#111 – Christmas Kiss 2

This one has several titles. Christmas Kiss 2. Another Christmas Kiss. Whatever it is, it’s a sequel, and I love it. I’ve watched this one several times since it came out, and tracked it down on Amazon Prime just to watch it again. For you, readers. It’s all for you.

I cannot tell what city this is. Our heroine is on a bluetooth with coffee as she walks into her office and into the elevator that has mistletoe hanging from the ceiling and THAT IS A PROBLEM.

You can tell she’s busy because she’s doing the hand to the bluetooth thing.

Her name is is Jenna, and she is an assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Trend Magazine, which of course means that she can direct photo shoots and negotiate contracts and stuff. Back on the bluetooth, she encounters former Bitch Ms. Hall (Elisabeth Rohm from the previous entry) and something has happened to her, because she’s amazingly upbeat. Jenna works for a woman named Mia and they are both workaholics. Within the first 2 minutes of this movie we find out that Jenna is estranged from her dad and she has a wicked stepmother who is clearly threatened by the fact that the man she married has a daughter with long, beachy-waved hair. Ms. Hall is looking forward to Christmas, which means she got over Adam and Wendy breaking her nose the previous year.

Mia, the Editor-in-Chief, is dismissing the beautiful red roses she’s just received because they are too Christmassy red. But Jenna is not bah humbugging, because she’s looking forward to the holidays as she’ll spend them with her estranged dad. She babbles about all her tasks that she’s done efficiently.

It’s Boston. Again, I don’t think this is Boston? But maybe I just haven’t been there in a long time.

Jenna is home, working on sketches of what look like ball gowns, when her dad calls to cut her trip short. Turns out that Stepmom is still ruling the roost, but Jenna’s gonna buy her plane tickets, while we just hear Stepmom off-screen screaming, like she knows her husband is talking to his daughter. All together now: that bitch.

Jenna has a neighbor who brings her wine and Chinese food, and who encourages her to show her designs to Mia, but Jenna’s not ready yet. Neighbor boy, Sebastian, just got dumped right before Christmas by a girl named Abby, and they commiserate about their singularity, but Jenna is sooo excited to spend Christmas with her dad, you just know things are gonna get messed up. But he does get her to at least bring her portfolio to work, but Mia is distracted because her “playboy” brother Cooper is coming to town.

Uh-oh, there’s some kind of plot point involving expensive jewelry and the photo shoot. While she waits for this jewelry, she leaves another hopeful voice mail to her dad, and then since they had to wait so long for whatever this stuff is, Jenna is going to have to model them for this magazine shoot. Because THAT’S how things work. Off Jenna goes to get costumed up, while Cooper and some skinny girl in platform suede boots enter the lobby. Jenna’s doing very weird modeling in a Santa outfit – it’s…a lot!

Cooper and Mia have some weird relationship. Mia is the younger one but she has to be the one who always “cleans up his messes.” Brunette in the lobby is named Brittany. He’s there to do the Christmas thing with Brittany’s family and wants Mia to join in. “Roast chestnuts and drink eggnog?” she asks dismissively. First – NO one roasts chestnuts. Second, you can have something else besides eggnog. They are the last of their family and he wants her to loosen up, much like his hair, which is way too much for his face.

Off Jenna and Cooper go to the elevator, Jenna being mobbed by Dickensian carolers – in an OFFICE BUILDING – WHO DOES THIS? Their four-part harmony of Jingle Bells is awful, but they leave her alone in the elevator, much to Cooper’s delight, as she looks fetching in her Santa outfit. Uh oh, elevator broke down! Cooper sees the mistletoe and swoops in for a peck, and gets this weird “huh?” look on his face, and then they totally start kissing for reals until the elevator gets fixed and Brittany sees them jump guility apart. Brittany is a bit of a bitch (surprise) but Jenna doesn’t care. Cooper then heads to a bar where neighbor boy Sebastian works, and Brittany is less than thrilled that Cooper is off in elevator-land.

Jenna’s having issues with her hanging lights and Sebastian helps while she recounts her clear sexual harassment in the elevator. She rightly says that the only reason Cooper kissed her was because she was dressed provocatively, and points out that men are pigs. But she protests a bit too much when she says that there’s nothing special about the elevator guy and the kiss.

Next day, Mia is complaining that Cooper wants to be involved in the magazine. I guess they own it together? But Jenna says make him work for it, and Mia is like, yes, you do that. She makes Jenna go to Cooper’s apartment to pick him up for work because that’s not awkward, especially when he answers the door sans shirt.

He’s flattered that Jenna “tracked him down” and she’s like ew, but he says the kiss was amazing, it was electric, it was “automatic, systomatic, hydromatic, why it could be Greased Lightning!” Oh sorry, got carried away. Jenna rightly says respect the workplace and get dressed, but Cooper says that he’s gonna win her over and OFF they go.

Cooper is all about banter, and finding out about Jenna. She’s had her heart broken before, and she’s been Mia’s assistant for 2 years, and he manages to get Jenna to talk about her dad and her plans, because it’s only been 4 minutes since she talked about it before. WE GET IT JENNA YOU HAVE DADDY ISSUES. But Cooper adds his two cents about the fact that his own parents didn’t love each other, so obviously he has commitment issues. Jenna wears way too much makeup, and she tries to make Cooper believe she has a boyfriend, which he does not believe for one second.

Meanwhile, back at the office, Mia is yelling at Cooper and warning him off Jenna and calls her brother shallow. She says he should stick with Brittany. But Cooper is nonplussed, and is off to work with a desk in Jenna’s office. Backstory is that these offices were designed by Elisabeth Rohm’s character, and they look like crap, so of course they were. Jenna palms Cooper off on the receptionist, and he tries to kiss Jenna goodbye but denies it a whisper away, and now Jenna’s all flustered. Back in the elevator, Cooper meets up with Elisabeth Rohm. She’s supportive of Cooper, and now we can find out why she’s so happy now – she’s met someone else. Because happiness in life is totally tied up in the existence of a significant other, only.

Cooper knows the Italian photographer and they’re best friends. Jenna’s doing assistant things but Cooper is there to make her life messy again until she gives him binder to read. As a fan of the binder system, I heartily agree with this plan. Sebastian calls her and she makes it like he’s her boyfriend. Cooper is still not buying it, and then her dad calls and says no, he can’t pick her up from the airport and oh, here’s a list of things you should buy for your stepmonster. And again, he’s whisked off the phone by a voice calling “Jim!” And she shows some vulnerability and Cooper tries to empathize, but I don’t buy it yet – I think it’s his floppy hair.

She tries again to get Mia to look at her portfolio, and Italian photographer drops off his shots of Jenna and Cooper is all about taking a gander. If this magazine is about “trends” than these images are way way way off the mark. Mia is not thrilled to learn that Jenna wants to do something other than be her assistant and she doesn’t even bother looking at her designs. Jenna’s vulnerability is showing again, and Mia, shame on you. Jenna’s so upset she throws her designs in the trash, but Cooper rescues them and is stuck by the possibilities, and rightly yells at Mia for her behavior. He then tries to get Jenna to go for a drink, but he gets Brittany-blocked, because brunette shows up and insults Jenna, and he tells her he’s never gonna say the “L” word to her.

Jenna is home sad-drinking because she thinks she’s untalented. She’s roping Sebastian to go shopping for stepmonster’s Christmas presents. Again, the montage of Santa Village does not look like any Boston area I’ve ever seen. But Jenna and Sebastian are caught by Cooper who just happens to be there too! What are the odds?

Sebastian is like, oh, Cooper is sooo into you, what are you doing?! Is Sebastian the Sassy Friend in this movie? But Cooper is so flustered by the encounter he desperately calls Brittany for dinner at the same bar they were in a few scenes ago. Brittany is a kiddie pool of shallowness and then leaves to powder her nose. But then the other chatty bartender at this bar spills the beans that Sebastian and Jenna aren’t dating.

It’s not quite the dawn of a new day look that Mr. Thornton gets when he finds out that the man at the train station was Margaret’s brother, but I think that’s just because this guy is no Richard Armitage. Anyway, now he’s super happy about life. He’s so happy that he dumps Brittany in the bar, and she says he’ll rue the day! Well, no, she doesn’t, but I think that’s only because Brittany doesn’t know what that word means.

I will never stop posting Thornton things. This movie is perfection.

Couch time late at night for both Jenna and Cooper, until Cooper calls her to ask her for help at the office and only Jenna can help. Jenna shows up at the offices, and follows a trail of rose petals down the hall which is WAY too much, Cooper! Way too much! But then there is a plethora of pointsettias to give the office Christmas cheer. He also has wine and cheese. Jenna says Mia is non-holiday decor, but Cooper throws his weight around to get her to help him. He tells her that he broke up with Brittany, so it’s ok, she can admit that she likes him too! (If she didn’t like him, why’d she try to swallow him whole in the elevator?) But Jenna calls shenanigans, because she’s not about to jeopardize her job by sleeping with the boss, even though the floppy hair is now endearing. She calls him a player and she’s very harsh with him, and he’s almost crying and then her phone rings. It’s Dad. He tells her that she can’t come for Christmas because of stepmonster’s family. Jenna can actually hear stepmonster yelling through the phone as she struggles to keep the tears from her voice as she’s rejected by her dad via cellphone. Cooper listens in silence and his heart aches for her and you can see that until Jenna runs away crying, until they meet up in the elevator and he rightly tells her that her dad sucks while she crying about how she can’t trust her dad, and what is wrong with her, why can’t her dad love her. UGH, DAD. I HATE YOU. Cooper says there’s nothing wrong with her, and then she agains runs away crying. Again. She must have read Sweet Valley High books about how to deal with crises.

Next day, Cooper used all the pointsettias in actual decoration, and he gave her some too, and Cooper and Mia and Jenna have to have a meeting in the conference room. He’s so serious he’s wearing a tie. It’s ugly, but it’s a tie. True story, my grandma first saw my dad when he was on TV when he and my mom were dating. He was a plant in the audience on a talk show where he was called upon to denounce communism. My grandma watched it, and then turned to my mom and said, “Well, at least he wore a tie.” And I’ll just point out that my dad was amazing and Jenna’s dad sucks majorly.

Cooper is so impressed by Trend Magazine and how hard his sister works, he want to throw a party on Christmas Eve. Mia points out that there’s a zing between Cooper and Jenna, and says she doesn’t want him doing any “conquering” of Jenna, and my GOD where is Human Resources?!?! Cooper’s benevolence is all because Jenna doesn’t have any plans for Christmas, and she’s off to plan a party. Next on Cooper’s list is to show Jenna’s designs to the Italian photographer. What can Italian photographer do to get the designs turned into actual dresses by Christmas Eve? I’m not sure, but he’ll be able to do something because of plot.

Cooper is trying hard to not be a playboy but it keeps peaking through, but now Jenna finds it charming. They go for a work dinner and they’re in the elevator again. Mistletoe is still there and now it’s making them think deep thoughts. But they get kissed block by the elevator door opening and Elisabeth Rohm shows up to tease them about mistletoe. Seriously, where is HR in all of this?

Jenna admits to Cooper that she and Sebastian are just friends, but just before they both go for dinner, she says she forgot, she and Cooper were going to decorate Christmas trees that night. Honey, unless it’s for charity, it’s not that big of a deal – it will keep another day! But Jenna invites Cooper to come along and he’s like the awkward third wheel between a girl and her gay best friend (even thought in this movie Sebastian is not gay) and to be honest, I find it sad so when I watch this I usually skip ahead 30 seconds to get over it. I hate awkwardness. But then it turns into a tree trimming montage, and Jenna’s feeling his floppy hair again. No one has this much fun decorating a tree that is not much taller than Jenna.

Italian photographer got all of Jenna’s designs made in one day. Sure. Cooper is overjoyed that he’s doing something for Jenna. Jenna is not indifferent to Cooper’s charm and she gets him to help her in the photography studio that AGAIN has mistletoe in it, and kiss kiss kiss, but Jenna has such trust issues that she stops and says we can’t do this, your feelings are fleeting and I must run away crying again. She runs right into Elisabeth Rohm, who has sage advice for her. Take a chance on love, Jenna, because she did, and she’s dating the Italian photographer.

Cooper is at home all upset, but Brittany shows up. She wants to spend her birthday with him as “friends.” Cooper falls asleep on her, but not before she finds a picture of Jenna in his coat pocket, and now she must do SOMETHING to ensure Jenna knows her place. So she rumples up his hair and unbuttons his shirt and then takes a selfie of him and her together and of course she texts them to Jenna, who believes the staged shots implicitly. Even Sebastian sees through them, but she’s too hurt to do much more than be upset.

Next day, Cooper gets yelled at by Mia so off he goes to the bar with Brittany for her birthday and Sebastian calls out Brittany’s text shenanigans and Cooper totally yells VERY LOUDLY at Brittany and storms out. And then Brittany gets Sebastian fired. Sebastian is thrilled, but he’s probably full of caffeine and righteousness. He has an epiphany and tries to call his ex-girlfriend.

Cooper ends up back at the magazine, where Mia apparently lives. He doesn’t want to be a player anymore. Mia says ok, if you’re serious then leave the office for a week because you’re a LOT and Jenna needs her time to focus. Cooper gets Mia to finally look at Jenna’s designs, and he says he’s going to display Jenna’s designs at the Christmas party. Neither of them want to lose Jenna, and he asks her to help win her back. She agrees, as long as he buys dinner. Aw, love makes siblings be nicer to each other.

I guess there is only one restaurant in Boston, because they’re back at the bar where he’d stormed off just recently. Cooper immediately gets Sebastian his job back.

Jenna is upset that Cooper is not in the office, and Mia sympathizes, so she and Jenna get dressed up to go to the Christmas party that is decorated with very scary mannequins dressed in Jenna’s designs. And who’s there at this party? Jenna’s dad! Cooper called him in. Jenna totally forgives him for being a dick. And Jenna is amazed that Cooper did all this for her – and he’s waiting for her in the elevator. Off she goes! But not before we see that Sebastian is at the party and he got back together with his girlfriend who is dressed in a prom dress from 1989.

Jenna’s back at the office, looking for Cooper, and she’s dressed in a white mini dress and black hose and heels and I’m sorry, it looks weird. But then he’s there in the elevator. She thanks him for all that he did for her. He’s so stupid in love with her, and the speech is nice. Her ring is sponsored by Kay Jewelers – it’s a Leo Diamond. THEY HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR LESS THAN A MONTH. But he’s sincere, and he is amazed by her heavy makeup and she says yes. Another kiss for the elevator and we’re done.

Oh, wait, no we’re not, Mia has a meet cute with a guy in the lobby and then they head into the elevator. Mia’s getting a chance on love and now we’re really done.

Ok, so don’t @ me, but I like this one. The first time I saw it I did legit tear up when Jenna was devastated because her dad was a dick. And the floppy hair grew on me. It had a few of the main things we look for in a Hallmark movie, but it had more smooches, and it had no fake snow, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure they dressed up a square in California to look wintry. But whatever. Elevators, kisses, and if you ignore the fact that it all happens at work and that’s totally unacceptable now, what’s not to love? I watched Christmas Kiss 2, just so you don’t have to.

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