So I know I should be watching films I recorded to get them off the Sky box but instead ended up recording about 10 more today… but in my defence! Ya shoulda read the descriptions. They were glorious. One involved a psychiatric ward!
This film had the honour of being picked simply because it was first in the loooong loooong list. And I can’t stop singing the title to the tune of My Endless Love. Maybe we can get a whole remix recorded… Damn. On with the film!
The opening scenes of Christmas films are usually my favourite and always involve people walking around on busy streets and lots of people being festive. This one isn’t any different but first we are treated to some very exclusive tastes in Christmas baubles…
When our main woman is trotting off down a very snowy road I cannot help staring at her in horror because she is not even wearing tights! Her legs are going to drop right off! And why are you wearing heels when there is snow on the ground!?
This absolutely insane woman bursts into a cafe where the hostess appears to know her well enough to hug her, offer her her usual booth and knows this woman is insane enough to not question why she is dressed for pneumonia. Apparently she is actually here for a date but that still does not excuse the clothing choices.
I am unsure if she is a dreaded ‘people person’ or is just nosy as fuck because she starts talking to the guy a table over dressed in a suit and double, triple-checking the ring he has bought. I mean it’s one thing telling the guy he’s left the tag on his suit, which he rips off in a way liable to cause a tear right through the armpit, and another to ask to see the ring.
Which is hideous.
Woman: “Do you mind if I see the ring?”
Mystery Man: “Is is that obvious?”
Woman: “Nooooooo, it’s…. yeah”
Me: “Well he was staring at it two fucking seconds ago…”
Woman: “My gosh that’s so pretty. You have to relax, she’s definitely gonna say yes.”
Mystery Man: “If I can ask her… this is the third time I’ve brought it with me.”
Me: “Does she also wonder why you’re always wearing a suit these days?”
Cynthia is so about this wedding proposal she gives away her regular booth to the hopeless groom-to-be because apparently it’s more romantic. That may be so but that giant circular table is going to make it a little difficult for him to get down on one knee and propose to the woman without the table decorations blocking his face. Our main woman’s date, Alex, shows up to celebrate their 5 month anniversary so…. is it still a date if you’re together already? I don’t know the logistics of relationships, despite being in one for 5 years. I don’t believe we dated.
While the woman who is about to get engaged walks in dressed like an actual Christmas present, Alex has bought one for our main woman. Cynthia said she would rather him bring this early Christmas gift to the farm with them so she can open it there but it turns out… Alex isn’t so sure about this relationship. I am very sure it may be down to the two weeks Cynthia wants him to spend with her family on their farm over Christmas after only 5 months. And what about the man’s own family? Huh? Huh!?
Our main woman goes from about 0 – 100 in 0.2 seconds flat, which I feel is going to be a frequent occurrence in this film, and decides to compliment the soon to be engaged couple before stealing both cupcakes she ordered and is yet to pay for and swiping that early Christmas gift. Alex…. mate…. you dodged a bullet. What woman goes out in that weather without at least wearing tights?
It’s all fine though because there are many eligible bros playing basketball together – one of whom is her employee who she calls over to her apartment to help her get over being dumped. Is that what bosses do? I’ve never received that call before… and let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be answering the phone to my boss anyway. He should have just kept playing basketball and having a good time. Instead the guy is now being subjected to hearing about failed relationships, Christmas travel, our main woman’s family and farm and her little sister’s Christmas wedding.
Prediction #1 – she is taking her employee on this trip instead because her family were expecting this mystical boyfriend
This employee just can’t help mentioning the right guy is out there somewhere for her and I can’t help but feel if he’s not put off by her drinking out of a ‘I love Mom’ mug then he is the right guy for her. This family seems…. well, as dysfunctional and all up in each other’s business as every other family in Christmas films. The people just can’t let each other be.
And score! The very next day we are taking our employee as our plus one to the wedding. Or maybe just because our woman needed someone to carry her… easel. I’m not sure if we’ve actually heard her name yet but her caller ID said Cynthia so I’m taking a stab in the dark here that her name may be Cynthia. At least we can’t mishear spelling… looking at you America.
Preparing for this trip of unknown length Cynthia mentions the deadline on that book they need to meet so I guess this has quickly become a working trip rather than anything anyone will actually enjoy. Cynthia also says the magic words that this will be the first Christmas the family has celebrated since her mother passed away. Despite her involve and probably depressed family she thinks she’s doing her employee a favour because he was going to be alone on Christmas anyway. I would…. I would rather that…
The man also hasn’t dated in the last decade, which I presume is conveniently the same amount of time he’s been in love with his boss. He, on the other hand, is able to count all 6 relationships that Cynthia has had and crashed into the side of a mountain in the past 2 years on his hands.
Cynthia: “At least you haven’t screwed up literally 5 relationships in the last 2 years.”
Employee: “…. Ronaldo….”
Cynthia: “Argh! Stop! He doesn’t count!”
Cynthia: “Because I can’t handle two hands.”
Me: “Wait… everyone has two hands… you dumped him because… ohhhhhhhhh that guy was counting on two hands!”
Just as Cynthia is claiming everything is going to be perfect this Christmas she gets pulled over by the police just as she is entering Quechee….. Queeeecheeeeee. What a place to say you grew up in. I wished I lived somewhere with a name like Quechee.
Scott, the alarmingly young police guy, has pulled Cynthia over because that’s apparently what policemen do when they see someone they recognise driving down their hometown road. We finally learn the employee’s name – Liam – and the fact he ‘draws pictures’ by which he means he is an illustrator. We only discover this because Scott immediately presumes that Cynthia is now married to the guy and she quickly waves her hand in Liam’s face and confirms he is nothing but a work friend.
Prediction #2 – Cynthia and Scott used to date
Apparently Cynthia’s sister… Janice? Jan? Jans? J….. fuck it, I don’t know what he said but she’s been telling everyone Cynthia is coming to screw up her wedding because her big sister gets waaaaaaaaaaaay too excited about weddings. As far as I can see the woman gets way too excited about everything. Some may find this endearing but me and her sister are very much on the other side of the fence. I am enjoying Liam though, he’s played by the sex pest teacher from the Netflix Scream series but I can enjoy his face this time because he’s not trying to have sex with a teenager in every episode.
And score!! In a delightful conversation between boss and employee we find out Scott was Cynthia’s first boyfriend, which also explains why there were so many shots of these two guys face’s when Scott suggested he and Cynthia should hang out sometime while she’s back home.
Cynthia moans that there are no lights or Christmas decorations up at the house so sends Liam on in to face her sister JANET while she goes looking for her Dad in his giant workshop, barn thing. Two seconds in the empty room tells her he has abandoned ship and neither has Liam gone into the house because apparently Janet is quite terrifying. I hope the man sitting at the counter and typing at 60 miles per hour is Janet’s fiance because it would explain the absolute look of terror on his face. Or maybe he’s just typing so quickly he’s about to shift into a different dimension. Either was this is Roger and soon he will be part of this terrible, terrible family dynamic. Or maybe that’s the reason for the terrified look…
Oh, it also turns out that guy from the cafe was named Jason not Alex and yes, it turns out everyone knows that Cynthia is overbearing as shit in a relationship and apparently this spills over into everyone else’s relationships and this whole family has really annoying voices. Cynthia also writes ‘Felicia Flowers‘ books and apparently they are so good because she ‘writes what she knows’. I dread to think what these books are about and how many children she might be convincing to go out in winter with no tights on.
According to Janet their Dad is struggling a little and will be even more so when she moves out with Roger, her fiance. They haven’t even had time to put up the Christmas decorations, like ol’ Cynthia eagle-eyes hadn’t already noticed.
Dad: “That sounds like my girl!”
Me: “Yeah, well, I’m pretty sure all the neighbourhood dogs know she’s home by now, too.”
Cynthia immediately shirks all responsibilities by prattling on about Christmas decorations and dragging every other fucker into this decorating frenzy with her. Only Liam truly suffers as he is elected the main victim that she will be carting off around town to buy supplies. I don’t know why Liam seems so awkward with this family when Cynthia leaves him with them to go and get changed. They all clearly know him and the fact he should be married to their relative by now.
Dad: “But if you do get any designs on my daughter then remember I’m a hunter. A good one.”
Liam: “Good to know.”
Roger: “He gives me that speech every day.”
Me: “I love how completely fucking terrified Roger is all of the time. Maybe if he stopped looking so much like a deer in the headlights the Dad would stop trying to gun him down so much.”
Apparently Roger also has mystical powers and can teleport from one side of a room to the other which doesn’t escape Liam’s notice when he asks how the hell he got behind him so quickly to be terrified in another spot of the kitchen. On our journeys it turns out Cynthia just happens to know every eligible batchelor in Quechee and when picking up a wreath we meet Grant, who she used to date in high school. I feel Liam should be running the fuck away because Grant is overseeing a fundraiser and these men are just EVERYWHERE. Cynthia just keeps telling everyone that she and Liam are simply friends and nothing more, much to the increasing decline of that man’s self-esteem.
Grant offers Cynthia a wreath from his private reserve in a box under the table because apparently, every year, 5 minutes before closing there is just a tidal wave of single moms who end up having to pick through the scraps of what people have left in their wake. Grant keeps the box hidden for them because they deserve good-looking wreaths more than any other member of society so their ungrateful children can not appreciate them for the festive season. Clearly these single mothers have not got to grips with using their children as slave labour to churn out beautiful looking Christmas decorations all day while they’re out at work. Call it a game or an educational experience, whatever, just get those wreaths made, kids.
Cynthia: “How did we ever break up!? Crazy!”
Liam: “Ya know they all look the same to me sooooo let’s go back.”
Me: “Before we meet any more of your ex-boyfriends that you are still overly forward with.”
Prediction #3 – Grant is serious competition for Liam. This is a race.
Cynthia continues to be consistently overbearing and is making cookies because the biscuit barrel was empty but she refuses to go store to buy Christmas cookies. Instead she will just use other people’s ingredients they so carelessly left lying around in cupboards. Even Liam is asking if today’s plans involve meeting more ex-boyfriends throughout this entire conversation there are many shots of a partridge in a pear tree in a cage that is being walked up the drive by a woman. When Cynthia opens the door to her this woman starts belting out the first line of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ and looking very pleased with herself before she simply hands the cage over and gets the fuck outta there.
Cynthia: “Can you give me some more information? Is this for me? Do you have a business card?”
Me: “Does it even come with care instructions? The fuck do you do with a partridge in a cage with a fake pear tree? Who runs a business like this!?”
This incredibly thoughtful gift comes with a very considerate note saying ‘Merry Christmas To My One True Love’ with absolutely no name from either the sender or to the recipient. Cynthia immediately jumps to 100mph and claims this is a romantic Christmas mystery. A Christery, if you will. That’s right, she went there. Janet has clearly never seen an actual tree because her main concern is where Cynthia will plant that plastic tree back in her apartment. I would really be more concerned about where you’re going to plant that live friggin’ bird right now.
Prediction #4 – Liam is sending the gifts because he has suffered enough time with her to know she adores both Christmas and needless romance
Janet has to leave this madness because she has a wedding to plan and a house to sell. I hope….. I hope not the house her dad is currently living in and that’s what she really meant when she said he might struggle once she moved in with Roger…. you know… on account of suddenly being homeless and all.
Liam: “How do you know this is for you? Janet is the one getting married.”
Cynthia: “Janet is marrying her accountant.”
Me: “That’s the most logical thing you’ve said so far.”
Liam wants to ask if Roger sent this caged insanity anyway and I presume this is just a cover to mask the fact he is sending the gifts. He’d better be anyway, I want my own points. We are treated to a Christmas decorating montage where, for a woman so obsessed with dating everyone and being in love all of the time, she is really fucking blind to the man allowing her to boss him around and decorate her family home and dance on her porch with her. All of these films would be at least 40 minutes shorter if they weren’t all so romantically blind and lived in reality.
The family, at least, appreciate Liam’s hard work and Janet recalls that one year a tree lost all its needles because 8 year old Cynthia didn’t know that trees don’t drink eggnog. At 8 years old I really feel something of this sort should have been covered in school or…. you know, your general life. Liam can’t help taking the chance to ask Roger if he sent the bird but at the first mention of a Christmas wedding Roger is praising the logistics of it all. Everyone has the day off so everyone can come and your Christmas list becomes your wedding gift list. This man is nothing if not logical and that is exactly why he would never order that fucking bird.
The time has actually come for Cynthia and Liam to do some actual work and it is at the point where Cynthia is just throwing ideas around that I realise she hasn’t even written this book that needs illustrating and is making it up as she goes along. She also expects Liam to draw along like a terrible episode with Bob Ross. That is until she gets distracted by a wedding dress she finds in some sort of crawl space that fits her perfectly but was actually her mom’s.
Prediction #5 – Cynthia is going to ruin the wedding by making it a double wedding and wearing that dress!
Cynthia keeps banging on about the fun surprises her mom and dad would leave for each other and if Liam has been hanging around with her for as long as he definitely has he is the one sending the gifts. It is at the point Cynthia waltzes off, shirking her work responsibilities now, to show her sister this dress and I am alarmed that she’s wearing such weird thin heels indoors. You’re at home and there is snow everywhere! Wear trainers before you trip over that damn dress and break your neck.
Cynthia: “Look what I found! You’ll never guess where it was.”
Janet: “In the closet upstairs in a box labelled ‘Mom’s wedding gown’?”
Me: “Well that all seems to check out. Sorry for wasting your time, madam.”
Cynthia tries to make a case for Janet wearing her dead mother’s dress and how dare could she go and pick her own wedding dress without her big sister anyway? Janet claims she has bought a dress which can actually be worn again! and Cynthia shoots her own argument right in the face by demanding a wedding dress should only be worn once because it’s special. Buh-bye deceased woman’s wedding dress. Buh-bye now.
Luckily the second day of Christmas is here and I’ve just realised how many fucking birds are in this song when those damn turtle doves show up. The place is gonna be overrun, it’s a good job they live on a farm where I have seen zero farm work and in fact zero livestock. Once more the delivery woman sings at Cynthia before running away and there’s a whole deal about why turtle doves are called turtle doves.
Cynthia is quite confused because they don’t look like turtles or eat turtles so apparently we’re at a loss and definitely won’t be googling the answer any time soon. (Spoiler: it’s because of the turr noise they make which lead to their Latin name turtur. Hell yeah.)
Dad: “You remind me of your mother.”
Me: “Oh, was she batshit insane, too?”
Cynthia is totally cool with dragging her Dad along to the local pet store to see who bought these birds because I presume the woman always needs to be supervised. She also just cannot let a surprise be a surprise and wants to ruin the entire thing for herself. It turns out the woman who owns the pet shop is madly in love Cynthia’s dad and again for a woman people claim just loves romance she is completely fucking blind. The nice, not crazy, woman informs us she can’t actually sell turtle doves because you need a special permit just to import them in which she certainly doesn’t do because she’s not fucking nuts. Unfortunate we are just in time for Scott to turn up with some fliers for the Quechee carnival. Cynthia begins to suspect it might actually be Scott sending the gifts but I can legit already say no, the man can’t even remember to give out fliers, he ain’t gonna remember the entire ’12 days of Christmas’ song. However we do get free tickets to the carnival!!
At this point Kieran joins me during an ad break so he hasn’t yet experienced the wonders of Cynthia’s voice or general existence.
Cynthia has left these birds in all their original tiny cages, which is unimaginably cruel, and Liam doesn’t even get chance to draw them like he wants to because now three french hens have turned up and Cynthia immediately needs to find out where they came from. She takes them off to the city to visit a pet shop that has the permit to import turtle doves… or at least that is what I thought was happening because the next moment we’re in a giant office building. Liam suggests they just don’t ruin the surprise like normal people whilst Cynthia is busy pretending she and Liam are from animal services.
Liam is meant to be acting tough so introduces himself as the bad cop which apparently works because the office guy hands over a file to them. The person sending the gifts will remain anonymous until the last gift is sent, as per the instructions in a letter they received which no, they are not handing over to Cynthia.
At least the next set of birds are fake before actual animal control drops in on their asses. Janet once more has an excuse to escape this mad house of birds because she has cakes to taste. Cynthia keeps banging on about Grant, much to Liam’s horror, and although Liam clearly didn’t expect to be here to see this outpouring of crazy at least now he can stop her from getting engaged to Grant in the space of two weeks.
At lunch with Grant she signs some of her own books for him to give to nieces and nephews and I gotta say… those books look hefty for children’s books and nothing at all like the picture books I was expecting. The illustrations that we very briefly see on the cover also look nothing like the illustrative skills we have already seen from Liam making me question whether they could have found better props, at least.
Speaking of Liam, all he wants to do is draw these fucking birds. So much so he has even moved himself out to the barn in order to get some peace and quiet except now Scott is interrupting him whilst looking for Cynthia. He even mentions the gifts she has been receiving. How does everyone know about the secret admirer suddenly? Other than the fact Cynthia legitimately cannot keep her mouth shut… Liam just keeps drawing these gifts and says it’s just something hes working on….
Prediction #6 – Liam is working on a giant flip-book to commemorate all this effort he has gone to
Meanwhile, back on the date, Cynthia is getting real fucking weird and incredibly forward with poor Grant before…. I actually paused the film to laugh at this. Cynthia is pawing at the man’s hand like a limpet when the waitress addresses him as ‘father’. Grant takes his scarf off to reveal his dog collar. Grant’s neck has always been covered and he’s just terribly Christian now and is real big about this confession Cynthia was about to make presuming he was the one sending the gifts.
The next day even Dad finds an excuse to leave the house so he doesn’t have to watch his one insane daughter try to fit five tiny golden rings on her fingers like inedible hula-hoops. Janet thinks it might be Scott and Cynthia thinks it’s Jason, despite the fact he broke up with her. According to Cynthia’s misfiring brain cells that was just a big fake-out. Honestly, this woman deserves to be alone forever.
She is so obsessed that she drives all the way back to the city and Jason’s apartment only to find another woman in it. This woman is a terrible burden on the environment, society… the galaxy! I’m more surprised that Scott isn’t there to meet her on her way back into town and pull her over again. Finally Cynthia does the sensible thing and gives. the fuck. up.
Janet: “It’s so obviously who your one true love is, the answer is literally right in front of your face.”
Liam: “It is?”
Me: “Someone called the motherfucking ambulance because this guy just got burnt.“
The next day all day Janet really wants to do is just plan her fucking wedding but instead Cynthia and Liam are having a pillow fight with 6 giant pillows with geese on to the point she can’t even hear her own phone call. Damn it. I was really hoping for 6 actual geese on this day….
Even Kieran comments how dangerous this pillow fight is when the Dad starts flinging pillows at people and making this site a potential fire hazard. The boy just knows.
The terrible duo have gone Christmas shopping, probably because her family have requested Liam gets her out the fucking house for a few hours, and for some reason Liam is buying presents for Janet and the dad. Liam already has something for Cynthia, which I presume is a wedding proposal, and all Cynthia wants to talk about is Scott. This woman is the most fickle person on earth; Liam needs to hurtle himself to the hills before he marries her only for her to fall in love with the local barista four weeks later. Cynthia has a MOMENT of clarity where she asks if it might be Liam and he fully admits it before holding his hands up and going ‘naaaaaaaaaah’. He probably realised if he admits it she might actually turn her sights on him.
Cynthia has set up an adorably insane little chart on the fridge and every morning she crosses off the next gift. Day seven is seven bottles of ‘Swan’s Champage’ which I can get behind! Let’s all get rat arsed in the name of Christmas and all that! By the way, their dad is not good at pouring champagne. They’ll be drinking froth for hours before they get any actual liquid.
Dad: “It’s time for a toast your mother always used to make. To family… past, present and future. Let you always be in our hearts, if not in our hands.”
Me: “…… In our hands……”
Cynthia once more blows off work obligations to go and have a date with Scott who she is suddenly having all of the feels for. I can’t tell if Liam desperately tries to set those chickens free of their tiny prison because of animal cruelty or to distract Cynthia and make her late for her date. Even after falling on the man this woman is unphased! If films have taught men anything it’s that when a woman falls on you she will immediately and literally fall for you at the exact same time.
Dad: “Why aren’t you spending Christmas with your girlfriend?”
Liam: “I don’t have one.”
Kieran: “The Dad is like ‘HA! You nerd’.”
While playing chess Dad is giving double advice, telling Liam to just make a damn move and even if it’s the wrong move at least he will have tried. Unfortunately Cynthia interrupts and is wearing her damn date outfit again. You know, the one without the tights!! Liam attempts to remind her that on the drive into town she wasn’t even that keen on Scott and now she’s obsessed with him. Despite the fact the man professes he cares about her, and asks her to slow the fuck down and stop getting herself hurt she experiences immediate amnesia of that scene the moment she opens the door to Scott and some carollers who start belting out a song at her.
I would literally have walked back into that house and slammed the door on him. Nuh thanks. At least the carollers look interested in Liam but he does the sensible thing and slams the door on them.
Scott: “You know, most of all people just call me when they need help.”
Me: “Well………. you’re the police………”
Cynthia is impressed when, on the date, Scott remembers she likes cupcakes and this means he knows her far better than she ever presumed. Woman, within the first 5 minutes of watching this film I knew you loved cupcakes. What is your god damn deal? Liam is casually drawing pictures of Cynthia herself when she rocks back up with Scott and, on her very doorstep, he essentially takes the credit for the mystery gifts. What an absolute prick.
Prediction #7 – All will eventually be revealed about Scott at an unfortunate moment and that will be this relationship’s demise
We now have 8 maids with raw milk in pails dancing around the house, just to make things even more awkward. At least they piss off afterwards and don’t just hang around the house like the birds they’ve shoved out in the barn thing. We find Roger working on something finance-y on his laptop and he does not look like he has fucking relaxed at all. It’s really no surprise when Janet shouts at him after catching him reading a wedding magazine. She is really against a big ol’ wedding and just wants something small, calm and simple. Roger looks real crestfallen about making the effort but Janet reminds him where going around chasing giant romantic gestures gets you. It gets you on the same psych ward as her big sister. Unfortunately, Cynthia was listening to the part where Janet reminds her fiance that chasing romance has gotten Cynthia nowhere but I get the distinct feeling that is not going to even put a dent in her manic disposition.
Liam is out chopping wood at the work barn thing when Scott comes up asking for advice on his big date with Cynthia that evening. It turns out he really doesn’t know her that well and it doesn’t strike him as strange at all to be asking her employee for dating advice… Unfortunately me and Kieran just cannot figure out what the hell the man has planned. Whatever it is, Liam does not think it’s suitable for cold weather which Scott somehow forgot about, despite standing in actual snow at the time. Whilst it is also snowing. I can’t even…
Scott: “I’m thinking (unintelligible words).”
Me: “Pot pie?”
Me: “What the actual fuck is this man saying?”
Even the dad is legitimately astounded by Liam’s stupidity which lead him to give Scott some sound dating advice. He probably goes back into the house to get his hunting rifle out and just put the man out of his misery.
Scott has taken Cynthia off to the community centre for their annual Christmas cotillion, so it’s a good job she was dressed appropriately despite not knowing where the fuck they were going at all. The woman just will not stop giggling and having the greatest time ever. She’s not right, I swear to God. The highlight of this dance was Kieran playing Super Mario Odyssey next to me and shouting “YOSHI!? OH MY GOD I’M YOSHI!”
The next day all Cynthia can talk about is Scott and how great he is and Liam is quite surprised to hear Scott take credit for sending the mystery gifts. I feel he is about to break the snooker cue he is playing with right over his own face in a bid to end this actual nightmare. Even worse, Cynthia is now ditching Liam and taking Scott to the wedding instead because apparently they will get to dance and… that will just be better, don’t you think? Liam, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? I assume he just agrees for an easy life and hopes he can escape this hellhole and take the birds with him while everyone else is busy getting married.
Prediction #8 – Scott’s lies will be revealed at the wedding and Cynthia really will ruin her little sister’s big day because it will be so dramatic
The next day even Roger manages to smile and look like he is actually enjoying himself with the 9 ladies dancing around the hallway. Cynthia rocks up with her phone two seconds too late and asks if they can do it again only for Liam to notice someone called Maggie amongst the dancers. She responds by shouting LEMUR especially loudly which I suppose you can get away with when you went to college with someone. Why is it that whenever old acquaintances see each other with someone they immediately ask whether they are a boyfriend or girlfriend. How about asking their fucking name first? Why are you all so obsessed about dating?
Prediction #9 – Maggie serves no real purpose other than to make Cynthia realise she is medically a moron
Liam and Maggie are happy talking in the foreground while Cynthia downs wine in the background. For once, seeing someone down a glass of wine does not make them any more relatable to me. I just think she’s really adding to her problems. She also thinks it’s a big deal they’re going to the carnival together when neither of them are even from around here. Her dad tries to explain there is not a monopoly on the Quechee carnival but she is not even listening when he suggests she might actually be interested in Liam. Instead she is too busy chewing her hair and preparing to cough up one hell of a furball later.
I dread to think how crazy Cynthia will get now she is trying to be in love with Scott and jealous over Maggie at the same time. Her little brain will just explode. They have also just abandoned the 10 lords-a-leaping to go to the carnival instead, the former of which are hammering on the doorway in vain and hurtling themselves around the driveway.
At one of the stalls Roger is having a crisis of faith but luckily it is Grant’s booth he has gone to. Roger wonders if withholding information is the same as lying to someone and he just wanted to surprise someone he loves. Grant is very open about being a father now and doesn’t even have his scarf wrapped around his neck properly so he feels fully qualified to tell the man it will all work out no matter what he does. I have a feeling Janet probably won’t enjoy whatever the plan is. Meanwhile Maggie is being very forward and informs Liam he is very clearly in love with his boss so she may as well just serve as a tool to make the woman jealous. Maggie knows not of which bear she pokes.
Their dad can be found briefly hanging out with pet shop owner who is nice enough to give him some free cookies to him. It almost looks as though everyone is getting sorted on a relationship level… that is, until the woman suggests the dad needs to look after himself and not stay cooped up in the house all the time. She asks if he’s going to stay for the jamboree but the dad quickly makes his escape. She pushed one jamboree too far, it would seem.
Pet Shop Woman: “Are you sticking around for the big jamboree?”
Kieran: “Hayley, are you sticking around for the big jamboree?”
Me: “No, I’m too sober for that.”
This evening when Cynthia and Scott are saying goodbye at the door she is much less bothered about kissing him and more interested about getting in the damn house. Probably not wearing any tights again and realised she has actual frostbite coming. It was at this point I really had to check how long of this nightmare fuel was left and found the fire would still be going strong for another 30 minutes.
Fortunately Liam is waiting just inside the door, at midnight, to serve her Irish coffee without the coffee. I really don’t know why he is still trying with this woman. I can’t tell if it’s endearing or a sign he is the dumbest human on earth right after Cynthia herself. Maybe they are made for each other. Cynthia is very happy to hear how it’s never going to work out between Maggie and Liam but claims she is still ready to settle on Scott, despite the fact she is aware it makes no sense herself.
Liam just wants to make sure Cynthia is happy and unfortunately she says the words ‘you are such a good friend’. Now… me and Kieran watched a programme once where this guy was saying goodbye to a woman at her door and went ‘you are such a good friend’ before very slowly leaning in to kiss her. The whole thing was very awkward and for about two weeks later Kieran would constantly come up to me and say those words before dramatically trying to kiss me while I laughed openly and loudly in his face from both hysteria and gut-wrenching embarrassment for the actors who had to do this in the first place.
Because of this I almost missed the moment Janet comes out in her wedding dress that Cynthia promised not to comment on, and is doing quite a good job, until Janet then asks her what she thinks…….. It’s a fucking hideous wedding dress, I gotta say. Janet really just wants a simple and quiet wedding so now is probably not a good time to tell her there is an alarming band of pipers outside who the dad has casually just bribed with a hot breakfast in order to have them help set up the wedding venue for the rehearsal.
I’m enjoying the wedding venue because it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to a fire hazard all film. Scott and Cynthia can’t help talking through Roger’s speech which is not only rude but surely now he has ruined the surprise for Janet and she has to listen to how great she is again in a few days and pretend she hasn’t already heard all of this before. Either way, Scott mentions he has a big surprise for her at this rehearsal and in a moment of sanity she suggests that maybe Scott shouldn’t spring his surprise at the rehearsal because it might overshadow the entire thing. Scott admits that maybe 12 pipers piping would be a bit too much during someone else’s wedding rehearsal at which point Cynthia gets REAL fucking crazy. We had seen nothing yet.
Cynthia: “It’s 12 drummers drumming. The pipers came today.”
Cynthia: “Do you… do you even know the song?”
Cynthia: “Why don’t you sing it?”
Scott: “Right now?”
Cynthia: “Yes, right now.”
Unsurprisingly Scott did not know the correct lyrics to the song but I died at the point where Cynthia had to remind Scott how to count with this brutal fucking line.
Cynthia: “It’s 8 because numbers go like this. 7, 8, 9.”
Kieran: “What a bitch.”
Me: “What a hero.”
Cynthia stalks out of the wedding rehearsal, which I suppose is better than overshadowing the actual wedding, and she is pisssssssssssssssssssed that Scott has been lying to her for a week and taking credit for someone else’s work. Cynthia is horrified to hear that Scott might really think she was shallow enough to value these gifts and showy romantic gestures over an actual connection with another human being. To which both me and Kieran look at the TV and go “Errrrrrrrrrrrr………. yeah?”
Cynthia breaks up with Scott in a spectacular fashion where she tells him just how fucking wonderful he is but just not wonderful enough to be able to count to 10 or date her. Luckily Liam is still up and working so she can run in and start feeling him up and tell him how much she missed him at the rehearsal dinner…. you know…. despite the fact she uninvited him.
Cynthia finally reveals she knows Liam is the one sending her the gifts and he rightly points out that is because there is no other eligible batchelor left in the town. Liam is apparently over this shit which makes no sense because she has done much worse and he was still there at midnight showing up with whiskey. I understand people have limits but the director’s really should have made it clear that Liam even had a limit much sooner than this. Now he looks as crazy as Cynthia as she stands there and demands this man be her leftovers while she cries and whinges and he goes to find a motel so he can get the fuck out of there in the morning. So…. if Liam isn’t sending those gifts… who the fuck is?
Prediction #11 – With no other avenue left to turn down… the dead mom is sending the gifts from beyond the grave to remind her family that life still goes on without her and really she’ll always be there… and so will all those fucking birds
That evening, when everyone is back home, even Janet admits it wouldn’t be a normal day if it wasn’t completely absorbed by Cynthia and her drama and ain’t even bothered she walked out on her rehearsal. She’s probably relieved. It is at this point that Janet finds Roger’s plans to go to the Caribbean for a week on their honeymoon and thinks this is some very rare strain of a romantic infection Cynthia has passed on to Roger with her mere presence alone. How could he possibly think she could leave her father alone for one week when soon she will be moving out entirely!? For God’s sake Roger, it’s clearly just logic! Why would you ever think that?
Romance is apparently pulling the family apart and everything is so terrible Janet actually turns to Cynthia and champagne for advice. Sure, because patient zero is going to be of any help.
Janet doesn’t have a single romantic bone in her body and only said yes to marrying Roger because it made sense at the time. Despite that foreboding cloud of doom rolling in off the horizon she really does just want him to be happy. Janet doesn’t want to be in love properly because, when someone inevitably dies first, it’s awful and heartbreaking. Cynthia points out she has clearly fallen in love with Roger anyway so it’s all too late and she may as well just fate her impending death with a husband. More importantly I adore the giant swigs they are taking from this bottle. Now that I can finally appreciate.
Cynthia admits that Scott was a giant mistake but mentions nothing of Liam, which is strange that no one has asked where the man who was living in their house has gone. Cynthia is gonna stop chasing romance down like a caveman with a fucking spear but seeing as we heard this a mere 40 minutes before I really don’t hold out much hope.
The 12th day of Christmas involves every fucker dancing around the drive with only one tiny van in the background which apparently brought them all here. Not that is Christmas magic. The woman kindly sings the entire song for us once more and at one point I am sure they are about to get another seven bottles of that champagne back! Well, if the troupe are carrying off the champagne they’d better take all the birds with them because Cynthia was adamant on keeping them out in the cold barn.
Unfortunately, despite taking everything else, they hand back the partridge in the pear tree and I imagine the poor bird is screaming for them to just take him back through the little gilded bars. This time the cage has a letter with ‘Thomas’ on it and this whole time they were for the dad, presumably from his dead wife. Fuck you Cynthia. Fuck. You. There is a very long letter from the mother to remind the dad to keep living and keep being happy instead of moping around and Cynthia apologises for stealing all of the limelight yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet again.
Cynthia decides to steal the limelight again 0.2 seconds later by claiming she has her entire life wrong and she doesn’t need someone to do romantic things for her, she needs someone to torture. I mean! Do romantic things for. So obviously she needs to run off to the bus station in order to stop Liam from returning to a city she has clearly already shown she is happy to drive back to on short notice. She executes this plan to stop Liam by jumping in front of a bus and bleating his name at the thing until it drives off and reveals him on a bench.
For a moment Cynthia believes he is still there because he changed his mind but it turns out that wasn’t even his bus. You know… because more than one bus does run through the place and they don’t all have to work on Cynthia’s schedule. At least she was considerate enough to bring him back his sketchbook but she does not start strong when she starts repeating ‘It’s you’ over and over again. Liam is clearly worried how much of his life he must give up to convince this woman he did not send her all those birds but she clears up the fact she just meant she has always wanted a love story but it’s very important to be good friends first. Thank god she understands that much about relationships, the amount I have seen based on arguments in these films are alarming.
But it’s fine! Everyone loves each other and he can be plus one at the wedding again and he forgives her for being a complete nut job because he is also technically insane. Roger still looks mildly terrified at his wedding but at least Janet is wearing her mother’s dress and not the hideous material box she wanted to wear before. There is a strange cut scene from Grant starting the wedding to Roger talking about their honeymoon which amounts to the complete sentence: ‘we are gathered here today…. for an all exclusive resort!’. So at least they’re going on holiday properly and at least the dad asks the pet shop owner to dance with him because his dead wife would have wanted that for him.
Dad: Would you like to dance?”
Kieran: “No, I can’t think of anything worse right now.”
That’s the real reason I love this man…. sometimes it’s like listening to myself.
Maggie and Scott take an interest in each other and I hope she doesn’t mind that the man is a police officer and carries a gun but can’t count to ten. We end with some very alarming and intricate dances going on on the dance floor and some casual animal cruelty as we pan away to see they’ve hung the turtle doves up there, above the loud dance floor in their tiny, tiny cage.
If you would like to watch the growth of a small menagerie in a tiny box in the corner of the screen, head over here.
Prediction board – 5.5/10
- Prediction #1 – Cynthia takes Liam home with her because her family were expecting a boyfriend – technically it was more a plus one but whatever. I suffered for this. CORRECT!
- Prediction #2 – Cynthia and Scott used to date – easy CORRECT!
- Prediction #3 – Grant is serious competition for Liam – I believe the only thing Grant is serious competition for is the devil, these days. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #4 – Liam is the mystery gift giver – sadly INCORRECT!
- Prediction #5 – Cynthia is going to ruin the wedding by making it a double wedding and wearing that dress! – Looking back on it I am so very glad this didn’t happen, she would have squealed the entire time. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #6 – Liam is working on a giant flip-book to commemorate all this effort he has gone to – Ya know, I don’t even know what he was working on! It certainly wasn’t the deadline, that’s for sure. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #7 – All will be revealed about Scott at an unfortunate moment, ending the relationship – this was an easy shot. CORRECT!
- Prediction #8 – Scott’s lies will be revealed at the wedding and Cynthia will ruin her little sister’s big day – hey, it happened at the rehearsal so I’m giving myself half a point to make myself feel better.
- Prediction #9 – Maggie serves no real purpose other than to make Cynthia realise she is medically a moron – we didn’t Maggie for that but CORRECT!
- Prediction #11 – The mom planned the gifts to remind her family life goes on without her – CORRECT!
- Horse and Sleigh: Horses are a thing of Christmas past
- Piano: As is gathering around a piano
- Carolling: Unfortunately there was a dose of daily carolling in this one
- Christmas Montage: A Christmas decorating montage!
- Fire Hazards: I was bitterly, bitterly disappointed that everyone could always safely reach an exit in this film
- Relative(s) died a tragic death during a past Christmas: CHECK!
- Snowing on cue: It snowed pretty much as and when it felt like it. As nature should
This was definitely not my favourite film. If it wasn’t for Liam’s face I would have turned it off 10 minutes into hearing Cynthia’s voice.
I don’t even remember making most of those predictions so I suppose scoring just over half is good enough for me.
Let’s hope for people who speak in a more comfortable, human range tomorrow!