After the production value tour-de-force that was Northpole, Hallmark left us no time to catch our collective breath by unleashing Angels And Ornaments on us a mere 24 hours later. I personally needed more than that to decompress so we waited a few days before firing it up on the ol’ DVR. I knew it wasn’t going to keep pace with Northpole and tried to approach the whole thing with managed expectations.
Still though, I am not sure if I can tell you what I really think of Angels and Ornaments. Instead of answers, I am left with mostly questions. For one, speaking of my DVR, when I looked at the description of the movie, it read something like this:
“Three suitors pursue a hopeless romantic when she makes a wish to find true love before Christmas”.
That’s paraphrasing but the key word is “three suitors.” Because as far as I can tell, there were only two. So who’s the third suitor? There is a third male character but classifying him as a “suitor” gets into some dark territory because – SPOILER ALERT – he is the angel version of the main girl’s grandfather who died in World War II. That said though, our female lead, Corrine, is obsessed with him. Which begs another question:
Why is our female lead, Corrine, so obsessed with her grandfather? I am sure she’s heard all kinds of wonderful stories about him and that’s great but he’s also a man neither she nor her mother ever met. He died while grandma was pregnant. Next question:
How old is Corinne? If her grandfather died in the Big Deuce and her mom was already in utero, I’d say that likely puts her somewhere in her 40s. When looking at the actress, Jessalyn Gilsig (say that 3 times fast – then many other times after that), this seems about right. Not a negative judgement or anything but somewhat strange for a movie like this. Because this is a character who has never been married, seemingly never been close, and works in a musical instrument store as a sales clerk and that is going to flow right into Question #4:
Why is she rich? This is something I have seen before in other movies like this but haven’t pointed it out much. I am doing it now because there might be a more egregious example here. Corrine is rich. She has an amazing, immaculately-staged apartment with vaulted ceilings and fine art and walls painted in colors that only rich people paint their walls. And she’s supposed to live in NYC. But again, she works in a small music store. Doesn’t even own the place, she’s just a salesperson. In fact the owner of the store is a close, personal friend of hers – Dave. A guy she went to high school with and has presumably seen every day for a while. They get along very well, seem to respect each other, are both single at the beginning of the movie and have been simultaneously single during various points throughout their relationship, and are of similar levels of attractiveness. Guess what’s coming next?
Why are she and Dave not together romantically? The movie does not provide an explanation that is satisfactory to me. At least, anything that would make it acceptable for them to get together at the end. He thinks she has relegated him to the Friend Zone, she thinks….well, I don’t know what she thinks. In fact, she doesn’t seem to know the dude all that well. Kind of like what I was saying in my Nine Lives of Christmas review, there is a very fine line romantic comedies have to walk where they keep the two main characters from getting together but can’t do so in a way that suggests they actually aren’t right for each other. Angels and Ornaments doesn’t come anywhere near pulling this off. If she and Dave haven’t gotten together by this point in their lives, which once again, are hovering around the 40s, and there aren’t extreme external factors preventing them from getting together, it’s safe to say that someone’s just not that into the other someone. To me, them eventually hooking up isn’t sweet and romantic, it’s kind of sad. Especially if requires Divine Intervention to actually make happen (more on that later). Wait a minute, I think YOU might have a question for ME now!
Why are you asking all of these stupid questions? It’s just a movie and movies don’t have to make sense, right? Wrong! While it’s certainly true that tons of things that happen in the movies would never or could never happen in the real world, I believe that they at least need to make sense within their own world. Otherwise, nothing means anything. But let’s go back to the other big component of this film – Harold, the angel who is also Corrine’s deceased grandpa:
Why does he talk like a combination of Jimmy Stewart and an Adam Sandler character? I know he’s supposed to be from a different time and Jimmy Stewart talked like Jimmy Stewart back then but I don’t think that’s meant to be reflective of how regular people actually sounded. Like for instance, no one talks like Jack Nicholson nowadays. Except I guess, Christian Slater still. I suppose I can accept the fact that they wanted to make sure we really knew that Harold was from another time and that’s just going to take us seamlessly to another question:
What has Harold been doing for the last 70 years? He was part of The Greatest Generation but died in The Great Conflict. There is an afterlife, he’s an angel, now it’s the modern day – that leaves a big chunk of time unaccounted for. And now he has to get Corrine and Dave together so he can get into heaven. So it’s not like he’s been chilling with Man Upstairs, playing Foosball, and just decided to pop down and do one of his descendents a solid. Although the aforementioned Man Upstairs did him a solid apparently. Got him a job at Dave’s music shop by calling Dave, doing an impression of Harold, and setting up the interview. Once again, God called Dave and pretended to be Harold, setting up a job interview.
What? Yep, it totally happened, according to another angel who did not get into heaven and is forced to be a hot dog vendor in NYC. Not getting into heaven means eternal work in the food service industry. I didn’t listen carefully enough to the explanation here because I was still reeling from the fact that God and Dave spoke on the telephone. God can do other impressions too. He’s working on a “McConaughey” right now.
I’m kidding here, right? Wrong again! At least, according to the angel hot dog vendor. Technically though, I guess he never said it was Matthew McConaughey. If it’s some other “McConaughey”, does that make it less weird or more weird? Wait, that wasn’t the next question! It was:
So we have angels who help regular people on Earth and God who helps angels help regular people on Earth as well as does a killer impression of some unidentified McConaughey, why do they only seem to want to help people fall in love around Christmas time? Aren’t there more important, significant ways they could attempt to steer society? Ooh that’s a biggie. Probably far beyond the intellectual scope of this silly blog. Let’s just go back to something more on my level:
When Dave and Corrine finally do hook up and later move in together, why do they move into Dave’s place? His apartment ain’t bad but as owner of the music store, he isn’t able to afford anything anywhere near as lavish as what his employees can afford. Maybe that could already answer my next question here but I’m going to ask it anyway:
At the very end, with Dave and Corrine now together, with Corinne having finally got to meet the grandpa she’s been obsessed with for so long, with her now having absolute proof that there is a God and and afterlife, why does she still look sad? Sure, she kind of smiles but it’s muted joy. That layer of melancholy she had at the beginning of the movie has not been lifted. I guess it all still wasn’t enough for her. Then she probably won’t like the answer to my next and yes, FINAL, question of the evening here:
How many Eggnogs am I going to give this sucker? How about 1 for each World War? Or 1 for each time Matthew McConaughey likes to say “all right” at a given moment? In case you don’t know, that means……