Noelle loves Christmas almost as much as she loves shoes. Although her official title is HR, she’s decorating and over-decorating the department store where she works in true holiday spirit – even though the store’s owner is not so big on the holidays.
Now, take some deep breaths because this next part is a bit nuts: Noelle (Candace Cameron Bure) gets locked in the store overnight, because they shut down early due to snow, and she doesn’t have a key. So she just gets left there! That’s clearly cooked up by some Hollywood psycho, because anyone who lives in a city who routinely gets snow knows that shit don’t get shut down for nuthin. But anyway, this suspension of disbelief is necessary, because how else will Noelle be visited by her guardian angel, Charlie (Jean Smart, WHOM I LOVE) who is here to reignite her passions. Through a pair of time-traveling shoes, she shows her a past Christmas when she should have made a different (better, smarter) choice, and an alternate Christmas from the universe where that good choice was made. But forget about career, happiness, success – she’s about to meet the man she marries in that alternate universe when she gets rescued and the vision dissipates. Darn!
Now, to be sure, even the title of this movie eats at my feminist sensibilities. But I’m doing some deep breathing to see beyond it. Ha. That’ll be a Christmas miracle.
Anyway, Noelle is back home in her normal, usual life, but Charlie has stuck around, and is encouraging her to see what’s possible – notably, by hanging out as much as possible with the hunky fireman who just moved in next door, Jake (Luke Macfarlane). Luckily, they’ve been paired to throw a charity ball. Christmas is just two weeks away, and these types of events are usually planned over a period of months if not a full year, but in the meantime, we’re going to enjoy watching these two lock reindeer antlers over the stupid, made-up things they argue over. Hollywood has such a fucked up notion of courtship. Charlie keeps throwing them together and Noelle keeps not playing along, but luckily she is easily fooled by a new pair of shoes, and the damn shoes keep sucking her into other possible lives. And somehow god gets pulled into this. Do not ask me how.
Anyway, the movie is light, flirty, and stacked full of actors who pronounce familiar “fermiliar.” Rhymes with “phertographer.” Except not really. Is this a weird American thing? Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I won’t be wearing any shoes this Christmas. Flip flops, maybe, but otherwise it’ll just be my toes in the sand or the waves.