It's the holiday season, the time for all the candy-floss rom-coms to drop on Neflix.
Last Updated: 02.17 PM, Nov 17, 2022
Story: Pop singer Angelina is in desperate need of a new song. Her recording label is literally breathing down her neck, but she’s having a bit of a creative crisis. To make matters worse, a new star is on the rise with chart-topping music that’s getting her on all magazine covers. When Angelina then decides to take a little breather, away from her routine, she heads off to a small town and meets a young fan, Cristina (Deja Monique Cruz) whose big dream is to take a selfie with her idol. There she also meets Cristina’s dad Miguel (Freddie Prince Jr) a high-school music teacher, who once harboured dreams of being in a band. He’s still writing bits and pieces of music that no one gets to see or hear, until Angelina comes to town. Can he break her out of the rut she is in?
Review: When you are not a fan of holiday season romantic dramas or comedies and end up watching them because of one or more of the stars in it, often, it is not only terribly disappointing, but also makes you want to bang your head somewhere for putting yourself through that disappointment. I did it twice this week and live to tell the tale.
While casually surfing through the newest titles on Netflix, a familiar face popped up. If you’ve seen Parent Trap as many times as I have and never got bored of it, you will understand why Falling For Christmas made it to the watchlist. Two days later, I volunteered to watch another; this time because the star, Aimee Garcia, was a favourite character on Lucifer. Christmas With You had her as an almost washed-out pop star that youngsters were referring to as a relic.
The ageist jokes, and the fact that Angelina is a Latina, came across as not too subtle digs at a certain pop star. Also, Aimee seemed too young to be playing a singer whose been around since her interviewers were in diapers. Turns out, Aimee isn’t the 20-something I thought she was, but she does look a lot younger than she is; kudos for that. But that’s besides the point.
The problem with Christmas With You goes beyond its cast. It’s sloppily written and put together. Single, attractive dads are the current flavour of the season. Just change the heroine around, like, for instance, Lindsay Lohan’s hotel heiress in Falling For Christmas or pop star Angelina in Christmas With You. It’s the same formula, all the time. They come together under some pretext, fall in love in record time, have issues communicating said feelings for each other and temporarily go their separate ways. Throw in a fiancé/boyfriend into the mix to add some confusion. And then have them realize where their hearts truly lie. The End. It is so cliched that none of the scenes evoke any reaction. Am I getting too old for this, or are these holiday films getting worse by the day? I think it’s a combination of both.
Aimee Garcia was good side-kick material in Lucifer, but as the heroine of a rom-com? And that too a pop star with a supposedly sizeable fan following, she just wasn’t cut out for it. Freddie Prince Jr is still a charmer, but his character is given the short end of the stick.
Verdict: Christmas With You is all candy-floss; it’s almost annoying and nauseating how sweet it is. Die-hard romantics may find something in it for them. This one just didn’t work for me. I’d rather watch a re-run of Pretty Woman or Parent Trap.