“A Moody Independent production.” Those are the first words I saw in the credits, and I thought, ‘oh man, here comes a sixth former’s poem about how their parents don’t understand’. A Christmas Kiss is not that: it is so much better than that.
Budding set designer Wendy has swapped theatre for a demeaning internship with interior designer and professional bitch Priscilla. En route to meet her friends one night, Wendy gets stuck in a lift with a man. (Wikipedia describes him as “a handsome stranger”, but I got more of a “wax reimagining of James Franco” vibe off him, so Waxman it is.) After looking around them in hammed-up despair, they make out for a bit- that’s basic lift procedure, yeah? Actually no, because Waxman is none other than theatre philanthropist and Priscilla’s fiancé!? Worse still, he’s asked Priscilla and Wendy to decorate his house for a Christmas party. Instead of finding out about his brief stint as an adulterer and telling him to decorate his own damn house, the two ladies start battling it out in the form of interior design. Waxman doesn’t recognise Wendy, of course, because she was dressed to the nines in the lift and normally she wears some unflattering glasses. Plus, he is made of wax, so little brain power.
Whilst arguing that she can’t reveal herself to Wax, Wendy exclaims, “this isn’t one of your movie scripts!” Nobody has the heart to tell her that yes, it is, even though the film includes lines like “children are the future” and “you’ll never work in this town again”. It’s like the creative team had a bet for how many clichés they could cram in that script- which I guess explains why Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol are mentioned so damn much. Priscilla hates this, and says that A Christmas Carol is “so passé”. Yes it is, Priscilla- but it’s not as bad as calling Waxman your “future husband”. This is the only example of a film using that phraseology since The Room, so you know it must be good.
A Christmas Kiss doesn’t miss out on visual gags either- Priscilla getting hit smack in the face by large objects no less than twice. It’s excellent slapstick, and genuinely how they get rid of her in the finale! (Not “get rid” of her, though it is pretty pre-meditated…) The soundtrack has such little faith in itself it leaves with a character in one scene. The covers of classic Christmas songs all suck Jingle Balls, and who can have enough lift acting? Not this film! I genuinely think I’ve found one of the best bad films of the season-it’s perfect viewing party material. Get your loved ones together, crack out the eggnog, wear some glitter as a cunning disguise, and have a great evening.
Rating: Ho Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.