Relationships are complicated. If anyone ever tries to tell you different, because they would be lying. Every relationship is its own beast – its own set of rules, its own way of evolving, its own catalyst of change.
And that’s not a bad thing. Because it is our relationships in life that help us define who we are and become different people. Arguably, better people, if we take the lessons that we learn and do something with them.
But relationships can also have us stuck in the same old routine, haunted by the things that happened to us in the past, not allowing ourselves forgiveness and a future that is beyond what we know.
And as deep as that all is – Hallmark examines all of that in their newest Countdown To Christmas movie, Boyfriends of Christmas Past.
There are a lot of things that I don’t know about life, but I will tell you this – I know Christmas Movies. And as far as Hallmark Channel movies, Boyfriends of Christmas Past is one of my favorites ever. Why? Well, first because of its diversity. Hallmark has a lot of catching up to do in diverse casting, don’t get me wrong. The second, I kinda love A Christmas Carol, and so many of the modern day adaptations fall flat. However, Boyfriends of Christmas Past is cute enough that you overlook shortcomings that are there.
Raymond Ablack, Catherine Haena Kim, and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee star in the movie. The basics, “Marketing executive Lauren must learn to open her heart with the help of four ghosts of ex-boyfriends who visit her leading up to Christmas.”
Lauren is a marketing executive, she’s focused on her career, friends, and runs away from relationships. I get what she’s doing because hey – being focused isn’t a bad thing. But being focused can sometimes leave a person lonely, even when they don’t realize it.
Lauren is surrounded by great friends, including a best friend, Nate, who is obviously head over heels in love with her. But Lauren, she’s oblivious to it. She thinks that everything that Nate does is just a sign of friendship, because they are close.
And guys, Nate is this stand up dude who deserves all the love and attention that anyone could give. He’s always right beside Lauren, supporting her, telling her she’s amazing, asking for advice, and giving her all the love that she could need. But Lauren doesn’t ever see the way that he looks at her.
Everyone else does though.
Lauren has a habit of pushing the men in her life away around Christmas time. Her Mom left her and her Dad around that time and she doesn’t realize that she’s breaking up with all the serious relationships in her life around the holidays.
But the boyfriends of her past do realize it. And as the come and visit her and take her through her past, she still doesn’t understand what they are all telling her. What are they trying to save her from before it’s too late?
Every single one of them is trying to show her that they get her fear, but that she’s gotta allow people in before she looses everything and looses the one man she truly loves – Nate.
It’s this weird thing as you watch – cause I think that we’ve all been there. Where? In love with someone who wasn’t in love with us or couldn’t see that they were in love with us. Or we’ve been the person unable to see that we are in love with someone.
Love is this thing that we’re all taught that we want to find in life, something that is supposed to make us feel “complete” or it’s supposed to awaken a part of us or some shit like that. But what I hate is that we’re taught that. Love is a great part of all of us and I think that we should all open our hearts to feeling it, but we shouldn’t let it define us.
So, I can’t be mad at Lauren, who is focused on her big pitch at work and in that process, has isolated herself from Nate. But Nate is a social worker and he’s relying on her for some stuff for the kids Christmas party, and she lets him down. She doesn’t show up when he needs her, even though he always does for her.
And so he hits her back where it hurts – he tells her that he can’t spend Christmas with her and her family.
Nate was a foster kid, he doesn’t have a family to spend the holidays with. Since college, he’s spent it with Lauren and her family.
She’s automatically hurt and becomes a little defensive. This is where I relate to Lauren again, she doesn’t want to feel the pain, so she chooses to compartmentalize it.
But those pesky ex-boyfriends aren’t having it. They show up all together, to see what she’s learned. And they take her to the future, where if she doesn’t fix things, Nate will be proposing to someone else.
Hey, sometimes it takes feeling pain to stop yourself from reaching the point where that is the option. Lauren realizes seeing Nate say that he loves someone else and watching him propose to someone else, that she loves him.
And love, well, that’s a weird thing. It’s a little overpowering once you realize that it’s there and it becomes all you can see. But we’re not complaining.
That’s also part of the beauty of it.
Lauren and Nate confess their love for each other and she fixes her mistake before it’s too late. Which, hey, I smiled over. The two of them make a perfect couple.
Boyfriends Of Christmas Past is a heartwarming rom com. One that I never expected to see on The Hallmark Channel, but hey, I would watch again. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that love is all around us.
We just have to open our eyes and hearts to it.