to Africa to do charity work, leaving only her annoying musician brother around. Luce then takes on a job as a dog walker so she can continue funding her shopping addiction, and ends up meeting a Dean, a future-vet and fellow dogwalker along the way. As it turns out, the neighborhood dog park is being threatened by a villainous millionaire who wants to build a spa on the spot. Bit- BIG TWIST- that millionaire is also the owner of the dog Luce walks, so Luce and the other dog park people band together to save the park! It all culminates in a giant party to save the park, where Luce wears a super ill-fitting dress and kisses Dean under some twinkle lights.

I actually didn’t hate Luce as a character, but Dean was played by Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls (again!) and he’s at least a decade older than her and also just not a great actor. They threw in this weird monologue about him having dyslexia, and the sped teacher in me was skeeved out.

Number of Sappy Christmas Rom-Com Key Elements: 4

#1: Merry Kissmass This Ion channel original movie makes no sense.

Kayla is the executive assistant and fiancee of a famous choreographer, and she works super hard. They’ve returned to her home town of Palo Alto (so christmassy) so that her fiancee, Carlton, can choreograph the local production of the Nutcracker, and so that they can celebrate their engagement. From the first scene it is clear that Carlton is a tool, so it was so clear to me that a new love interest must be on the horizon. Enter Dustin, a caterer who is very, very handsome. Kayla and Dustin meet one day when Kayla is running from a shopkeeper for no perceivable reason, then runs into a random building for no perceivable reason, and immediatly begins making out with a man she does not know (i.e. Dustin) on the elevator for no perceivable reason. They part ways, but later reunite when Kayla realizes that Dustin is going to be the caterer for she and Carlton’s engagement party. Carlton gets super weird, and Kayla’s bestie Jana is NOT HAVING IT. Jana encourages Dustin to go for it, and pushes Kayla to dump Carlton, all while also being the only person of color in the whole film. Actually, she is one of just three people of color in any of these five films. Kayla dumps Carlton, gets a puppy with Dustin, sort of dates Dustin for a montage that I think was supposed to represent about a weeks worth of time, then goes back to Carlton for no perceivable reason. Meanwhile, there are all these scened of Carlton “choreographing” the nutcracker, but the four extras they cast as ballerinas are clearly sixteen year olds from a beginner ballet class. They make jete pass du borree look like an accident. And, yeah, Carlton is always yelling at them, but that’s because they are bad at ballet. In the end Kayla dumps Carlton while dressed fabulously for her engagement party, and she and Dustin kiss on an elevator. Again.

I have no idea how this film got made.

Number of Sappy Christmas Rom-Com Key Elements: 5


I hope you all enjoyed this post:) Check back next week for a list of my actual fave Christmas movies!

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