On Thanksgiving we spent most of the day watching amazing old episodes of 120 Minutes and cooking with friends but when those ran dry we returned the reliable Hallmark Christmas movies that started airing the day after Halloween this year. WHY?? Bring back my nightly Golden Girls and Frasier reruns, jeez. Anyway, I digress.
Candace Cameron Bure (which is pronounced BURRRRR-ay for those of you not in the know aka Kelly S at my Thanksgiving) is in half of them it seems like this year so it seemed only fitting to do one for the blog. And oh boy, is it a doozy.
A Christmas Detour!
The movie gets right to it with Candace Cameron at the airport looking at RADIANT BRIDE magazine (haha) and just sharing with anyone who will listen that she writes for it and that she has found her prince charming. Imagine these crazy eyes coming at you at the Hudson News.
She’s meeting his family for the first time and it’s going to be magical! No more looking for her, no sir-ee, she found a man and he’s perfect and she’s about to be the most radiant bride ever. A lady at the airport looks at her pityingly and she just takes her crazy eyes right over to the flight check in line because she knows that she is the best kind of woman. The kind of woman who decided to find a perfect man AND THEN DID.
Just look at this incredible re-creation of LAX as a sparse perfume counter in a mall.
Also, a couple having a fight about not printing boarding passes walks by and then also a guy who casually says he has not flown for 4 years so note that because these are our co-stars. She is a woman who writes for a big, national magazine and lives in Los Angeles and this is how she checks in for a flight because apparently she has no idea how air travel works or has ever worked.
WOMP WOMP they don’t consider her vision board a check in or luggage at all. Can you believe that shit? He actually says it’s because she already has two bags but like, would this ever count? She’s all “THIS REPRESENTS MY ENTIRE FUTURE” and Chris is all “what a lame ass.” True. The guy who hasn’t traveled in 4 years rolls his eyes. Her fiance is SO PERFECT. He’s rich and waspy and waiting for her in the Hamptons with his parents so she can meet them. Why aren’t they traveling together? Why does she seemingly know nothing about his family?
Also, he seems incredibly boring from just the very little we know but maybe that’s good so she can wear all of the crazy in the family while he just sits there, dripping money. PS he’s rich.
He says his mom is already planning a wedding befit for a Kennedy. Then his mom points to her cheek and he kisses it.
She finds her seat and it’s a window seat and she’s all “can you switch with me, window seats make me claustrophobic.” AGAIN WHY DID SHE BOOK THE WINDOW SEAT?? Why doesn’t she know how air travel works?? The guy who hasn’t flown in four years switches goes to the middle seat while the one black person in the movie moves into the window seat and puts on his beats and tunes out these two annoying people and we never hear him speak.
That arguing couple keeps arguing and he has no idea what she cooks for Christmas. She says “20 years of marriage and you don’t know??” and he says “why would I know that?” Ugh, things like that drive me nuts.
Candace and bland man are still talking while the plane is dark and everyone is asleep (or trying to sleep over this) and he’s mocking her for believing in soulmates. She’s says you have to keep your eyes open for fate to step in. This is an in for her to tell him about the magical way she met her fiance and she knew he was her soulmate right away. Bland man rolls her eyes though and she doesn’t finish the story because she is so sick of this love grinch harshing her true-love buzz. Before she goes to sleep he introduces himself as Dylan Smith so at least I can use a name for him now.
They’re all peacefully sleeping when the pilot wakes up the plane to tell them there is a big storm in New York so they’re going to land in Buffalo. WHAT?!!? This is when Kelly Lynn and I had a good laugh. Buffalo is nowhere near the route from LA to NYC and also the weather there is basically always snow in the winter. Who would fly hours out of the way to land somewhere worse?? She makes a very understated stunned face at this announcement.
At the airport they’re getting their bags and there is a flight board that says every single flight on the east coast is canceled. EVERY ONE. Virginia to Portland, Maine is a blizzard. But Buffalo is fine? Dylan is pretty chipper about this but the terrible married couple is all “we may be stranded here forever.” Wait, they go outside and get a shuttle to a hotel and they’re completely in a blizzard so why was Buffalo deemed so safe to land?
Hahahahah, she’s bugging everyone at the shuttle about how amazing her fiance Jack is and that he’s so handsome and showing photos on her phone like he’s a damned baby. The shitty married couple mocks her and she’s all “I’m not usually this self absorbed but this is just a really big deal.” If you think this is a really big deal then you are pretty self absorbed.
They get on a packed airport shuttle and get to the airport hotel where she is all “I’m flying out asap” and the front desk is all “there aren’t any flights” so she demands a manager and he says that the manager doesn’t control the weather. She finally acquiesces that she’ll take a front facing room and he says there is only one room left and so she’ll take it. There are like 20 people in line behind her that are now not getting rooms and yet she’s still like “UGHHHHH FINE I’ll LOWER MYSELF TO STAY HERE” and the desk person doesn’t hide that she’s awful and really selfish. She doesn’t even notice, proving his point.
Of course she is in her room trying to make a phone call but the adjoining room’s tv is super loud. Surprise! It’s Dylan’s room and he’s in a robe. She’s scandalized by how forward he is but he points out that she knocked on his door.
Spoiler alert- these two will end up together for absolutely no reason. She can’t get cell service because the storm has blocked it. Is that a thing? Anyway, her room has a landline but she’s not using it and has just not called her fiance since being rerouted and stranded in Buffalo so he’s probably really worried.
Waspy mom is all “should we book the Tavern on the Green, I’ve already hired a wedding planner.” No one seems concerned that Candace hasn’t called them or checked in or said yes to these plans. His parents ask if they should be concerned that she’s not there and there’s a storm and stupid Jack is all “she’s very smart, she’s probably gotten herself onto another flight.” Oh to be smarter than the weather. The guy playing Jack was un UnReal for those of you who watch UnReal.
Candace sits in the airport restaurant, alone, watching the weather report saying that the storm has only gotten worse. The sour married couple joins her and is all “Christmas sucks where it’s cold” but she says that snow and the cold air is what Christmas is about. But she lives in California… where is she from? Who knows! She says that Jack’s family has a big house in the Hamptons and they go all out for Christmas and she can just picture it with a big dumb look on her face.
Dylan walks in and she’s all “ugh, I feel a cold front coming through” even though he’s been nothing but nice to her. He’s only said he doesn’t believe soulmates are a thing and doesn’t seem sad to be stranded in Buffalo. MONSTER! She says that tomorrow is the biggest travel day of the year, Christmas Eve, which isn’t true so whomever wrote this just ignored that we all know the saying is Wednesday before Thanksgiving and even that is usually incorrect. Whatever dudes. Candace is leaving to go back to the airport despite it not being reopened yet so that she can be first in line where there is another flight. Dylan tells her that is a waste of time but the sour marrieds go with her. She walks around the airport leaving Jack a message about how there are no flights and she just kind of trails off and hangs up the phone because much like air travel, she has no idea how phones work either. The married wife is all “marriage is also hard” when Candace says that she wishes she was in NYC to plan her wedding. Candace then says the most tone deaf thing she’s said so far (and that’s saying something) “the happily ever after? Oh I know, I plan to write an article about it.”
That gets a hilarious side eye from the marrieds who are all “can’t wait to read it.” Later they reveal that they sleep in separate beds but are all “it’s been 20 years” like that’s how it is for everyone. She gives a straight up horror face at the idea of their life. All of the flights are canceled for another day. Everyone loudly grouses while Dylan drinks in the totally empty airport hotel bar. If every flight for two days has been canceled that bar would be packed. Apparently she and the marrieds didn’t check out of their rooms so that other people could have them so they just go back for the night. They have it pretty good compared to all of the stranded people we see sleeping all over the airport. Jack calls all “are you here?” But like wouldn’t he have gone to JFK to get her? That’s not close to the Hamptons. She says she’s been at the airport all day and all night and everything was canceled again. So it’s late at night and if she had flown in this morning that would have been like 12 hours ago so wouldn’t he know? Or did he think he left her sitting at JFK for 12 hours? Either way, he’s not sweatin’ it. Except for this little bullshit detail- if she doesn’t make it to his house for Christmas they will have to delay their wedding by a year so that his parents can take a several month trip around the world and then meet her and THEN let them get married. So no pressure getting here in the blizzard or anything. He says this is because they’re “old fashioned.” While they’re on the phone (and they have not spoken in over 24 hours) his mom is all “we’re going to be late for the senator’s luncheon” and rushes him off the phone like he’s really inconveniencing her. She gets off the phone and does the worst fake cry since Rory Gilmore herself.
The marrieds stand there awkwardly and say “don’t cry” pretty flatly. She’s all “how am I going to get to New York in this??” and like *THAT* Dylan pulls up in a car all “honk honk, who wants a ride to the city?” The marrieds are psyched to jump in but she’s all “no” unless they all agree to split the cost of the rental. Why? She’s so annoying.
In the car the wife says that they can tell she’s anxious to meet Jack’s family and she’s all “I’m eager to meet them, people often confuse the words eager and anxious” and then continues to teacher them about how she’s eager and not anxious at all despite coming off very very anxious. What a treat to share a long road trip with!
Dylan asks them how long they’ve been together and she’s all “you felt a spark when you met, right?” and they’re all “wha?” and her big doe eyes are all “like you were meant to be together?” because she’s a cartoon character and not a real person apparently. They stop somewhere and she calls Jack to tell him she’s on the road and totally lies about Dylan being the one driving and implies it’s just the married couple. Why lie about that? So strange. Jack is all “I can’t wait to meet them” because in this one instance he seems warm and nice and she’s all “EEEK OKAY HAHAHAHA I DON’T KNOW THAT’S NICE” because she’s very very good at lying.
In the bathroom Candace asks the wife how they’ve kept their marriage going for 20 years and she doesn’t have much insight but they’ve done it so they must be doing something right.
Meanwhile at the bar, husband and Dylan go through a notebook that was in her purse under the guise that they want to see what her next article is about but it’s “75 traits of the perfect guy” and they realize this is a checklist about Jack. Wooof, that’s weird. They note that good sense of humor has not been checked off as we head to commercial. Good oral hygiene was though.
Candace sees some young couple at a table and is all “look at those two, you can’t tell me they’re not soulmates” just from watching them in some restaurant. He’s all “they may just be happy right now until she dumps him for another guy.” She gets pissed and walks out in a huff when he makes a joke. Spoiler alert- we’re going to find out he was dumped by someone he thought was the one for another dude. Back in the car Dylan compliments her collage but she corrects him that it’s a vision board and explains to them how vision boards work. Dylan says something about how he was joking and she says she doesn’t find him funny. Wife says husband makes her laugh every day and seems to actually mean it. Husband is all “does Jack make you laugh?” and she hems and haws but finally admits that he’s not funny at all and never makes her laugh. Well, one time she laughed at him because he had toilet paper stuck to his shoe. That’s dark. The marrieds fall asleep on each other and snore in unison so you can tell they’re MFEO. Candace and Dylan apologize to each other while they sleep. She says that he has a way of diffusing everything with humor that she hates. She’ very unsubtly is all “what are you afraid of? A broken heart? Again?” Candace screams and Dylan seemingly runs off the snowy road… but we see nothing so what the heck? They check into the O’Tannenbaum Inn in Christmasville because that is how Hallmark movies work. There is always a town that is about Christmas and never any minorities.
We learn that Candace screamed and freaked out because she thought they were going to hit a bunny but there was actually nothing on the road. Ooopsie. Is someone sabotaging her own ability to meet her in laws in time?
Dylan offers to take them all out to a nice dinner to make up for this shitty day even though he rented the car and got them halfway to the city and she actually ruined everything and doesn’t offer any amends. If he’s falling in love with her right now I could not even begin to tell you why.
The teenager (played by definitely not a teenager but acting like a teenager in Leave it to Beaver) working at the Inn is all “this town goes crazy for Christmas, mister.” They go into town and it’s really crazy. It’s a full on Christmas set, literally. They have chestnuts roasting on an open fire right on the street. They get chestnuts while she’s all “are you ever going to finish that story you started earlier?” the one that was cut short but her screaming mind you.
He tells her the story about how he found “the one” but she wasn’t the one for him, she left him for his brother and now they’re engaged. No wonder he hasn’t gone home for 4 years.
The marrieds show up and are all “you’re under the mistletoe!” and really push these two to make out like they haven’t heard about her fiance for 3 straight days now. Weird.
At the Dasher’s Dine & Pub they joke about the menu being bar food which seems very out of theme with this whole town and the place being called Dasher’s. These 4 people better not order much because they’re seated at a comically tiny table.
The marrieds start reminiscing about their early christmases and ask her about her memories and she starts lying about a big family Christmas and then admits she’s lying and never actually got that and then her mom died so now she’ll get a real Christmas and family with Jack. Why was she going to lie? A server comes by and drops off a basket of what appears to be day old hot dog buns for them to snack on.
A terrible, slow, crooney song about Christmas comes on and wife is all “when was the last time we went dancing?” Chris says that this terrible song would never make him think of dancing. The song’s chorus is “You gotta be / on time for Christmas” which seems very on the nose. The other music in this movie has been equally subtle. Dylan, weirdly, asks her to dance. Are they going to eat? This isn’t a place people dance at.
He’s definitely squeezing her tight and inappropriately and she says she’s uncomfortable but he’s all “we’ll probably never see each other again” which doesn’t make it better? Chris wonders if he has a boner because she runs away. What a romantic.
They’re outside talking about how good the meal we never saw was. Wife runs off to buy stocking stuffers because this town is apparently open late on Christmas Eve. Candace and Dylan chat about how Jack is her soulmate not him, she can only have one soulmate and it’s gone perfectly with Jack. She’s clearly talking herself into but Candace Cameron Bure can’t even pull off acting that good so she comes off insane. He asks her how often Jack makes her laugh so hard that she snorts and she says never.
They’re under the mistletoe again (which is hard to miss given the giant sign with it) and he’s all “we should move” but she wants to stay and says “it’s for Christmas” so she’s making a clear choice right now and they have a big ol’ kiss. Carolers singing Jingle All the Way interrupt and she runs away, AGAIN.
He’s all “it was just a little kiss, no reason to make things awkward” and Chris says he had time to take 5 pictures so it wasn’t a little kiss. You can’t argue with evidence like that. Husband walks up and sees how awkward this is and Jack calls. As husband excuses himself he quips “enjoy his oral hygiene” and she sends the call to voicemail because she just realized that these two read her list about Jack and have been making fun of her because she believes in love. Well, she’s half right. He’s sorry but she’s running away again.
She’s at the Inn by herself and Jack calls and the convo is “everything’s okay, the storm’s over, I’m coming home.” But home is in Los Angeles and it’s late at night and who even knows. It’s all so confusing. She appears to leave without telling anyone she’s traveling with.
The husband and wife don’t know where Dylan and Candace are but they try a new thing; sleeping in the same bed. It’s awkward. After a while they start reminiscing again and she laughs so it’s slightly better. They talk about how they never go on trips just the two of them anymore but they’ve been on one of those for literally this entire movie so I don’t know.
In the morning Dylan is all “where’s Candace?” but where has he been all night Who knows! The teenager at the Inn says Candace left early in the morning with some truck driver and they’re like “wait what?” and I agree. Cut to her in a semi annoying the driver with her terrible personality.
Apparently the one mechanic in Christmastown was open on Christmas day because their car is fixed and they’re back on the road. The marrieds are trying to talk him into finding her and telling her he loves her but whyyyyyyyyy. She sucks and he’s giving no impression that he loves her.
Candace gets to Jack’s family home because apparently it’s in New York City based on where that semi was headed and not way out in the Hamptons where it is. Stupid dumbass movie. She’s all “you have no idea how happy I am to see you!” and they share a real dead fish kiss.
His very boring parents show up and are all “awww look how terrible you look, show her upstairs so she can freshen up.” She’s clearly offended but they don’t notice.
Dylan drops off the marrieds in what I think is supposedly Westchester and they apparently live there and have kids so they weren’t worried more about being back at a certain time or missing Christmas with them? Just another thing we’ll never know. She gives him a weird talk about how she knows where Candace is having Christmas dinner tonight. The husband is all “if we walk back into that house it’s as husband and wife” and she’s all “look at you, taking a stand” and this terrible blizzard saved their marriage. Big bells chime and success music plays.
Candace comes down in a cute cocktail dress and the mom is all “you look lovely, dear, I was just saying how off the rack can look good.” Nice negging, mom.
Then they feed her apps and watch her eat which is just as fun as it looks. Mom is all “we leave tomorrow so we have to talk wedding immediately” and throws out having the wedding at the senator’s mansion. Candace laughs so hard she snorts (at something not funny at all) and they all look at her like she’s a monster. Jack talks to her upstairs about how she needs to stop challenging his parents about their wedding. We haven’t seen her do that yet. Then he’s all “what’s with that weird snort sound?” and she says it’s the way she laughs but he says he’s never heard it before. HMMMMMMMM these two appear to have never met before. Dylan gets to his mom’s house and he has two gifts that the sour marrieds gave him (one was Candace’s but she ran off too quickly) and it’s a framed photo of them together (when did they print photos??). Dylan’s mom is super happy to see him. He looks around his mom’s house and the movie becomes a Home Goods commercial.
Of course his ex-fiance walks in and is all “oh my god” because his mom didn’t tell them he was coming home. It’s awkward af. Also, his brother is tiny and their wedding is next week. There is no possible way these two dudes could ever be related even in the loosest of scripts. It’s hilarious.
The brother is all “take a shot” and he says he doesn’t want to hit him. He doesn’t care at all and is over it. They hug. How simple that was! They open the back of the rental and the vision board is right on top. Brother- “What the heck is that?” Dylan- “That’s fate.” There you have it, folks! The Christmas dinner she was dreaming of is at a very sterile country club, what a blast. Mom is all “I’m friends with David Tutera, do you know him?” and she does not but she writes for a Bridal Magazine so that doesn’t make any sense at all. Everyone knows who David Tutera is. Rolls are put on the table and she’s all “they’re warm!” and then says that Dylan’s last night was not fresh and then drops the bomb that Dylan was also in the car ride down and they are all scandalized.
Lord, shut up your judgment faces. She can see how they’re reacting to this and so she lies and says he was old and wore a toupee but right them Dylan walks into the country club to drop off her vision board and say something lame about how vision boards bring you what you want. Then she sees that he put a photo of her and him on it and she’s all “I don’t want to marry you” and gives the ring back.
She says she got clouded by wanting to find the perfect man for a perfect wedding and she missed the point. She missed like a thousand points but might as well start there. Jack’s dad is all “I like her!” as she dumps him and walks out. That was the only funny line in the movie. She finds Dylan in the lobby and kisses him and literally leaves and spends Christmas at his mom’s and says it’s exactly the Christmas she had envisioned. What? Okay. Now Merry Christmas is written in a weird 3D style that looks out of focus. What? I still don’t know.