So, my good friend recommended that I watch A Christmas in Vienna first, but I decided I need some fun this morning, so we’re going with this Lacey Chabert number while I wait for the rain to stop so I can go out and shop. It’s time for Christmas Waltz!
We start with people doing their best Dancing with the Stars routine, girl dressed in a gown hemmed with maribou, that weird stuff that sheds everywhere. Lacey Chabert is Avery, and she is watching the video at work instead of working (hands up who’s done that before!) because that’s what she wants her wedding dance to be like. She’s off to do wedding cake testing, and my Husband is here to correct NYC geography because the outside of the building is the Cartier Flagship store, which is NOT a bakery. Avery’s fiance, David, does not give two craps about the winter themed cakes, and the wedding is in 24 days (Dec 20) and they haven’t picked a cake yet and this is NOT a thing that people do. She picks the Nutcracker cake, which is weird. David is “edgy” but his office needs him, and he forgot to book the ballroom lessons.
She’s off to book her dance appointment in a studio that has sidewalk access in NYC, and is met with a precocious child who is hard selling a 10 lesson package. She is convinced and blithely hands over her credit card, not realizing that committing her fiance to 10 lessons in 24 days is futile, and we find out why in the next scene, because David got offered a job in Boston, and he said they’ll just have to put a pin in their wedding. He took the job so he didn’t have to get married in 24 days, and she rightly leaves the restaurant. Good for her.
NYC in the winter is beautiful and I miss it.
She’s home with wedding gifts on her counter – she must have the best doorman ever – and she cries over her ring (called a Tiffany ring, by my jeweler Husband) which she puts in a crystal bowl that is super ugly and a gift from someone named Janice. Next scene, Avery gets to complain to her Sassy Friend (Younger Son “SASSY FRIEND!”) Let me say that weather in this movie is not cool, because the night before it was clear and crisp, and now there is at least a foot of snow on the ground. But she heads over to the dance studio to cancel – a stark white room that is overly decorated, and she has to face the fact that there’s no wedding, so there’s no dance, and the nice man with the scruffy beard tries to keep the sale by telling her she should dance just for her – it’ll lift her spirits, and she’s got naturally fluid movement. But she says no and leaves, and we’ve got another outside shot of the Plaza, where she’s meeting her parents for brunch.
Her parents do not think the wedding is over, and she’s listing her plan – Ivy League school, Bar Exam, Marriage, and now what happens when the last thing is no more? She’s distracted by a little girl in a tutu in the restaurant and now she’s back to dancing. Her parents stopped her dancing because she wasn’t good at it. Man, I don’t like her parents. But this is just the thing she needs to head back to the dance studio. After insulting the scruffy man about the fact that no one answers the phone, she gets a lesson where she has to wear his socks and someone else’s dance shoes because her very high heels aren’t good enough.
Box step lessons in one second and now we’re dancing. Keep the dance frame up! No spaghetti arms! She argues a bit about who leads, and steps on his feet and then complains and apologizes too much about not being perfect on her first go. All her pent up emotions are making her flee in tears, and she didn’t return his socks. But back at home, her wedding bouquet samples are on her counter. Way to kick a girl while she’s down, efficient doorman.
At work in Rock Center, her assistant is going to messenger her Tiffany Ring over to David’s office, and she’s got a full day of non-specific work. But it goes fast, and then Sassy Friend brings her a tree, with the help of the wonderful doorman. Tree Trimming Time! Sassy Friend disapproves of Avery’s behavior at the dance studio, so Avery is on her way back to apologize after she awkwardly and crookedly hangs the star on the tree.
At the dance studio, scruffy man is dancing with Elena, the closest thing he has to a sister, and we still don’t know his name, or did I just miss it? They were rehearsing for the Christmas Waltz, a prestigious showcase for his studio. She did buy ballroom shoes (Latin, not waltz, but whatever) and we’re back to dancing. She’s still not great, but because she can’t get a box step, they’re off to ice skate. Sure.
It’s snowing again in NYC. Scruffy man says he’s Russian, and she rightly questions why he has a British accent, and she throws a snowball at him. He studied in England, or something, explaining his accent. There is way too much snow on the ground, but we find out his name is Roman after she knocks him down and takes him to the ER. He’s got a concussion, and now Avery has to take him home to Brooklyn. Someone has to wake him up in 6 hours to make sure he’s fine, but Avery says she’ll go home and then come back in the morning. She should have stayed, IMHO. When I got a concussion, someone stayed with me. They also laughed a lot at me, (got hit in the head while onstage during Candide) but whatever. She arrives bright and early and brought groceries, and she’s going to cook him an egg sandwich.
He’s got a Russian Matryoshka doll thing that’s a Christmas tree with Santa in it – and there’s a backstory. He was 11 and thought dancing was uncool, but his mom gave him this thing and made him see that dancing is who he is. She burns the toast and put arugula on the egg sandwich. She has to check his balance and he does a Charlie Chaplin thing, so huzzah, and now she has to head out to go to work. That’s going to be some commute.
Elena sees that Roman likes Avery already, awwww, and Roman brings Avery a new Russian nesting doll. More dance lessons, but this time, just in the light of the massive amounts of Christmas lights. This is supposed to be romantic, but it’s meh, but they dance nicely until it becomes just a slow dance (a hug while swaying).
Avery brings a Cocoa Cart to the office, and she gets a promotion (I have no idea what she actually does). She’s got a huge amount of work to do, but then Roman calls with an invite to meet his parents, and she’s dithering, and Sassy Friend is telling her to go live in the moment and have fun. She’s off to tell him in another swirly twirly dress while he practices a Paso Doble in the mirror. We’re in a montage of dancing, and she’s getting better, even practicing in her elevator.
The dress she wears to the Christmas party is ugly, but she heads over to Brighton Beach, where there are about 5 kids running around the house. She’s an only child so this is a chance for her to see how the other half lives. Roman wants to open a studio there, but he needs a business plan, and he’s an artist who doesn’t know how to spreadsheets, and Avery offers to help. Roman’s mom gets her to help stirring some kind of sauce, and then they make cookies and it’s very busy in the kitchen.
Avery’s Christmas with her parents is a lot different – dinner at Tavern on the Green and expensive presents in their penthouse. And as they walk down the street, Roman turns into Gene Kelly and dances without care that there is snow on the ground and he just recently got a concussion. She’s wearing a cape. She gets a free beret. It’s cute, but so weird.
Avery and Sassy Friend are shopping and chatting before work, and Sassy Friend calls out that Roman might be just what she needs in her life, but Avery is like, no I’m not ready for that yet. Off to work! Her boss then shows up at her office to tell her she’s got another deadline and mentions her break up and asks her if she’s up for it. Some kind of contract thing, but she still has time to go to the dance studio, where Roman got a virtual assistant on his phone, and then he asks her to help him out rehearsing for this Christmas Waltz thing, which just so happens to be on what would have been her wedding day. Amazingly, she knows all the choreography of this very specific, story-telling dance.
Back at her office, she’s not happy with contracts, so she puts on her beret and cha-chas before running out to make dinner for her parents which ends up being take out. She tries to get her parents to mix it up on Christmas Eve, but her mother is very WASPy and does not want to do anything but what they’ve always done. Her mom also says she doesn’t want Avery to lose sight of everything she’s worked so hard for, but Avery is too busy texting Roman that she’ll meet him in Brighton Beach the next day. She should be working on whatever contract means so much, but she’s too busy looking at real estate. WHY is she wearing a summer dress and ballroom shoes to Brighton Beach in the snow? The mind reels. She tries an illegal lift and pokes him in the eye, but they’re fine to look at his business plan.
Mom is ok with going to the dance show, but at the next moment, David is in her office with a million roses and he’s back, trying to get back with her. He realizes he made a mistake, but he’s able to commute to Boston, so he’s ok with being in her life again. But no pressure. How did he get into her office with all those roses? Her assistant did NOT do a good job as doorman to her office, she should take lessons from the doorman at Avery’s building.
Uh oh, David showed up at the dance studio – this can’t be good. Both Roman and David do the dick-swinging thing, and David says, Avery and I are back together, and please don’t make Avery’s life complicated with stupid things like feelings, because she needs all those feelings for me. All three boys in the room have all said “I don’t like him” and hey boys, same. David is every frat boy who insults the poor guy who mows the lawn. We can’t wait for him to get doused with beer, or pushed off a cliff, or something.
Avery shows up for her last class, not knowing that David was a dick. Roman doesn’t let on about his Sad Times, he just says he’s under a lot of stress, but his manner is making Avery dance down to Sad Times Town. She can barely see for crying, but her dip and fall is great until she starts to run away crying until Roman says don’t go, but she doesn’t listen, so we’re ALL in the Sad Times.
Avery’s boss is super annoyed about missing a deadline – which she really didn’t do, because it was due on the 18th, and she had the WHOLE freaking day to get it done, and she got it done, so why worry, stupid boss? But Avery is questioning her whole life because of one tiny not so mis-step at work, and that pushes her back to David and stability and what she knows and her boring old life.
They meet up at a bar and she doesn’t know how she feels about David, even though he pleads for a second chance and he brought the ring back in a box with a light in it. As David dickishly drags down Roman, she finds out what David did, and rightly she says no to the light up ring and breaks up with him again. She didn’t even get a drink, and she’s off to call Roman, but he’s screening his calls.
Do they have a stock footage company they use for all these atmosphere shots of NYC and Central Park?
Elena rightly says that David could be an asshole, and that he should talk to Avery, but before he can do that, Avery has to drink cocoa and look at her nesting dolls. It’s the day of the Christmas Waltz show at The Palace Theater, which I don’t think is the real Palace Theater in NYC. Will Avery show up to see the show? Sassy Friend is there to buck up her spirits, and tell her to go to the show and get dressed and everything else that Sassy Friends do.
Uh oh! Elena is stuck in traffic! What is Roman going to do? He’s meeting wiht his investor in his dressing room, and Roman doesn’t let on that Elena can’t get there in time. But then Roman texts Avery just as the show starts! She didn’t silence her phone! While she heads backstage, kids are doing some kind of weird pop and locking while dancing the nutcracker. Roman asks Avery to dance with him on stage, and he believes in her! Please stop dancing children, we only have 5 minutes left.
They both apologize to each other, and Avery says David is a liar liar who lies. Yay they love each other – but for now, they must dance! Her parents are so proud – bet they’re saying we shouldn’t have taken her out of those lessons so long ago. She clearly has a dance double for all the lifts, and the editing doesn’t do her any favors. Husband also questions how she has the perfect Cinderella ball gown to dance in just hanging in her closet. But they dance, and they kiss, and it’s snowing onstage and The End.
Turns out that Roman is played by Will Kemp who was in the Male-dominated Swan Lake from the early 2000s which was so amazing I saw it three times, plus shelled out $40 for the VHS. No one cares who the actor playing David was.
This wasn’t bad. It was super predictable, even by Hallmark movie standards, but it wasn’t bad. I’m still not convinced that Lacey Chabert knows how to dance, but whatever. It had nice establishing shots of that bridge in Central Park and from the Brooklyn Bridge and again, I miss NYC. Bummed we never saw that super efficient doorman. Bet he wasn’t anything like this.
Anyway, I watched Christmas Waltz, just so you don’t have to.