It’s after Halloween, and according to some people, it’s practically Christmas. Which is how I found myself on Friday night, pressing play on Netflix’s new holiday movie, Holidate. For those who don’t know me, sh*tting on holiday movies is kind of my thing. I’ve done it with The Princess Switch (and don’t worry, barring a civil war I’ll be back for Princess Switch 2), and The Holiday. There’s just something about the premise that one can find love over the holidays that really gets me going in a bad way. Probably because the holidays are usually the time when (for casual daters) you are actually most likely to get ghosted or dumped. It’s just unrealistic, and yes I am bitter. So I thought I would give an honest recap of Holidate. Let’s go.
We open with Emma Roberts smoking a cigarette, muttering “f*cking holidays” (relatable), and putting out said cigarette on a plastic Santa statue. She’s shown up to Christmas dinner in a red hoodie and pigtails, to which her mom remarks “can’t you put on a dress?”. My family doesn’t even change out of sweatpants for holidays hosted in our own home, so no.
We learn Emma broke up with a suitor six months ago, and her mom and aunt are already hounding her about how it’s time to “get back out there.” Yeah, my last relationship ended five years ago, so. Yeah. I would not do well with these people.
More realistically, Emma’s mom thinks her working remotely means she sits around the house all day in sweatpants. That’s also what my mom thinks I do for a living. She is not wrong.
Equally overbearing are Emma’s brother and his girlfriend: the former remarks “it’s not a holiday unless my sister shows up alone.” And I’ve got to wonder what weird pressure this family places on having significant others, and what kind of trauma led them all to derive their self-worth from their relationship status…
It’s two minutes in and I’m already wayyy overthinking this movie.
And then we see Kristin Chenoweth as the drunk aunt roll up with some random Mall Santa, and it all makes sense. She explains to Emma that she’s not really into this guy, it’s just a “holidate”: “you know, someone you bring home for the holidays.” And thus, the premise of the movie is born.
Over on the other side of Chicago, we have Jackson, some hot guy who kind of looks like a lost Hemsworth brother, getting introduced to a couple that’s basically the Flanderses in the flesh. These people live and breathe Christmas and put their decorations up before Halloween, you can just tell. Jackson is clearly just f*cking the poor girl who brought him home for Christmas to meet her parents. And they say I’m sabotaging by having guys meet my friends on the second date.
And back at Emma Roberts’ house, even her 6-year-old cousin has a boyfriend in kindergarten who brings her juice boxes. Everyone is taken but me, it seems! At least I’m in good company with Emma Roberts. This first grader asks Emma why she didn’t bring anyone, either. What is wrong with this family?? This is not the type of attachment style you should be modeling to your children!
And it appears Jackson has fallen into the classic male trap of believing a girl when she says we’re not doing presents that year. This girl is basically just Isla Fisher’s character in the Wedding Crashers because she says, in front of her parents, “oh, so you know me well enough to come in my mouth but not get me a Christmas present?” I cringed into myself.
And back at Emma’s, the brother proposes to his girlfriend of three months. (Honestly, I’ve seen crazier sh*t in quarantine.) Instead of saying “congratulations!” this family’s first response is “two down, one to go!”
So that’s the universe we’re working with: two cynics who are equal yet opposite products of their insane environments.
Emma and our bootleg Hemsworth meet at a store, where Jackson is returning a pair of pants, taking forever, and Emma is returning plaid pajamas—both Christmas presents gone wrong. The store is only offering store credit, so the two of them end up bargaining with the girl in line behind them, who pays in cash for a bunch of off-season items with no retail value. I have never once spoken to a person in line in front of or behind me, let alone played “let’s make a deal”.
This is all happening at the mall (tbt to malls), and who do we see at the mall? The Santa holidate. A lightbulb goes off in Jackson’s head: he needs a holidate for New Year’s Eve because he’s “sick of casually dating” because he’s “always the asshole.” Meanwhile, Emma needs one because her family is really f*cking annoying.
Okay, as a single woman living in NYC, only one of these problems is actually real, and it’s obviously not “woe is me, I don’t want to casually date, not because I want a relationship, but because I’m sick of dumping women left and right when they get too attached!” F*ck all the way off with your Gretchen Weiners bullsh*t.
So they make a pact to be each other’s Holidate for New Year’s Eve. Already this movie has lost me, because NYE is not a family-oriented affair. In fact, it’s kind of a single’s holiday. I feel like most of the NYE marketing is geared towards people cramming in an overpriced club with the hopes of drunkenly making out with a stranger on midnight. This movie should have started at Thanksgiving, then it would kind of make sense.
It’s at this point, 13 minutes in, that we learn Emma Roberts’ character’s name is Sloane. Eh, I’m gonna call her Emma.
The NYE party actually looks fun. Hemsworth makes a point to tell Emma that her tits look phenomenal in her dress, and she loves the way the dress hugs her ass. He’s like, “this is perfect because I can be a total chauvinistic douchebag without worrying you’ll get mad” and Emma is like “and I can wear this dress without worrying I’m gonna get slut-shamed.” Again, only one of these problems is real. Instead of being worried that women won’t respond well to you being a sexist asshole, you could try just… not being a sexist asshole.
Oh, and now we’ve made it to the “let’s sh*t talk rom-coms as we star in a rom-com, how edgy and meta are we” portion of the movie. They bond over how hot Ryan Gosling is and how no woman would ever pass up the chance to be with him—which they think makes them contrarian and cool but I’m pretty sure is the entire plot of The Notebook?
In the bathroom, Emma runs into a group of crying girls (also relatable). The one in white is sobbing because something (red wine?) got spilled on her white dress and it looks like a full-on crime scene. This woman is sobbing because she knows her fiancé is about to propose, but he won’t do that now that her dress is ruined (what?) and “my dream was to be proposed to on New Year’s Eve.” Like, why? You have to share your anniversary date with the Earth? Get a better dream.
After Emma switches dresses with Carrie over there, she goes on the dance floor with Jackson, where “I Had The Time Of My Life” suddenly plays. Miraculously, this packed dance floor parts like the red sea so they can do the Dirty Dancing lift. Like, ok. Club crowds don’t even move out of the way for medics, but sure, they’ll make way for two random people to do a choreographed dance.
We end the night with Jackson giving Emma a chaste kiss on the cheek, and she could not look more repulsed. Ugh, hot people problems. The whole premise thus far is that these two are not attracted to each other—and in fact, that they are sort of disgusted by each other—which is patently ridiculous. They are two objectively attractive people. Like, even if Ryan Gosling isn’t your cup of tea, you can’t call the man ugly.
I refuse to believe that the guy in the Holidate is not attracted to Emma Roberts sorry can’t fool me
— sami fishbein sage (@samifish1) October 30, 2020
Cut to: Valentine’s Day, where Emma doesn’t have a date and everyone else in her family is in disbelief. Again.
At the mall (why does this whole movie take place at the mall), Emma runs into her ex, who is obnoxiously hipster and also French. Ew. He’s basically dating a slightly different-looking variation of Emma Roberts, who they try to pass off as a much younger version but you can tell is basically the same age.
Jackson (who also happens to be at the mall, because nobody else has anywhere better to be in all of Chicago) spots this scene and comes to the rescue, and pretends to be Emma’s bf.
As a thank you for this heroic feat, she gives him a hand job in the mall parking lot. So, that’s Valentine’s Day. Actually looked a lot like mine, minus the mall.
So the next holidate is St. Patrick’s Day—ah, yes, the extremely couples-focused holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, I know firsthand how difficult it is to be single on this day, whose main focus (in the U.S., don’t come for me) is to get wasted off beer. Yes, this of all days is the one I feel most alone.
Emma’s whole family shows up to the bar to once again berate her for being single in between chugs of beer. Reason #24235 this family is f*cked up. We learn that Emma’s brother knows Jackson because he’s been taking golf lessons from him for a year (Jackson is allegedly a “golf pro” for a living, whatever that means, though we never see him golf).
Cut to: Easter, which Emma’s mom has used as another occasion to try to set her daughter up. This time, with their new neighbor (who is also a doctor). But mom, I already told you I’m here with my platonic hot fake date!!! Eh, I’ve had my mom try to set me up with worse people. Kristin Chenoweth shows up dressed like a playboy bunny. And suddenly, I have an answer to the question “where do you see yourself in 10 years?”
So now we get to the trauma portion: apparently Jackson got his heart broken once and that’s why he is the way he is (eye roll). He dated a girl who pretended to like a lot of his hobbies and then one day she completely ghosted and moved out. I honestly don’t feel like we’re getting the whole story here. Like sure, he thinks she up and left out of the blue one day, but if you asked her I bet she’d be like “yeah he was more into his reflection than me and never hung out with me on the weekends because he was always playing golf and every time I brought it up he shrugged it off and my name wasn’t on the lease of the apartment so I just bounced.”
The next holidate is Cinco de Mayo. Again, you don’t have dates for this holiday. You have drinking buddies.
After many tequila shots, Emma wakes up on Jackson’s floor in just her bra and underwear. Finally, realistic representation in Hollywood. She’s wearing his underwear, which in no way makes sense because she’s two pounds and he’s a whole man with hips. In any case, neither of them can remember if they hooked up.
Next up is Mother’s Day, and this family has a whole f*cking Parisian inspired brunch like we’re in that one scene from Bridesmaids. This family does way too much. What do these people do for a living?
Fourth of July time! I understand that if these holidates only happened on the actual holidays that required dates, then Emma and Jackson would be fake-dating for like, six years, but come on. Also, why don’t these people have any actual friends? Jackson has literally one friend, and Emma has zero, evidenced by the fact that she spends all drinking-focused holidays with her family.
Meanwhile, Kristin Chenoweth’s dates keep getting more and more gross because she has some insane rule about only using her holidates one time. At that rate, pyramid schemes have taken a longer time to collapse.
Jackson blows his finger off while setting off fireworks, and everyone else is too wasted to drive to the hospital, so Emma is charged with driving him. I’ve seen characters in Simpsons Road Rage drive better than this bitch, who treats other cars, trees, etc. as if they are parts in a pinball machine. When they somehow make it to the hospital room in one piece, she smokes a joint in the hospital room and they miraculously doesn’t get kicked out.
And guess who’s the doctor charged with reattaching the finger? The neighbor, who is a doctor! Sloane is high so Hot Doctor thinks she’s hitting on him. Guess he has no sense of smell. He also looks like he’s 18. No way this guy went through med school.
Back at home with his finger intact again, Jackson’s like “thanks for taking care of me” and Emma is like “holidate rule #3: leave no date behind.” As far as we know there has been no rule 1 or 2.
I guess it was something about the thrill of almost losing a digit and getting really high and making finger puns that made these two realize they love each other.
Jackson is going to be a Holidate for the brother’s wedding, which conveniently falls on Labor Day. So apparently Jackson scored his own independent invite, and this big idiot is like, “so we’ll both bring our own dates, right?”
Cut to the wedding, where the groom is giving a speech? Don’t feel like that’s a thing. Emma brought Hot Doctor and Jackson brought Kristin Chenoweth, and I’m not sure why she wasn’t already invited given she’s like, their aunt, right? Even weirder, Sloane appears to be jealous of her cracked-out aunt, because when she looks over mid-reception, Kristin is fellating Jackson’s finger (yea that finger). In any normal universe, that scene would provoke revulsion and not jealousy. But ok.
At the bar, they get into a fight because Sloane brought a date and Jackson might f*ck Sloane’s crazy aunt. One of these things is not like the other. In a huff, they call off the holidate arrangement. Then, the bride dances with her dad to “I’ll Make Love To You.” Yikes. I thought this was set in Chicago, not Alabama.
Cut to, crazy aunt grinding on the Hot Doctor. In a spinning accident gone wrong (yea I know), Kristen falls and sprains her ankle, so Hot Doctor rushes to her rescue and whisks her away. Meaning the Holidate arrangement is back on! And this time, it’s Halloween. This is a stretch but given that couples costumes are very much a thing, it’s a lot more believable than shoehorning in St. Patrick’s Day.
Turns out Sloane’s ex is invited to this party with his girlfriend in tow, and she’s 9 months pregnant. She’s at a party because she’s like, “I told you, this baby isn’t going to change our lives!” This is honestly just one of many plot points that did not need to make it into the final cut.
This realization for some reason has broken Emma, who realizes that her ex and his gf conceived on Valentine’s Day but she herself didn’t even have sex on Valentine’s Day. Very weird comparison, considering two of these people are in a relationship, where sex is mostly guaranteed, and one is single. She’s beside herself crying over how embarrassing it is for her—but like, I fail to see how this reflects poorly on her. If anything she dodged a bullet by not getting knocked up by this French douchebag? Feels like we’re at a point in the script writing process where the writers just got drunk and thought all their ideas were genius.
Also somehow somebody spiked Emma’s drinks with laxatives, which causes her to race to the bathroom. Again, I do feel like this is another plotline that could have been removed in editing because it makes no f*cking sense, but at least we get a sweet moment where, after Emma has shat her brains out, Jackson helps her shower. Right, because if a guy didn’t think you were hot on NYE when you were in your best “f*ck me” dress, he’s really going to think you’re hot after he’s washed your own sh*t off you. Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong! From now on, all my dates are going to take place at Taco Bell.
DOUBLY SO because the next morning is when Emma and Jackson finally bang. Cool, the Chipotle workers are going to LOVE me.
These psychopaths wake up the next morning feet to head, not sleeping side-by-side. Anyone else notice that??
The next morning, Sloane’s sister is knocking furiously because she kissed Jackson’s friend (who I have failed to really mention until this point because he honestly served no purpose other than the occasional sassy one-liner). Anyway, the sister is distraught because she is married with kids.
So then it becomes this weird scene where the sister and Jackson are both like, “I should go… no I should go…”
And it ends with Emma being like “no Jackson, you should go.” Now, this has Jackson f*cked up because he has never in his life not been pressured by a girl to have brunch the morning after they have sex. Omg your life must be sooooo hard with women getting attached to you left and right!
Just as out of his f*cking mind is the friend, who’s insisting he and the sister (whose name I am just now learning is Abby) “had a connection”. All this movie is teaching me is that the secret to getting hot guys to like me is to openly reject them a few times and make them question their self-worth.
We’re back to Thanksgiving, and Kristin Chenoweth did not bring Hot Doctor because she’s a “one and done” type bitch. Honestly, I respect it.
Emma has to run out to get some sh*t because her mom burned Thanksgiving dinner. She and Jackson are in the grocery store (why do these two do everything in a f*cking store) when Jackson full-on confesses his love for Emma. And she DGAF! What the actual f*ck is this movie.
Jackson: You’re trying so hard not to feel anything that you’re an asshole.
And now we’ve come obnoxiously full-circle, with Jackson doing a full recall about their whole little quip about Ryan Gosling that they had on New Year’s Eve that isn’t even that good of a metaphor to begin with.
Back at the house, the table is suddenly split in two? I feel like Tim Gunn because I’m yelling at my TV for these people to EDIT.
Well, this is a sh*t show. Emma’s sister sh*ts on her for her personal life always being a mess (wouldn’t be a mess if y’all weren’t so weirdly up in her business about it, but ok). Emma blurts out that at least she didn’t kiss the Black Panther (Jackson’s friend). The husband overhears because he’s walked in right at that moment, and Kristin Chenoweth’s holidate has a heart attack.
And GUESS WHO is the attending physician for this heart attack? That’s right, hot doctor! Apparently, there is only one doctor in all of Chicago!
In any case, Kristin Chenoweth apologizes to Hot Doctor and says she just got scared, and confesses her love for him. He says I love you back, and they make out in the waiting room. Of the ER. Excuse me, this man is the only ER physician in all of Chicago, his time is precious! This is not the time for this!
Christmas time again, and we’re—you guessed it—back at the mall! Where all the girls of the family are shopping, and who’s there? Obviously, Jackson! Because there are no other stores in the entire city. Yeah. They should have set this movie in like, Milwaukee. Then it would have been understandable.
Anyway, Emma’s family turns to her and is basically like, “go get him” so she chases him through the crowded mall. She ends up on stage with a gospel choir (can’t even get into that), and after the choir sings JACKSONNNN to get his attention, the whole mall falls silent. Sure, just like the whole dance floor would part on NYE for two randos to have a dance routine. I’ll take “things that would never happen” for $1,000, Alex.
Emma grabs the mic and confesses her feelings and says she—say it with me now—messed it up because she was scared.
This speech feels less of a love confession and more of a custody agreement: I want you on all holidays, and weekends! And weekdays too! And nights!
After a fake-out (you slick bastard), Jackson obviously rushes to her and they make out in the mall. And all is well! And everything is great! The end.
So what I’ve learned from this movie is:
-I am truly blessed that my dad only asks why I’m single every few months
-Men will fall in love with you if you ignore them (tbh this tracks with what I’ve experienced so far)
-The best way to get a date is to lose your sh*t (literally)
-It’s a good idea to get marry someone you’ve only known for three months (seriously, I couldn’t believe that this subplot with the brother didn’t end in divorce considering the writers spent half the movie underscoring how little these two knew each other… but again, ok)
Overall, I actually didn’t hate this movie. It was stupid, but it was obviously supposed to be stupid. Could it have been about a half hour shorter? Yes. Did any of it make sense? Like, some of it, but not all. But it was entertaining and didn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s all I can really ask for in a rom-com anyway. I’m not here to learn groundbreaking truths about the power of love—I’d much prefer a hand job in a mall parking lot. With that said, I am now accepting applications for my 2020 holiday date. Happy holidays!
Images: Steve Dietl/NETFLIX; Giphy (2); samifish1 / Twitter
December is here, which means two things: Every movie you’re watching is either Oscar bait or pure holiday trash. You have the Timothees and the Saiorses of the world dusting off their mantle for a trophy, and the Haylie Duffs of the world just dusting. Shockingly, there’s no award ceremony for being in your 25th TV movie—although I’d argue Haylie’s contributions to Hallmark movies warrant at least a Venice (Beach) Film Festival Award. Since I love to ruin things and act like I know what a movie is about before seeing it, I figured let’s throw all of these movies into a blender and see what would happen if these Oscar films existed in the Hallmark Cinematic Universe (HCU). Will our movie smoothie be disgusting? Maybe, but worst case, we can just add vodka.
I personally (and emotionally) black out when it comes to British history, despite thriving during my time abroad in London—and by thriving, I mean drinking gallons of Pimms cups and asking everyone if my terrible British accent was any good. So, I kind of don’t totally know what is going on here. But what I do know is that Emma Stone and Mr. Taylor Swift are in it, so there’s that. What I also know is that it’s about royalty and two cousins trying to be the favourite (with a ‘u,’ mind u). So when it’s Christmas time, they’re two cousins fighting over their neighbors love. One is engaged to her and has everything you’d want in a man: a steady income, a great hairline, and a job that requires him to talk about briefs. However, they don’t have LOVE. Which is why, when she meets with the other cousin to prepare for their Christmas dinner and she realizes she doesn’t need a retirement plan or a joint-bank account, she needs the Christmas spirit and… love, duh.
Vox Lux is Natalie Portman as a pop star (girl, what?), but in the world of Hallmark, the pop star is actually the Christmas spirit, and the lux (or light, nbd but I did take Latin in middle school) is the north star that everyone follows to an amazing party on Christmas Eve. At the party, they do karaoke to holiday songs (my personal heaven) and… what’s this? The quiet girl from high school has a gorgeous voice? This shocks everyone, but most of all the guy she had a crush on in high school. Who knows who the hell is having this party, but that doesn’t matter—because of course, when the clock strikes midnight, they kiss! Does the girl with the amazing voice end up being a pop star? Of course not, because that would entail her going to the city at some point. In the HCU, cities are the root of all evil.
‘Ben Is Back’
Ben Is Back is already set during Christmas, which is perfect. But it’s mainly about drug addiction, which isn’t super Hallmark. So, we sub that out for something worse in the HCU: NOT BELIEVING IN CHRISTMAS. Could you even imagine? The mom (not Julia Roberts, unless she REALLY wants to buy another house somewhere and needs the Hallmark cash, which I’m assuming is just Panera gift cards), spends all of Christmas Eve showing her son the magic of Christmas—aka, having a group of carolers sing to him and finding an old ornament. Suddenly, Christmas is saved! Sidenote, should we all go out this year as famous Carols and go around singing as Carol Carolers? Dibs on Radziwill.
‘Mary Queen of Scots’
Okay, AP European History is truly trolling me this Oscar season. I somehow passed that exam, but it’s almost definitely because I was next to the really smart junior that i’d give life advice to in exchange for him letting me see his Scantron. Whatever, my degree’s in Communications anyway. ANYWAY, I do love that two Oscar queens from last year are in this together (Saiorse Ronan and Margot Robbie) and looking more gorgeous, talented, and wealthy than I will ever be. What I do know about this plot, though, is that it has had some historical inaccuracies so I’m going to say is that this is basically Hallmark’s version of Miracle On 34th Street, but the saying is “every time an iPhone XR rings, an angel gets its wings.”
‘A Star Is Born’
A Star Is Born would basically be A Star Is Born, but set in the community theater world and their production of the night Jesus was born. Ally Maine here was the understudy for playing Mother Mary, and the eight grader playing Joseph would pick her out of the costume department and bring her up to sing. Weirdly, they sing “Shallow,” but it works—because they’re far from the shallows now. And by shallows, I mean the point in history where we switched from “BC” to “AD.”
Green Book tells the story of a famed NYC bouncer becoming a driver for beyond-talented pianist Don Shirley. In the world of Hallmark, though, who needs a car? The driver is obviously operating a SLEIGH. Because let’s be real, Rudolph is drunk and no one knows where the hell the other reindeer are. He’s not driving because it’s his passion, but because he’s been on Santa’s Naughty List for decades and this is the only way to turn his fate around. Will he, or will he just give up somewhere over a fly-over state? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.
Santa’s in the (Snow) White House and we don’t know WTF is happening. It doesn’t matter, though, because an elf is his Vice President, and this elf ends up calling all the shots. He goes crazy shoving Christmas cookies into his mouth while trying to become the actual leader of Christmas and we see him going fully batsh*t while Santa is… just sort of standing there. Who knew we’d end up (almost) missing gentler-seeming (but equally ghoulish) Santa later on. Womp.
Hello fellow Christmas movie lovers! I am sincerely so excited to recap The Santa Clause for you today. The Santa Clause is the best Christmas movie of all time, and I can definitively say that now that I’ve finally seen Die Hard and can confirm without a question that that is not a Christmas movie. Don’t @ me. Anyway, you all seemed to like the recap of The Princess Switch, so we’re back at it with this one! I hope you all enjoy this recap as much as I enjoy this movie and as much as Scott Calvin enjoys the cookie dispenser in his sleigh. Let’s begin!
We start out at Scott Calvin’s office Christmas party, where they are celebrating the success of the Do-It-All-For-You Dolly. Excuse me? What exactly does Dolly do for you, Scott?
This party appears to be catered, so it’s already 1000% nicer that the “party” my office throws every year, where I can help myself to a Solo cup of kosher wine and watch rich people fight over who gets the airpods during the white elephant. This party lets us know right off the bat that Scotty is a real jerk, since he immediately interrupts his female colleague. TBH this could be set in 2018.
Scott leaves the party and is late to meet his son and ex-wife for the Christmas Eve drop off. Scott’s son, Charlie, is doubtful Santa exists, because his stepdad Neil told him that there was no Santa. A+ parenting, Neil. What kind of an asshole tells a kid that Santa is a “state of mind”? That sounds like the type of sh*t an Instagram influencer would say. My parents still haven’t told me Santa isn’t real, which I sincerely appreciate. And once my cousin Marisa told me Santa wasn’t real and I laughed it off, told her that was impossible, and have not respected her since. As it should be.
Charlie really doesn’t want to stay at his dad’s tonight and tells his mom to pick him up: “We’re talking sunup, you’re here?”
Scott starts a fire while trying cook a turkey (same), so they end up at Denny’s. We’re about five minutes in, and Scott has already insulted Neil in about 100 different ways. That’s the level of petty I aspire to.
They get back to the house and Scott reads Charlie The Night Before Christmas. Charlie starts asking logistical questions about Santa and everyone knows you don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to, Charlie! Just shut up and go to sleep! Tomorrow you get free stuff!
Charlie wakes up in the middle of the night and hears something on the roof and goes to wake up his dad. This is not good, Charlie, not good. This is how every murder movie starts. Scott goes outside in his boxers, scares the daylights out of Santa, who falls off the roof! They should make those boots with better treads, am I right? Scott takes a card out of SC’s pocket, revealing what he should do next.
Then the body of Santa LITERALLY DISAPPEARS and Scott is most concerned that the man is running around naked somewhere. Lol that’d be just another Tuesday night in New York City, pal. Also, is anyone else concerned about the fact that Charlie is not scarred over the fact his dad just murdered Santa?? Sociopath much, Chuck?
Charlie and Scott go up to the roof using the mysterious ladder that just appeared (?) and get into Santa’s sleigh. Sure, why not. The reindeer take that as their cue to GTFO and they fly their crazy selves and the Calvins to some richie rich’s house. I forgot how heavily featured Tim Allen’s thighs were in this film. I don’t hate it.
Scott doesn’t want to put on Santa’s suit and go down a chimney, but Charlie uses the oldest trick in the book and guilts him into it. That kid is annoying af, but boy, is he a master of manipulation. I tip my hat to you, young sir.
This is a niceeeee house. Now’s your chance to change the meaning of Christmas, Scott. Santa grabs what he can carry and makes a run for it! A tale we’ll tell your children for years to come! But instead of making out with the good china, Scott sets off the alarm and a very aggressive Pitbull, but manages to escape with his life. When the reindeer fly to the next house, Scott realizes the kind of long night he’s looking at. Man, I remember staying up all night staring down the barrel of an 11-page essay I hadn’t started; I can only imagine the horror that must set in when you realize you have to visit ALL THE HOUSES IN THE WORLD. Because let’s be real, even the people I know that aren’t Christian usually celebrate. I SEE YOU.
In the second house, Scott starts threatening a child, and I feel like that makes sense. It’s hard to be magnanimous when you’re in ill-fitting clothes.
At some point in the evening there is a precious yellow lab puppy that appears and it better be coming to my house. I’m in love like I never have been before. I’ve got a dog bed with your name on it, Bosco.
After making all their deliveries, the reindeer drop Scott and Charlie off at the most magical looking snow heaven. A precious little elf lowers them into the factory. Inside there are reindeer that are most definitely not wearing fake antlers, giant candy canes, and lots of toys.
They are greeted by the grumpiest motherf*cker in the North Pole, Bernard, and I can understand why he would be so hostile since he basically has to do all the work for Santa but get none of the glory. Middle management sucks. Charlie and Bernard hit it off because they’re both whiney little b*tches, and I’m happy they each have a friend now since they ain’t never gonna find another one. Bernard gives Charlie a snow globe that will, SPOILER ALERT, factor into the story later.
It’s at this point that Bernard explains the Santa “Clause” that says that because Scott put on the suit, he is now Santa Claus. If only other jobs worked like that, like Victoria’s Secret Angel wings. The places I could go in this life. Also. Can we take a moment to talk about this little play on words here? Because how is a small child to know that this title was not, in fact, the correct spelling of Santa Claus, and that she shouldn’t spell Santa Claus with an e deep into her 20’s until someone finally laughs at her and the shame she feels is unbearable? HOW SHOULD SHE KNOW??
Scott refuses to accept that he is Santa, and Bernard, being the d*ck he is, yells at him that he better get used to it. A lovely elf named Judy shows him to his room and I want to live in it so badly I’ve already began researching ways to kill Santa Claus this year. FBI, if you’re reading this, that was just a joke! (It was not a joke.) There is also a weird interaction here where Scott accidentally hits on a child elf who reveals she’s over 1,200 years old. I’m sorry if your boss made you uncomfortable, Judy. I’d love to tell you it’s a brave new world out here in 2018, but I’d be lying. Maybe in another 1,200 years!
Scott goes to sleep and Charlie wakes him up on Christmas morning with a lovely physical assault. This kid is the worst. Scott is still wearing those baller monogrammed jammies that he got at the North Pole and he’s got a real bad feeling. Okay I have a major problem with this scene. It’s Christmas morning, why is Charlie already in jeans? Jeans are not leisurewear. I’m not even changing out of my PJ’s at all between Christmas and New Years—not even when I have to go to work—and this kid puts on jeans first thing Christmas morning? I’m calling the cops.
Charlie’s mom comes to pick him up and he’s already spilling all the deets about last night. BE COOL, CHARLIE. The first rule of fight club: You do not talk about fight club. Scott is still convinced it was a dream or some sort of psychotic episode (I imagine).
Okay all of a sudden it’s career day at school and Charlie announces that his dad is Santa Claus. God, Charlie! The second rule of fight club: You do not talk about fight club. How many rules is this kid going to break?!
Naturally Charlie’s mom Laura and that condescending bowl of whole wheat spaghetti that she’s with, Neil, are concerned about Charlie’s mental health. Scott takes Charlie on an outing to convince him that he’s not actually Santa and it seems his efforts may be in vain because they are being followed by a line of reindeer. I hate when that happens.
Neil starts asking Charlie tough questions about Santa and Charlie tells him, “just because you haven’t seen something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” Coincidentally, that’s also the line I use when people ask me why I didn’t bring a boyfriend to yet another family event.
Okay one day Scott wakes up and he has grown a beard and gained a ton of weight. He has nothing to wear and runs into work late and wearing a sweatsuit. It’s sad and pathetic and exactly the outfit I want to wear to work every day.
Scott’s coworkers are very concerned about his weight and I think it’s very rude to bring up someone’s food issues at the office, OKAY SUSAN? Scott goes to the doctor and aside from the fact that he’s gained 45 pounds all in the tummy in a WEEK, he seems perfectly healthy. But he does tell the doctor he’s been eating a diet of milk and cookies, and doesn’t he know that it’s always in your best interest to lie to the doctor? That’s why I always just check off the box that says “social drinker.” They can’t make you change what they don’t know about!
I’m not sure the timeline we’re on here now, but Scott’s at Charlie’s soccer game looking an awful lot like Santa, and the children are lining up to sit on his lap and list their Christmas present demands. Just a tip here Scotty, maybe ditch the red hoodie for a gray one?? Laura and Neil are once again not pleased and threatening Scott with taking away Charlie.
Laura and Neil take Charlie to see a psychiatrist and talk about when they stopped believing in Santa. Neil reveals that he stopped believing when he was THREE because he did not get an Oscar Mayer weenie whistle. WOW. I don’t think I was even conscious of being alive at age three, let alone capable of not believing in Santa. As our President would say, SAD!
Time is moving fast now and we’re getting closer to Christmas so naturally the Grinch Neil gets Scott’s parental rights taken away, and damn, this is darker than I remember. Scott goes to see Charlie at his house, and I swear even though Charlie is the most annoying kid on Earth, I feel bad that his parents are gaslighting him. He’s too young to know that’s the oldest trick in the book.
Okay so time moved really fast and it’s actually Christmas Eve. Laura and Neil report Scott for kidnapping Charlie (when he goes with him to deliver presents) and the police are officially involved. But Scott ain’t got time for this because he’s got work to do.
This year’s sleigh has gotten some upgrades, most notably a cookie and cocoa dispenser. Hi Honda, pls include in next year’s Civic model. K, thanks!
Okay so these two morons decide that they’re going to go to Laura and Neil’s house to deliver presents. HI HELLO IDIOT SANTA AND YOUR DUMDUM SPAWN! You just kidnapped their kid! You’re gonna go back to the scene of the crime? Do you think this is the way the Golden State Killer evaded capture for decades? NO! Get the hell outta there.
Naturally Santa Scott gets arrested, so it’s time to deploy E.L.F.S., elves with attitude! My favorite part of the movie. Just because we are small does not mean we aren’t mighty! Pop Quiz: would you guys prefer flying via reindeer and sleigh, or by jet pack? For me it’s a toss-up, but I think the cookie dispenser puts me firmly in sleigh territory.
The elves with attitude tie up the policeman and rescue Santa Scott using tinsel! Is tinsel officially the most underrated prison escape tool of all time? If only Andy Dufresne knew about it!
After the prison break, Charlie returns home to tell his mom and Neil that he’s fine. Neil is wearing another heinous sweater. Santa Scott tells Charlie that he has to stay home while he delivers presents. Damn, prison changed him.
All of a sudden Laura believes that Scott is Santa, and so does Neil. And it appears we are all officially onboard with this then! Okay!
Bernard shows up at the house to tell Charlie that any time he wants to see his dad, he just needs to shake his snow globe. Better not drop that thing, butterfingers.
Before Santa flies off he leaves Neil with that weenie whistle he wanted so badly. I hope that helps you with your trust issues, Neil! Of course, immediately after Santa leaves, Charlie shakes the snow globe like the annoying son of a b*tch he’s always been. Your privileges are revoked, Charlie. Scott comes back of course, and takes the kiddo for a ride to deliver presents, drink cocoa, and talk about how Neil’s head comes to a point. And they fly off into the night!
The end! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. And when I wake up, I’m getting a CAT scan!
Images: Giphy (8)
It’s officially after Thanksgiving, which means that, like it or not, Christian or not, we are now in full-on Christmas mode. So I decided I would lean into the holiday spirit this year and watch one of the hundreds of Christmas movies Netflix has pumped out this holiday season. There were so many to choose from, but I decided to go with The Princess Switch. Why? Because I wanted to see what Vanessa Hudgens has been up to, and I always find it funny when actors play their own twins in movies, as if we don’t have eyes. So without further ado, let’s get into my honest and not-at-all-salty The Princess Switch recap.
The movie opens in Chicago (I thought it was New York, tbh, but later found out the entire movie—including the Chicago scenes—was actually filmed in Romania), and we see Vanessa Hudgens working at a bakery, that she presumably owns. Isn’t she a little young? Meh, whatever. Vanssa has a hot sous chef, and I didn’t realize bakeries had sous chefs, so I’ve already learned two things less than one and a half minutes into this movie. An hour and 41 minutes well spent.
Hot Sous Chef has a daughter (zaddy), and Vanessa is her godmother. There’s apparently some big Christmas baking show in a place called Belgravia (is that like, the sister country to Genovia?) that Vanessa Hudgens has been wanting to enter in forever, but never did, presumably because she never thought she was good enough, or never had enough time. Just Christmas movie things! For once, I’d like to see the lead in a Christmas movie have high self-esteem and enjoy hoeing.
However, back to this baking contest. Now, this is not any cookie making contest. This is a ROYAL baking contest, with a formal invitation and everything. Enclosed with the invitation is a photo of a hot prince. You don’t need to have eyes to see where this is going.
Vanessa is like “We can’t close the bakery right before Christmas!” and Hot Sous Chef is like “B*tch you haven’t done sh*t since your last boyfriend dumped you, it’s time to live a little.” This will be a recurring theme throughout the movie.
Vanessa exits the store and gives what appears to be a Salvation Army man some money, at which point they have an entire conversation about how she wishes she had someone to spend Christmas with (thirstyyyy). He says “Christmas wishes have been known to come true.” And that’s how I know some fantastical sh*t is going down in this movie—I don’t even talk to my own therapist this intimately. This girl opened up about her innermost thoughts to a random dude collecting charity money? K.
Vanessa then runs right into her ex, some dude named Paul. Right as he says he’s been thinking about her (lie), some girl comes up, makes out with him on the street, and they do the whole “Who are you?” “I’m Stacey , I’m sure Paul has mentioned me” thing. The gf is like:
Way harsh, Paul.
Vanessa basically decides to go to Belgravia out of spite, just to one-up Paul and his new gf, who are meeting Paul’s parents over Christmas. Honestly, I can relate. Why do I get the feeling that in the entire fictional 3 years Vanessa and Paul dated, she never got to meet his parents? It’s possible I’m just projecting my past traumas here. But I could be right.
She arrives in what’s basically Santa’s Village with Hot Sous Chef and his daughter, and who do you know is there? Salvation Army guy! He explains there’s a royal wedding about to happen. And here I am, watching movies to escape royal wedding bullsh*t. I will never escape Meghan Markle, even in fictional kingdoms. This is my life now.
Salvation Army guy says to Vanessa, totally out of context, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” He’s now the second person to use this cliche so far in this movie. Oh boy, I sense a moral coming on.
Okay so at the place where the contest is being held, some redhead named Brianna Michael comes up to Vanessa, and we learn 3 things: 1) she’s a b*tch. 2) she’s Vanessa’s mortal enemy. 3) she probably slept her way through cooking school. Is slut-shaming really in the Christmas spirit? Brianna purposefully spills some sh*t on Vanessa, because she’s in third grade presumably, and when Vanessa goes to clean up, she literally bumps right into….
HER TWIN. Aka Lady Margaret Delacourt, one half of the couple getting married during the aforementioned royal wedding. For someone claiming to be from a fictional land called “Montenaro”, she’s speaking with a weird British accent. Vanessa Hudgens is no Lindsay Lohan, I’ll say that. But seriously, it’s like Vanessa Hudgens studied Lindsay Lohan’s British accent as her barometer for what constitutes a good British accent.
Lady Delacourt asks Stacey (I can’t keep using Vanessa because now there are two) for her help with her wedding cake. Sure, totally normal to ask of someone you’ve known for 10 seconds. Don’t you have royal bakers for this??
Stacey runs off, and Hot Sous Chef’s kid is all, “I wish you and Stacey were dating.” Hot Sous Chef is all, “nah, she’s just a friend.”
Okay so this wedding cake meeting is actually a ruse. Lady Delacourt doesn’t need help with her cake, but what she does want is to switch places with Stacey for two days. So this is really a Parent Trap/Lizzie McGuire situation. What could go wrong? Umm, the baking contest for one?? Ugh, these two are gonna “switch back at midnight” the night before the competition. Why do you have to go all Cinderella with this sh*t? Why can’t you just switch at like, 5pm, like work shifts?
British Vanessa: So you’ll do it?
American Vanessa: Well, why not? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans!
F*cking kill me with this sh*t.
So now we’re treated to a makeover and royal lesson montage. Let me just say, British Vanessa is no Julie Andrews, and whoever gave her this sh*tty lob is no Paolo.
While all this is happening, there’s some random red headed lady creepily watching in the corner. Is she like, an aide? TBD.
The Prince or whoever shows up, so the real British Vanessa hides behind a couch. It goes about as well as you’d expect. Honestly this whole movie is a lot of “don’t look over there while I dramatically gesture and keep glancing in the exact place I don’t want you to look!”
Real British Vanessa sets off to sight-see with Hot Sous Chef and his daughter, while Fake British Vanessa goes off to attend meetings. Gotta say, this feels like the worst trade deal in history, possibly ever.
Okay so the redheaded aide has basically been looking after The Duchess since she was a child. She seems weirdly invested in this plan, though. Like, why are you so down with a random woman impersonating your boss for a few days? Am I alone in this?
Once alone, American Vanessa immediately goes to the Duchess’s closet to try on her fancy hats, as ya do. The Prince shows up and quotes The Little Prince, you know that book you read in middle school French class? And American Vanessa acts like he just wrote her a personalized poem. It’s a very famous book! That’s not impressive! Also, there are way better quotes from The Little Prince! I would know—I almost got one tattooed on me, before realizing my dad is disappointed me enough as it is already and I didn’t need to add another reason. Moving on.
Vanessa shows up to breakfast with the King and Queen in the same outfit as the day before. Aren’t there some royal rules about this? And…surprise!!! The Prince canceled his meeting with Spain to spend more time with his fiancée. This means they’re going horseback riding ($10 say American Vanessa has never ridden a horse). Meanwhile, King What’s His Name has noticed the Duchess has been acting weird and tells one of his butlers or someone, who just looks evil, to keep an eye on her. Dramaaaa!
The horseback riding, predictably, goes horribly. The Prince at one point wipes something away from Vanessa’s eye, and she practically jumps his bones right then and there. I mean, like, damn I haven’t had sex in 357 days, but even I wouldn’t orgasm at a guy wiping away an eyelash. Then Vanessa decides to go all Women’s March on the Prince when he suggests she plan their wedding instead of getting involved in international politics. Like, number one, isn’t the wedding in a week? What’s left to plan? Number two, should you really be like, f*cking up international relations when you’re supposed to be out of the picture a day from now? I’m all for women getting involved in politics, but this does not seem like the time or place.
British Vanessa, Hot Sous Chef, and the daughter go to paint ornaments or some sh*t, when Salvation Army dude walks up to be like, “Hey, Hot Sous Chef, you should date Vanessa.” Sounding like my dad on Thanksgiving. Mind your own business, old man!
Back at the palace, the Prince apologizes to Vanessa for being an ass. He’s like, “you’re gonna be my wife, if you have political opinions I want to know them.” And just like that, we brought about gender equality! Good work, everybody. Let’s pack it in.
No seriously, can we pack it in? I’m already regretting committing to this movie. It’s why I don’t usually watch movies—I have commitment issues.
Vanessa and the prince go to some charity ball, and this hoe is SMITTEN. Like, what? You don’t even know this dude! Don’t go all Meghan Markle on me and give up your whole life and career for a dude you don’t even know. That’s not what Christmas is about!
Immediately upon arriving at the charity ball, Vanessa grills the King and Queen about the details of the homeless shelter this charity is supposedly for. SMH, she has no manners. But also, the King and Queen being like “we don’t concern ourselves with the details of the charities we donate to” is very #richpeoplethings. In retaliation, the king and queen are like “Hey aren’t you an awesome piano player? Go play something for us!” LOL and that’s why you don’t shade the king and queen. The Prince bails her ass out and they do a duet, and everybody claps and nobody notices he just had to teach her how to play two chords. TWO.
The Prince goes looking for the Duchess, and who does he run into? Salvation Army man and his meddling ass, telling him they make a good couple. The Prince finds Vanessa in the gazebo, where they proceed to dance. Christ, it’s like they took the most cliche part of every existing holiday movie and just shoddily sewed it together.
I’ve just been alerted that Hot Sous Chef’s name is Kevin, and he is a hottie WITH. A. BODY. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be stalking his Instagram and sliding into his DMs. His name is Nick Sagar and his handle is @nickdsagar. That is my charitable contribution for the year. You’re welcome.
I’m skipping a lot in the middle because it’s just dumb sh*t. American Vanessa (while pretending to be British Vanessa) gets way too excited to bake cookies for some orphans, and this is apparently a huge royal scandal. You’re not supposed to actually care about the peasants, you’re only supposed to pretend to care! Then she and Real British Vanessa almost run into each other at a toy store. They narrowly miss each other because British Vanessa pretends to drop an earring, and the redheaded aide fakes the worst fainting spell I’ve ever seen.
Legit worse than this:
Ugh, now the orphans are singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. Jesus Christ. Everyone is acting so shocked that the Duchess would dare give a sh*t about some poor orphans she doesn’t know, calling it “undignified”. Like damn, how savage is the royal family normally that you can’t bother to care about CHILDREN?
For the second time this movie, the Prince and Duchess are standing under mistletoe. I think the best part about this is how someone always has to point it out. They’re like “excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but you’re standing under the mistletoe.” Like this is some national f*cking emergency and not a made-up Christmas tradition.
Kevin’s daughter says to the real Duchess, “I wish you could stay.” Damn, that’s cold! Stacey’s known you your whole life, she’s your GODMOTHER, and you’re just gonna sell her out like that? Smh, these kids ain’t loyal.
While Fake American Vanessa and Kevin watch A Christmas Prince (lol nice job Netflix, I see what you did there), the Prince gives the other Vanessa his family crest. It’s supposed to be meaningful or whatever; to me it kind of reads like when Pete Davidson gave Ariana Grande his dad’s pendant. Meanwhile, Kevin gives his Vanessa a picture of him, his daughter, Vanessa, and Santa in a locket. Kevin puts the necklace on her and SHOOTS HIS SHOT. He confesses his love to Vanessa, and oh god, this is going to get messy when the real Vanessa comes back and isn’t into him at all.
So both Vanessas meet up to make the switch back, and they both gush about their respective dudes. Okay but really, how in love with someone can you be after three days?? I know this is a movie and all, but come tf on. I can’t with this. Y’all can just go back to your lives as normal and find other dudes to date because YOU DO NOT FALL PERMANENTLY IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE AFTER TWO DAYS!! This isn’t How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Actually, lol, it’s worse.
Also are we not gonna talk about how Vanessa and Kevin’s kid legit ripped off the handshake from The Parent Trap? Plagiarism!
Oh yeah while all this is going on, creepy butler dude took a few pictures of both Vanessas together and then tries to bring it to the king to like, blackmail them I guess.
So when the real Duchess gets back, she’s hemming and hawing about having to go back to her old royal life and she’s like “ugh I don’t wanna marry this guy but it’s my duty.” The redheaded aid gives her that sh*tty crest thing that legit has rhinestones all over it.
Aid: What does it say?
Duchess: Honor. Nobility. Loyalty. (Or whatever the f*ck.)
Aid: But notice how it doesn’t say duty? See what I did there??
OHhHHH snap, y’all are idiots. What’s your long-term plan? Having this b*tch fake an accent for the REST OF HER LIFE?
Meanwhile the baking competition started, and this sh*t ain’t no Great British Baking Show, I’ll just say that much.
So the queen finds out about our Parent Trap situation and sets Margaret tf up. She’s like “Hey Margaret, why don’t you go to the baking competition where your twin will definitely be?” The Queen is a messy b*tch who lives for drama, and I am HERE FOR IT.
At the baking competition, Brianna (the evil redhead, not the aide) has cut Stacey’s mixing line, meaning she has to do all the mixing by hand. And suddenly, we’re in an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen in this b*tch. Also like, wtf is up with the security in this so-called “royal” baking competition? Like nobody noticed that this girl’s station has been sabotaged? Can she not get another mixer? I’m sorry, I’m going to need Noel and Sandi to come out and explain the parameters of this contest before moving forward.
Also, you’re putting a raspberry filling in your holiday cake? RASPBERRY?? Paul and Prue would not be down with this. That’s not a holiday flavor. You’re not gonna give me like, gingerbread? Nutmeg? Allspice? What is this???
In any case, Brianna comes in second place, and our girl Stacey obviously wins, inappropriate filling or not. And here we go, the Prince and Duchess are going to present the award. Uh oh. Here we go. All of Belgravia is shooketh, and Kevin does the worst surprise face I’ve ever seen. But he’s pretty, so I’ll allow it.
Nobody else is concerned, and somehow it’s chill for them all to go backstage to be like “lol ya we switched places, isn’t it funny?”
Margaret is like “but, there’s more”.
Me: SHE’S PREGNANT!
Lol sadly no, Margaret is like “we should actually switch places permanently.” And wtf, how is Kevin gonna legit swap out the girl he’s been in love with for his whole life for her lookalike? He’s no Drake, Drake said if his girl had a twin he would still choose her. THESE HOES AIN’T LOYAL!!!!
This is legit such trash. All the dudes were like “lol k, sounds good.” FINALLY real American Vanessa has the common sense to be like “yeah I can’t just f*ck up three people’s lives because we had a good kiss the other night.”
Oh and here we have this b*tch being like “loving me isn’t according to plan”. Ok so who’s gonna be the one to say “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”? Do I say it??? What a missed opportunity. Stacey is like to the prince, “I’ve loved you more than I’ve loved anyone my whole life.” Wow, how does Paul, her ex of THREE YEARS, factor into this? Nobody is f*cking loyal in this movie.
L-O-FREAKIN-LLLL the prince gets down on one knee to…. Ask Stacey if she would marry him in a year if she still loves him. What kind of Jonas Brother promise ring B.S. is this? And everyone in the crowd is like “lol, amazing!” and breaks into applause. But like, what? Y’all haven’t even been briefed on the situation. Even snotty redhead is begrudgingly clapping. I guess it’s the power of true love??
Cut to, presumably the next year at Christmas, where Edward (that is the Prince’s name, took me all movie to get it right) and Stacey are married. Kevin and Margaret are still together. A random little girl (I think she was one of the orphans, how tf did she score a coveted wedding invite?) runs up to be like, “you’re a real princess now, aren’t you?” and Stacey is like “I guess Christmas wishes do come true.” I’ve got to ask, what is it about Christmas in particular that supposedly makes wishes come true? Does this work for other holidays? Can I be making Passover wishes? Just asking.
Stacey throws the bouquet, and I don’t even need to tell y’all who caught it. You don’t need to be psychic to figure it out. Goodbye. I’m f*ckin out of here. Kevin, call me.
After Kevin is like “hold onto that bouquet, you might need it on New Year’s” (hasn’t anyone told him not to basically propose at someone else’s wedding??) there’s a montage of everyone giving each other the thumbs up (why?), and American Vanessa Hudgens giggling crazily at her prince.
Andddd that’s it! Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. Let me know if you want a recap of other Christmas movies, or other movies in general, and I’ll try to get over my commitment issues. Happy holidays!
Images: Netflix; Giphy (6)
Head Pro would love to watch Love Actually with you. Email him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta at @betchesheadpro.
Love Actually is a perfect movie, probably one of the three best ever made. I’m not fucking around. I love that movie more than I love my innumerable illegitimate children, and if we’re having casual sex around this time of year and you do not consent to watching this movie with me at least three times, lady, we are quits. Love Actually was here long before we started making out in the basement of Café Saint-Ex, and it’ll be here long after you’re gone.
But you have to be able to look at something critically in order to truly love it, just like all those voters in Alabama are doing right now re: Roy Moore and their faith. A perfect movie can still have flaws, in fact they’re part of what makes it perfect. But some scenes are just beyond the pale, and deserve our scorn. Let’s poke fun at some of the more ridiculous scenes, if for no other reason than so we can more fully appreciate this holiday classic.
1. Aurelia Jumps Into The Lake To Save Colin Firth’s Shitty Novel
These two have one of the cuter stories in the movie, but I’m calling bullshit. No one’s jumping into a lake in December, and it’s clearly cold there because he’s wearing a sweater. Also, this movie came out in 2003, not 1993. How fucking dumb do you have to be to type the only copy of your manuscript on a manual typewriter? I guess if it gets you in the hot Portuguese lady’s pants after you caught your wife fucking your brother, it’s worth it.
2. Billy Declares His Love For His Manager
Bill Nighy is pretty much the best thing about this movie, but I always hate this scene because it seems like they missed the mark in terms of tone. I get it, Billy Mack is a cynical, opportunistic idiot who doesn’t care about anyone other than himself, and this is the character’s turnaround moment. But the “haha what no I’m not gay” tension feels out of place, and inviting him to “get pissed and watch porn” kind of comes out of nowhere. Clearly the people who made this movie don’t have a selfish bone in their collective body, so they struggled to create such a character.
3. Colin Fucks The Four Americans
Look, I like good jokes that shit on my country as much as the next person, but some subtlety is required. This scene starts out strong, with some good jokes (realizing that there’s no accent on “table” is particularly funny to me). But then they get to the whole “we only have one bed and we can’t even afford pajamas” thing, and that’s why it gets silly. It would have worked if maybe he’d woken up on an airplane or something (making it a dream), but they come back around and confirm that, yes, this really happened. It gets bonus points for featuring January Jones back when she still had something resembling a personality, though.
I know what happens and I still want to punch the TV every time I see this scene. Sarah’s just trying to break herself off a piece of some hot Karl man ass, and her brother in the mental institution or whatever keeps calling. That’s how you know it’s a fictional movie, because in real life there is literally nothing that would stop a woman from fucking Karl.
5. Billy Bob Thornton Tries To Fuck Natalie
Psshh, like we’d ever elect such a scumbag to be the freakin’ president, right guys?!? Totally unrealistic!
6. Liam Neeson Meets Claudia Schiffer And Doesn’t Kill Her
This was fine at the time, but knowing him as we know him now, can we really believe that Liam Neeson could encounter a European person and not shoot them and/or break their arm in several places? It’s just who he is. In general, Liam Neeson puts way too much effort into his acting throughout the movie, and I approve of it.
7. Yeah, That Fucking Scene
You know the one, the most famous scene in the movie. Whatshisface shows up with cue cards to tell Keira Knightley, who in real life I am married to, that he loves her. As if she didn’t figure that out in the earlier scene when she found out that he only filmed her when he shot their wedding, because Mark is pretty clearly a fucking stalker.
The reaction to this scene has kind of had a life cycle. At first, no one gave it a second thought. It was some combination of cute and sad—Mark’s unrequited love remains unrequited, but at least he got it off his chest. And he got a smooch out of it!
But then, as we kind of got more woke, people started to come around to the idea that actually, this is pretty shitty. Mark’s putting Juliet in an impossible position, and it’s incredibly selfish: he feels better, but she clearly feels like shit. And like, it kind of perpetuates the idea that the only thing coming between you and your beloved is the fact that she didn’t know you were obsessed with her. This movie already doesn’t do the best job of extremely respecting women, and this scene is probably the worst offender.
Personally? I don’t think it’s that bad. I mean, yes it IS bad, or would be bad if someone did this in real life. But to me, that’s kind of the point of the scene. Real people are complicated, and often shitty. Mark has real feelings, like we all do, but because he’s kind of a shitty person he doesn’t know how to appropriately express them, and his actions speak to why he’s single in the first place. This movie works because as absurd as all the storylines are, the characters in them react the way real people probably would. I mean, go through some of your worst Bumble conversations—does a guy doing this (in a time before texting was common, granted) really seem that unrealistic?
Hopefully, this trip down memory lane hasn’t dampened your enjoyment of the movie. Jk, that’s not possible. Join me in watching it 17 times between now and Christmas.
Head Pro would love to watch Love Actually with you. Email him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta at @betchesheadpro.