Updated: Nov 19
Okay, let's get one thing straight right off the bat: the title of this movie is FAKE NEWS. You should definitely kiss a man in a Christmas sweater. This film is clearly produced by Big Button-Down in an attempt to undermine the credibility of one of our most sacred holiday traditions. Not only is this title misleading in suggesting that you should not kiss a man in a Christmas sweater I would argue it is actively bad advice and you SHOULD kiss a man in a Christmas sweater.
That said, let's go ahead and debunk this vicious schmear piece in greater detail together, shall we?
Single mom Maggie is facing Christmas alone until Lucas crashes into her life and becomes an unexpected houseguest. Together they overcome Christmas while finding comfort in their growing bond.
Overcome Christmas? WTF is going on with that description. They're talking about Christmas like Santa has the Infinity Stones and he's SICK of your lists. Okay, let's roll it:
This is one is starting out right to formula: ariel establishing shot, scripty font title, and a public domain Christmas song. Straight out of the Hallmark playbook.
Ohhh but said aerial shot establishes our setting. A Military base. I see how it is. This movie IS propaganda. I knew the military-industrial complex had it out for we Christmas sweater-wearing civilians! You'll have to peel my Christmas sweater off of my charred corpse, Uncle Sam!
Anyway: time to meet our protagonist, Christmas Sweater Hater. She's a school teacher on the base and she's about to give the kids homework. OVER CHRISTMAS?! Is there no bottom in the dark well of your soul, Ms. Hater? Oh! She's kidding. Still. A mean trick. No wonder Ms. Hater is divorced. Before the kids leave class let's take a minute to seed that there's a Christmas party coming up on Christmas Eve! Do you even need to say that, Ms. Hater? This is the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe. There is ALWAYS a Christmas party on Christmas Eve and we ALL already know that. You're just trying to keep these kids in your clutches for a few more precious seconds because you are horrible and as a result: alone.
Ms. Hater gathers her things and heads out. Surely she's heading back to her mountain lair to hatch her next evil plot. On her way, she meets a man in a Christmas Sweater who if you've had enough Hallmark Movie wine and squint might KINDA look like Ryan Reynolds.
Let's pause here for a second here, friends. Yes, you heard me right. They make Hallmark Movie wine. They sell it at World Market and I'm totally gonna get some and drink it while I do one of these. Buckle up.
Okay, back to Ms. Hater and Christmas Sweater's inexplicable scene two meet-cute. That's really early even for a Hallmark Movie. And they're on a Christmas Tree lot. We've already established that's where true love happens. THE MAGIC IS HAPPENING? Already? I'm confused. One of these people is pure evil and the other I don't even know yet. [Ending becomes evident at the four-minute mark. This one is gonna be tough to beat, gang.]
Ms. Hater and Christmas Sweater part ways with their respective kids, likely as confused as we are. It's hard out there for single parents.
Speaking of single parents, Ms. Hater's daughter, Cutesy McBraces is gonna be spending Christmas with Ms. Hater's Ex. Ms. Hater pretends like she's sad but I'm sure she's faking it as this will give her more time to toy with the emotions of her students and strangers who are not Ryan Reynolds but maybe in the dark could pass for him.
Evil or not, Ms. Hater still needs a Christmas tree so we are back on the Christmas Tree lot. Dang! True Love's Christmas tree lot TWICE in act one. This movie is the Hallmark equivalent of total smut! Where's the tease? I want to anticipate that Christmas Tree lot.
Things turn violent quickly as Christmas Sweater, who is jogging through a busy Christmas tree lot, runs smack into Ms. Hater's tree and takes a header. This is somehow Ms. Hater's fault. Now listen here friends, I am no fan of Ms. Hater. She hates Christmas Sweaters and kissing guys in them but this is definitely on Christmas Sweater. Despite this clear evidence, Ms. Hater is suddenly deathly afraid of being sued and everyone seems to agree. I guess the legal system works differently in this reality.
Cut to the hospital and Ms. Hater is waiting by Christmas Sweater's bed. She says it's so she can apologize when the anesthesia wears off but I'm SURE she plans to smother him with a pillow the second the nurse leaves. Ms. Hater's sinister plot is foiled though. Christmas Sweater wakes up. Little does he know how close he came to death's icy embrace. And his ski trip to Aspen is ruined! He was going to spend Christmas alone skiing in Aspen? Geez man! That's almost as bad as The City!
Suddenly Christmas Sweater's sister arrives with the kid Christmas Sweater was with in scene two. What?! Did sister STEAL his child? Oh. No, that was his nephew the whole time! What a shocking reveal that also demonstrates that he's good with kids. Will this turn of events get Ms. Hater to reconsider her baseless Christmas Sweater hate? No! It will not!
Instead, Ms. Hater "invites" Christmas Sweater to convalesce at her guest house. She claims this is to apologize for assaulting him with an entire tree but we all know better. She plans to imprison him there and then kill him in his sleep, solving her legal concerns. Nefarious, Ms. Hater. You truly are a mastermind.
Ms. Hater and Christmas Sweater are now decorating a tree which is the perfect time to get out ALL the exposition that we're going to need for the rest of the movie to work. Turns out Christmas Sweater is in town from THE CITY! I have no love for Ms. Hater but if Christmas Sweater is from The City he is clearly a dangerous deviant. Not only is Christmas Sweater from The City but he has a failed engagement in his past. Everyone in the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe waits until engagement to break up. This seems like a plot on the part of the diamond industry but we're busy with this attack on Christmas Sweater culture so we'll have to leave that investigation for another time.
Christmas Sweater is also an architect. Not only is this the most attractive of office professions it's critically important to the Christmas Party, theme: Gingerbread Lane! Ms. Hater easily hornswoggles Christmas Sweater into a agreeing to build the gingerbread houses for the party by using the army brats. I shudder to think what horrible leverage Ms. Hater has on these poor children.
Either way, Christmas Sweater is a natural at helping the children build the gingerbread houses. Ms. Hater's henchwoman remarks that SHE would kiss that man in a Christmas Sweater. Ms. Hater still staunchly disagrees. Intolerance is buried deep in her heart and it will take more than precocious children for her to reconsider her Christmas Sweater biases.
Cut to a snowball fight. Normally a snowball fight is a guaranteed setting for THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC but in this case I'm pretty sure Ms. Hater's snowballs are filled with jagged rocks and broken glass. Look out Christmas Sweater! Run for your life!
Miraculously, Christmas Sweater survives Ms. Hater's snowball assault and in doing so seems to have won her respect as a worthy foe. In what is likely a job interview for recruitment in her sinister organization she begins to cross examine him on his backstory. It turns out that architecture did not "fill him up." [Again with the "fill me up" career complaint. Who says that?!] Anyways he wanted to just build houses but was lured by the siren song of The City. Once there he correctly realized that having dreams and ambitions makes you a bad person so he left. Close shave there, Christmas Sweater!
Ms. Hater finds these answers acceptable and promptly runs off to buy him a Christmas present. We can only imagine the conflict in her heart as she does something nice for a disgusting Christmas Sweater wearer. She wonders who she even is anymore and if people in Christmas Sweaters could possibly be deserving of human dignity.
YES! A montage! As a big time Rocky fan I love me a montage! Gingerbread Houses are being built! Ms. Hater's intolerance is giving way to CHRISTMAS MAGIC! She is most definitely thinking of kissing a man in a Christmas Sweater. What will her parents think? It all culminates when she does the unthinkable and agrees to attend A CHRISTMAS SWEATER PARTY. We can see the push/pull of pure revulsion and the ecstasy of the forbidden in Ms. Hater as she appears in her Christmas Sweater. This must be to her what wearing a shirt made of human skin would be to us, dear reader. To add insult to injury she will be going out in this ABOMINATION with Christmas Sweater in HIS Christmas sweater. Ms. Hater worries aloud: "what if people think we're on a date?" After so many years of woolen bigotry how could she possibly live that down?
Ms. Hater and Christmas Sweater arrive at the party and Christmas Sweater makes a b-line for the alcohol. He's been prisoner in that guest house so long I'm sure he's eager to dull his senses. He pays no mind to his sister from act one and her husband, Generic Brand Chris Evans. He's not Chris Evans but he KINDA looks like him. Like if The Holiday Express and Snowpiercer were just one movie.
Meanwhile, Ms. Hater is staring longingly at Christmas Sweater as piano music plays. We can feel the sweater-related xenophobia melting away. I can only imagine the warmth in her heart as she learns to let go of hate and appreciate people for the content of their character and not the gaudiness of their outerwear.
The moment is short-lived as Ms. Hater's worst impulses quickly resume control. She has an idea. Her most cunning scheme of all. She's going to promise all the army brats that she will Zoom their parents on Christmas Eve so they can say Merry Christmas. Certainly this is a much more grandiose and far crueler version of the homework bait and switch from the first scene. Those kids are going to be crushed when on Christmas Eve they huddle together around a monitor expecting their parents but instead get Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up. Ms. Hater you truly are a monster.
Cutsey McBraces calls to say she wants to spend Christmas with Ms. Hater instead of her dad. I think this is to remind of us of the powerful control Ms. Hater has on all around her.
That night Christmas Sweater, now deeply under Ms. Hater's Stockholm Syndrome spell has a surprise: a sleigh ride. Now let me tell you, folks: there are Christmas tree lots and there are snowball fights and there are ice rinks but the most potent aphrodisiac in the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe is the sleigh ride. Ms. Hater may still be learning to love and accept people based on moral fiber rather than literal fiber but even she is no match for the sleigh ride. The magic happens and BOOM! Sleigh ride. Does it every time. They slobber all over each other right in front of Santa who exclaims HO HO HO! (He likes to watch.)
The next morning Ms. Hater is aghast. SHE KISSED A MAN IN A CHRISTMAS SWEATER! Her whole world comes crashing down! Her henchwoman tries to console her saying these things don't just happen but they do and they did. Ms. Hater is awash in confusion. She returns to her lair to find that Christmas Sweater has turned his guest house prison into an art studio for his captor, Ms. Hater. (Apparently she likes to paint when she's not psychologically torturing children.) Christmas Sweater says that he just wants to bring her passion back. FOOL! You are attempting to reach a base that does not exist in the Hallmark Christmas Cinematic Universe. This is underscored by Christmas Sweater receiving a chaste hug for this grandiose gesture that likely cost him four figures. Better luck next time, bud.
Christmas Sweater is now out on a bench contemplating life. He should be. The man just spent thousands of dollars converting a room and got a hug. The good news is "there are no sirens blaring or horns honking" or any of those other awful sounds in those cities where Democrats live.
Rife with shame over his art studio grand gesture failure, Christmas Sweater still accompanies his mistress, Ms. Hater to the big Christmas party. "Will she only kiss a man in a Christmas Sweater once?" he wonders.
Cutesy McBraces has managed to drag her dad and his girlfriend to the party too! Clearly she has inherited her mother's gift for emotional manipulation. Bad news for Christmas Sweater's chances of getting that second kiss. Surely, Ms. Hater's ex being there is going to make it weird unless we inexplicably do not ever see him again. [We do not.]
Christmas Sweater decides this is a fine time to make travel arrangements. Is he calling The City to go back? He must be! Ms. Hater is furious that someone would dare try and escape her clutches. She stomps away before hearing any of the rest of the conversation. (Clearly learning NOTHING from Icy Love Interest in our last feature.)
She'll deal with that Christmas Sweater wearing trash soon enough. It's time to Rickroll these dumb little army brats and bathe in their tears. Ms. Hater feigns happiness but she's mortified to find that the military parents ARE on the Zoom call and they are not even on mute! She's been foiled and everyone is happy and crying all over the place.
The next morning Ms. Hater looks out on her frozen kingdom, contemplating her failure. Christmas Sweater comes to the front door boldly detailing his plot to escape. Ms. Hater is so deflated by her failure to rickroll the army brats she can barely summon the strength to express her glee at this sub-human Christmas Sweater wearer's imminent exit from her life. Even with his Shawshank moment just seconds away, Christmas Sweater indulges his Stockholm Syndrome one last time and leaves a gift for his mistress.
Christmas Sweater is off. Curiosity getting the better of her, Ms. Hater cringes as she touches the gift from the Christmas Sweater scum. The audacity! It's his Christmas Sweater! REVOLTING! Oh. But it's also tickets to Paris. He wasn't calling The City after all! Ms. Hater finally lets her hate go and embraces Christmas Sweater culture. She summons Christmas Sweater back to her lair. She is wearing the Christmas sweater when he arrives. Christmas Sweater definitely was hoping she'd be wearing the Christmas Sweater AND NOTHING ELSE but he'll take what he can get. He's been through quite the ordeal, after all.
Merry Christmas and kiss a man in a Christmas Sweater today!