Christmas With A View

Clara is a failed restaurateur. Scratch that: Clara’s first business venture didn’t work out. I’m sure she’ll be back on her feet soon but for now she’s gone home to lick her wounds and manage someone else’s restaurant in the meantime. That restaurant hires celebrity chef Shane and while Clara and Shane clash because of their ambitions – you guessed it – they also fall in love.

Of course all of this is happening over the holidays so you know the pressure’s on to be extra super duper romantic. What is it about Christmas that makes us feel we have to up the ante on absolutely everything? Such a gross impulse.

Now just because Shane is some sort of ultra charming TV personality don’t go thinking this romance is going to be easy peasy. Shane’s got some competition – the owner of the restaurant they both currently work for, the handsome and enigmatic Hugh. Hugh’s got big plans for the resort and hopes to bring Clara in on them, but Shane is suspicious.

Nearly everyone in this movie is a cook of some kind so it’s heavy on food porn. If you love shots of juicy things being pierced by picks, and perfectly ripe vegetables being chopped in half by sharp knives, and sauces being drizzled artfully over anything not moving, then this movie is for you. Christmas With A View has spent all its budget on groceries and has to save money by using green screens instead of sets. It’s as jarring as it sounds but let’s face it: we’re not actually here for the view. We’re here to see two people kiss under the mistletoe\over the gingerbread\ in front of the fire\in the gently swirling snow. The romance is the point here, and a Christmas romance means a very PG courtship, an unconvincing will they-won’t they, and lots of sappy emotion. Plus, probably a cookie montage, a has-been or two, and at least one rich suitor.

Christmas With a View manages to tick all those boxes without distinguishing itself in any way. You have to really love these types of movies to enjoy Christmas With A View, but even if you don’t hate it, you’re definitely going to find it forgettable. But not to worry: Netflix is releasing a new one next week!

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