I eeny-meeny-miny-moed my DVR selections and came up with this one, which I’m watching while Younger Son shoves his feet in my face and Older Son is sitting in the corner watching Scooby Doo. We’re all well-fed, as I made potato soup and bread today, and it’s cozy movie time! Let’s Dive In to Jingle Bell Bride.
Overhead city view. NYC, although a weird view that I don’t recognize, but whatever, that’s where we are. Our heroine is a high powered city girl on her cell phone making bold moves as Manhattan’s premier wedding planner to the stars. Her name is Jess Perez, and her sister and her niece need her to be at a party, but she’s too driven to be a wedding planner to attend. They are meeting someplace near Rockefeller Center, but let me tell you, it’s not. But she’s got to run away, she’s got to get to Scarsdale to deliver a dress to a singer who is recording her album in her house.
Bride has a new thought about her flowers, and she doesn’t want miniature roses flown in from an Ecuadorean volcano, she wants amaryllis, or Jingle Bell flowers, just like her grandma. Bridezilla doesn’t care that she only has 2 weeks left before her wedding, and Jess is being browbeaten by her boss to be even MORE committed and find those flowers that are out of season. Jess also has a perky co-worker who makes her own candy canes and says things like “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” and let me tell you, the rivalry between bitter blond candy maker and nice Jess who needs more lip gloss could be felt all the way into my kitchen. Who’s going to get that prestigious London account when this movie is all done?
What does Jess have on her laptop but an article that just happens to be about Jingle Bell flowers in Alaska! Serendipity! Cut to snowy town Alaska, and very handsome man is in the nursery, being met with Mayor Wilson, who Jessica just called with the great opportunity to get flowers for the wedding while fully funding the town’s music festival. Handsome man is named Matt. Jess is jetting off to Alaska, for 20 hours and says “I’ll be back before you know it” to her boss, and I’m amazed she didn’t even get that approved before booking a freaking flight from NYC to ALASKA. HOW MUCH IS THAT? A quick stop to disappoint her sister and niece about the fact that she can’t stay around to do family things and then it’s back into her cab, and she says “Airport, please” to the cab driver – um, honey, which one? There are three in the NYC area that could get you to Alaska. You have to be specific, or you’re going to end up at the one you don’t want to go to (LaGuardia).
Man, random shots of Alaska are pretty. She’s on some kind of puddle jumper and doesn’t understand that there’s no major terminal in Tapeesa, Alaska, except for a random large room that is, of course, decorated for Christmas with light-up garland. Matt is there to pick her up, and she doesn’t like the fact that he has a truck, and she says she was expecting someone with a sign, like in normal terminals, but it just seems weird to mention it when they’re in some kind of empty garage.
Matt Holden brings her to his farm to see these Jingle Bell flowers. She needs all of the flowers that are in the greenhouse, and Matt is ready to negotiate, starting with Jess’s cookies that he rescued from the vending machine. Each flower has to be individually clipped and hydrated and packed in dry ice and she has an hour to do this and get back on a plane. Jess is stressing about the speed in which Matt is driving, and doesn’t understand about stopping for Moose Crossing, and is SUPER pissed when the truck gets stuck in the snow, which I find HIGHLY Hard to believe, if we are to believe that this man lives in Alaska full time. Doesn’t he have chains or something? She has to make that plane, Matt! They get some help but she still misses the one plane that they have in this town. But, says one of the two pilots in the town, she’s in luck, she’s just in time for the Jingle Bell Festival.
There are no hotels in this tiny town of 112 people, and so Matt’s Aunt Mary invites her to stay, and Aunt Mary makes Matt take her to the house, even as Jess frantically searches for cell service. Before he can do that, they head to a Christmas tree lot. This Jingle Bell festival is very involved, which includes a tree lighting and a dance. AND! You enter your name into a raffle to be crowned Jingle Bell Princess. That’s it. I’m heading to Tapeesa.
Jess is amazed that it’s dark at 4pm. I have no idea why she’s so amazed, because it gets dark at 4:30 on the East Coast nowadays, so why is she bugging about it being a half-hour early? But Matt gets his tree, and they head to his overly decorated and weirdly landscaped house – seriously, the snow on the bushes looks like the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The room she’s staying in has garland on the bedframe that lights up and I bet that is hard to go to sleep when it’s on.
Aunt Mary is holding a letter from someone who really wants to get in touch with Matt, but he ignores it. And then Jess and her boss have contentious back and forth about how the boss knew she’d be late and Jess is like no, I can work from home, but she didn’t bring a cell phone charger, so I’m guessing, no, she can’t. Mary, meanwhile, makes fruitcake. And there’s storm a-brewing, with 2 feet of snow coming down so you know her plans of a flight the next day are now in jeopardy.
But no, the runway is ok, but the plane is now broken. She can’t leave for another 3 days. Now, I’m wondering if the boss is going to say this is her fault, because she went all the way to Alaska to get these super important flowers; but, if she’d left it for them to just be delivered, wouldn’t it be the same result and the flowers would be late anyway? Or am I just way to invested in her relationship with her boss and how she should tell that narrow-shouldered bitch to calm down? Whatever, now Jess is free to experience the Jingle Bell Festival at its fullest!
Matt gets a hug from Jess for getting a cell phone charger, and then he takes her shopping for more practical footwear. And apparently the entire town shuts down for the Festival, so she made it just in time and now she’s cutely arrayed in a warm coat and winter hat. There is some kind of historical significance of the Jingle Bell Festival, but I don’t really care. Woudln’t you know it, at the opening ceremonies, Jessica gets crowned Jingle Bell Princess! Her tiara is actually nice.
Matt’s cousin Amanda has shown up and asks the “How long is this a thing” and it gets awkward way too fast. Then Jess gets a panicked call from the bridezilla but before she can find out what the problem is with the dress, Jess’s phone goes out. Bridezilla is going to complain to Jess’s boss, I just know it. But now Jess has time to help Matt and family decorate their tree. We also find out that Matt used to live in NYC, but came home to help his Aunt Mary. Isn’t he a good boy. I bet there’s another reason behind that.
Next morning, there’s nothing wrong with Aunt Mary’s internet, as Jess gets to video chat with her sister, who immediately asks about cute Flower Guy. Sister is making some kind of dessert, and Jess is jealous. She then overhears Matt and Aunt Marry talk about the fact that there’s a problem with the venue for the Christmas dance. Of course there’s a problem with the venue, in order to get Jess’s expertise in the planning. Mayor comes in with a barn type thing in order to get the plans back on track. Jess is full of plans too – most of which contain Christmas lights.
Pilot of the town has the hots for the mayor.
Jess teaches Amanda how to fold napkins festively, and then Jess heads to the supply closet to get more lights, and it just so happens to be out of reach, but not out of reach for Matt to come in behind her in a not quite hug while gets it down for her. But before the romantic tension gets up too high, they’re off to build a snowman. These snowmen are clearly fake.
Uh-oh, perky bridal consultant has shown up at bridezilla’s house and is planting seeds of doubt about Jess’s ability to do anything, and now we hate her. But forget that, it’s Tree Lighting Time! Husband says it’s underwhelming. And Jess misses a call from bridezilla while she’s off doing Jingle Bell Princess stuff. That doesn’t bode well.
Amanda and Matt are having a heart-to-heart about the fact that Matt isn’t dating anyone. Matt is nursing a broken heart going on 2 years now. Jess is wallowing in self-doubt because of that missed call, but Matt helps by forming bridezilla’s bouquets, while they talk about the lack of Jess’s personal life because she’s so wrapped up in work. Matt was married! He’s divorced! he’s happy in Alaska. And Jess is taking pictures of the bouquets and boutonnieres so bridezilla won’t fire her. Matt got all dressed up in order to showcase the flower, and awwww. And then Matt takes her to see the Northern Lights. I would like to see those. Matt says sometimes you have to stop and take the time to appreciate what’s around you, and Jess looks like she’s going to cry.
Oooh, Moose Sighting!
Matt’s nephew has to practice the piano for an hour every day, and Jess helps out with post its. And it makes Jess sad because she realizes she hasn’t been around family for so long. But Matt is there to make happy times while making snow angels. The last time I did that I was pregnant with Younger Son and couldn’t get back up. But they look like they had fun falling in the snow. Meanwhile, back in the city, blonde co-worker is again sowing the seeds of distrust of Jessica through football metaphors. Again, we hate her.
Jess again is thinking that she spends too much time working and not enough with her family. She wants to go home, but she can’t leave before the Jingle Bell Dance! Amanda comes through with a nice red dress and it’s off to the dance! There’s banjo music, and Husband wants to know who has banjo music at a Christmas party. Apparently the answer that they’re in Alaska is not enough. Jess is pleased to meet the Pilot who informs her they can leave on the morrow, and then she encourages him to use plants to snag a kiss from the mayor (mistletoe).
Bouquet of Blessings time – which is a thing where people write things they hope for the future or whatever, and pin them up on a wall or something. Whatever it is, Jess has to wear her tiara to help with it. Aunt Mary is eyeing the Christmas Tree Lot guy – there’s so much love in the air at this dance!
Jess and Matt get to dance to a banjo version of Silent Night. They are staring soulfully into each other’s eyes until they’re interrupted by Jessica’s cell phone – and the boss calling to tell Jess that she’s off the wedding. Say it with me – that bitch!
Husband has asked if that means The Sad Times, but I don’t think so, because The Sad Times should be around Jess and Matt’s relationship, and any misunderstandings therein. The Sad Times shouldn’t be around jobs, although, sadly, most of my Sad Times have been about jobs. Husband and I had a huge discussion (well, mostly me, I was loud) about Sad Times in stories, because he doesn’t understand why people can’t just say the things they feel, and not have any misunderstandings, and my point is if you don’t have them, then you have no story. We were watching North and South and Husband didn’t understand why Margaret Hale didn’t just tell John Thornton that the man she hugged at the station at midnight was her disgraced brother, and not an erstwhile boyfriend. But if we didn’t have Sad Times, we wouldn’t have Richard Armitage brooding so well in that movie, and then where would we be?
Matt goes to find Jess as she sits outside without a coat. Girl, you are in Alaska. She says she tried so hard, but she let everyone down, which is NOT the answer – because she didn’t let everyone down, she just has a bitchy boss, but whatever. Matt says maybe it’s for the best, because she lives for other people, and she shoots back that she can’t be like him and hide in Alaska with his life on hold. She walks away, leaving her nice tiara. So Matt goes to the mayor for help, and bridezilla calls Jess to say it’s not personal, and she’s sorry. Matt has gotten the Pilot to open the runway to take her home! Huzzah! Maybe she won’t miss the wedding of the year!
The kitchen has a light up wreath OVER THE STOVE and that’s a fire hazard!
Everyone is at the airport to see Jess off safely and Matt is super nice and brought her cookies. She thanks him with a tearful hug because she’s not ready to say I love you yet, but she says to come and see her when he’s back in NYC. Off she goes on the tiny plane.
Next scene is Jess striding back into her office to shove it in the face of perky blond, and boss eats crow and says she can get the London promotion, but Jess just turns it down flat and is back to her sister’s with a heartfelt Feliz Navidad.
Aunt Mary is kicking sense into Matt about following Jess to NYC. And Matt is finally ready to listen. It’s a Christmas miracle.
Bridezilla cries over her sentimental Jingle Bell bouquet and awkwardly walks down the aisle hoisting her dress up with one hand. Did no one ever teach this girl how to walk down the aisle? But the bride is so happy she gives Jess the bouquet with a thanks and a maybe it’ll be good luck for you – and wouldn’t you know it, Matt has shown up at the wedding to say he’s back in NYC and he’s ready to risk everything if that risk is her. So of course she has to plant one on him, and off they go and we’re done.
This was fine. It had a bunch of everything, but I find the title misleading, because she WASN’T a bride by the end. But cheers for the casting, and for no one treating it like a big deal. And did you know that there are at least 3 different books with this title? This story was based on a book, but I didn’t pay enough attention to the opening credits to tell you which one it is. Anyway. Everyone was nice, and no one was awful, except for the boss and that bitchy blond. Would I watch this again? Probably not. But I did, just so you don’t have to.