Limited comedy, overplayed romance and an uneven main character.
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|Two Christmas romances are not necessarily better than one, especially when the film wants to be this unsubtle about which one is the right one. A Tale of Two Christmases features Emma an architect in Chicago and when she over-sleeps her alarm and runs into a Santa Claus-type person in the airport, her life splits into two directions: one if she makes her flight home to Vermont for Christmas Eve, the other where she spends Christmas Eve in Chicago.||2022 |
Directed by: Jason Bourque
Screenplay by: Cylin Busby, Nanci Katz
Starring: Katherine Barrell, Chandler Massey, Evan Roderick, and Keith MacKechnie
Christmas Eve in Vermont features her parents’ annual party and her childhood crush who always happens to be at their house when her parents call her. She loves being home but she also complains a lot. Drew would do anything for her but she needs to complain that he isn’t dating anyone and dated other women in the past in an annoying manner. The filmmakers only allow Drew to be the right answer to who she should end up with, and while they do look great together, their relationship gets a little too tiring.
Meanwhile in the Christmas Eve in Chicago version of her life, she finally meets Max, a really cute lawyer who works in her building that she’s had her eye on. He invites her to his Christmas Eve party. And although he’s perfect, she also spends the entire party complaining, and shocking, that clouds her opinion on whether or not they make a good match.
The rest of the movie is her realizing what she really wants in life. Does she want the Chicago lifestyle where she has the perfect job and the perfect dresses and the perfect hairstyle? Or does she want the Vermont lifestyle where her family will support her no matter what, where they teach her it’s ok if a candy cane gets stuck in your hair, and it’s ok if you look silly in an ugly Christmas sweater? The set-up is not exactly subtle for where this is going.
Emma is an annoying character who complains a ton as she struggles to make things perfect. If she complained less then I don’t think the choice between the two guys would be as simple as it works out.
A Tale of Two Christmases is very light on the comedy, over-plays the romance, and while she does learn reasonable lessons about lowering expectations for herself, the main character of Emma is too uneven. She’s a perfectionist who oversleeps her alarm (that’s fine, that happens), and then the next day for her rescheduled flight, sets double alarms to ensure she doesn’t miss it, and then arrives at the gate 10 minutes before the flight leaves well after everyone else has boarded, seconds before the doors close. There is no perfectionist on the planet who sets two alarms and still barely makes her flight. That’s one example, but there are others sprinkled throughout the movie that these writers do not understand their main character.