Royalty-free songs played over stock footage of palm trees can only mean one thing: ’tis the season for crappy Christmas films again!

Is there ever a better time to travel cross-country than RIGHT BEFORE Christmas? Better still, travelling on a tight schedule to visit your fiance’s parents for the very first time- that’s the top scenario. I mean, I don’t know about you but only meeting the parents after getting engaged seems weird to me. I Give Good Parent and would definitely be down for schmoozing before any ring is whipped out- my seasonal senses are tingling and this couple will not be together by the end of the film.

Unfortunately this hasn’t dawned on Paige, one half of the couple, who’s braving the “madhouse” airport crowds (literally tens of people!) to reach her man in upstate New York, a winter wonderland surrounded by CGI and surrounding shots.

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See? Five people- this place is packed!

A quick note about the establishing shots: we don’t need to establish New York every time we go to New York. We get it, it’s New York. There’s also a fantastic sequence that zooms in on so much of a character’s family home that I wonder whether Hallmark’s hawking the furniture on a shopping channel later.

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Here’s a house- don’t worry if it’s too much to take it in, we will see it another fifty times.

Naturally en route Paige to throw away her long term relationship for a guy she just met who watches her sleep-on several occasions, by the way. This is meant to be endearing. They share a couple of laughs which seems to be what everybody in the film signals as reason to be wed. I’m thinking, do couples just get engaged too soon in Hallmark films? Do the women know they can say no if they want to?

Paige and Dylan (sleep-peeper) pootle along at the usual pace of a burgeoning romance via breaches of privacy (“I’m not going through her stuff,” says Dylan, leafing through Paige’s diary in a REAL SCENE THAT HAPPENS) and bizarre overkissing under the mistletoe. There’s also a way more interesting married couple who Get their Groove Back and I was far too invested in. I only wish we’d had more screen-time from Paige’s potential in-laws. They’re the exaggeration of posh bitches who have harpsichord music playing in their house like it’s no big. The bit where they point out how common Paige’s quite nice dress is, priceless.

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See, even Paige is amused by that. Also, do those remarks ever remind anyone else of “Ramona, I like your outfit. Affordable.” from Scott Pilgrim? No? Just me?

Unfortunately Paige is pulled away from this moneyed hell. Boo! Needs more posh bitches.

Rating: Ho Ho/Ho Ho Ho.  

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