I watched a really bad good Christmas movie on Netflix on Wednesday night. It featured the Dre Arizona Robbins, from Grey’s Anatomy, Aussie surfer with blond locks and the girl who plays in all American Horror Story.
The scenario ? Super predictable. Actors Game ? Really average. The production budget? That of a TV movie set in Chicago, but shot in Atlanta – hello tax credits – with too much artificial snow and a suspicious haze.
It was called Holidate (The heart at the party, in French) and honestly, it’s the type of ultra-light entertainment, which lightens a gray week in November. Comfort cheap, very cheap, but effective.
These romantic holiday comedies, copied from those of the popular Hallmark channel, abound on all channels and platforms today. Their popularity swells with each year, like a Costco snowman that requires an airplane engine to keep its plump shape.
Often times, these films have puny titles: Holidaze, It’s Christmas, Carol! or The Knight Before Christmas. Already, they are scoring points. And the story always takes the same detours, to culminate on Christmas Eve, where the most cynical character will rediscover the true meaning of these celebrations.
As a self-proclaimed expert on the genre, I’m reproducing here a story outline that applies to 90% of these bluettes, excluding the princess stuff from imaginary realms.
So here it is. A young urban professional, who wears a long woolen coat and a funky tuque, goes wild at work in (a PR agency or a fashion magazine). Her banker fiancé neglects her and, naughty boy, cheats on her with the one she believed to be her brunch / shopping best friend.
Exhausted and nostalgic as December 25 approaches, because her mother died this year, our young urban professional leaves (New York, Boston or Chicago) to take refuge in the picturesque corner where she grew up (think Vermont or all). other place where there is a gazebo in a park).
On the spot, a global giant threatens to shut down (the café, the tree farm or the inn) of the village. Young urban professional, who knows the jungle of companies, oh yes, takes over the business and repels the enemy!
In his crusade against the hegemony of the big brands, a young urban professional (less and less) crosses paths with a former high school friend, who exercises a manual profession. Ah yes, this friend, who she once had a crush on, is a widower and is raising her two children on her own. Sparkle in the air.
Obviously, the banker fiancé shows up in (charming little town) in a limousine to bring our heroine back to town – and to reality, let’s see. That’s when the high school lumberjack / winemaker / blacksmith surprises the two ex-lovers and thinks he’ll be celebrating Christmas again with his wife’s ghost.
But don’t underestimate young professional (now countrywoman). Under the snow, she understands that her life is henceforth here, surrounded by simple people with good values. She rushes over to a high school friend and kisses him on the stroke of midnight. Credits.
After these candy cane movies, Netflix is tackling the market for similar TV series with Dash & Lily, available in English and French since November 10. It’s a Hallmark-style production, but for Gen Z and split into eight 30-minute episodes. It swallows up in one go. It’s cute and unpretentious.
Dash and Lily, played by actors aged 24 and 26, are two 17 year old “teenagers” who live in New York. Dash, a young Scrooge, hates Christmas, while Lily, a great romantic, has a crush on lights, trees and all the hoopla-la-la-la.
While reading a book in a Manhattan bookstore, Dash discovers a mysterious red notebook filled with clues. Well. It was Lily, in search of a cultured Prince Charming, who concocted this treasure hunt with the help of her cheerful brother.
The two teenagers, who do not know each other, will exchange secrets and confidences in this red notebook, which they will hide all over the city. Everything separates them except their love of books.
After a few episodes, you know the recipe, Dash and Lily decide to put away the quill and meet for real. Lily has never kissed a boy or girl, welcome to 2020 as Dash emerges from a rocky relationship.
Obviously, misunderstandings will spoil this first meeting. But, but, there is the holiday spirit, there is destiny and there is the love of books, which does not die!
Of course, it’s big, predictable, and blue flower. Still, sometimes, it feels good to give your inner Grinch leave.