Christmas is about being together with your friends and family, and that’s so lovely. No matter who you’re spending it with, it brings a sense of togetherness and loving. According to Hitched for the Holidays, however, the only person you should be with is your other half. You don’t have one? That’s cool- but don’t tell this film, yeah? They’ll make you look like a ridiculous terrible spinster, unless you’re out and scouring the streets for somebody on a daily basis.
Julie, our hapless heroine, is finding her mother’s intense matchmaking overbearing- or an acceptable level of stereotypical behaviour for a Jewish mother in any film ever, apparently. There’s Steinberg upon Steinberg being forced into a dinner at their home, where Julie’s always sat under some well-placed mistletoe. If you think that’s bad, you should meet Rob (or, as I like to call him, “we couldn’t afford Justin Timberlake”)’s crazy superstitious Italian-American family. They’re convinced that his grandma will die if she doesn’t get her dying wish granted- which is a partner for Rob. What is it with New York and anyone under 30 being hounded by their parents until they marry? Is that a thing?
The two meet online and agree to be each other’s dates for Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations a plenty- and it all goes without a hitch! I mean, with every word they speak they’re only laying more lies upon the foundation of fib already there. Who cares if Julie’s family will eventually find out Rob isn’t Jewish? Grandma ain’t gonna immediately croak it in the New Year when the arrangement finishes, no matter how many times Rob’s mother says outright, “if you break up with Julie, your grandma will die.” Which is worse, emotional blackmail or deceit?
Turns out, the answer is neither of those things! It’s the much worse trait of poor character development. Okay so the whole time they’re getting to know each other, it’s meant to iron out the little character flaws both have: Rob’s lack of commitment, Julie’s fear of rejection after she was dumped the previous year. Oh wait, actually Julie dumped the fiancé, not the other way around. So if that’s the case, why can’t she tell that obnoxious guy at work where to get off? I’ll tell you why: bad scriptwriting. Ditto Rob losing his big break of a job he was offered, only to be offered it two scenes later. There’s no explanation. The families aren’t affected by the revelation of all the lies either, as if that would happen in real life. That’s like watching a cringeworthy edition of Don’t Tell the Bride, turning the TV off promptly whilst going, “what a beautiful marriage based on trust and love they’ve entered”, and making a cup of tea. I mean, cup of tea sounds good right now…
It’s a shame the script went rogue, because the film is otherwise a decent well-made piece. That said, it almost feels too well-made…There’s a standard of bad film making expected from this blog’s back catalogue, and this doesn’t quite stoop low enough. Considering the director is called Michael Scott, it’s certainly no Threat Level: Midnight.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.