Title: Hitched for the Holidays
Year of Release: 2012
Available On: Hallmark DVD via Amazon
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells
Rob (Joey Lawrence) is a commitment-phobe who has difficulty choosing because he likes all the options – in his food and drink as well as his partners. Julie (Emily Hampshire) is single, but her mom keeps introducing and re-introducing eligible men she has no interest in. This movie is the classic holiday jawn: two single folks pretend to be engaged for the holidays so their parents and families will get off their backs, but surprise! Real feelings develop as they are faking it for the benefit of others.
These movies always make me happy that my families don’t give two shits whether I am married, dating, whatever. I think I have trained them to have lower standards, for one, I think they’re just elated that I bathe myself successfully, but also: get a life, grandmothers! Get a life, mothers! You lived your life – technically you’re still living it, so if you want to divorce and start over, g’head! – now let your children do what they want with theirs. Julie’s mom in particular (Marilu Henner) is un. fucking. bearable. And they lean a little too hard on the overbearing Jewish mother trope. This Gentile does not approve. But that’s really just the beginning…
Rob: You know, choice is one of life’s great luxuries.
[As he orders several drinks because he cannot chose one.]
What this movie lacks in the originality department, it makes up for in mildly entertaining banter, fun actors, and a few plot twists that keep things interesting. There’s a Catholicism / Judiasm culture differences thread that is… uncomfortable. Rob saying the prayers and lighting the candles but then blowing them out? I’m dead. I’m dead. I grew up with a lot of Jewish friends and I couldn’t say the prayers, but who doesn’t know that these candles don’t get blown out?! Who doesn’t know that?! But how Rob’s family feels about ornaments and Christmas? I can relate to that more than I’d like. When Julie breaks the 116-year old Christmas ball – ohmigod, that’s a cringey moment that strikes fear into the heart of this Christmas loser.
Production is good. Costuming is good. Julie has great hair. Acting is waaay better than usual. Dialogue is fair to middling. The grandmother subplot brought this up from 3 to 3.5 just because it’s bonkers. All in all? A watchable movie, even if Joey Lawrence’s forehead is too smooth to believe.