Chadd and Carla came over to find a tv Christmas movie to watch before we pack up our tv for the move.
We’ve chosen Kristin’s Christmas Past starring Shiri Appleby from Roswell as a “smart, sassy 30 year old woman” (says the guide). Time travel and Christmas will be present. Rayanne from My So Called Life is in this so Chadd and Carla are psyched. A girl who may or may not have a show on the Disney Channel could also be in this (there is some debate as to whether this is the correct spelling of her name).
Wondering what Judd Nelson has been up to since Veronica’s Closet got canceled? You guessed it, he’s in this too! (Chadd says he’s in a bunch of horror movies now too but whatever)
The movie opens in NYC, you can tell from the stock footage of Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building.
Shiri Appleby is all fancy in a trench coat in the hustling, bustling city of New York. A very popular trope of these movies is a high powered business person in NYC learns to slow down and smell the roses so this could be setting up that. She is somehow rich enough that she has a driver who picks her up to go places with a driver she’s all “hey Andrew!” to.
She and two friends (one male, one female) are in the car going to a party and she seems annoyed that her friend Jamie (male) brought this annoying lady who is constantly frowning. The lady is all “your boots are… interesting” glancing at her stiletto boots so she informs her that this is a costume party and the theme is “christmas past.” Jamie knows because he wore a shirt for some band that she gave him in high school. She’s all “I can’t even remember what you gave me last year but you remember what I gave you in high school.” RUDE. He reminds her that the gift he gave her last year was paying off her student loans. THAT IS CRAZY. His lady friend is aghast and even though she is annoying she’s not wrong here.
They arrive at a holiday party where she pops off her trench coat to reveal some santa’s workshop-esque lingerie. She’s ready to party! Her friends cast a lot of shade on her. Why are they so anti these party clothes? If these two ever went to a Halloween party they’d die.
We all agree that our friend Rosanne resembles Shiri and that is a compliment.
She lays across a barely dressed santa with her boots and fishnets but her friends are still grumps about it. They ruin her sexy photo by calling her slutty as the photo is being taken. Sad trombone.
This frowning friend is all “looks like no one else knows it’s a costume party either” and Shiri is pissed. It’s a very Bridget Jones moment but everyone is in party clothes and she’s not naked so it’s not that crazy, she pretty much blends in. She claims this person wants her job and set her up on purpose but it makes no sense and will probably never come up again.
She dances like crazy all over this party and man is she sassy. Chadd and Carla thinks this guy is her boyfriend and he’s about to dump her but we’re not sure they’re a couple. I think his girlfriend is the lady with the sourpuss face.
They’re walking down the street and she’s drunk and she’s all “at least I have you!” but he’s all “wait, about that…” and she goes into a bodega to get more delicious booze juice. She casually mentions that she hasn’t even spoken to her parents in 17 years so I guess something really heavy went down back then. She then proceeds to walk into the most unrealistic bodega of all time where an Indian man in a reindeer sweater is waiting in a Pier One Christmas shop masquerading as a bodega.
It becomes clear that this guy is her friend and that he’s moving away tomorrow but never told her because that’s how best friends are. She’s so upset but he just kind of leaves her in there with her booze. WAIT- he’s just going to visit his parents for Christmas and introduce them to his girlfriend, the sourpuss face (I was right!). HE’LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK! She’s freaking out because he’s leaving for a week. Good lord.
The magical Indian man gives her a special bottle of champagne and winks at her on the way out so I’m guessing it opens the portal to the past. SUBTLE.
She goes home and there is a Christmas card from her parents that has a polaroid picture in it and she tosses it aside with a frown. It does appear that her parents have tried to keep in touch with her…
She opens the gift from Jamie and it’s an iPod full of music. Man, he is a very fancy gift giver. She hits play and music just starts playing out loud which isn’t possible with an iPod so maybe it’s a phone? I don’t know man.
She falls asleep with her old, yellow cat and wakes up… with a young yellow kitten. Again with the subtlety.
She is sleeping next to her 17 year old self and they open their eyes and scream Who Framed Roger Rabbit style (line courtesy of Chadd).
They freak out for a while and Chadd thinks about how much he’d lie to the teenage version of himself to impress them. Chadd is fancier than I realized. She’s all “how could you be me?? You’re old and you’re dressed like a santa stripper!”
Old Kristin says that she’s only 34 and that’s not old. (Nice job getting that detail in the guide wrong, stupid guide).
Young Kristin grabs for the closest 90s prop she can find and comes up with this:
After a little while of saying facts about their life the Young Kristin believes her pretty easily and they come up with a lie for the family so that she can stay with them. Tah-dah, she’s now her admissions advisor from NYU.
An excellent detail is that Young Kristin is making everyone call her “Krys” with a Y and Old Kristin tells her she ditches that a week into college- “NEVER! I love Krys with a Y!” Young Kristin argues. Hahaha, teenagers are so annoying.
There is some back and forth about what size she is (because she doesn’t want to admit to her young self that she’s let herself go and become a size 8, eye roll) but she’s the same size as her mom now so Young Kristin goes and takes some clothes out of her closet for Old Kristin to wear.
Old Kristin comes over as if she’s a stranger and her own mom (Juliet from LOST) doesn’t recognize her somehow. Wouldn’t a mom know? I’ve looked the same since I was a baby so I can’t imagine anyone not recognizing me. Carla is the same. What gives, tv mom? She’s only a little confused about this stranger visiting them on Christmas Eve and invites her to spend Christmas with them.
Young Kristin mentions her boyfriend, Maverick, and Old Kristin has a flash to Maverick being a total asshole. She does say NYU is a great school even if you go there for a guy who may not work out… weird thing to say but okay.
Then Rayanne walks in and Old Kristin is THRILLED which makes me wonder if she died in the last 17 years and now I’m sad. She is her aunt Debbie. Aunt Debbie is confused about this enthusiastic welcome from a stranger.
Judd Nelson is her dad and he has a goatee. Mom wants to go shopping with the Kristins and Young Kristin wants Maverick to come. That sounds incredibly boring and her dad calls him Morris which makes her so mad.
Old Kristin has a realization that this is Christmas from 1996 when she was an asshole and left and never saw her family again and so she tells everyone she has tourettes and grabs Young Kristin to tell her about this. I guess this night is the reason she hasn’t spoken to her parents for 17 years? Young Kristin doesn’t get it because she’d never do that. In an interesting twist Old K tells Young K that Maverick (her shitty teenaged boyfriend) sucks and is going to lie to her and dump her and she’s all “ugh, you’re just an adult and you’re wrong!” So she knows that this is her from the future and yet she still doesn’t believe her.
Chadd thinks that he would be more willing to believe that adult version of himself and I agree. Young Kristin doesn’t want to hear it though, she literally puts her fingers into her ears.
They do have a moment where they talk about how great New York is and how much she’ll love it there and Old Kristin pulls out her iPhone and Young Kristin is all “IS THAT A PHONE?!?!” and Old Kristin is all “yeah, p much” like it’s not a crazy big deal that she just pulled out of her pocket like it’s nothing.
Young Kristin thinks that Old Jamie is cute and Old Kristin looks confused by that because she doesn’t see it. Mom comes in and tells Young Kristin to change out of her tiny dress because it looks like underwear. Young Kristin fumes to her old self “as long as I never have to speak to that woman again, I’ll be stoked!”
They’re shopping in a thrift store and mom asks Old Kristin what she does and she’s a music producer. Mom is pretty rude and says “more of an assistant then?” and she corrects “no, I’m a producer.” Mom then continues that she thinks Young Kristin could go to law school but do music producing on the side as a hobby since it’s not a real job. Young Kristin rolls her eyes a lot.
Mom is horrified that her daughter wants to try on used clothing and this leads to Old Kristin actually have a heart to heart with her mom about why used clothes bother her much. It only took pretending to be someone else to learn to like her mom more for a second. Her mom died when she was a teenager and she had to donate her racks of clothing and so she thinks of used clothes as sad, dead people clothes. She has always regretted not keeping her pearls.
Old Kristin finds a black and white dress to try on and Young Kristin is horrified that old her likes such 50s styles.
Young Kristin and mom fight because she wants to leave right after Christmas dinner to spend the evening with Maverick and hahahahahah just imagining telling my dad that. It wouldn’t have been a fight because I would never have asked this.
She says Maverick thinks her mom is jealous of their connection (ew) and mom says that she’s not jealous but she’s concerned that he takes money from his teenaged girlfriend (double ew). She says she’ll only be gone for like an hour and Old Kristin backs up mom but this just fuels the teenager tantrum.
Old Kristin meets Young Jamie and is all a flutter over him.
Jamie really feels like he’s met her before. Jamie is more aware than her parents are. She appears to be flirting heavily with this teenaged boy.
Maverick shows up and he’s SO GROSS. It’s hilarious. He’s a classically gross high school boy who only a teenaged girl could be blinded by. Woof. They are all kissy face right in front of the whole room.
Kristin invites him for dinner and her mom says they don’t have room. I mean, she did also invite this stranger and also her friend Jamie so she is pushing it. She offers to just go hang out in her room with her boyfriend for an hour and somehow mom mysteriously agrees to that.
She literally just leaves the room that has her mom, her dad, her aunt, her best friend and her college advisor in it to go upstairs to her room and make out with her boyfriend. I cannot imagine doing something like when I was a teenager… or now… or ever. How effing rude. Chadd now finds this girl incredibly cool.
Old Kristin and the teenaged version of her best friend Jamie hang out and they chat and laugh and I think these two are meant to be. I mean old her and 18 year old Jamie of course. They’ve got something. Cougar him up! He’s waited 17 years for you, he deserves it.
Young Jamie drops the bomb that Maverick has other girlfriends and that everyone knows. She wants to get him caught and in this exchange she lets a lot of details slip about Jamie that weird him out- my favorite is knowing that he’s a hacker. I guess that’s what he grew up to be? I want to watch THAT movie.
Chadd watched Hackers for the first time last week and relates that it’s still terrible in case you were wondering.
Old Kristin busts in on them making out and makes up some nonsense excuse to get them out of the room. Old Kristin even “accidentally” slaps Maverick and says that it “felt great.” No one thinks that’s weird. Maverick seems pretty into it.
Jamie goes into the room once it’s empty and goes into whatever chatroom Maverick goes to and uses “keystroke encryption” to figure out his password. None of this is possible in 1996 but whatever. Hacking scene!
Maverick, meanwhile, hits on Old Kristin because he’s so super gross. Young Kristin comes outside and he walks up and she mounts him right in front of her house and they make out hardcore. WTF.
Chadd says that he’d love to see teenaged him make out so please note that he’s a weirdo. If you’re keeping track, I’d hate to see such a thing.
Somehow they’re now making out in the bathroom and he’s telling her how much she’ll love New York while also saying she can live with him but obviously lying. HOW DID THEY GET FROM THE FRONT WALK TO INSIDE THE BATHROOM SO FAST??
They want to get back into the bedroom to make out some more but Old Kristin makes something up since Jamie is in there doing his hacking. So they just stand in the hallway and makeout right in front of Old Kristin like it’s not weird at all.
Mom asks if someone is on the phone because I’m sure Jamie’s 1996 hacking is tying up on the phone line. Young Kristin thinks that Old Kristin is trying to make sure that she gets to run away to NYC with Maverick and she lies and says that’s it. Young Kristin is so psyched because she believes that. Old Kristin looks crazy in front of the mom some more. Same ol’.
Young Kristin wants to wear a floral minidress to midnight mass and Old Kristin tells her that will never fly. She asks if she can pluck young her’s eyebrows so she does and Young Kristin says that she should wear less miniskirts at 34. Nothing like being slutshamed by your younger self. Old Kristin tells her to promise to listen to her tonight and she doesn’t exactly promise but they have a moment.
Young Kristin wears a dress to dinner that her mother loves and everyone is shocked. They take a family polaroid and inexplicably put Old Kristin in it (this is the photo that was in her Christmas card at the beginning of the movie).
Mom asks Old Kristin about her family and it’s awkward. Mom also asks if people gave up getting married in New York City. Subtle, mom. Rayanne is psyched to have another single lady at the table.
Young Kristin says that when she goes to NYC she’ll be taking the cat with her but mom informs her that IF she goes she’ll be going alone. Old Kristin is confused because she thought going to NYU was already decided. Mom has decided to rethink the whole thing. Young Kristin, so naive, thinks that Maverick will be there to help her and be her support system in New York. Sigh.
The parents drop the bomb that if she goes to NYU she’ll be on her own financially and it’s an uncool moment. If she goes to a local school they’ll pay for it. She cries and is pissed off… DING the doorbell rings.
At the door is the star of a show on the Disney Channel that Chadd and Carla watch and she’s there to see her boyfriend Maverick. Dad says “well, that was illuminating.”
The girl is very sweet, nice to everyone, and totally confused as to why this other girl starts crying. I feel bad for this girl. She gives a meek “Merry Christmas?” as they shut the door on her.
She, of course, lashes out at her mom over this instead of admitting that Maverick fucking sucks. Old Kristin jumps in to say that she did this and not her mom. No one in this family seems shocked that the college advisor spending Christmas with them set a hacking trap to get Maverick’s other girlfriend to show up at their house on Christmas Eve.
The two Kristins have it out outside because Young Kristin just realized that Old Kristin doesn’t think she should end up with Maverick. SHE LOVES HIM!! And her life turned out great, she’s cool and producing music in New York so why change things?! Old Kristin has to admit that her life kind of sucks, she has no one to even spend Christmas with and the music industry is dying (and she’s been dumped by another investment banker who wants someone thinner and tons of credit card debt). The music industry one confuses Young Kristin most. Young Kristin still gives no shits that her true love is a cheater and stomps off.
Old Kristin walks in on dad casually reading a 2000 page book.
She talks to dad about NYU being a good school. He asks if her parents paid and she admits they did not and he says that she made it work and so will Kristin. She says that it was really hard and he says that builds character. He brings up her accidentally calling him dad earlier but she brushes it off and he goes back to his book like sure, this all makes sense still.
There is much more chemistry between Juliet from LOST and Rayanne than there is between Judd Nelson and anyone in the world.
They’re sisters though so don’t get any ideas! They just sit here and chat about life and love and how Jamie has always had a crush on Kristin and laugh. Old Kristin JUST NOW GETS IT.
Sigh, 17 years later and she still didn’t get it. They just talk about all this stuff in front of a total stranger. Jamie got into Stanford and somewhere else but he’s waiting to find out where Kristin goes so he can go there too. That’s kind of pathetic, get it together Jamie.
There is a very small reveal that Rayanne is sick so I was totally right to be sad before. Old Kristin also JUST NOW GETS that her family didn’t want her to leave because the aunt who she is very close to is dying. Man, teenagers are truly so self centered.
So remember this girl hasn’t spoken to her family in 17 years so I assume that means she missed her aunt’s funeral and all this crap because she chose to go to NYU. That’s such a thin reason. I can’t imagine this being a thing 17 years later. Pick up a phone, any of you. Jeez.
She gives her mom a present that is totally weird when you know it’s from a stranger- the pearls she wishes she had kept from when her mom died. Then they cheers to family. What?
Mom finds Young Kristin before church and Young Kristin inexplicably admits that Maverick sucks and they hug.
Young Kristin and Jamie do something called Bell Choir and since I’m not into church I’ve never heard of it. It’s not choir though, not at all. All those times they mentioned choir practice were very misleading.
Maverick shows up to church on his motorcycle in true bad boy style. Mom and Old Kristin tell her to ignore him but she wants to give him a chance to explain. She and mom have a fight where mom tells her she’s useless and can’t even go to the grocery store by herself so she can never make it in NYC by herself. That was shitty but she also says “teenagers think no one understands them but we do, we all understand, we’re just sick of listening to you whine about it.” HAHAHAHAHAH- TRUTH. The other stuff is very harsh and Young Kristin says that as soon as she graduates she’ll never come back.
Mom doesn’t believe her. She leaves on Maverick’s motorcycle. Juliet plays this just like she did on LOST and keeps very calm and reserved in every scene.
In this exchange not once do you hear mom mention her aunt being sick and that being a valid reason to stay close to home. Also, Young Kristin was told by Old Kristin that she hasn’t spoken to her parents in 17 years and she was SHOCKED but in every fight she’s all “I can’t wait to never speak to them again.”
Old Kristin goes to some tree on a hill where she sees Jamie every Christmas eve. She tells him she’s Old Kristin and he asks her some questions and then believes her.
She knows all of these super specific things about him (which is weird since in the beginning of the movie she couldn’t remember anything about Jamie or gifts she’s given him in the past). He asks if they’re together in the future and she breaks his heart by telling him no. He’s so sad. I think young him is about to make a move. Chadd is on board with the romance between these two. He grabs her hand and we’re all “KISS KISS” but they don’t. What a shame. He says that if she calls him he’ll be there and somehow he’ll know that she’s ready to love him then? I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense.
Young Jamie asks if he turns out okay in the future- does he ever get his own car? It turns out her has some super successful video game app (in addition to hacking) by 30 and is mega rich. This explains why he could pay off her student loans as a gift. He’s psyched that he at least has that to look forward to since his love life is a big dud.
She gives him his gift and it’s the shirt he wore to the party at the beginning. It’s for a band called Pond Scum and he made her his traditional Christmas mixtape.
She leans in towards his face and we all get excited again… but she just kisses him on the cheek and stares deeply into his eyes and smirks a little. What a future tease!
Chadd feels so bad for this kid and his, no doubt, huge boner at this point. He has to ride his bike home somehow. Chris is all “why aren’t you typing??” as they go on and on about this poor kid’s boner.
Rayanne is laying under the Christmas tree and Old Kristin joins her under there which is weird for a stranger to do but, as usual, no one seems to notice.
She goes to Kristin’s room to listen to the mixtape and sit under her poster of the Eiffel Tower that says OUI OUI on it (that delights Chadd to no end).
She also has a boombox, a poster for a generic ladies of rock tour ’95, peace sign curtains and peace sign pillows. Is that all it takes to make a place look 90s?
Young Kristin is all “HE SAYS HE LOVES ME!” when she comes in and it’s like “duh, of course he said that” but whatevers. They agree that she’s given up trying to make anything better. Young Kristin found some champagne under the tree with a note that says Merry Christmas and it’s the champagne from the magical bodega.
Chris says- I hope we find out she ended up with Maverick.
They fall asleep chatting. No one thinks it’s weird that her college advisor is sleeping her bed with her? Okay. Old Kristin drinks a sip of the magical champagne before dozing off.
She wakes up in her studio apartment on the couch with the old cat. In the family photo from the beginning she’s not in it anymore.
She’s all “it was all a dream.” But then her phone tells her it’s Christmas Eve and she gets an idea- she leaves Jamie a message and says she’s coming home today.
She goes downstairs and the driver is just there to take her to the airport. Carla wonders if that guy just sits there waiting for her to need a ride. And also, it’s Jamie’s driver, right? Knowing what we know now she can’t have her own personal driver.
There is a shot of flying through the clouds as if we’re about to take off on Soarin’ over California but then it quickly ends. It was weird.
She gets home and Jamie saunters down like he’s been waiting outside her parent’s house for hours. Chadd- he had to practice his sexy stair walk for a while.
Fair enough, he totally nails the slow walk down the stairs and kisses her so I guess her message of “I’m coming home” told him enough to FINALLY KISS HER AFTER 17+ YEARS. It was obvious somehow?
They brush past this huge thing, this kiss that he’s been waiting to have since he was probably 15 and she rings her parent’s doorbell and has this other big thing happen. Talk about an emotionally strange day. Mom answers the door, wearing those pearls (!!) and Kristin is all “I’m home.”
ROLL CREDITS. There you have it, wrapped up with a bow.