Daisy's Christmas Stocking #1 – A Christmas Wedding Date
The story of how a young woman learned to stop worrying and start loving love, unemployment and the combination of cheese and bacon.
Rebecca is a super successful businesswoman. We know this because she is brushing her super glossy hair “98, 99…100!” times, which is underscored by a heavily disguised, public domain version of All I Want For Christmas. We also know this because she is ignoring a prominently displayed wedding invite in favour of the business pages, which report the details of the merger she has just worked on. That’s cramped, Manhattan apartments for you. No matter how successful you are, you just can’t rent enough space to throw away the invitations to the weddings you have no intention of going to.
Shiny Rebecca heads to her shiny office to see what else she can merge. But they’ve sacked her. “But it’s Christmas!” she wails, even though she is about to make it clear that as far as she is concerned, festivities are for the old, the slow and the fat. “Don’t these people have LIVES!” she wails, as she makes some sad power phone calls in her old apartment, attempting to score a VP job before Christmas day. Oh well, might as well go back to California for her high school BFF’s wedding! Even though “I haven’t even been home since my Dad passed away. And things are still really awkward between my Mom and me,” which is something she needs to explain to the BFF, Allison, even though one assumes they have spoken at some point during the last decade.
After a plane journey, she lands in her hometown of Bumblehump, CA, and is swept into the backseat of a magical taxi, who tells her “marriage is the gift you give yourself” and forces her to accept a magical Christmas snowflake tree decoration. “But marriage is an investment that could go bust!” wails city girl Rebecca. But that’s before she bumps her head on the back seat. Will some low level dangerous driving change her life forever?
She arrives at her Mom’s, and things are obviously really strained and terrible because Mom has made peanut butter cookies “just the way you like them”. As in, round in shape? On a plate? Not covered in excrement? These city girls are so dang fussy about their cookies! “Carbs,” frowns Rebecca, tossing her head and frowning at the cookies as if they’re Pussy Riot and she’s Putin.
Once ensconced within the house, it becomes clear that Rebecca is not upset about her Dad, but about Chad, her high school boyfriend whose picture is still in her old room. He is wearing a football jersey. Hold on! That’s Luke from The O.C.! He’s still going to be upset that he has to move to Portland with his gay Dad! He has no time for a snarky, cookie hating, merger mad city girl! Especially not one who never came home after her Dad died! “I’m busy!” she snarls, as the magic decoration is put on a tree, to be magic.
Charming Rebecca leaves the house to get to the wedding, violently shoving a middle aged man who offers her skating lessons, and snarling at a Girl Scout who is selling cookies. “They make you fat!” she yells. We still don’t know how Rebecca likes her cookies, but we can assume that laxatives are involved somewhere. At the wedding, she sees her friend Jenny (“Remember me? Big Jenny!”) and declines the opportunity to have a go on Jenny’s brand new tits. “I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint,” murmurs Rebecca, semi politely. Blonde Molly arrives, and she is clearly a bitch who disapproves of brunettes who live in cities. Why isn’t Rebecca a bridesmaid, eh? Molly, it’s because she’s been running business empires and buying all the clothes in Ann Taylor for the last ten years, while you were trying to make your laugh more gooselike than ever before.
Luke from The O.C. / Chad is at the reception, and Rebecca brushes him off, focusing on the glass of water she ordered at the open bar. But they can’t fight their history! “In high school, you were inseparable! Study hall! Lunch period!” cries Big Jenny, overcome by the uniqueness of the Luke/Chad and Rebecca teen romance experience. But then Evil Molly makes a bitchy speech about how she thought “even Rebecca would be married right now”, and poor old Becky flees in tears. City girls have feelings too!
Luke/Chad finds her at her Mom’s diner. “Your Mom always did make the best apple pie,” he says appreciatively, tucking in with the sort of gusto that suggests Allison seriously underestimated the wedding hors d’oeuvres order. “I’m not really in the mood for small town chit chat,” snaps Rebecca, for whom apple pie represents some sort of terrible suburban nightmare that engenders shepherdess lamps, whimsical coasters and whittling. Luke/Chad who works in a restaurant asks if Rebecca is free for lunch tomorrow, which is December 25. Erm, Chad, don’t you have a work and family to attend to? Can you really sack everything off to rekindle a doomed teen romance with a girl with a sweepy fringe? It’s OK – she declines. “He still loves you!” sighs wise Mom. “He BETRAYED ME!” scowls Rebecca. With Molly! Molly who laughs like her IUD coil just ruptured!
Following a flashback montage of ALL THE THINGS WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST 20 MINUTES, Rebecca wakes up and gets ready to go to the airport, because it is Christmas Day and she is a heartless city slicker. “What about the wedding?” cries Mom. After Rebecca has been hit on the head by a paper from December 24, it becomes slowly and painfully clear that she gets a do-over. The taxi driver has stopped time. “When a soul like yours is stuck in a destructive cycle, fate steps in,” he intones, which is a pretty profound statement to come from a man who almost certainly has nacho cheese on his dashboard.
The wedding is identical, only Rebecca is basically silent, and drinking hard liquor. She wakes up the next day, and it’s Christmas Eve again. (I wasn’t sure if this was A Christmas Carol or Groundhog Day, but it’s definitely Groundhog Day.) She makes Big Jenny sad by telling her that her new boobs look fabulous, she gets drunk with legendary school booze fuelled perv Tyler Syndowski, she lets him hit on her, she hits him in the testicles, she gets sent to prison and duckfaces her mugshot. Badly done, Rebecca.
Obviously, she wakes up on Christmas Eve, again. Why does she have a hangover? That doesn’t make any sense! Ah, well, it’s time to ease over 10 years of resentment with her Mom, and eat some bacon with cheese on it. Once she’s filled up on animal fats, she can use her still functioning company credit card to buy a horrible Porsche and an even more horrible designer dress with a giant rosette on the left boob. She sacks off the wedding to watch A Christmas Carol (this is why I’m confused) when the taxi man turns up as the Ghost Of Christmas… oh, I dunno. The Ghost of Christmas Regretful Selfish Twentysomething Who Needs To Wake Up And Smell The Cheesy Bacon. Ghost of the Festive Material That Has Gone Out Of Copyright. “Christmas isn’t about fancy cars or fancy clothes! Instead of thinking about things you can hold in your hand, think about things you can hold in your heart!” he says, through the telly. So, she discovers Luke/Chad didn’t betray her after all, and Molly is just a massive liar! She spends the next few days learning how to make food and skate! She burns a cake! She falls on the ice! She makes a dessert that farts! She’s “through with schedules and regimens!”
After a good six weeks worth of skating lessons, she surprises Luke/Chad by taking him to the “Ice Skating Experience” which is a very odd way to describe your business unless you’re Jimi Hendrix. Maybe Luke/Chad’s restaurant is an “eating experience”. She then, en route to the wedding, buys all the girl scout cookies and distributes them around the neighbourhood! Fine, now it’s A Christmas Carol again. At the wedding, she sweeps Luke/Chad away for home cooked ris-oh-toe (seriously, Allison, what is wrong with your wedding caterers?) while Luke/Chad admiringly says “Now you’re like Wonderwoman, with the big career, and the ice skating…” Yes, Wonderwoman, famed for her understanding of market fluctuations and flair for winter sports. Then she drags him back into the wedding and makes a toast, which she has forced her Mom to turn up for. What about the diner, Mom? What about all those townspeople who are relying on you for their Christmas cheesy bacon? But it’s worth hearing – Rebecca’s toast is a regurgitation of all the helpful platitudes that the magical taxi driver has been spouting for the last 80 minutes. At least she’s not singing, I suppose. Luke/Chad dances with Rebecca, Rebecca’s Mom dances with drunk, fratty Tyler, and Allison dances with her new husband, who, unbeknown to the rest of us until now, is about nine years old. See, this is why Rebecca has renounced small town life and a decade old friendship! Paedophilia abounds!
After a close up on the magical tree decoration, Rebecca wakes up. Oh no! It looks exactly the same as every other morning! She’s got to find something nice to say about Big Jenny’s new boobs again! But she can smell bacon! This is essentially a movie about a young woman who has to learn to love Christmas and pork. It’s downright anti-Semitic. She follows her nose, and who does she find but Luke/Chad! “Tell me, what day is this?” she asks. It’s Christmas! She made it! He’s got her a gift! It’s a ring! But the taxi man is here and she has to go to the airport! It’s OK, he knew as soon as he deliberately concussed her that he wouldn’t let her leave. He’s come for the magical tree decoration. But she has another gift. The gift of giving love, and being loved in return! Also, she hints that she’s quite keen to marry Luke/Chad TODAY, if possible. Maybe at the Ice Skating Experience.
A Christmas Wedding Date has all the hugging and learning. Given how offensively Christian the message is, it drips with schmaltz, but it’s still fine holiday fun. Two festive thumbs way up.