The Christmas movies that Hallmark generates are always a lot of fun. They know exactly what they have to do in order to succeed and you’re always in for a very consistent experience. Well this one is no exception and I like the general idea behind the film. The idea of faking a relationship in order to get through some kind of event may not be new but it’s always very interesting.
We start off by being introduced to Nick who is in the running to become a partner at the law firm he works at. This is a really big deal and he’s been working towards this for quite a while now but the catch is that this firm is very family oriented. If you have a girlfriend or even better, a wife then your odds of being promoted are great. So Nick quickly tells his boss that he does in fact have a girlfriend and promises to bring her over for the big party at the end of the year.
Meanwhile we’re introduced to Elise who is in a tough spot right now because she divorced her husband but unfortunately never signed the paperwork when getting married so he ended up with half of her company. Unfortunately she tends to get walked all over by this guy in the business deals and she can only watch as he sinks the company into the ground while showing off his new girlfriend. As a result she no longer liked Christmas as this is the period of time where he rubs it in the most. That’s when she meets Nick in an airport and we get to The Mistletoe Promise.
Basically it’s a legally binding agreement where they will pretend to dating so Nick can get the promotion and in the meantime she can also parade him around the office to get back at her ex. In theory it’s a win win and of course one of the rules here is that nobody will catch feelings for the other. That’s the most important rule because without it the whole thing falls apart in an instant. So they better not let that happen…right? After all that would just wreck everything….
Of course you know that they’re going to fall for each other but you’re really hoping that somehow they won’t for most of the film. It would be a really brilliant ending if they actually stuck to the script and then went their separate ways after a while. Close experiences can certainly bring people together but you like to think that sometimes they wouldn’t magically see each other in that light and would keep it moving. If anything that would be particularly inspired and I would definitely be a fan of that. Ah well.
In general I wouldn’t say it’s a very strong romance but the film is able to do well either way. For starters the writing here is good so there is some fun banter and the characters have a good time beyond the romance. It’s always nice to make a new friend once you’re a grown up like that so it’s good that they each found a friend during this tough time. Nick still shouldn’t have lied to his boss though and I was glad that Elise basically said this to him a few times.
The company seemed really good and the boss was particularly nice so while this may be a theme Nick doesn’t agree with (Needing to have a family) you don’t get around that with deception. Also while that was the talk of the town, it didn’t seem like this was a hard and fast rule. Yes it’s possible that Nick wouldn’t have gotten the job but you still have to play this straight and give it your best shot without all the tricks.
Beyond that Nick seemed like a nice guy though. He tried hard to help everyone out when he has a case and his secretary appreciated him. Nick doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who will give anyone a raw deal. He may have not made all of the right choices here but for the most part he was reasonable and worked well as the main guy. He was also able to stand up for himself and talk tough to the Ex who was messing with Elise.
That’s the one aspect that huts Elise a lot which is that she doesn’t really stick up for herself. At best she will say something passive aggressive but at the end of the day she just sits there and lets the guy do whatever he wants. That’s not the right way to handle this situation. She still owns 50% of the company so I want to see her do something about it. Block some of his initiatives or launch some of her own to tie up the funds. Doing anything would be better than just sitting there and allowing all of this to happen. She was just way too timid the whole time and it could be really grating.
When she is in her role as Nick’s fake girlfriend she does well in throwing slight digs in at the opponent and really getting into the role but I wanted to see her use some of that strength in her personal life as well. Sometimes you do need to stick up for yourself and I just felt that she wasn’t really doing much of that over here. It puts her below most of the heroines in these Hallmark titles even if she was a very capable businesswoman otherwise. It’s easy to see how she got so jaded about love but it also means that you have even less reason to believe that she would fall in love again so quickly. That’s always the one weakness of the Hallmark films so it’s good that every other aspect is so good that it can still bounce back.
After all one thing the films never disappoint in is that they leave you feeling good. The movies have a very happy vibe about them and the ending is always satisfying. Things just work out and and you always get a lot of great scenery and backdrops throughout. This may not be one of the most ambitious titles out there but it has a fun plot and execution so I have no significant issues with it. I could certainly recommend it to anyone looking for some Christmas cheer.
Overall, The Mistletoe Promise is a solid film. It reminds you that just because you sign something saying you won’t have feelings for someone, doesn’t mean they won’t happen. When you develop those feelings it can be just about impossible to stop them and sometimes it can be impossible to predict them either. The more time you spend the more likely this could happen but don’t expect it to be so fast and perfect like in the movies. Ultimately it’s why an agreement like this would be risky in real life and either way there is no benefit as long as you aren’t trying to trick your boss. Honesty ends up being the best policy once more.