Christmas with the Darlings

Jessica Lew (Katrina Law) is just about the best executive assistant the Darlington corporation has ever seen, though she’ll soon be one of their best lawyers instead. However, before she makes her career switch official, she resolves to do one last task for boss Charles, and it’s a big one. His orphaned nieces and nephew are coming to live with him, but he’ll be in Europe over the Christmas holidays. Rather than sending them off to boarding school, she decides to take them in herself. It’s a pretty selfless act, but no one’s all that surprised – Jess is a giver, she’s always liked helping people. The big surprise, though, is that Charles’ little brother Max (Carlo Marks) returns home to help out. His life is mostly one long ski vacation, and he’s rarely seen at home or at the family business.

Turns out, uncle Max contains multitudes, or, you know, the 3 basic facets of any Hallmark Christmas movie man: generosity, warmth, and consideration. Sure he was an aprรจs-ski playboy last night; today, he’s family-oriented, charming, and kind. Plus, his back story is tinged with just enough tragedy to firmly erase the scuffs and stains of his past.

I love this Hallmark concept that every “most eligible bachelor” is just waiting to step into a ready-made family if one should present itself. Turns out, he was secretly intelligent and ambitious all along, he was just saving his best self so that when the perfect woman crossed his path, he’d be able to surprise her with his top secret suitability. Seven days or less: that’s all it takes for a Hallmark couple to fall in love, and when I say fall in love, I mean, marry, adopt children, drastically alter their personal lives, and commit to spending their eternal lives together, starting with this one deeply meaningful Christmas ornament they picked up at this little greeting card store in the mall.

Also, not for nothing, but god I’d love to walk through the Hallmark wardrobe department. It must house dozens, probably hundreds, of perfect pea coats in the most Christmassy shades of red. In Hallmark movies, everyone is always dressed like they’re about to pose for a Christmas card photo, but the leading lady does it best, and always has an elegant red coat, with perfect, cute but not too cute accessories, everything coordinated and merry, and likely pulled together with a Christmas-themed broach. Hallmark ladies love Christmas so much they start dressing like Mrs. Claus in their 20s, and their handsome, rich suitors always find it eerily fetching. There is a power to those red coats, it cannot be understated.

11 thoughts on “Christmas with the Darlings

  1. Rosaliene Bacchus

    Your observations about the Hallmark Christmas movies are spot on ๐Ÿ™‚ The Christmas decorations are also over-the-top. They are conservative, romantic Christmas fantasies that promote American Christmas traditions. A longing for the simpler days of small town America? I enjoy getting lost (escapism?) in the fantasy where a happy ending is assured, in spite of the odds, and human goodness triumphs.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Haha, yes, the decorations really are extra! As a set decorator with access to a whole warehouse full of Christmas props, I can totally understand going a little nuts – plus, Hallmark of course sells many decorations in its stores, so what a promotional tie-in!

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    2. rdfranciswriter

      I agree. Jay really locks these Hallmark flick down. It’s a “checklist” movie. Pea Coats. Most eligible bachelor. No visible body parts/skin. Hahaha!

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