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Review: A Christmas Kiss

Here is the first review, there may be swear words, there may be spoilers:

Made for TV, featuring a girl who is super focused on career, this seems like it might be a nightmare. However it’s become one of my favorite Christmas romcoms.

This poster is kind of a big fat spoiler. I mean, yeah, it’s a romcom, but Wendy never wears a wedding dress in the movie. Note: if you’re viewing on Netflix this isn’t the same poster you’ll see.

Wendy is a young woman who has landed the dream job for a hot Boston designer. Her boss is the best designer in town, but is a hardass who asks her to do everything from clean her apartment to turn on the heat at her apartment on a Saturday night before she (boss) gets home.

Wendy’s friends work in the theater where she used to build sets, and one night they dress her up in glitter and fancy dress to go to a party. She stops by her boss’s apartment to turn the heat on, and on the way down from the apartment, a chiseled man gets on the elevator with her. There’s a hiccup with the mechanism and the elevator begins to fall. They stumble into each others’ arms and, in a heat of the moment, a we-might-die-in-a-second passion, they kiss. The elevator slows and gets to the first floor (obv. or else it would be a real short movie) and when the doors open, a big group of carolers are outside. Instead of politely letting them off, the carolers (while singing) barge onto the elevator (breaching all kinds of etiquette: rude!), and Wendy rushes off.

The next day, her boss introduces her to her boyfriend, and Wendy, who is unglittered and in sensible clothing, is shocked to realize it’s her stranger from last night, and further shocked into dismay that he doesn’t recognize her at all. (It’s the glasses. Always the fucking glasses.)

Evil boss Priscilla says they must decorate Adam (chiseled boyfriend)’s house for a Christmas party (that — pst — will become engagement party if Priscilla has her way) After one conversation with him, Wendy comes up with a perfect design to fit his house and personality, and Priscilla says it’s crap. Adam hates Priscilla’s design and then she shows Wendy’s taking credit for it. He loves it.

Adam has a scene with someone in the theater, saying he was questioning the relationship with Priscilla, and feeling very guilty for the kiss with the mysterious stranger, but when he saw the designs he realizes she knows him well and is the woman for him.

Then Wendy’s friend breaks Priscilla’s nose and she flees to New York where apparently they have magic plastic surgeons to make bruising go away. Wendy now has to decorate Adam’s house all by herself, spending time with him and bonding in the process. They even eat figgy pudding together (apparently it’s believably foul) and go Christmas tree shopping.

Then Priscilla comes back, there is drama, there is a Christmas Eve showing of the Nutcracker, and true love conquers.

Flaws: Priscilla is a flat, cardboard bitch. She has no depth, nothing redeeming: she treats Wendy like shit and her one goal is to trick Adam into marriage because they are both high society and attractive. We see nothing else to her, nothing sympathetic or redeeming.  Adam is strange: a poor little rich boy whose grandmother was apparently poor (she spent all her money to buy him an early edition of A Christmas Carol) even though his family was crazy rich, and he apparently loves Christmas but has never seen a Christmas movie. And he says the words “true meaning of Christmas” unironically, which only Linus Van Pelt is allowed to do.

But what I love about this movie is Wendy. While it’s called Christmas Kiss, and the movie does focus on her falling in love with Adam, the movie is really about her getting the strength to stand up to her boss and learn that she doesn’t need a powerful designer to aid her career because she’s already damn talented. The romance payoff (Come on, it’s a romcom, you know you’re going to get a HEA) comes after the climax, after she has made her decision to wash her hands of the whole world of high society designers and the stupid men who can’t tell the difference between a woman covered in glitter without glasses and one dressed for work. Also how could he not figure out Priscilla stole the designs for his party?

This features a woman who starts out focused on her career and the Christmas lesson she learns is that she doesn’t need anyone else to succeed. The love is a nice side bit, but it has nothing to do with her leaving her career to focus on family. Rawk.

Stars: That cop from Angel and a model who was in Roswell and CSI Miami.
Storytelling: 4/5
Characters: 2/5
Closeness to Christmas Carol: 0
Feminism: 5/5
Romance: 4/5
Is Christmas Saved? Yes
Broken Noses Magically Fixed: 1