Chaos Attraction

Hallmark Movie Reviews: Merry Pre-Matrimony Movies

2015-12-27, 7:46 p.m.

We didn't do much today--neither of us got much sleep so we ended up napping, and then combing the cheap big box stores for cheap crap. I don't have much of anything to say about that. However, I did watch ten damn Hallmark movies I hadn't seen before on Christmas Eve/Day, and I'm going to spend most of the next week reviewing them. How's that sound, folks?

So let's start with the Merry Pre-Matrimony movies this season, involving premarital drama for the holidays!

Merry Matrimony:

Bree and Eddie were dating in college until he got into some yearlong master’s program in photography (this is a thing?!) in Paris. It’s only for a year, then we’ll get back together! Seven years later, we find out they did NOT. Bree is now an art director who’s been tasked to work on a Christmas bride bridal magazine reshoot. “Merry Matrimony. Feel free to use that.” Eddie, now a big shot fashion designer, is flying in from Paris just for this. Bree is dying to see him and at the same time is trying to talk herself out of it, saying shit like “I want stability.”

Meanwhile, Bree’s mom has decided to fix her up with Jared, who is a perfectly nice pharmacist and seems pretty cute and really doesn’t seem like all that bad of a dude, other than he doesn’t quite look as male model perfect as Eddie does (damn, those cheekbones, Eddie, you’re this year’s Brandon Routh) and is possibly a bit overeager by getting her a pointsettia on the first date. Bree gives it a chance but feels no chemistry--plus she’s all distracted by Eddie. Her friend that she works with knows, but Bree asks her to keep that they’re exes on the down low otherwise.

It is also entirely possible that Eddie is dating big shot Isabella--or maybe it’s Isabelle, I never did get that straight, but they are generally flirty with each other and there is enough misleading shit going down to drag the Big Mis on for like an hour and to make Bree think that Eddie proposed to Isabella even though she’s really secretly dating some other big shot who lives in Europe instead. Several people, including Bree’s boss and Jared, are basically all, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST ASK HIM ALREADY IF HE’S SINGLE?” and Bree never spits it out. But eventually the Big Mis is settled, the bridal wedding is shot, Eddie proposes even though he hasn’t been with Bree in seven years, and the movie ends on Bree and Eddie’s next year Christmas wedding, in which Jared and Bree’s friend start hitting it off. Well, good for them.

Yeah, clearly there isn’t a whole lot of plot to this one beyond exes reuniting, Jared, and the Big Mis.

Quote Corner:

* “Christmas is happening in the living room, not on the phone!” --Bree’s mom.
* “Well, this is officially my nightmare before Christmas.” --Bree on being fixed up.
* “Don’t you dare make Jared wait!” --Bree’s mom again.
* I don’t have the exact quote right, but Jared said something like “last time I saw you you were wearing a superhero swimsuit and going down a Slip N’ Slide.” “I had a superhero swimsuit?”

Other reviews of this can be found here and here.

A Christmas Detour:

Another year, another movie with Candace Cameron Bure! In this one, her character of Paige is rather annoying for the first 20-30 minutes of the show. She writes articles for bridal magazines about snagging your dream man (and pimps them to random people and hands a free magazine to some poor girl in her vicinity), and is SUPER DAMN PUMPED to spend her first decent fancy Christmas with her rich fiance Jack and his rich parents in the Hamptons. She’s even bringing along her VISION BOARD for the occasion! She drives everyone in her vicinity nuts by talking about Jack, wedding planning, her article, vision boards, etc. in between complaining about her airport seating and how she doesn’t want to check her vision board.

Dylan is the poor schmuck who’s stuck sitting next to Paige on the plane, and he’s finding all of this to be pretty ridiculous. Sample dialogue: “I mean you no offense.” “Some taken.” The world’s worst storm erupts over the NYC area, stranding our intrepid heroes in Buffalo. Paige is just a total pain in the ass about EVERYTHING--being stuck in a single, having to share a door with Dylan, who likes to listen to the news on LOUD while he takes a bath, she can’t get cell reception and doesn’t want to call Jack from a strange man’s phone, blah blah blah.

Also stranded in Buffalo are Frank and Maxine, a couple who seem nice enough, but as Tom Cruise would have sung once upon a time, they’ve lost that loving feeling. Paige has dinner with them, yacking on and on about Jack, while Dylan drinks Bloody Mary’s behind them and cheerfully watches storm coverage. “How come you’re the only guy in here watching the weather report with a big smile on your face?” Dylan considers this weather a “get out of Christmas free card,” that’s why. The other three decide they’ll just hang around the airport until they’re allowed to fly, which gets them nowhere.

Paige is so stressed about getting to New York in time because her in-laws are going on a world cruise the day after Christmas, apparently this means she won’t meet them UNTIL HER WEDDING DAY if she can’t make Christmas. It’s actually even worse than that, Jack says on the phone, because if Paige can’t meet them on the 25th, the in-laws want her to postpone the wedding until they can meet her, and that would postpone it for like, a year and a half. Oh, for fuck’s sake, Jack and his parents: do you not comprehend weather storms and how they work?! (As we find out later: probably not.) Dylan continues to drink in the bar and notices that Paige is filmed sleeping in the airport. I guess he feels sorry for them all or something, because this motivates him* to rent the last 4 wheel drive and pick the other three up where they’re now standing in the cold waiting for an imaginary shuttle. I’m amazed Dylan is so happy in this moment in time. Or sober?

* I hope he’s sobered up by the time this happens.

So people drive around, and Frank and Maxine discuss whether or not they’re soul mates or cell mates, Maxine wants to play the silence game and Frank is all, “Sure, how do you--OH.” Paige calls Jack and doesn’t mention Dylan’s existence, Dylan and Frank go through Paige’s stuff while she’s gone and LOL about her checklist of what she wants in a man--good oral hygeine, check, but sense of humor, NO check. After this, Dylan can’t stop going on about a sense of humor, and Paige attempts to think of any time that Jack has cracked a joke. Meanwhile, Frank is trying to play road games by himself. Paige compares Dylan to a train wreck.

So now it’s time for a car crash, right next to O Tannenbaum Inn, in some Christmas town or other that naturally only has two rooms left. We’ll divide up by gender, right?! They go out for a nice Christmas dinner with actual chestnut roasting and mistletoe. We find out that Dylan doesn’t want to go home because his ex dumped him for his brother and now they’re engaged.

Oh look, mistletoe! “It’s Christmas Eve, what’s one little kiss going to hurt?” --Maxine. Dylan and Paige run off claiming hunger instead, causing Frank to say, “worst excuse ever.”

We find out that Paige only had single broke mom Christmasses and now her mom’s dead, so she wants the big family Christmas that the rest of you are all running away from, “basically the Christmas that you’re trying to avoid” and take for granted. The couples dance, Paige declares they shouldn’t be doing this, and leaves. So far, everything that could go wrong did, but somehow this feels right? How is that bad? Because Jack is her soulmate and you’re....? Anyway, they make out and then get interrupted by carolers, and Paige ignores Jack’s call. Frank makes a totally inappropriate snark about congratulating Jack on his great oral hygeine, which Paige figures out means that the boys snooped through her shit.

Frank and Maxine somehow “accidentally” end up in the same room sleeping together, and Paige sleeps in the office and gets a ride out of their in the morning without telling anyone. You feel very sorry for the poor shellshocked driver as Paige psychoanalyzes the entire situation and then she tells him he’s a good listener. Meanwhile, Maxine tells Dylan what country club Paige said she was going to tonight, and Paige left her vision board behind....

Welcome to Country Club Christmas! Jack’s parents are formal and stuffy and his mother’s kinda rude, making comments about how off the rack can almost look good and how they want to wait to be introduced to Paige until she’s freshened up. Even Jack is basically all, I at least check the weather before I go anywhere. O RLY, YOU FUCKER, IT'S THAT EASY?! Also, didn't you grow up on the East Coast, where you should know better?

His parents have already arranged for the caterer, location, and dress designer and Jack tells her not to challenge his parents on every little thing before the wedding. Isn’t it supposed to be our wedding? Yes, but.... Also, at one point Paige laughs at the whole situation and Jack is all, “you made a weird snorting sound.” That’s a laugh, Paige says. Then why haven’t I heard it before, Jack wonders. Oh lord. Oh yeah, and Paige is of course allowed to pick her own dress as long as it’s one of the designer’s...and don’t pick something too busty. I can’t say that I’ve noticed that Candace Cameron Bure is the Tit Queen, by any means, so whaaaa?

Anyway, Dylan comes home and manages to deal with his brother and ex/future sister in law quite well, go figure. Then he heads off to the country club, where Paige is talking about him being all old and ugly with a toupee. Yeah, right. Here’s your vision board back! Which Dylan added a photo of himself and Paige to, hah. Uh, Paige, is there anything you’d like to say to us...This isn’t going to work out, Paige says, and leaves. AND THEN JACK’S DAD IS ALL, “I LIKE THAT GIRL.”

Paige and Dylan make out, and then go to his family’s house. “This is exactly the kind of Christmas I always wanted,” she says.

This one was okay. Starts out insufferable and gets better as it goes on, but probably isn’t going to be one of my faves in the way that say, Christmas Under Wraps is.

Quote Corner:
* “Something tells me *you* won’t be the one who’s bothered.” --the poor put-upon clerk that Paige is harassing about her shared door hotel room.

Other reviews here and here.

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