Today’s #WonderWednesday might be a little controversial, but I promise it’ll still be fun. And it has 2 WCTH actors: Jay Hindle who played Sir Lionel in Season 2, and…none other than the man himself- Daniel Lissing! And that topic would be one of last year’s Hallmark Countdown to Christmas Movies: A December Bride. TA DA!
I know, I know. Some of us love it, some of us can’t stand it, and some of us have mixed feelings, a love/hate relationship, if you will. I, myself have mixed feelings. So let’s start with some positive points about the film, we’ll squeeze “the vegetables” (the stuff we don’t like,) in the middle, then end with “dessert” so we walk away with happy hearts. But first, 2 funny coincidences: in Finding Father Christmas, Erin Krakow plays an interior decorator; in A December Bride, Daniel Lissing plays a man who falls in love with an interior decorator. The second is the names. The actress playing Layla, her name is Jessica; then her cousin’s character’s name is Jessica. Then we have our favorite “Jack” standing right next to the fiancé whose name is Jack. Interesting…
Now, let’s start with my favorite thing: the broken stereotypes. I really love that this one doesn’t go where almost every other Hallmark movie does. If I miss any, PLEASE comment so it can be included
- No love triangle. They could have gone there with either Jack or Cooper. But Jack got married at the beginning, and Cooper wasn’t a boyfriend. He was completely interested, but was man enough to back down when he saw that Seth was in love.
- Seth comes right out and says he likes Layla. There’s no “guessing game” about his feelings, plus he does that cute head knock when it doesn’t go right. On top of that, there’s no silly misunderstanding that ruins how far the couple has come in the hour and 55 minutes you’ve been watching, then gets solved in the last 5 minutes of the movie.
- Neither of the main characters are in a dead-end, 5-year relationship that gets broken after knowing someone a week. They’re both single, and they’ve been friends for years.
- A big pet peeve of mine is when the first kiss is just thrown in at the end, especially when they always try to kiss, and get interrupted in the middle. In this film, they actually kiss before the end. In addition, they DO get interrupted the first time they try to kiss, but they don’t pretend it didn’t happen. In fact, they even pause to cuddle a little before Seth answers the phone.
- My favorite one: Seth isn’t a Scrooge; he doesn’t hate Christmas. He’s just never had any real experience, and he welcomes it with open arms, and that adorable smile. He really shows his wonder when he exclaims, “Everything looks so beautiful in here! It’s very Christmasy.”
So, on to the vegetables. You know, there really isn’t a whole lot I don’t like about the movie, but those things occur throughout the plot; so it seems like I don’t like more than I actually do. First thing’s first, and don’t hate me, but I don’t like the beard. I know scruff is the thing right now, and some women find it terribly attractive, but I’ve always been a clean-shaven girl. I think a man is more handsome when I can see his face. The other thing about that is Danes face has a few bald spots where hair refuses to grow, then the beard looks splotchy. So it is this Hooked Heartie’s personal opinion that the man remain beardless.
My other criticism is the character of Layla. I have nothing against Jessica Lowndes; she’s gorgeous, and she’s been fantastic in other films. But her character here…I would call her “pretty but petty”. She constantly rags on Seth, so much so that sometimes I wondered why he was crazy about her. I understand her being bitter, her cousin marrying her former fiancé and all; but it lasts a little too long, especially with how kind Seth is to her. Dan brings all of Jack Thornton kindness to the character of Seth. He’ll do anything for her, he worries when she does, he reassures her constantly, and he rejoices with her at her victories. And he does the Daniel Lissing signature dirt brush – away on her cheek. Who in their right mind would stomp on that?
Okay! Enough of being Janie Raincloud! Now let’s have some REAL fun! This movie is full of hysterical one-liners and heartwarming scenes. Take the title, for example. It’s the best line in the movie! It comes from Layla’s suspicious brother who knows darn well after that completely awkward family dinner that Layla and Seth aren’t actually a couple. You can almost feel Seth’s urge to tug on his shirt collar.
To be totally honest, the rest of my favorite parts and lines all have Dan and his priceless reactions in them. So I’ll just mention them all together. 1) I nearly died laughing to see Seth dancing and singing so horribly, especially when we all know how beautifully he does both. 2) I smiled with pure joy when Seth’s dad found him a sleigh. Not only was it touching to see father and son connecting, but Seth’s reaction is flawless. Having majored in acting myself, I seriously wondered if that was scripted, or if Dan improvised it. 3) Who didn’t snicker helplessly when Seth was telling everyone how the “courtship” ensued? He’s totally making it up as he goes along; then the shock and horror on his face when the word “engaged” slipped right off his tongue = stomach pains from laughing so hard. 4) I saved the best for last. My favorite part is when Seth made gingerbread cookies for Layla, then almost kissed her. It’s evidence that he really listened to her, and Christmas has really captured him.
Well, I think I’ve said enough. I’ll just sign off with a personal note. Receiving a key to a mansion, a rich man’s credit card, and the instructions “Do whatever you want” with regard to Christmas decorating? SCORE BABY!