The title of the movie had me crossing my fingers. I’m all about humor (I cannot WAIT to watch Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater!!), and this title leans a little toward what I like. And YAY… There’s not a royal or a cartoon castle in sight.
The movie opens up in a bustling, big city–Chicago. Of course everything is decorated for Christmas, even the big building we find the hero (Aiden) and heroine (Jennifer) in. She’s up for a promotion, and she’s hoping to become the next Head Game Creator. Spoiler: So is the hero. 🙂 Ohhhh… Conflict. Long movie short, they have to team together to come up with the 12 Dates of Christmas so that couples can participate in a scavenger hunt by going on these dates, which will end at a Christmas party at the Devonshire hotel’s grand opening. Both of their promotions are wrapped up in how well they do this job.
Aiden is wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater in the first scene, so right off the bat I was a little turned off by him, but then he opens his mouth and he’s kind of an asshole, and BOOM. I like him. I like him even more when he first sees her disaster of an office, which is decorated like ‘Santa’s workshop.’ His reaction was my reaction when I first saw it–what the hell is wrong with this chick? Besides the fact that I truly believe if she ever has kids she’s gonna do the ‘Elf on a Shelf’ like a piranha, she can’t speak up for herself and she’s insanely positive and smiley. I like the hero a helluva lot more than the heroine in the beginning of the movie. In fact, she’s so sweet that we NEED the hero to be a jerk-wad. (What does that say about me that I like asshole heroes?) Anyway…
Now for the tropes/cliches/staples.
City girl up for a promotion ✓
City boy up for the SAME promotion ✓
Heroine’s BFF who KNOWS what the heroine needs in her life (Just noticed this staple!) ✓
Clean cut couple ✓
MAIN EVENT: A 12 Dates of Christmas Scavenger hunt that ends at a hotel’s grand opening. The scavenger hunt is meant to draw people to the grand opening.
Music Program in need of funding (Aiden’s niece) ✓
Cute, INSANELY decorated hotel ✓
Shopping for Christmas tree ✓
Hot cocoa for the couple (Just noticed this is a thing in Hallmark movies!) ✓
Cute kid that has never needed to be disciplined a day in their life ✓
Kiss at the end (So awkward!!!!) ✓
BTW – There was NO cute meet. I was shocked. SHOCKED. The ‘cute meet’ is a staple for a lot of romances these days.
The movie didn’t really start for me until Aiden and Jennifer were tasked with putting together this scavenger hunt, and Jennifer is trying to work with the Aiden, but the Aiden likes working alone. They read each others ideas to one another, and he dumps on her ideas. She reads his ideas for the scavenger hunt and then proceeds to tell him why his ideas won’t work–and finally we have a human! She’s starting to find her voice! Loved it. Especially since he’d just done the same to her.
After a bit of stumbling, the two start to seem like a couple. I didn’t feel like there was much chemistry between the two, even as the movie progressed. But she became less of a wallflower and he became less of a jerk. I’m not going to give away who got the promotion. You’ll have to watch the movie! My one big problem with the movie is that the two don’t fit together as a couple, and the kiss at the end was forced and awkward. These two just don’t work as a couple. There. I said it.
I’m giving the movie three stars. It starts slow, but you can see the characters grow throughout the movie. I still wish that Hallmark would allow the characters to have a few more flaws and a whole lot more emotion, but maybe that’s why these movies are so popular. They sure do make a fairytale getaway to another world, and if you appreciate that aspect, you will have hundreds and hundreds of awesome movies to watch during the most wonderful time of the year.