All right, all right. I’m about a month and a half off from New Year’s Eve, but it’s been absolutely insane at Just So You Don’t Have To-dom, with kids being sick, work, work, work, and the fact that for some reason I just discovered The Great British Bake-Off – Thanks Netflix! I never knew there were so many ways to make bad cake before. It’s inspired me to bake even more. My waistline doesn’t appreciate the chocolate chip-banana bread, the soda-bread scones, or the chocolate chip cookies, but everyone else did. Anyway, here I am, back in the saddle with Hallmark’s New Year’s entry: A Midnight Kiss, starring the girl from Reign and the guy from the Nickelodeon boy band show who’s married to the girl from Spy Kids (already featured in Love at Sea). Anyway, here we go!
We’re in Seattle! Mia is a party planner, from a family of party planners. She and her family are fabulous, and they have a company van with caricatures of all of them on the back. It’s super weird, but the guests don’t notice the van because they are bowled over by the emergency cake they found (apparently some children destroyed the original one). The parents are retiring and Mia and her brother are going to run the company from now on! And for some reason, Mia carries around a camcorder from 1996. They make them a lot smaller now, Mia.
Mia heads home to do more work, and I do not believe that the Seattle party planner business is THAT good that it affords an amazing apartment/condo that she has. I call shenanigans. Ditto on the center hall colonial that her brother and his pregnant wife and daughter live in. Also – there are way too many wreathes inside the house. No one on the living earth does this. (I’ve been away from Christmas movies for almost 7 weeks, I’d forgotten how much I hate the overdecoration!) Anyway, Mia is surprised by David, Jake’s friend, who is at Jake’s house unbeknownst to Mia (but knownst to us). Ru-roh – David and Mia met back in Jake’s senior year of college, and it wasn’t a meet-cute.
David is a documentary filmmaker, in town for a business/contest thing, and Jake is happy to house and feed David while he’s in town. Then off Mia heads for an outdoor market. I refuse the believe there are that many of these across the country.
There’s a new client ready to cram a new party down the Pearson Party Planners’ throats – Kate Clark – the CEO of Fashion Starter – which is kind of like etsy but not. Mia has some ideas of her own about the direction of the company, but she can’t get them out of her mouth before Kate gets there. Oh crap – Kate’s in an emergency – she’s in need of a party planner for New Year’s Eve (it’s Dec 23 right now) – for 125 guests – and if she cancels the party, the fashion industry will pounce and think her company is in trouble. Really? Whatever – she’s desperate enough to double their fee, and Jake is all about it. Mia is guilted into doing it, and Kate has to hug out her gratitude.
Christmas morning, David is still the fifth wheel at Jake’s house. He loves his family, but his film career is that important. Seriously – these people are dressed up to the nines to open presents. Puts my family’s matching pajamas to shame. And David gives them an ice cream machine that is NOT IN A BOX. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF GIFT IS THAT, DAVID? Appliances come in BOXES. He gets a book, and he almost cries. But Mia has the gooey eyes of someone who thinks David is very sweet – so much so that by night time, they get to sit outside by the firepit in the flurry of snow.
David wants to shoot a documentary about pandas in China. I feel like Disney Nature has that covered. But Mia has a yen for filmmaking too, but she’s tamped that desire because of her family’s business. Mia tells her mom about the emergency New Year’s party, and mom flips out, says she’s going to cancel her vacation to Palm Springs when it’s the only thing she’s been talking about for the past 20 minutes, but Mia tries to reassure her. Mia just said “Nothing will go wrong” and then her brother fell off a ladder. Whoops.
Jake has to stay off his foot for a week, and they need someone to fill in for him – so David is on deck. Duh. After the very smallest of objections, he’s in, but then he’s freaking out about all the logistics of planning a party for New Year’s Eve in 6 days. They head out to Kate’s lakeside (or oceanside?) house which is all modern and windows and birch wood. Kate sees David and remarks on his cuteness, and Mia is all like, really? I never thought about it. Sure whatever, Mia. David then has to butt in with his idea of having black napkins with the rest of the gold theme, and Kate is all about cute David and Mia is not having it at all.
Meeting the caterer – David wants to mix it up with the menu, and not have scallop wrapped pea shoots and caviar. David says Chinese Food. What? And of course, he gets to show off how he knows how to order in Chinese. They have more insightful conversations about why she isn’t a filmmaker. Oh well. Whatever.
We are halfway through this movie and I.am.so.bored.
Mia’s sister-in-law accuses Mia of having a crush on David, and she’s like, what? no! That’s weird. That’s absurd!
At the florist – David has opinions but they work it through and voila, centerpieces. When they have to pick a band, they have 2 choices – “Partyovascular” and some kind of unnamed jazz band. I vote neither. Luckily, though, there’s a third option, and David immediately asks Mia to dance. Because this guy was on Dancing with the Stars, and we can never forget it. He is the new Lord of the Dance.
Kate arrives to inspect their work, and Mia sees them flirt together, and Kate is like CougarTown in Mia’s eyes, even though Kate totally sees that David likes Mia. The sad times in this movie are going to be so annoying, even though we are a good 40 minutes away from them. Jake the broken legged brother has pulled the fireworks out of his cast, which sends David out to the kitchenette in the office to make some kind of Denver omelette and give Mia more words of wisdom about doing what makes you happy instead of what you are good at, and what can put food on the table, and what can keep you in an amazingly fabulous condo on the water. Rant – I am so sick and tired of these movies and their ‘do what makes you happy’ plot devices when that’s not something that the major population can really do. Shut the hell up, Hallmark. End of rant.
Kate the very annoying client announced that she also needs a videographer of her party. Whatever, Kate. Then we get to see a very nice montage of setting up a party by the water. They are so busy party planning but they have enough time to have a beer and tell each other their favorite New Year’s Eve stories. None of them revolve around getting woken up by your husband when the ball drops because you’ve fallen asleep at 11:35pm, so none of their stories means anything to me.
David won the grant to shoot pandas in China, and he’s now a little upset because now he’s got something to leave behind. It’s the day of the party, and Mia is freaking out about what to wear to the party. She shouldn’t be getting this dressed up in the morning, if it’s a New Year’s Eve party. She’s going to get dirty. She must have heard me, because her dress is in plastic and they head up in their weird van to the party venue. He has not told her he’s won the grant to go to China, so I have a feeling this is where the sad times are coming from.
OMG Kate I want to slap you. She’s freaking the f— out because she won’t have fireworks at her party. She’ll have everything else, but the firework guy didn’t get the right permit and her party is fireworkless and oh my goodness she’s going to get laughed at in the fashion world. SHUT UP.
Thank you, Mia, for telling her to shut up and off Mia and David go to the Mayor of whatever small town this is because Mia’s mom knows the Mayor, and we found that out in the first beginning of the movie – and that’s Chekhov gun. And it’s not even remotely suspenseful that the Mayor is going to help them out, but David’s charm did help smooth the way.
Another problem – Kate wants more food for after midnight – and David’s Chinese idea comes to fruition – and then Mia just got gold paint thrown on her because for some reason, they were painting vases the day of the party. WHAT? Is this Alice in Wonderland? Kate saves the day by offering an outfit. They are not remotely the same size as Mia is like the size of a toothpick, but whatever. Mia gets a black sequinned dress out of it. AND SHE GETS A STAIRCASE MOMENT IN HER NEW DRESS!!! Even husband said “THE STAIRCASE!” I’ve trained them all so well. David gets the shivers seeing her in the dress, and Mia is all like, I think we can pull this off, and then all the power goes out.
But that was a stupid emergency, because Mia turns it back on. Whatever.
Mia’s side hair is awful. Chinese food arrives in the ugly van, and so do Mia’s parents, and everyone is there to help out. Mia’s sister-in-law is 7 months pregnant and is willing to wait tables. She’s the real saint in this movie. Mia finally comes clean with her brother about wanting to go to film school instead of party planning. Brother is very supportive.
Husband just said I should be a party planner. But then I’d have to go to all of those parties. And I am too much of an indoor person to do that.
Off Mia goes to find David, who is by his camera. He’s been thinking about something – something has changed, and nothing else matters but Mia. He’ll stay in Washington for her, or she could go to China with him. She can’t imagine her life without him either! She’s off to China! Happy New Year! Kiss Kiss Kiss Firework Firework Firework – Auld Lang Syne and THE FREAKING END.
Oh this movie was dumb with a capital DUH. There was no tension, there was no mistaken identities, there were no Sad Times! Can this even be a Hallmark movie without Sad Times? Anyway. The actor who played David has an easy charm that makes him likeable, so I didn’t throw things at the screen, but it was a close thing. Do yourself a favor and find something else to do to celebrate New Year’s Eve, because A Midnight Kiss won’t do anything for you. I watched it, though, just so you don’t have to.