Uncomfortable. Forced. Well, okay! Those thoughts pretty much sum up my feelings about “A December Bride”, Hallmark Channel’s 9th offering this year in the Countdown to Christmas line-up. A fake engagement can’t save this one… or can it?
FLASHBACK! Layla is engaged and is planning on being a December bride. Seth introduces Layla’s fiancé to her cousin. There are lots of undertones. So many, in fact, that I thought that there was no chance these two people hadn’t already gotten it on in the coat check room that day. Alas, no. But the meeting sparks something, and we learn that now, in present day, Layla has been invited to the wedding of her cousin and ex. It’s a December wedding, and she is all alone. The cute neighbor, Cooper, agrees to go with her (can we give Cooper his own movie, please?!), but he gets sick. Enter Seth, who you’ll remember was the guy who kicked off this whole mess in the first place with his over-zealous introductions. One thing leads to another, and we have a fake engagement movie, y’all! Oh, and a boring home decorating side story.
Jessica Lowndes is beautiful. There were times in 90210 where she was the best, most interesting actress on screen. Unfortunately, this bar is slightly higher. With actresses like Jaime King knocking it out of the park this year, being beautiful is not enough for a successful Hallmark heroine. Don’t get me wrong: the story and the whole premise of the December bride thing is worse than her acting, but she is not helping. Daniel Lissing as Seth is very likeable, and I really believed that he was falling for Layla. The cliché girly job drives the movie more than it should, and I do not believe that Jessica Lowndes’s character actually could decorate/stage houses to a high level. She seemed so young and stupid to me, just completely naïve and ditzy.
Unless you consider a sleigh on the front lawn the pinnacle of a Christmas movie, you won’t find much true Christmas spirit here. We do have hot cocoa though, folks! Ooh, it’s hot!
The Bottom Line-
Please, please, please let the next movie be better… This didn’t need to be a Christmas movie; it didn’t do the whole fake fiancé thing particularly well, and even Lissing’s best attempts at winning us over don’t last long enough. While hate or dislike are both too strong to describe my feelings for this movie, ennui would encompass them. I would not leave this on to decorate my tree or make cookies; I would rather watch a DVR recording of Elf or Prep and Landing. 2 stars
9 movies down. They need to get better. So far, A Mistletoe Promise has been the high point of the challenge. Watch that when it reruns…