Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Well, friends, I have some disturbing holiday news:
WE ARE ALL LIVING IN A SIMULATION AND THERE IS NO GOD.
How did I come to this horrifying realization? Allow me to explain... What?! My Evernote entry on this one is BLANK?! This is without question the shadowy forces at Hallmark coming down on me. They've seen my accusations of IP theft from the Wonder Years and my take-down of their hateful crusade to create a master race of people who don't wear Christmas sweaters. Now that I've discovered their darkest secret of all they're trying to silence me. Never.
The first time I googled this movie for the promo image I got the above! I swear that is not schtick! I REALLY got a BLANK page. I know you're going to try and verify this dear reader, and you're going to think me mad. The second time worked just fine. This is obviously a move on Hallmark's part to discredit this piece. I implore you to believe me. Something truly sinister is bubbling just below the surface of this hot cocoa.
To explain I need to take you back to last night as I watched this movie. Back before my entire reality was shattered into a thousand crystalline pieces...
After 15 years, Pat moves home from Hawaii with his two sons and through a series of coincidences, or Godwinks, ends up stuck in traffic next to his high school sweetheart, Margie at Christmas.
The movie starts with this image:
"Godwink: A new word for those little coincidences that aren't coincidence, but come from divine origin. Godwinks are always a sign of hope."
"Oh no," I thought to myself. I read the title as GOODwink when I picked this one. It's GODwink and that background looks straight out of an ad for Christian Mingle. Is this gonna be one of the churchy ones? I hate the churchy ones. Too late. We're watching this now. I don't make the rules.*
* Narrator: He did, in fact, make the rules.
Right from the word go we know something is horribly wrong. Despite that lead-in, no one is talking about God at all. I've seen Hallmark movies where they talk about Jesus so much I'm surprised that SAG didn't insist he get above the title billing. Not so much as a whiff of the Holy Spirit is happening here. Curious...
Even more disturbing, we're in an office in The City and it's decorated for Christmas. Like to the nines. How can this be? There is no Christmas in the City?! How strange.
I'm sure it's nothing.
Let's meet our protagonist, The Jewelry Dropper. She is known as The Jewelry Dropper because "jewelry just falls right off of her." WTF? That's not a quality that a person can have. Nonetheless I don't need my notes to tell you that this woman is dropping jewelry every day all the time and it is all over town. She seems an otherwise intelligent and capable woman so we can only surmise that something is wrong with gravity itself. The very fabric of reality is already in question and we're only in the first scene.
Muddying our sense of normalcy even further, we meet Jewelry Dropper's long-distance boyfriend, Turtleman. What kind of love interest is this? He lives in ANOTHER city and he has no neck. He doesn't look like a poor man's Chris Evans or Chris Pine or Chris Hemsworth or any scruffy Chris at all. What insane, sideways world does Jewelry Dropper live in?
Meanwhile, in Town where things are good and right, we meet Single Dad and he has two precocious kids. A sense of relief washes over everyone as we settle back into normalcy. No bizarre City Christmases or laughing in the face of physics here. Just good old wholesome Christmas stuff. Single dad sold his business in Hawaii and he's come back to his hometown to spend Christmas with his smoking hot mom, GILF. Seriously, Blanche Devereaux, step aside, please.
Anyways, this all feels good and right. We're back in the Hallmark Cinematic Christmas Universe where jewelry is properly affixed and The City is bad but your hometown is good.
Single Dad leaves his precocious kids with GILF and takes her bitchin' convertible out for a spin. I can't imagine how many inappropriately-aged firefighters have been in the back seat of that thing. Don't shine a black light back there Single Dad!
Meanwhile, Jewelry Dropper is also going for a ride. They're both singing aloud to Deck the Halls in their respective cars and even though he is in Town and she is in The City they're perfectly in sync with each other. It feels like CHRISTMAS MAGIC is happening even though they are who knows how many miles apart!
[Ending becomes evident at the... WAIT WTF?!
Jewelry Dropper pulls up right behind Single Dad. HOW? HOW?! The City and The Town are the same place? IMPOSSIBLE! This flies in the face of everything we know about the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe. It's like in Into the Spider-Verse when all the realities are colliding in on each other in the Kingpin's basement playroom.
Turns out Single Dad and Jewelry dropper dated in highschool. I guess The CityTown isn't that big. That's plausible. What's not plausible is before stepping out of his car, Single Dad finds a piece of jewelry on the floor of the car that Jewelry Dropper dropped there when they were at a high school dance. By the look of them now that was like 15+ years ago. There is NO WAY that car hasn't been cleaned in 15 years. We've already established that GILF is taking it out on the reg and that means that floor is almost certainly RIDDLED with used condoms on any given Friday night. To highlight the absurdity of this moment there is a little xylophone jingle. The movie will later call this a Godwink but I'm here to tell you friends that sound means there has been a glitch in the matrix and it is a cause for deep concern.
To further confuse matters Single Dad straight-up asks Jewelry Dropper out. You can't just ask the love interest out like a normal adult human in act 1, dude! This is the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe. You need to go through a series of hilarious misunderstandings first. If that wasn't enough she says "how about after new year's?" in a clear blow-off that he handles with grace. This is all very irregular, dear readers...
Things only get weirder from here. Even though Hallmark clearly hacked my phone to delete my notes, we're gonna piece this bizarre series of happenings together as best we can.
Single Dad isn't going to be deterred by Turtleman (nor should he) and he successfully cons Jewelry Dropper into several date-like scenarios. There are multiple trips to a Christmas Market, not one but TWO snowball fights, a Christmas Tree lot outing, and the coup de grace; a winter hike that ends with them sitting on a picnic blanket draped over a log watching the sunrise over snowy, pine-covered mountains. That's a level of Christmas Magic so potent it should have even a nun tearing her clothes off but the number of smooches exchanged is still zero. I don't understand. Jewelry Dropper is respecting her committed relationship with her Turtleman partner who, despite being a Turtleman and not THE ONE is still a decent dude. Why do we have to care about HIS feelings? This sucks! All throughout this process glitches in The Matrix are appearing left and right. It's as if the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe is tearing itself apart!
Meanwhile, there is job stuff happening too! Turtleman is learning about Jewelry Dropper' job so he can have a job like hers. Single Dad is looking for jobs. He says he's going to get a job at the print shop that his dad worked at and then he can raise his boys in The CityTown that is his hometown. PHEW! Finally, some Hallmark values that we can get behind. Cast your dreams aside, marry your high school sweetheart, and stay in your hometown forever. THE END.
In another shocking twist, this is NOT the end. GILF encourages Single Dad to leave his hometown and take a job that is in his field in Seattle. SEATTLE?! Surely you jest. That's a HUGE The City! Does GILF hate her son? Why would she give him such horrible advice?
Just when you think things can't get any weirder Single Dad's ex shows up. It's been established that she's from San Francisco and I'm pretty sure that SF is just a sex cult full of computers in the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe so it is just another one of many jump-scares in this movie when she turns out to be totally cool. She and Single Dad have a healthy, amicable relationship that they say they put a lot of work into. That's stupid. Adult relationships don't happen through hard work, they happen under the mistletoe at themed Christmas parties. At this point, I'm truly baffled by what is happening before me.
Surely this is all just a red herring buffet. We're nearing the end of the movie. Jewelry Dropper and Turtleman have decided to break-up and it's time for THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC! In yet another unfathomable turn of events, Single Dad decides to take the dream job in Seattle. He's like "Peace-out first love. Sometimes you don't marry the first girl you kiss."
WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?!
You can almost hear the seams of the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe straining to hold fast! Even more incredible he tells Jewelry Dropper that he is leaving and they have an adult conversation about moving forward, not backward in life and instead of just leaving mid-conversation she stays and listens. How can she come rushing back in the final seconds to solve the hilarious misunderstanding if she hears him out and there is no misunderstanding? WHAT IN. THE. FUCK?
This is wrong, dear reader. Deeply, deeply wrong.
At this point, I could hardly process what I was seeing. Jewelry Dropper goes back to work and discovers that she is being promoted and transferred to... drum roll... SEATTLE! Oh, thank sweet Baby Yoda! Sure, it's The City but Christmas Magic is still gonna happen! The day can yet be saved.
Jewelry Dropper runs back to Single Dad to tell him that she's going to Seattle too. He's clearly like "Oh cool. I just kinda broke up with you but this is convenient now so okay, I'm in." That's not magical!
I thought my mindfuck had ended but the worst was yet to come. As a die-hard MCU fan I instinctually stay for the credits. I wish I had not. I wouldn't wish for anyone to bear the horrible responsibility of the knowledge I now possess.
As we fade out on Jewelry Dropper and Single Dad's big kiss the most incomprehensible reveal of all drops:
Jewelry Dropper and Single Dad are REAL PEOPLE. IN OUR WORLD. Photographic evidence is even provided! I now know how Heston felt at the end of Planet of the Apes. The Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe is OUR UNIVERSE. We are all living in an elaborate Holiday Matrix designed by Hallmark. To what horrible end, I can only imagine, dear reader. I am sorry to be the one to tell you that reality is a hoax but know this: I will not stop investigating this horrible truth until it is fully known.
[Ending becomes evident at: NOT APPLICABLE!]
OH GOD. WHAT'S THAT? A KNOCK AT THE DOOR. I'll be damned if they think I'm going to open it. I bet it's the impossibly attractive son of Santa Claus here to shut me up. GUESS WHAT MOTHERFUCKER?! THERE AIN'T NO CHIMNEY IN HERE! I WILL NOT BE SILENCED! Oh no. The door is splintering. It's not the hot Santa Jr. love interest, it's the midwestern lumberjack with a heart of gold love interest and he brought his axe! Send help, dear reader! SEND HEL