Why is it that all of these low budget films have two titles? Is this so networks can peddle it as two different films? Was there a board meeting to decide the title and they just had these two that nobody was like mad on but neither of them were bad so they just thought “ah whatever, slap ’em both on the posters”? From the posters within the film itself, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were just an oversight (but we’ll get to the in-film posters later).
So many rom-coms feature a male lead who seems like a dickhead at first but then he’s just misunderstood or guarded and through the love of a good woman he changes and is good and kind and donates all of his “datin’ chicks” fund to an orphanage. In this case, the male lead has the love of a good woman and is still a complete arsewipe about it- it’s so refreshing to see a character who can’t and won’t be developed.
We know Pepper’s a shitbag from the off because 1) he says the Salvation Army are annoying, 2) he won’t stop making passes at his co-worker who’s clearly uninterested and 3) he has stupid smug face. The reason this shock jockey is so screwed up in his sense of humour (pretending to be an elf to get a confession from the man who’s been cheating on his wife- oh, and this is all on air. As if I want to listen to this) is because he was rejected in the worst way imaginable. Like everything that could go wrong in an on-air proposal to his college sweetheart does go wrong- but at least nobody had to see his crushed expression. Or, to be fair, his stupid smug face.
At first you think Haylie Duff isn’t going to stand for this. She’s a caring sentimental radio therapist who calls herself Dr Love. I feel nobody’s going to trust that PhD but it’s legit her name. Dr Sandy Love, I don’t think the writers are even trying any more. Dr Love hates douchebaggery but also she’s a bland wet blanket (a wet blandket, if you will) so who can we even trust in this film. Her own mother cries because of how boring her daughter has become.
Dr Love isn’t keen on Pepper’s douchebaggery until they perform at a town pageant for no good reason. He steps in when a little girl forgets her line and suddenly Sandy’s all gooey-eyed over this jerk. He’s still a jerk though. Except now when he’s distracting her during the show and filling her office with packing peanuts, it’s “sweet” and “bringing snow to her” instead of “unprofessional” and “did you even think who has to clear up all these packing peanuts”. He even makes a funeral a “fun” event as evidenced by an old woman who starts doing wheelies in her mobility scooter.
I thought this film was exceptionally boring and exceptionally annoying at the same time, but I think that’s just the main character. The best bit by far is when the LA producer tries to re-hire Pepper after drafting him in the middle of nowhere with a promise of a relaunch. This is shown on the worst poster of all time. It’s like something you’d be impressed with making in year 5 (if you also were in year 5 in the early ’00s.) So much Word Art, so many pixellated photos. “Wow,” Pepper says, COMPLETELY SERIOUSLY. “They never spent so much money on me before.” Yep. That’s the money shot.
Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.