Christmas Festival of Ice (2017, dir. Bradley Walsh)

Happy December everyone! Are you sitting comfortably? Ready to read as I dive into a silo of festive crap, searching for a shining turd of a TV film? Then I’ll begin- with Christmas Festival of Ice, directed by Bradley Walsh.

No, not that one.

The first scene is a perfect game of film-trope bingo. Cards at the ready? Our generically attractive lead (tick) walks in the snow (tick) to get the best coffee in the world (tick) while talking about the Christmas festival (c’mon, Mama needs a house) with her best friend-cum-exposition fountain (bingo!!)

And if all that coffee’s getting off track when it comes to Emma’s main character arc, her best friend Sarah says “I see law school hasn’t dampened your love of ice sculpting”. BAM. Entire premise of the film.

Emma’s central conflict feels inspired by the Troy Bolton model, where an individual fails to understand that they can like more than one thing.

Because you’re stupid Troy, that’s why

Emma’s waiting for the results of the bar exam: she’s a successful and passionate trainee laywer looking to become a partner at her mum’s firm… but she sure does love her ice sculpting!

It’s a cosy package of schlock, this one. So easy to just wrap the generic flick around you like a blanket and fall asleep, but here’s where I warn you, friends: don’t! You won’t be protected by the hypothermia of misogyny!


Emma’s one in a long (too long, frankly) line of career-driven women destined for a Big Promotion™, until she remembers something sentimental and gives up her job for a festive activity.

As her mum very sanely points out, you can’t sculpt ice in some small town in America all year round (it was hard enough to achieve it in December alone- Emma has to raise $20,000 before the mayor agrees. Does ice cost $20,000? Did the mayor have his eye on a new kitchen?) but Emma mumbles something about going into event planning.

Of course, correct, says Hallmark. Women in these films only ever end up as bakers, event planners, journalists or princesses. I get that it’s aiming for rom-com escapism but her mum is proof that you can be a lawyer and a not-bitch: women really can have everything these days! Still, Emma’s got a closer relationship with her dad/love interest (they both love ice, sure, why not make them interchangeable) so I guess that’s worth it!

Rating: HoHo/HoHoHo

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