Hallmark Movie Reviews: Real and Fake Royals
2022-12-03, 9:15 a.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
I'm going to be busy all day and night and don't have time to get a proper entry written before the 9 p.m. (my time) rollover for Holidailies. So here are some pre-written Hallmark Channel reviews of shows.
Prince Edmund of Comfrey, a playboy prince, wins a corgi named Mistletoe in a card game and brings him home for his mumsy to join her other corgis. Mistletoe is cute but could use a trainer, and the royal corgi handler Alec refuses to do it because (a) snobbery ("this is not a ROYAL CORGI with BLOODLINES!") and (b) a dog that's a year old is untrainable. This sounds ridiculous to me.
Cecily is a New York dog trainer with a book and a charity who gets the bright idea to offer her services after Mistletoe makes the Internet for knocking things down at an event. Her agent-guy is a royal watcher and makes her up a dossier on the guy, which she doesn't read. Cecily insists that Edmund train the dog himself, and naturally they hit it off, put on a royal corgi Christmas derby (which is adorable, of course). etc.
The side plot is that Princess Victoria, Edmund's little sister, is lovely and sweet and takes charge of everything and really should be the next heir and everybody pretty much knows it. She clearly wants to but is too polite to say so, whereas Edmund may be a nice fellow and get more into charity whatevers with dogs as the plot goes on, but he's really not that into the idea and everyone knows that too.
If anyone's a villain in this, it's Alec, who starts out snobby towards Cecily/Mistletoe but otherwise seems nice enough and is secretly dating Victoria. But when he finds the dossier in Cecily's room and is all "I'm outing her as a gold digger" to Victoria, Victoria literally points her finger at him and orders him OUT of the castle. You go, girl. There is a ridiculous bit where Edmund throws Cecily out of the ball and then his mother is all "oh, gee, she wanted money for a CHARITY, TEH HORRORZ, oh, get over it, she's nice" at him.
Edmund does the Traditional Christmas Grovel, very well, with dog attached. Victoria is declared the heir, as it should be.
I enjoyed this, four stars.
Quote from one of the reviews I just linked: "We won’t even talk about the entire Christmas Prince nonsense, or the fact that her company doesn’t know whether it does satellites, rockets, or research. We also won’t talk about the fact that bosses and subordinates should not date. That’s a Harlequin romance trope that disappeared in the 1980s."
I had no idea what this was going into it, other than thinking, "Hey, this sounds different than most royalty movies, let's see what it does." Well, it's effing weird. Most Hallmark movies are ""Royalty" or "Dance and Singing" or "Already Done Movie But Add Christmas" or "Let's Make Another Time For X To Come Home For Christmas" (already on the slate again this year) or "Let's Save Yet Another Business" or whatever. While this is actually an original plot...it's an effed up one.
I will just note that it is totally wrong and inappropriate to blackmail one's boss into pretending to be a fictional character to appease your 7-year-old. YES, THAT'S THE PLOT OF IT. Shelby is a rocket scientist (!!!) /widowed mother whose boss, Evan, is one of those Spock-like personalities that everyone probably labels as "autistic" these days (I have no clue), is basically no fun, nerdy, doesn't know how to relate to people, etc. Apparently three people have quit due to Eric's lack of people skills and he's warned that if a fourth one quits, he's on notice or whatever. (I note that this guy didn't even bother to ask why Shelby went on bereavement leave 2 years ago, and she points that out.) When he tells everyone they have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Shelby stomps off in a huff and quits. I'm not sure how easy it is to get rocket scientist jobs (California is mentioned), but I kinda can't blame her for huffing out on that one.
Shelby has some story that runs in her family, the "Christmas Prince," that everyone tells the kids. She has thrown in various details over the years, including that he's tall and dark and has a mark on his hand "where a reindeer kissed him." Unfortunately, little Grace comes into the office, sees the weird cartoon mustache-y "birthmark" on Evan's hand, and declares him the Christmas Prince and that he immediately grant her a lot of wishes, like a pony for her closet. Ergo, Shelby blackmailing Evan into going along with this stupid prince thing and negotiating down the kid's wishes, which go from "pony" to "mommy should date the prince." Evan is painfully awkward AF and yet somehow Grace eats his painfully bad "storytelling" up for some reason and follows him around like a puppy or whatever..
I will note that Shelby has far more chemistry with her underling coworker Lorenzo, who actually has personality, than Evan the Dull, but I presume someone might have objected to that as a relationship, for several reasons. Okay, Evan improves, at least (enough to go from "we're considering firing you" to "nah, we're going to promote you instead," apparently, thwarting Christmas Firing). But, y'know, plot is weird.
Kristoffer Polaha and Marisol Nichols have been married 13 years and have lost that loving feeling. They're remodeling and have stopped noticing each other's cooking. Their therapist suggest they go to "Gracious, Vermont," population 513, for a romantic trip. Their car gets a giant ornament dropped on top of it, forcing them to stay and help out with all the holiday activities. Kristoffer always gives good Hallmark (that guy can give intense looks), but Marisol plays it chill and cool--which works for a disconnected lady considering divorce, but not so much for re-falling in love. I did enjoy the gay couple running the inn, and the random alpaca farm that turned up a few times, and the animal portraits. But overall, I probably won't remember that one this much--then again, I'm usually not that into the married-couple movies. Not bad, but not really something that interesting-ish? 2.5-3 stars or so.