You can’t really go wrong with a Christmas in Connecticut although of course I would recommend New York first and foremost. This is a very classic comedy/romance title that really goes all out in how crazy it can be. The romance is particularly weak which holds the film down a bit but ultimately I would say it’s still decent. It should keep you entertained all the way through which is always good.
The movie starts by introducing us to Jefferson and his friend from the army as they are stranded at sea. They’re slowly floating along after having been at a warzone but so far nobody has spotted them. A few weeks later they are finally found but it was a tough voyage and Jefferson longs for a home cooked meal. His nurse Mary figures that she will send him to Elizabeth, known as the best cook around. Elizabeth’s employer Alexander thinks this is a tremendously good idea and also invites himself to her home in Connecticut. There is just one problem, Elizabeth does not have a home in Connecticut and she doesn’t know how to cook. It’s all just been a bunch of lies that she has been pedaling with the help of her legendary cooking friend Felix. If she comes clean now then she will be fired along with her editor so she has decided to play the ultimate gamble and pretend that the life is real. To do this, she even goes as far as to finally agree to marry John since she is supposed to have a husband and kid. He’s thrilled about this since he’s always wanted to be with her so he aims to make this official with a ceremony before she can back out. Then you have Jefferson who likes her as well but is worried about making a play on a married woman. What will happen next?
So there’s quite a lot going on here and the movie always has a frantic feeling about it. The characters are always running this way and that way to keep the deceptions up and monitor many situations at once. It’s rather impressive just how much they are balancing at the same time although the heroes often make everything harder on themselves. Just think, they could have had the marriage wrapped up if they just left the people by the door a few minutes longer instead of dashing off to open it.
Of course, Elizabeth was glad to do so since she really didn’t want the wedding. It shows just why this was not a great decision on her part. Effectively she was going to get married to someone that she didn’t like in order to keep her job. Marriages for business and such happen of course but it’s certainly not something I would root for. By the end you almost start to feel bad for John since he is the one who will certainly lose out in the end. Elizabeth likes to quite openly flirt with Jefferson in front of John. If anything John should have enough self respect to start shutting this plan down earlier. I suppose he was that desperate to be with her.
This is why the romance is weak though. You don’t care for either character by the end. John is overly desperate to be with Elizabeth even though he knows that she doesn’t like him. Then you have Elizabeth who has been lying for her entire career and seems to enjoy tempting Jefferson into having an affair with her. Even though she knows that he is trying to resist since she is “married”, Elizabeth keeps trying to ensnare him. It’s definitely a very shady thing she’s doing here.
I did like her boss Alexander though. He’s one of those guys who has really climbed his way to the top and is used to getting what he wants now. He is quite outspoken and decisive whenever he is making a move. Just the kind of guy you want as a boss and while that means he may be slow to see deception, he gives his team a fair shake. He’s a guy you feel bad for by the end since he really did his best at every corner. When a baby is seemingly kidnapped Alexander wastes absolutely no time in calling up the cops, the army, and everyone he can think of. He’s just a good man who is put into a rough spot here.
I also enjoyed the cook, Felix. Felix really knows how to cook and isn’t really a fan of what’s going on here. He wants to make sure that Elizabeth and John don’t get together and does what he can to push them apart. He tends to panic quite a bit but the reactions are always funny. Side characters exist to support the main ones and make the film even better so Felix really succeeds in that role.
As for Jefferson, well I don’t like him either. For starters, while he does resist in getting together with Elizabeth, he certainly cuts it very close. The guy still goes with her on a ride and they have a lot of adventures together. All the while he was already engaged to Mary, the nurse from the hospital. The ending gets very convenient for Jefferson but otherwise he just proved himself to be a very unreliable guy. Someone who quickly jumps from one girl to the next. That’s not what you want to see from the main guy here and he was trying to manipulate Mary at first so he could get some food.
While the characters are able to keep up the charade for a while, I have to say that they didn’t plan any of it very well. Not only did Elizabeth not tell almost anyone which leads to people spilling the beans but then she didn’t even know what gender her baby was, or have any setup for that. She really boxed herself in by saying that the kid was sick as otherwise she could have said he was with the grandparents or something. She did at least attempt to learn cooking from Felix so I’ll give her that. She just gets lucky for most of the film and a lot of the time you figure that everyone would have already figured things out if this wasn’t a comedy.
Overall, Christmas in Connecticut may be lacking a bit compared to other rom-coms because of how the romance angle is fairly weak. That said, it does still have enough good points to keep it in the green. For starters, the writing is still solid. The pacing is good and you will be entertained the whole time. With the characters not being very likable for the most part you may have a tough time actually rooting for the leads (I was rooting for them to get exposed by the boss) but the film is still able to hold itself up. This wouldn’t be my first recommendation but it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.