12 Dates of Christmas Review

Time travel in my Christmas movie? That’s a great way to drum up some hype right from the jump because I like any kind of premise that involves messing with time a bit. The film’s going with rules similar to Groundhog Day where the main heroine is trapped in a spell sort of like Itachi’s Izanami. She must continue to relive the same day until she meets some kind of condition. Usually this involves learning a lesson about yourself but you never really know until you complete the objective. It makes for a fun film for sure.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Kate who is rather rude to everyone. She has not been having a fun time at all. Her father and step mom have set her up with a blind date but Kate has made plans to meet up with her Ex to try and win him back so she’s got a busy day coming up. There’s also the Christmas dinner with her folks but Kate figures she’ll ace everything. Unfortunately she is knocked out at the mall as she gets sprayed right in the face and when she wakes up she is in the loop. No matter how good or bad the day goes she keeps getting reset all the way back to the beginning of the day. How can she escape this loop and will she begin to find the faults with herself?

From the start you can see how Kate has a ton of issues so it makes sense that she would be getting a whole lot of character development here. She is rude to her next door neighbor, doesn’t take her friend’s advice seriously, is mean to her step mom for no reason, blows off the blind date, and then tries too hard with an ex who has moved on. So there is an absolute mess of things that she has to get right and of course this should sound like Groundhog Day. You start off by having fun with the whole thing going the path you think is right, then you try to fix everything, then you stop caring, and eventually you land on the right path.

In Groundhog Day I believe they said he spent thousands of cycles in the town which sounds crazy. For Kate she is around a whole lot of times but I would guess 30-40 max as opposed to it being such a long time so at least she doesn’t get as depressed. No matter how fun the day is though, eventually you will reach your limit because the repetition would just be too much. With your progress being reset each time as well it’s not like you could even try to win the lotto or something. I would probably use the time to start learning a new language or some kind of knowledge that would transfer over but that assumes that you haven’t lost hope in getting out of there in the first place anyway.

It’s also rough when you feel like you’ve done everything perfectly and still get looped. At that point do you just try harder and harder or do you give up? It would feel weird to try and do things exactly the same way again but at the same time you want to help people so you don’t want to just forget to help them in one loop. So in a way that means that the final loop where she gets out will usually not be quite as good as one of the failed ones. If you could control where you could end the loop then that would be perfect but of course it would be a little too convenient.

There are just so many possibilities when going through the scenarios as well so it’s hard to know where to even begin. We see all of the ripple effects when she just stops to talk to one different person. Then you also have to pretend that you aren’t tired of eating the same thing over and over again which has to be tough as well. Now there is one side effect of all this time travel which makes the romance one of the weakest ones I’ve seen in a bit. So we know that Kate is obsessed with getting back together with Jack. She tries this many times but ultimately realizes that it’s too late.

No matter what she does or how nice she is, he will always end up proposing to his new girlfriend. It makes sense, they’ve been split together for a very long time and he is serious about this girl, going back to Kate now would just make him look bad. That said, when Kate inevitably falls for Miles you can’t help but feel like it’s a rebound. He was absolutely the second choice. If in any loop Jack had actually said yes to her and gone back with her then she would not have given Miles the time of day.

Any time there’s a rebound romance I can’t say that it was a good one so this holds her back big time. There’s just no getting around that one. As for Miles, I had some issues with him as well. So this guy lost his wife fairly recent, I remember it was no longer than a few years max and I think they may have even just said it was a year ago. Either way he said it’s too tough to be alone at Christmas so that’s why he is looking around. A blind date feels desperate from the jump but fine we’ll roll with it.

In one loop Kate convinces him to skip the blind date and go out with her. He does after a mild amount of convincing and then they connect in another loop when she is undercover. The guy seems desperate for companionship by anyone. Sure, it’s her in each loop but he doesn’t know that she is the same person so that’s another reason why this romance would falter. At the end of the day he gave his word that he would be around for the blind date so skipping it so quickly like that isn’t a good look. He also has a tendency to take everything quite hard and then run off.

I don’t blame him on most occasions but once in a while he dashes off quickly like when Kate brought up her ex at the dinner table during one of the final loops. Kate’s ex Jack seemed reasonable at least. He didn’t fall for any of Kate’s traps and rejected her in every timeline. While he may have moved on to another romance rather quickly, at least he wasn’t going to backpedal. Once he made his decision then that was it. Meanwhile there was a nice guy named Toby who did his best as he waited at the diner but ultimately the girl never showed up. So it’s a bit of a tragic route for him but Kate helps him out in the end. That romance is even more rushed and doesn’t work but the film doesn’t give it much screen time anyway. If you’re desperate enough to go on a blind date then I guess you just hope that it works out.

This movie is definitely at its best when it is having fun with the premise and just going all out with the loops. It’s fun to see the main character slowly get more and more advanced in how much she knows and how to maneuver around the world. You’d think that you would quickly pick up on a lot of things when you live through the day over and over again like this. The movie’s pacing is good and the writing is solid. At most you could just say that Kate is a little too mean at first. She’s completely unlikable and you’d think that she was Scrooge the whole time.

It’s fortunate that she had the loops to protect her because otherwise she completely burns some bridges during the loops. Even before she gives up Kate is just so selfish and only caring about herself that she really makes life rough for the others. At one point during the film I felt like she was trying to ruin Christmas for everybody that she possibly could. Definitely not ideal main character behavior.

Overall, The 12 Dates of Christmas is a fun film. I always like films about a time loop since the premise is just so much fun. Who hasn’t thought about going back in time for a redo? If I had rolled a different way back in the Smash 4 days I could have made it to Tokyo and won the big tournament. It’s impossible not to think about things like that once in a while and the film gives you a chance to really visualize it. I’d definitely recommend checking this one out.

Overall 7/10


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.