After 17 days I have had enough of weddings, children and marketing experts working on 2 week deadlines before the New Year. That is why I have chosen this film, advertised to me constantly during my foray into the Christmas24 world, where I hope there will be none of this. I am very sure it’s just people trying to have a holiday.
But if there are no real reindeer knocking around and derailing people into nearby fences then I will be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.
Our initial Christmas tree opening scenes, which I get very excited about, are quickly ruined by an aerial shot of a city at night before we drop promptly into an office party. One woman, Maude, is still working her butt off and looking very un-festive when her friend, Karen, rocks up to tell her Santa is likely to lob a lump of coal at her head for working so close to Christmas. Yes, let us all believe in Santa and this very important rule of his. Please. Before we get concussion.
Not even the fact Derek from accounting has been asking about her is enough to lose interest in this business proposal she is drawing up. In all fairness I would rather continue to work than go out and face an accountant who likes the sound of his own voice but here we are anyway, grabbing a glass of champagne and talking about true love.
Maude: “Yeah, I’m engaged… To Manchester Software. We’re spending Christmas together here in the office.”
Karen: “So you’re working through another holiday?”
Maude: “I am. Don’t think of it as work, think of it as love.”
Me: “This woman is on crack.”
I…. don’t know how this continues to fucking happen. This woman’s name is Molly, not Maude. How, in fucks name, when you shorten her name to ‘Mol’ can you possibly make it sound like Maude!? Twice! Also, I was kinda looking forward to a unique name we have not already encountered in another bloody film before it. And… she dresses like a Maude.
As it turns out Molly did too good of a job this year on the software because their manager would love to reward everyone by closing the office until the New Year and paying them their regular pay for 2 weeks. This is. The best boss. Ever. The man is even going to change the alarm codes so Molly can’t try and sneak in and torch the place in her misplaced anger.
Over in… somewhere else… an office guy bids farewell to Jared, another office guy, and wishes him a safe trip. I have a feeling this may be a working Christmas as he tries to clear some account from the company books by the end of the year. Well ain’t that just another convenient 2 week deadline? Meanwhile, Molly has been unable to look up from her phone long enough to notice the metric shit ton of Christmas lights that are strung up around her, prompting Karen to invite her friend over for Christmas.
Molly: “You guys are the sweetest. I appreciate it but…”
Molly: “I’m not very good company at Christmas.”
Me: “I like to sit and think about how I am completely alone since my parents died and how hard it is to survive their favourite time of the year without them… It keeps me pretty busy.”
Looks like I counted out Molly’s mother a little too quickly because the woman is on the phone to her daughter the next morning. Her mother is going off on a cruise, probably trying to sail away from the prevailing grief for her deceased husband and getting really fucking drunk at the bar in the process. The next event happens very quickly… Molly turns on the radio, calls into a competition for a holiday to Jamaica she just heard about, wins right there on the phone and then immediately packs her bags.
On account of the giant sun hat the woman is wearing she didn’t notice Jared standing in line to board the flight and steals his place. The man is a little confused by her attire, which is pretty summery, and has to wonder if the woman has ever been to Jamaica before.
Prediction #1 – Oh, you meant small town Jamaica that’s up a hill somewhere in the northern hemisphere!
Unfortunately the woman ignores all of Jared’s efforts to inform her she isn’t going where she thinks she’s going because she’s on a very important call with someone called Mr Roberts who never received his proposal and she can’t check where it got to because the office is closed. That’s a bit of a bastard. After the third attempt Jared gives up but at least the woman at reception is nice enough to point out to him that they’re actually flying to Jamaica, Vermont. I wonder how long it will take Molly to freeze to death and become an international symbol of geographical ignorance?
The flight the pair are on is minuscule and I would be dying. No. No thank you. Especially having to sit opposite from Molly for 2 hours who has just found out she is on the way to Vermont, wants the plane turned around and can’t believe this tiny plane doesn’t have Internet access. Considering the plane is excruciatingly tiny the air steward has to take drink orders on a notepad.
In reality Jared would despise the sight of Molly by now and her ‘can I talk to your manager’ haircut but he still seems pretty taken by the woman. With absolutely no other choice when the airport actually closes down the night, Molly has to go with the old guy, Chris, who has been waiting for her to show up so he can escort her back to his lodge where there is a pre-paid suite all set up and waiting for her. The guy would have had me at pre-paid but Molly takes about 2 minutes more of convincing before she gets her ass into gear.
Molly: “Airports don’t close.”
Chris: “Well, this one does and it’s a long walk back into town from here.”
Molly: “You know, I can probably come with you and figure all this out in the morning.”
Chris: “Well, that’s the Christmas spirit!”
Me: “Is it?”
Chris prattles on about a big snow storm coming that they will be lucky to avoid at all now he spent the last few minutes trying to convince Molly to get in his car, where she also finds Jared waiting, another guest at the lodge. Priceless.
Prediction #2 – Molly is going to get snowed in for the entire festive period and be unable to work and it will be healthy for her
Arriving safely at the lodge in Chris’ death-mobile they are met with a pretty friggin’ impressive lodge. Apparently Chris never finished the lights before his guests arrived and I’m really not surprised seeing as the damn building is so big. He really should have gone with that excuse, rather than claiming that Christmas simply came to early and having me fear for his long-term memory. Personally, Molly never saw the point of putting lights up just to take them down again after a few weeks and has clearly never lived in an area where the lights stay up all year round to avoid that hassle.
I am happy to confirm the lodge would be quite difficult to navigate in a fire and fucking hell Zelda Spellman is married to Chris! I watched another Christmas film with her in the other day (for fun, can you believe) where she was a completely needy psychopath worried that her mother was inevitably going to die one day! Now she is simply called Penny and wants nothing more than to burn her guests alive. She also looks like a glimpse into the future of how Molly will look in a few years. Jared should take a good, hard look at Penny and be sure this is what he wants…
Penny had a feeling that this would happen and assures Molly she asked the radio station to make sure they told contestants they would be heading for Vermont. I would have adored this mix-up… It’s motherfuckin’ Zelda Spellman and she knows how to decorate for accidental fires in every single room of the house. She has even provided all guests with hideous Christmas nightgowns from the turn of the century in case they get cold. I hope she’s provided the same for the men, too.
Now is the perfect time to reveal the lodge has no Internet access for relaxing purposes but I wouldn’t be too fussed because I just heard the words ‘Happy Hour’. Molly heads over to Jared’s room to interrupt his call with his office, where I predict the below two seconds before we see him turn over a file with ‘Reindeer Lodge’ printed on the front.
Prediction #3 – Jared is there to try and sell Reindeer Lodge or boot Zelda out of her home for not paying rent
I don’t know whether I am more outraged that this man is trying to make Zelda homeless or that Molly doesn’t appear to have brought a charger with her for her own phone… For someone so plugged into technology all the time you never go anywhere without a charger… Jared suggests she tries to get the airline to contact her via the hotel instead, which I suppose she has to do through fucking telepathy seeing as she can’t get a hold of them right now.
Jared: “Look, about earlier, I really didn’t know that you didn’t know…”
Molly: “That I was going to the wrong Jamaica?”
Me: “Yes he fucking did! Why else would he be trying to warn you the entire time?!”
After blatantly lying to the woman’s face we head downstairs for happy hour where two other guests are talking to Chris about the reindeer in the area and how shy they are where strangers are concerned. Yes! Real reindeer, here we come! Eventually. When they’re used to strangers.
Prediction #4 – At some point a reindeer will take a specific liking to Molly and Jared will look fondly on as she is floored by nature… metaphorically speaking, not like the reindeer is going to trample her or anything
Greg and Kayla are at the lodge to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. It’s kind of a working anniversary as the pair of them are photographers and are working on their first Christmas-themed book which they hope will include reindeer in their natural habitat. The lodge actually is actually on a 1,000 acre large registered nature preserve, just to complicate things for Jared, somewhat.
Prediction #5 – Jared’s company wants to make the place into a multi-storey car park or ski resort or something
Prediction #6 – Jared will decide that nature is more important than people dying on ski slopes and also wants to preserve the place where he met his future wife so they can spend all of their wedding anniversaries there too
Prediction #7 – Molly will already have bonded with the reindeer far too much when she hears of Jared’s plan and feels utterly betrayed
Prediction #8 – Molly will probably offer her own marketing expertise to help save the lodge
Jesus… I’m tired after that. I deserve a mince pie…. I should point out that this entire time Chris has been sitting in the corner and whittling away at a piece of wood so when Molly notices a bunch of shelves with carvings on she can ask him if he did them all himself. 2 minutes in and the woman is already falling prey to Christmas, just as it should be.
Happy hour turns out to be milk and cookies and you know… I think I could live with that. I need to go and find my own Reindeer Lodge. In fact, I should go and just open my own failing lodge up a mountain somewhere because if these films have taught me anything it’s that you don’t even need to be good at business, eventually a bunch of strangers will come along, perform a Christmas miracle and help you out of debt. It’s just the way the world works, ya know?
Zelda is more concerned that Christmas Eve is a week away and her tree still isn’t up. At least she can rope the guests into helping them decorate the place… more? The next day Molly rushes down in her hideous Christmas nightgown to answer a call from the airline and I fear that Chris, Greg and Kayla haven’t moved because they’re still in the exact same placed as the night before. Still riding that milk and cookies high, I guess.
Molly is trying to talk on the phone when Penny (Zelda) presents Greg with a jar of what are apparently questions and asks him to read out the Christmas question for the day. I am intrigued…
Greg: “In the 12 days of Christmas how many pipers are piping?”
Greg and Kayla: “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…”
Molly: “11 days!?”
Me: “Oh, is she just… imbued with a Christmas magic she didn’t even know about?”
Ya see… the woman has been told she is stuck there until the end of the week unless the airline has a cancellation so I really don’t see why she doesn’t just wind the fuck down and take her pre-paid holiday! Seeing as Molly technically got the answer to today’s question correct she gets to do the honours of opening the advent calendar, which involves both chocolate and daily mantras. Zelda is really about mental health around here… Molly is told that every Christmas is a journey so just give in already.
Prediction #9 – Molly will get the chance to leave early but in the end will not take it
Someone has been nice enough to take everyone into town, so Molly can get some decent clothing, where there appears to be a shop that specialises in jumpers and I adore everything about it. I want to live there. I want to be Mayor of wherever the hell this is.
Shopkeeper: “Reindeer Lodge! Well, I haven’t heard about the place in years!”
Me: “How? You live in the same fucking area…”
Shopkeeper: “I used to take my kids up there when they were little. They used to have those reindeer tours, do they still have those tours?”
Kayla: “We haven’t seen any reindeer yet but we’re hoping.”
Shopkeeper: “Oh, I don’t think people are interested in that kind of thing anymore. Maybe if you had a ninja reindeer robot but…”
Me: “Says the woman stocking a llama Christmas jumper and making all of this so much worse…”
All Molly asks for is something a little less festive and the tone this woman takes makes me think she has gone round back to pull out her specialised ‘funeral attire’ range. I’ll you fucking less festive! Kayla admits to business being slow lately so she wants this anniversary to be on point and seems a little surprised that Molly ain’t that struck on Christmas. I have also seen far less festive jumpers hanging up than the… thing… that the shopkeeper rushes out of the back room with. Even worse, Molly appears to buy the damn thing.
Kayla: “So, anybody special back home?”
Molly: “Oh, I’m not a ‘relationship’ person.”
Kayla: “That is ridiculous. I believe there’s someone out there for everyone.”
Molly: “Why do married people always say that to single peopl….”
Kayla: “Hi, honeybunch!”
Greg: “I got some great shots for the book, all we need now are those reindeer photos.”
Molly: “You really like reindeer, don’t you?”
Kayla: “Oh, his grandmother…”
Me: “Is a reindeer!?”
Kayla: “Always says that a reindeer is the symbol of true love.”
Greg: “It’s actually a Nordic myth, Grandma is very old world.”
Kayla: “Yeah, I know it sounds a little weird but she always says that when a couple first meets they go into the wilderness under a full moon and then see a reindeer.”
Greg: “It means they are destined to be together.”
Me: “That or they kill each other in a bitter battle of survival out in the woods, I guess.”
Molly: “You learn something new every Christmas.”
Me: “Like Greg’s grandma is the head of a cult!”
The book is being dedicated to the one and the same grandma so they desperately need those reindeer photos to remind her of all those favourite, festive ritual sacrifices under the full moon. With nothing better to do Molly is searching for a charger for her phone and hearing tales from the locals about how no one thinks about Reindeer lodge anymore but all seem to have fond memories of the place.
Prediction #10 – The whole town will come to the lodge’s aid because they all love reindeer around these here parts
Jared had actually bought the last charger and was going to gift it to Molly on Christmas but seeing as she is so desperate for the thing he hands it over without a fight. Molly demands she gets him something in return which leads her over to a reindeer ornament that looks like it’s been crafted (expertly) out of tin foil. Apparently all of them are unique and hand-crafted right there in Jamaica and it’s also noteworthy that, one time, her dad bought her something very similar.
Prediction #11 – Molly will find very personal ties to Reindeer lodge which will only reinforce her endeavours to save the place
Jared settles on letting Molly buy him Vermont’s own version of Jamaican rum punch from a place down the street. Hot buttered rum… holy fuck let me at it! I immediately paused the film in order to Google this cocktail and check the cupboard for rum. Apparently it dates back to colonial days! This film has just come full circle! Molly should have just rocked up in her office gear!
When Jared asks about the deal with the reindeer ornament Molly is very forthcoming and explains how they had very little money, as a family, and would have to make their own ornaments but she could never get the reindeer right. Then, one Christmas Eve, her dad got stuck in a snowstorm, which it sounds like he never returned from, but had left a gift for her under the tree which was a perfectly carved reindeer he had made for her. These reindeer are getting serious air time in this film without even needing to turn up.
Molly’s mom now lives in Florida with her new family and although they’re great and live in Florida where she could be riding rollercoasters all year long she just doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere anymore. Awwww. Jared is not so forthcoming with the sob story of how it’s just him and his dad and they’re not even close so quickly distracts Molly by asking a horse and carriage to take them up to the lodge. THERE IS A DOG SITTING NEXT TO THE DRIVER! I’M DONE HERE.
I had to rewind this because when they finally turn up at the lodge and Greg gets a picture of them in the carriage there is no dog… Maybe he fell off halfway up to the lodge but I like to believe that he was another paying customer and got dropped off on the way. Everyone else has been busy finishing setting up the lights and it is a tradition for Penny to bring out hot chocolate and to toast the lights when they’re turned on.
There is a brief moment when a tiny red dot appears on Chris’ head and I fear the snipers have finally found him but it’s just more Christmas lights. I also hope that Greg and Kayla have asked for Molly and Jared’s permission to use their photo in their book… something Ian was kind enough to ask about a few Christmas’ ago. Molly might have changed her mind about Christmas lights being worthless but that all really depends on whether the snowman outside of her window turns around in the night and threatens to murder her in her sleep.
In the next room Jared might also be changing his mind about Reindeer Lodge when he phones up his boss to let him know the place really isn’t just a property and he’s gotten himself into a little situation, up on that mountain. We never hear the rest of this conversation but I really hope that he hasn’t already shipped this relationship with Molly when he has known her for roughly 24 hours. Or maybe he was referring to the abundance of Christmas lights that have appeared this morning that definitely weren’t there last night. They’re multiplying…
Jared: “Any sign of those reindeer yet?”
Chris: “No, not yet, but you never know. They have a habit of making an appearance when you least expect it.”
Me: “I’m not sure… when that would be in a place called Reindeer Lodge where people come to see the reindeer…”
Chris has been banished to the porch in order to continue his whittling and my god, I honestly believe the situation Jared was referring to was his interest in Molly. He is even asking the man to show him how to whittle so he can make her a god damn reindeer and profess his everlasting love under the full moon.
Prediction #12 – See above
Molly: “Please let me know if you have another cancellation! Yes, Merry Christmas to you too. Oh! Let me help you!”
Penny: “Thank you! So no luck with the airline?”
Molly: “Still no cancellations. They’re fully booked until the New Year.”
Me: “But you just said… another cancellation… implying there had already been one… What?”
Molly assures Penny she is having a good time but she really didn’t plan to spend her Christmas looking out of the kitchen window, watching Jared chop firewood, and decorating Christmas cookies with Zelda Spellman. His head bobbing around in the background through the window is actually pretty distracting… which is why Penny sends Molly out there to offer the man a cookie from the damned.
Molly claims she helped make this delicious gingerbread man without specifying she only iced the damn thing and as instant karma the in-house photographers appear to get a picture of the pair. As more karma for taking credit for Penny’s baking, Chris appears out of the woods to announce they have some reindeer problems.
Prediction #13 – The reindeer have escaped! Guess they really will turn up when you least expect it… probably when you’re trying to drive out of town
Aaaaaand no, the reindeer are sick and need quarantining for their own protection. Greg and Kayla really wanted a picture of those reindeer for their book and now it looks completely unlikely that will happen. Grandma gonna be pissed… Luckily Greg gets to open the advent calendar today claiming a Christmas surprise will come his way. In order to cheer the man up everyone elects to help put up the tree which… Jared may or may not have chopped up for firewood… At least that’s cheered Greg up.
We’re going on a tree hunt! We learn that Jared works in real estate finance and works for his father! No wonder the two aren’t close…
Jared: “I was one of those boarding school kids who barely came home.”
Molly: “Even at Christmas?”
Jared: “Well I had my own tree in my room. My dad would send me money for gifts, I’d buy them, wrap them up and put them under the tree and then on Christmas day I would open them up and pretend to be surprised. Well, not every year….”
Molly: “Jared, that is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Me: “You don’t get out much, do you?”
Electing not to tell Molly about the current state of the world Jared assures her that sometimes peace and quiet is nice, alone and away from the big cities. At least this Christmas Jared believes he is not alone and Molly ruins their moment when she promptly trips over a branch and floors the man. They had plenty of time to get that kiss over and done with but for the film’s sake Kayla and Greg call them over because they’ve found the stables where they believe the reindeer to be.
Kayla: “What are you doing? Greg! Chris said the reindeer were sick.”
Greg: “I’m not going to bother them I just want to get one picture.”
Me: “In their natural habitat: the barn.”
Listening to no one Greg spies something off and breaks into the barn to reveal… there are no reindeer.
Prediction #14 – There are no reindeer!
Literally a second later Chris appears to confirm the same thing. Thank you, buddy! But also… what? Chris has zero idea what happened to the reindeer but one day they simply wondered away and never came back. Seeing as they’re on a nature reserve, Chris didn’t see why he should try and hunt them down and let them go on their merry way.
Prediction #15 – The reindeer will be back just in time to stop Greg and Kayla being sacrificed by the cult and to save the lodge
Chris: “Would you have come to a place called Reindeer Lodge if you weren’t going to see any reindeer?”
Me: “Errrr… yes?”
It’s no wonder no one has been up to take part in the reindeer tours! Although if they treated it like a safari tour or a zoo they could just claim the customers had been unlucky that day. The amount of times I’ve been to Cheshire Zoo and seen nothing is in no way able to put me off… and Cheshire Zoo sure aren’t wanting for money like Craig and Penny are. Greg seems very upset about not having picture of reindeer for this book dedicated to his grandma…
Penny is also doing a damn terrible job of pretending she wasn’t crying when Molly walks in.
Penny: “We got some bad news in the mail, today. I guess we’ve fallen a bit behind on… the bills and things.”
Me: “Take some of those lights down. That might help.”
Molly: “Will it help when the reindeer come back?”
Penny: “I’m afraid that really won’t make much difference. People aren’t too interested in our reindeer tours these days… Sign of the times, I guess: why come all the way up here to see a real reindeer when you can just watch them on your phone?”
Me: “Well… because you don’t have any actual reindeer, for a start.”
Feeling bad that she has been moaning this entire time Molly looks like she is about to join her future self in crying at the thought of losing her future home. I suppose that’s why she feels like she can go through her future self’s mail and check out their eviction notice which, if Jared’s call is to be believed, they only have until Christmas Eve to sort out other accommodation.
Molly pulls Jared away from tree decorating in order to let him in on this little secret but doesn’t get very far before Kayla storms through the place, crying and claiming everything is wrong. The drama! Apparently the couple have had a bad year and they were really counting on this book to work out and have started fighting over it.
Prediction #16 – The book will also really help with publicity for the place
Jared is on hand to skulk around the bottom of the stairs and eavesdrop on Molly trying to assure Kayla that her relationship is not like Christmas lights and will still be up all year round! This really only encourages Jared, from the look on his face, and soon everyone is helping Penny to decorate the tree with ornaments, which were all given to them by various visitors staying at the lodge and so we can take a trip down memory lane and get sentimental over the place in order to save it. Even Greg shows up to help.
I’m surprised Penny doesn’t roll out the hot chocolate to commemorate the lighting of the Christmas tree, too. Chris assures his wife that even next Christmas everything will be just fine which is probably why we find Jared sitting out on the porch, whittling in secret, before he is interrupted by Molly. The woman really wants to help the lodge and clearly puts the fear of god into the man when he thinks about her discovering his secret and never celebrating Christmas again.
Despite the fact Jared can only ‘kinda’ cook that doesn’t stop him and Molly heading into town to pick up all the ingredients for a Christmas dinner from a list Kayla has written them which lists an active ingredient as either cranberries or Ecuador… Molly has never made a Christmas dinner, Jared can only kinda cook and Kayla doesn’t have eligible writing. I wonder what Greg is going to bring to the table.
Even the checkout girl is harping on about Reindeer Lodge and how it used to be a family tradition. I can’t help feel all of these people must know there are no reindeer, like they stopped going because no one was seeing any reindeer… Either way, Molly has contacted a reindeer preserve in Quebec with an over-population problem who are willing to help. Let’s just casually forget that an entire other herd didn’t just go missing, they’re probably still in the reserve and that if the first herd didn’t like the area around the lodge why would the second? And what if they meet up and fight to the death? It will be Grandma’s full moon cult killings all over again!
Jared doesn’t try too hard to put the woman off the idea, despite it making his alter ego’s life more difficult, and even lets her tell everybody else about their plan, to get the entire town to help import these reindeer across Canada, over dinner that evening (which looks fine, by the way). Kayla thinks they could hold a charity auction but Penny fears they have nothing to offer. If this is going to save Greg’s book then he is all for helping out, and offers the townsfolk not only their photographs in this silent auction but also a chance to meet the author’s of the upcoming book ‘Christmas in Jamaica’. I think they should offer up some of Chris’ carvings, too.
At this point, during the preparing montage where we decorate the stables, I am very sure we could have made all of this money from opening up a nursery specialising in selling poinsettias across the country. They are everywhere in this film. When Penny finds everyone exhausted after a hard day’s work she leaves them sleeping in front of the unattended fire and just hopes she will get a chance to cash in on both their home insurance and Chris’ life insurance at the same time. It’s merely her Plan B. Nothing serious.
Even random people are now helping to put up the signs for the auction around town when who should roll up but Jared’s father, asking for directions to the lodge. Chris brings in a CD player into the stables that he used to use to play music for the reindeer.
Prediction #17 – The music will bring the reindeer back
Prediction #18 – Jared’s father will reveal why his son is really there ungraciously and probably severe any remaining familial ties they had by trying to make him choose between business or the lodge
Prediction #19 – After spending two seconds at the lodge, Jared’s father will probably come around and at the risk of losing his son, decide not to try and foreclose the lodge
Seriously, I can’t stop with this film and that only means I’ll probably be fucking wrong by a landslide. Molly and Jared are left alone in the stable which gives them plenty of time to start dancing to the music and for, predictably, Jared’s dad to show up at the worst possible moment.
Jared: “Did you mean what you said to Kayla?”
Molly: “You heard that?”
Me: “Seeing as that was now a few days ago I am surprised she immediately knew what the man was referencing… he could have been talking about them discussing how they best liked their bacon cooked from this morning.”
Being introduced to William, Jared’s dad, is enough to send Molly storming off out of the barn and pointing out all the moments where Jared could have come clean about what he was really doing there.
Jared: “What was I supposed to say? ‘Oh, you won a trip? I’m here to foreclose on two sweet, old people and their reindeer ranch.'”
Molly: “No, but I would have appreciated the truth.”
Me: “I would have just thought you were Satan the entire time.”
Penny interrupts this revelation that Jared was terrified of losing the woman to let Molly know she has a call. Predictably, there is a cancellation that Molly can catch the next day and Penny is very concerned that she will be missing Christmas if she is flying around, instead. I am unsure whether Penny and Chris knew what Jared was doing there, I presume so… I would have been bribing him a lot more, in that case.
Jared is furious at his father for ruining his Christmas and it’s probably not a great idea to anger the man if you want to convince him not to sell the place. I’d do it out of spite for being shouted at and told I’d ruined Christmas. Meanwhile, Molly is helping Kayla get ready for, technically, her first big show and can’t help asking why the woman is leaving the lodge and Jared behind her. Kayla promptly hands all the clothes Molly has just packed back to her and I would, legit, have admitted defeat at that point because fuck packing.
As per usual we have to wait just long enough to presume no one is coming to the auction and, unfortunately, have Jared’s dad turn up to see the empty stable. At least Penny is willing to offer the man a cookie after Molly and Jared have abandoned ship to probably go argue some more. Oh! And here’s everyone now!
Shopkeeper: “Hey! I was just telling Molly and Kayla here why we’re all so late! Mrs Elliott’s cows got out and blocked the main highway. Nobody could pass! We all had to take the side road!”
Me: “Good God I need to live here.”
I really want my biggest concern in life to be the fact I can’t get up to the silent auction, being held in a stable, to bid on a painting, to help fund the relocation of a herd of reindeer, to our town’s own nature reserve because the highway was blocked by cows. That’s all I’ve ever wanted 2 days before Christmas.
Jared will not give up on hounding Molly around the stable and thinks the best way he can do this is by appearing out of nowhere and saying ‘Congratulations’ very loudly.
Jared: “Are you really leaving tomorrow?”
Molly: “Yeah, I have to get back to work. It’s where I belong.”
Me: “That and the fact you never got back to that client who is still waiting to receive that proposal you promised you’d look into…”
Jared: “I thought you weren’t sure about that.”
Jared: “What if you belong here? With me.”
Me: “What!? You don’t even fucking live here!”
Let’s just… think about Jared’s relocation plans for a minute while he apologises and tells the woman he’s in love with her. Oh look! It’s a full moon!
Prediction #20 – Molly is gonna find Jared’s whittled reindeer under the full moon and just know they are meant to be together. Forever. Just like Grandma planned all along and is part of her diabolical plan…
Jared’s father can’t help noticing the amount of times Molly has stormed away from his son in the past 6 hours so goes out to talk to him while he tries to whittle away at this reindeer. He needs to hurry up, Molly still needs to find that somewhere before she leaves to prove me right. Apparently, Jared’s grandfather used to do the same thing and clearly the talent wasn’t hereditary because Jared’s reindeer sucks. William has decided he actually needs to improve his relationship with his son, powered by Christmas cheer and his oncoming retirement, which is why he is not going to rip the lodge out from under Penny and Chris’ feet and leave them homeless.
William: “I know I’ll never be able to make up all those years to you but… to me that’s just a figure on a balance sheet. All these people up here, tonight, it’s obviously much more than that.”
Jared: “It’s a part of the town, it’s… they love it. I’ve only been here a little while, I can tell, why?”
William: “I knew you had something else on your mind. I could hear it in your voice on the phone.”
Me: “That and the fact he told you he had his doubts and had found himself in a bit of situation, yeah, sure.”
I am surprised that Jared didn’t continue to hound Molly and give her the good news but instead chose to wait until the next morning, at the very last moment, as she has already said goodbye to people, opened the Christmas advent calendar and is heading to the airport. Opening the advent calendar message of the day it tells her ‘the best Christmas gift is love’ which she feels she is severely lacking in right then and would rather just eat the chocolate, thanks.
Speaking of last minute, Molly decides to call that client while she is waiting in line to check in as if she didn’t have signal the entire time at the lodge…
Molly: “Hi Mr Roberts! It’s Molly Clarke from Manchester Software, we spoke last week about the proposal. Well, I know it’s Christmas Eve bu… No, I do have a life, I… Not a problem, we can speak after the holidays. Bye.”
Me: “Now that man knows how to celebrate Christmas!”
God fucking damn it. When looking in her case for her ID she instead finds the occult reindeer that Jared carved for her. What happened to leaving it outside under the full moon for her to find!? Out in the wilderness, buddy!! I would hardly call a local Vermont airport the motherfuckin’ wilderness! It has Christmas decorations and closes at night! Help me out there!
Back at the lodge Jared is ‘gifting’ the owners with a ‘Vermont Gift Deed’ which will be set up as a permanent trust so the lodge will belong to them and the town forever. I’m not sure… where the fact the place is on a registered nature reserve comes into all of this because OHHHHH those extra lights were on the back porch. That explains it.
Also, seeing as the full moon is actually good for at least 6 days (by the naked eye, anyway) Jared is able to stand out on the lawn, staring up at it and be more easily accessible for Molly to stroll back and find him.
Molly: “I found this in my bag.”
Jared: “I didn’t know what else to do.”
Me: “Except find her and explain that the lodge was no longer in danger? Bother to say goodbye? You thought sneaking into her room and planting a hand-carved, wooden reindeer in her suitcase was the way to go?”
I swear to GOD the reindeer that are strolling through the woods are the exact same fucking green-screened reindeer that knocked Maddie off the road. Penny is also claiming that the Christmas miracle of true love brought them back and everyone sneaks up in order to watch reindeer casually stroll around Penny and Chris. I hope they’ve apologised for fucking off and almost putting the couple out of a home.
And there we have it! If you want to watch some beautiful whittling then head right here.
Now let’s look at these predictions I am aware I have done terribly on.
Prediction board – 11/20
- Prediction #1 – Oh, you meant small town Jamaica that’s up a hill somewhere in the northern hemisphere! – CORRECT.
- Prediction #2 – Molly is going to get snowed in for the entire festive period and be unable to work and it will be healthy for her – INCORRECT! She actually found another hobby to work on.
- Prediction #3 – Jared is there to try and sell Reindeer Lodge or boot Zelda out of her home for not paying rent – Oh boy, yes. CORRECT!
- Prediction #4 – At some point a reindeer will take a specific liking to Molly and Jared will look fondly on – Unfortunately this never occurred, I would have liked to have seen her reaction to a real-life reindeer. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #5 – Jared’s company wants to make the place into a multi-storey car park or ski resort or something – CORRECT! People just love good real estate.
- Prediction #6 – Jared will decide that nature is more important than people dying on ski slopes and also wants to preserve the place where he met his future wife – CORRECT! Good for you, buddy.
- Prediction #7 – Molly will already have bonded with the reindeer far too much when she hears of Jared’s plan and feels utterly betrayed – INCORRECT! She actually bonded with her future self
- Prediction #8 – Molly will probably offer her own marketing expertise to help save the lodge – CORRECT!
- Prediction #9 – Molly will get the chance to leave early but in the end will not take it – CORRECT! Stopped by a tiny-eyed reindeer
- Prediction #10 – The whole town will come to the lodge’s aid because they all love reindeer around these here parts – HELL YEAH! CORRECT!
- Prediction #11 – Molly will find very personal ties to Reindeer lodge which will only reinforce her endeavours to save the place – Mmmmmm, nothing really came of this. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #12 – Molly will find this whittled reindeer out in the wilderness under the light of a full moon – Make that in the middle of the day under the fluorescent lights of the airport check in desk. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #13 – The reindeer have escaped! – We’ll never know… that is the reindeer’s secret and theirs alone…. UNKNOWN!
- Prediction #14 – There are no reindeer! – CORRECT! Phew, just in time.
- Prediction #15 – The reindeer will be back just in time to stop Greg and Kayla being sacrificed by the cult and to save the lodge – Although this would have been a good alternative ending… CORRECT!
- Prediction #16 – The book will also really help with publicity for the place – We can only assume so but… sure! CORRECT!
- Prediction #17 – Chris playing their favourite music will bring the reindeer back – Unfortunately…. no. INCORRECT!
- Prediction #18 – Jared’s father will reveal why his son is really there ungraciously and probably severe any remaining familial ties they had by trying to make him choose between business or the lodge – Ooooooh so close. Half a point.
- Prediction #19 – After spending two seconds at the lodge, Jared’s father will probably come around and at the risk of losing his son, decide not to try and foreclose the lodge – CORRECT! That Christmas spirit can do weird things to ya
- Prediction #20 – Molly is gonna find Jared’s whittled reindeer under the full moon and just know they are meant to be together. Forever. Just like Grandma planned all along and is part of her diabolical plan… – INCORRECT! Sorry Grandma.
- Horse and Sleigh: If they didn’t even have wild reindeer they weren’t going to have tame horses
- Piano: I think we’ve had our piano fix for this year already
- Carolling: Thank GOD no.
- Christmas Montage: A festive stable decorating montage!
- Fire Hazards: I have never been so amazed in all of my life by one person’s affinity with a fire hazard
- Relative(s) died a tragic death during a past Christmas: Errrrr…. sure
- Snowing on cue: All of the god damn time
20 god damn predictions! But hey, at least I got over 50% non?
Ya know… the past few films really haven’t been all that bad. I don’t feel completely traumatised, at least. Let’s see what the remaining days can do to me.