Christmas with the Darlings – Countdown to Christmas

Let me just start by saying how disappointed I was that we couldn’t have this man as the hero (see below). I can spot an alpha hero at 500 yards, but Charles was only the hero’s brother, not the actual hero of the movie. I was sad. I was sad enough that I had to mention the lack of this man as the hero in this movie in the review. Charles is so very yummy… And yes, I am aware he’s in other Hallmark movies, but he just popped in this movie. I just wanted to say how very sad I was that he wasn’t the hero in this Christmas movie. I’m telling you, he should always play the main character. He’s super hot… and I’m rambling. I digress…

I wish he was the hero. 😦

So the movie opens up with a very straight-laced, uptight woman decorating a Christmas tree. She’s Charles’ assistant (that hot man that I wished was the hero), and she’s just passed the bar exam and will soon be working somewhere else. She’s a list-making, stick-to-the-plan, organized-to-the-hilt type. And the hero, Max…isn’t.

He’s more the fun-loving, hang-with-friends-even-though-he’s-too-old-for-that-shit kind of guy. He’s out skiing with his friends when we’re first introduced to him, and you can tell he’s immature as all get out.

Introduce the problem –> Max, the hero, has a nephew and two nieces in need of a home for the holidays. Otherwise, they’ll be staying in a boarding house. So, naturally, the hero and heroine (Max and Jessica) team up to take care of these kids through Christmas.

Now that we have the gist of the movie, let’s get to the tropes/cliches/staples:

Christmas with the Darlings

Cute, INSANELY decorated house βœ“

Clean cut couple βœ“

Heroine’s BFF who KNOWS what the heroine needs in her life (and the BFF is a lesbian. I have to point that out because Hallmark was so UNinclusive last year. There was a whole commercial scandal… for those who haven’t heard.) βœ“

Cute kid(s) that have never needed to be disciplined a day in their life βœ“

Horse-drawn carriage ride βœ“

Shopping for Christmas tree (with a twist!) βœ“

Hot cocoa for the couple (and the cute kids) βœ“

Sweet old person who is very wise (and can bake) βœ“

Spontaneous crowd singing a Christmas song βœ“

Hero/Heroine denying ANYTHING is going on romantically with the other (just noticed this staple) βœ“

Snowball fight βœ“

MAIN EVENT: Christmas Party at the Darlington House βœ“

Super HOT brother (okay, that’s not really a staple but I had to mention Charles again) βœ“ β™₯β™₯β™₯

Kiss at the end βœ“

We find out early on that the hero buys a bunch of Christmas presents for the Boys and Girls club every year (total save the cat moment), which makes up for his immaturity. He’s also volunteered in the pediatric ward at St. Francis’ hospital in the past. Another awesome save the cat moment. But he’s still like a cardboard cutout of a character. And the heroine is worse. Like heroines from past Hallmark movies, I don’t even like her, even though there’s really nothing to DISlike. She’s just such a non-human that I can’t relate to her character at all. She’s less cardboard and more stone. Just… meh.

So the kids arrive and Jess and Max are all smiles and Christmas wishes. They tell the kids to let them know what they want to do for Christmas so they can have the best Christmas ever. Of course, once Christmas is over, Max and Jess are gone, and the kids are well aware.

And I’m well aware that Mr. Hot (the hero’s brother) would look much better with the heroine than Max. I can’t get over the fact that that man is not the hero. AND… his personality matches so much better with Jess’s. But I digress. Again.

Jess is heading into corporate law, but she starts to consider family law. Which means she could probably stick around at the end of the movie. Which is good. You can’t have a Hallmark heroine leaving the hero at the end of the movie. Although I don’t really feel like that would be much of a tragedy, because there’s no chemistry between Max and Jess.

My favorite part of the movie was when Max showed Charles up when meeting with some corporate dude. Max is better with business than he ever let on–maybe even better than Charles, the brother that’s been running the company while Max was running around having fun. But he’s never shown it until now. Well, Charles takes note of it, and he gives Max a job that sends him packing. Max is going to miss Christmas with the kids.

Oh, come on. This is Hallmark. He’s not going to miss Christmas with the orphans! πŸ™‚ Blah blah blah, Max and Jess profess their feelings for each other and the kids find a home with them.

This movie didn’t do much for me. The movie might have been better if Charles had been the hero. I’m still disappointed that he wasn’t… I really have to get over him, don’t I? I’m giving this movie two stars. The characters were flatter than my boobs in high school, with just as much personality.

Here’s the trailer:

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