This one was talked about at a get-together I attended today, and it’s been sitting in the queue, so here we go. Starring Candace Cameron Bure and the guy who’s been in a few other movies, Luke McFarland, it’s A Shoe Addict’s Christmas!
Full disclosure, I used to be a shoe person, and now, because I have plantar fasciitis, I can only wear inserts, so I’m already annoyed at the concept of a movie about a girl who loves heels. We start with CCB getting ready for work, and she clearly wants to wear a gold cross necklace but puts it back for some reason that I hope will not be that she doesn’t want to offend anyone with God.
CCB plays Noelle, and she’s working in a department store. Her mom loved Christmas, and I’m guessing she’s dead, and she’s working for a grown up version of Ricky from Better Off Dead and a bitch-mom in a Chanel suit.
Noelle is the HR director, and she’s got a lot of things to do, including organizing a charity gala, and she is excited to buy a new pair of shoes for said gala. The charity gala is for a fire house, and Luke McFarland is Jake, a soon-to-be office guy over fireman, and he’s got a dead dad, and is unsure about his life choice.
Apparently Noelle’s passion is photography, and her Sassy Friend Lorna got her the job at the department store, and we’re 4 minutes in, and Sassy Friend told her to get out there and be a photographer instead of an HR manager, and be filled with the spirit of Christmas. Wow, that’s a tall order, Sassy Friend. I’d like to point out that Noelle is wearing an all teal outfit with beige pumps. It’s not a look I would espouse.
Noelle also has an ex-boyfriend (from 3 years ago) and she just got an update that ex just got engaged. She’s so bothered by it she goes to visit her dad on an odd-night, where she gets to daydream over a picture of her mom and her with red shoes by the Christmas Tree. We also find out that the cross necklace was her mom’s and she never wears it because it doesn’t go with her shoes. Whatever, Noelle. I know there is a deep-seeded reason that has nothing to do with shoes there.
She goes home, and we find out that Jake has moved into her building, and he’s got a ton of stuff in the hallway, where she trips over everything. Jake is a pun guy. WHY OH WHY DO WE HAVE PUNS IN THIS MOVIE??
She’s been tasked to find some random person from the old days in the department store because plot. So off she goes to the basement in her peplum dress and sensible manicure. And the fake snow is really coming down out there – she’s been down in that basement so long she didn’t realize that the store closed early. You would think that a) HR person would know this and b) she’d have a key. Her boss swears he’ll come to rescue her, or he’ll call the fire department to break the door down. So while she waits, there’s a montage of her trying on stuff from the store and playing with the very valuable cameras that no real department store sells anymore before heading to the furniture section with a tin of cookies. Doesn’t she have an office she can wait in???
Uh-oh, someone is making noise in the store. Enter Jean Smart! Her name is Charlie, and methinks she’s the one she was sent to the basement to find. Oh, man, she’s a Clarence figure isn’t she. Damnit. I didn’t know this movie was a redo of It’s a Wonderful Life. Damnit Damnit Damnit. Jean Smart/Charlie is here to point her in the right direction, but she’s a flaky one, and it’s annoying already. Charlie tells her to put on a new pair of weird-looking shoes, because when she was little she’d dream about her future in new shoes. They are so ugly. And ALL OF A SUDDEN she’s back 3 years ago in her apartment. So it’s A Christmas Carol too?
The backstory here is it’s the day after her ex broke up with her, and she is faced with the choice of doing something brave and scary, or something safe and sound, and she chooses safe and sound – i.e., job at the department store instead of getting a gallery show for her photography. And Jean Smart is pointing out that the point of her little exercise is to make Noelle see that brave and scary is the way to go. But it’s not like A Christmas Carol, because Noelle actually gets to see the impact her future by new decisions she’s making: she’s a successful photographer and she’s married but she doesn’t know to whom. And we’re back in the department store – and the fire department has been called to rescue her. AND THE ENTIRE SQUAD has to be there when the manager gave her the alarm code?
Jake is there to help her get over her encounter with Jean Smart. He’s still punning.
I’ve seen the building that they’re using as Noelle and Jake’s apartment building before. It’s quite interesting. Where is it? I couldn’t find a picture of it by Googling, so I’m sorry, this is a mystery that will remain until the end of time.
We also find out that Noelle has to work with Jake for the charity gala. Of course she does.
Uh-oh, Jean Smart is back in her ugly Christmas sweater in her apartment. I also feel like she’s wearing a wig. There’s only 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas and there’s a lot of work to do. Jean Smart is playing matchmaker – telling her to spend more time with Jake. Embrace the Christmas Spirit. Have Fun. Be Young. Have Faith. There’s where the God stuff comes in! And Noelle has an amazing apartment and I wonder how she affords it.
Jake and Noelle are at the hotel where the Gala will be held. Jake wants it to be fun and whimsical, and have it snow inside the ballroom. Noelle is like, yeah, no. And it’s snowing again, and Jean Smart has just pulled up in an open carriage for Jake and Noelle to ride around in. I don’t know what city they are supposed to be in. I know it’s Canada where they filmed it, because it’s always Canada.
Noelle and Jake swap Christmas plans and dead parent stories but Noelle is annoyed at Jean Smart so they end up walking back to their apartment building. Jake asks her out for dinner and she says no, and that makes Jean Smart very annoyed. But Noelle is happy because there’s a pair of boots on her doorstep and she immediately puts them on, and is immediately whammied back to another reality. She’s at the department store, Christmas Eve, 2 years ago. Apparently, she didn’t fight for something, and now she’s got to do it – and it has something to do with her dad.
It has to do with the fact that she really wants a better relationship with her dad, and he’s awkward about it because his wife is dead and of course, men can’t do anything when their better half is gone. Jean Smart tells her to try harder to connect with her dad, but she takes off the boots and says no.
Jake’s crew are like hey, what’s the deal with Nicole – you should totally ask her out. But he’s annoyed that she’s vetoed all his fun ideas for the gala, which include giant candy canes in a place where people wear gowns and tuxedos. They are in some kind of storeroom at the hotel picking decor, talking about living a little, and taking risks, and one of the risks includes a big red switch that Younger Son would LOVE to pull, and voila, it’s snowing inside. So they compromise on the snow machine and the lights, and Noelle thinks she should live a little more, so she goes home and puts on her whammy boots to reconnect with her dad.
They have a nice lunch where they talk and reminisce, and then we flash forward to the fact that her dad was at her photography studio. And then back with Jean Smart, who tells her that she keeps all her friends at an arm’s length, and that she hasn’t told anyone that she’s upset her ex got engaged. And the end result of this whammy is that she goes and has hot cocoa with her dad.
Next day, she and Jake are at a tasting for the event, and Jake fishes to see if Noelle has a boyfriend so transparently it’s laughable. Noelle is bringing her dad to the Gala. And Jean Smart shows up with a Julia Childs accent and instructs them to bake cookies. And here I would like to point out that all these movies that show cookie decorating are just Fibs on top of Falsehoods on top of BIG FAT LIES when they show how easy royal icing is to put on cookies. But we get her philosophy on shoes, and we get them playfully banter about shoes, and food fight with the icing.
Younger Son has just confirmed that he has, in fact, brushed his teeth. Right in my face.
The cookie thing has made such an impression on Jake that he asks her to come to his firehouse Christmas party, and she says yes and then the two of them decorate the station’s tree. Does every firehouse have a tree right in the middle of their house by the truck where it’s not the most practical?
Younger Son just pointed out that Noelle just said “But it’s Christmas” and has called for you all to drink.
Jake also discovers Noelle’s passion for photography, and finds her a camera for firehouse family photos around the tree.
Noelle and her Sassy Friend have a heart-to-heart about Jean Smart. Lorna believes this cockamamie story, and tells her to take control of her encounters with Jean Smart. I also want to take issue with the fact that this fake department store has not cleaned the front entrances from the fake snow. I feel that is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
The bitch lady who owns the department store wants to get Jake fired because she thinks Jake is tacky and Noelle says she’ll tell him the news that he shouldn’t help with the Gala and she should have just told bitch lady to shove that pole that’s already up her butt even higher. But this is a Hallmark movie, so we don’t have that type of language.
So at the firehouse, Noelle brings cookies to break the news. And Jake says thank you for taking some of his ideas into consideration because it’s giving him the confidence to go after his new job, and Noelle chickens out about telling him he’s fired. And so she goes to Jean Smart for some more answers.
Here are the answers: Everyone has a guardian angel / Santa’s elf to look out for them. But they usually work behind the scenes – they don’t come out unless you’re a very special case where you need a ton of help (George Bailey, etc). During this conversation, they are walking down a sidewalk decorated with the creepiest nutcracker cutouts ever.
All of this comes down to faith in God, and making the right choices for your life to work with the lives of people around you. And Jean Smart tells a story about signs and faith and God and gives her a new pair of hot pink suede shoes that will bring Noelle back to Christmas Eve, one year ago.
Lorna has given her a great lens for her camera and pushes her to enter this “Most Inspiring Photo” Contest. So take a leap, Noelle, on photography, and we flash forward to her fantasy future – where Noelle is getting hit on by her photography subject – and we flash forward again to her married life, and she’s married to that guy? And she’s rightly confused abut that, because why is Jean Smart so hot on Jake? Apparently the lessons are on taking chances, and finding your true love. And Noelle is seriously bummed it’s not Jake. But we have 30 minutes left, so chances are, we’ll find out it is Jake. Right?
And Jake is at her oversized apartment, and is in love with her photographs that are conveniently on her laptop. He thinks she’s really talented. His ruse to get into her apartment? He needed a cup of sugar. Because he cannot go to a store.
Oh No! Dad is going to miss the Gala because his sister broke her leg. Luckily Jake has just shown up but not so lucky because Bitch Woman told him he’d been fired and somehow his Sad Times are all Noelle’s fault, and Jean Smart is still telling her to go to the fire house party, and Noelle says this whole thing sucks, and Jean Smart tells her that you have to have faith and God will bring you the answer you need, not necessarily the one you want. But Noelle’s like “girl bye” and then we have Sad Times with Noelle by her tree and Jake on the rear of his fire truck.
Sassy Friend is there to help her pick up the pieces, because that’s what Sassy Friends do.
For some reason, the son of bitchy woman is really nice, and lets her wear the $3K dress from the mannequin because he’s really nice underneath all that Ricky-ness.
The Gala is nice and tasteful. Jake was offered that new job, but he doesn’t want it, because he’d be behind a desk and away from the family of the firehouse. And Noelle shows up at the Gala in her dress and her mom’s cross necklace and even Dad shows up, and then bitch woman un-thaws enough to say they should have more fun with things. And then if this couldn’t get any more oh-my-goodness – Noelle resigns to start her own photography studio and bitch woman promptly hires her to do the whole store’s spring advertising campaign. Because that’s JUST how that happens.
I think Bitch Woman’s son has a crush on Noelle.
Jean Smart shows up with another box of shoes and she’s proud of Noelle for reaching her potential and show of hands that Jean Smart in some way embodies the spirit of Noelle’s mother. Just me? Oh well.
Noelle finds Jake at the party. He turned down the desk job and instead is in-line for the captaincy of his station next year. And they get to dance but before they can – her heel breaks! So she has to put on her new pair of black fishnet shoes. Flash forward and she is married to Jake! Guy who she was taking pictures of is Jake’s brother! Ta Da! That’s how it all works out.
Jean Smart is happy, they get to dance, and Noelle made it snow in the ballroom just for Jake and everyone is thrilled to get fake snow in their champagne. Kiss, and saucy exit from Jean Smart and we’re done.
This one is also based on a book – and apparently there are sequels. Sequels where the hero and heroine have already fallen in love are never as good – because what’s the drama? Does he really, really love me? Will she really, really be my date to the prom? All the tension is gone, right? I’m trying to think of any example where sequels are actually really good after they got together. Anyone? Anyone? Please advise.
I’m not a fan of CCB and her acting choices, but she’s not offensively bad to me, so this one was only mildly annoying. I read The Billionaire’s Christmas Cinderella this morning and that was MUCH more annoying and offensively bad to me, so we’re operating on a sliding scale. Anyway, I watched this one, just so you don’t have to.