Remember when you were a kid and your mother told you that fairy tales weren’t real? That there wasn’t going to be a prince who gave you shoes and diamonds and whisked you off to a castle? Luckily Kate Middleton’s mother never told her that. Instead, she held Kate back a year so that she’d wind up in Prince William’s year at University, and the rest is history. Megan Markle took a more circuitous route, but she too wound up with a tiara in the end. The odds are against you, but it does happen. What our mothers should have been warning us about is the false promise of a Hallmark Christmas movie.
While a very few princes do exist, and do make princesses out of commoners, how many lawyers exist who meet a woman in a food court and then draw up a contract so they can fake date each other? None, and I should know: I’ve eaten a lot of soup in a lot of food courts.
And yet this is exactly what happens when Elise (Jaime King) grabs her favourite wonton soup and gets harassed by some mall Christmas carolers. Lawyer/Christmasphobe Nick (Luke Macfarlane) rushes to her aid, posing as her fake boyfriend to protect her from the unwanted holiday serenade. Nick had only moments before been lamenting his rotten luck in life – technically he’s up for partnership at his law firm, but the firm is both family-oriented and Christmas-obsessed, so his ambitions are bound to be thwarted. UNLESS. Unless he quickly draws up a contract obliging Elise to attend work functions with him, posing as his long-term, super serious girlfriend, and in exchange, he’ll pose as her significant other around her office too, where co-owns a travel agency with her sleazy ex-husband (Lochlyn Munro) who is constantly parading around the girlfriend he left her for.
I’m not sure what kind of national law firm of DIVORCE ATTORNEYS refuses to promote single people; lawyers are usually pretty aware how quickly such illegal discrimination would bring about some pretty hefty lawsuits. But they also impose strict Christmas rules (which, last I checked, is a christian holiday), including a mandatory party where the employees are forced to pay for new, symbolic ornaments (which you can find at your nearest Hallmark store, fyi) to trim their boss’s personal tree in their off hours at a party where women are not allowed to wear pants. I SWEAR TO GOD THIS IS ALL TRUE.
Does Elise wake up and realize she’s a little too old to inflate her self esteem with a fake boyfriend? Does Nick realize he could sue his company for millions and start his own Christmas-hating firm with the settlement? No. Instead, they feel bad for lying to “such nice people” and break the contract – not to mention each other’s hearts – and go back to being depressed around the holidays.
Does it make sense? No. Is it realistic? Of course not. But it’s comforting and familiar and I can guarantee you there’s a happy ending with your name on it.