Alex: Another of Hallmark’s world premieres this weekend, I give you Snow Bride. And if you’re like me, they had you at the title. And if you’re really like me or in fact, just me, you find yourself saying the title over and over in this grizzly mountain man voice, imagining that this is what a grizzly mountain man might even say if he happened to find you lost in the forest. “I’m gonna make you my snow bride.” He says this to you, be you man or be you woman. And in some cases, even a bear. I have to assume that it gets lonely for certain grizzled mountain men.
But alas, the Hallmark movie, Snow Bride, has nothing to do with this digression. It’s about a girl named Greta who works for a high-profile tabloid magazine. She’s good a her job so that means either she has no boyfriend or the boyfriend she has is not a person. In this case, it’s actually no boyfriend. Her editor sends her chasing after a big story, which they don’t set up too well. There is this political family, the Tannehills, and one of the sons apparently bought an engagement ring but they don’t know which one. Greta’s mission is to get the scoop on this. It’s the story of the year and will mean a huge promotion if she can dig up some good dirt. What’s kind of weird is that I can’t figure out why a gossip magazine would particularly care about these guys. The dad was a US Senator but now he has passed away. So it’s not like any kind of scandal would make a difference. He’s not in office any more. Plus, no offense, but a Senator? Who cares? What even is a Senator? Exactly, nobody knows. Why am I even capitalizing the word? I am going to stop doing it right now. Senator. Well, I only capitalized it there because it was the first word of the sentence but now that I am in the middle of the sentence, I will simply say “senator” and note how I did not capitalize it.
So you figure maybe the rest of the family has some kind of celebrity. Not really. Not as far as I can tell. The movie doesn’t really say much about them. Maybe they’re hoping we will just imagine something Kardashian-esque but that’s never really established. The two sons are in the news a lot, apparently, but not for any exploits I am aware of. The mom seems to have some money, so there’s that but nothing more. The only thing they really do is say their last name a million times. Tannehills this, Tannehills that, as if that has some meaning to us. Everett Mather from the Thanksgiving House thinks people say their name a lot. Anyway, fine Snow Bride, you want me to believe these people are really important and Greta has to get the scoop. I will accept this and move on.
Greta is even competing against one of her fellow paparazzos to get this scoop and after a day of wedding dress shopping with her best friend and maybe a workout at the gym, she learns that these Tannehills have been spotted in Big Bear, California. Just a few hours from where she is in Los Angeles! Because Greta is so dedicated and because this story is somehow so huge, she just immediately drives there. Doesn’t even go into her apartment to change clothes or pack anything, so she is still wearing gym shorts and a tank top. Big Bear is up in the mountains and when Greta gets there, it is snowing. A snow storm even. She is driving up near where the Tannehills’ cabin supposedly is and talking to her assistant and the cell phone signal cuts out due to the storm. Then her car dies. She’s out of gas. Again, she’s just so intent on doing her job, she didn’t even notice that she was running low on gas while driving into the mountains. And remember, she has no clothes other than her gym shorts and tank top. She will freeze to death out here. Roll credits, thank you for watching Snow Bride. But of course no, the movie is not over and our Snow Bride doesn’t freeze to death. She is very cold though and it turns out that there is one article of clothing in her car. It’s her friend’s wedding dress. So she puts it on and starts running through the snow, looking to get help at the nearest cabin. But I believe she trips on something and tumbles down a hill and this causes her to get knocked out and find herself lying out in the snow somewhere, unconscious. Now she’s gonna die, right? No, that’s when a handsome stranger just happens to come upon her, picks up her up, and takes her to his cabin. See, that’s why she’s the Snow Bride. Because she was wearing a wedding dress while passed out in the snow. Did you guess that?
She comes too inside the cabin and discovers that her rescuer is none other than Ben Tannehill, the eldest son she hopes to get dirt on. Greta recognizes this golden opportunity. Through an unlikely series of events, she can now get the inside scoop on the Tannehills from right inside their very own compound. Except this place is less of a compound than it is a fairly modest cabin. It’s the caretakers cabin actually, but Ben is just staying there instead of his family’s big house because A) he’s cool, down to Earth, and money is not important to him and B) to hide out from the paparazzi who might be lurking about. Little does he know he just brought one of them in! And Greta certainly isn’t going to tell him who she is. She makes up some nonsensical story that Ben seems to believe. He calls her “Snow Bride” and she calls him “Just Ben”. I think that is supposed to be bonding.
Since there’s such a big storm going on, Greta is stuck there and can’t call anybody, which buys her some time. Ben ends up having to take her to the big house, where his mother is staying. But before he can even explain who Greta is (or who he thinks she is), in walks his younger brother. And it turns out his younger brother brought a guest – Claire Sinclair. Who is Claire Sinclair, you ask? Well she just happens to be Ben’s ex-fiance who broke his heart at some point and is obviously a bitch. Now the younger brother is dating her? And this big news just got sprung on Ben just now? Ooh, that smarts! Ben’s understandably a little rocked by all this and does what any of us would do in his shoes. He announces that Greta is in fact, his girlfriend who he has brought to the family cabin for Christmas. Greta plays along too. And why wouldn’t she? This is yet another extremely unlikely coincidence that has presented an opportunity for her to get close to this family so she can write some juicy story for her gossip rag.
Plus, it is always awesome in life when you can pull a double-deception. A lie on top of a lie. That’s something we all should do at some point. And although Greta may not realize this herself, I can tell you from watching far too many of these Christmas films and bad films in general that pretend relationships have an 100% success rate of turning into a real relationship. It is actually the best, most fool-proof way to find love. I can’t believe people haven’t picked up on this in the real world. If you’re having trouble locating Mr. or Mrs. Right, simply enter into a pretend relationship with someone for some reason, to keep up some front, and I guarantee you that this pretend relationship will eventually blossom into a real one.
As far as I can tell, there are only two obstacles you will have to hurdle with this approach. First is that when your fake relationship is discovered as being fake, there will be a period of time where you and your partner are separated and either both mad at the other one or if the other one wasn’t in on the ruse, they will be REALLY mad at you. And they won’t even want to talk to you. During this time, one or both of you will also not want to admit you have feelings for each other. But eventually, someone or something will find a way to bring you back together and everything will work out. The other major obstacle happens early on, when the fake relationship has just been set up. It’s the awkward, silly dance you both play when you realize you have to spend the night together and have to figure out who sleeps where. ‘Cuz there’s only one bed! But get through that and you can get through anything.
So I’ve kind of gone off on a tangent here but I think you can see how this might relate to our movie. And I’m guessing you probably could see where things were going anyway, without my little diatribe. The big question is will you say “I do” to Snow Bride? I’m kind of on the fence there. It was watchable, to be sure but it lacked a lot of those things I talked about in the Very Merry Mix-Up review. Those bizarre, left field moments that make absolutely no sense and could only have come out of a Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movie. There weren’t too many of those in Snow Bride. You know what else there wasn’t much of either? Christmas. I mean, sure, they were in Big Bear and it was snowy and there were decorations everywhere and the idea of Christmas was kind of mentioned and they played Christmas songs (remind me to tell you about this make-out scene between Ben and Greta made totally uncomfortable by an overly heartfelt and moan-y rendition of Silent Night) but to my knowledge, the day of Christmas never actually occurred in this film. That’s a pretty major faux pas, in my opinion, but since none of the characters bugged the hell out of me, I am going to give it my normal…