Even though I live in New York, where Christmas is an amazing experience, I know that there is nothing like Christmas in Europe. The holiday markets, the way that they celebrate Christmas, the way that everything means something different…
It’s just a different feeling.
I love Christmas in New York. But I live for Christmas in Europe.
So, I was excited that Hallmark wanted to take us to London for Christmas. In the movie we meet David, an American who has recently moved to London for a job at a prestigious architectural firm. David has designed a building for a London business man, who is hard to please and has several other people up for the project.
While shopping for his girlfriends present (he got her a gift card) he runs into a woman, they make small talk, and then she makes a comment about him choosing the gift card for a gift.
Now, I have to take her side, because personally, I love shopping for gifts. I pay attention to everything that everyone says and make notes all year long in order to find the perfect gifts. So, I would have scoffed at a gift card too – especially for a significant other.
The two end up on the same bus, where he seems to be annoyed by her presence. David is focused on work. Work is the thing that means the most to him. He’s driven, focused, and doesn’t want to have to deal with Anji.
When the two part ways, David heads back to work where he finds out that he has an important meeting the next day. With less than 24 hours to get everything together, there is a lot of pressure.
And there is even more pressure on David, as his girlfriend, Char, is his bosses daughter. She comes to visit him at work and is trying to persuade him to come to lunch with her. He’s insistent that he doesn’t have time, there is too much work to do, that he’s got meetings. She’s visibly disappointed, but also covering it quickly, her face returning to being stoic, non expressive.
When David’s co-worker comes in, she leaves and David is reminded that he’s dating the bosses daughter. That there is an expectation and it is obvious that she’s expecting more.
One has to wonder, why would someone place that kind of pressure on a friend? Or you know, on anyone? And then you have to think, if the person isn’t seeing what is in front of them, are we really talking about a relationship that will last?
I get it. We’re all focused. The world has been a crazy place, one where everything feels overwhelming and stressful. Over the past few years we’ve learned to look at the world a little differently, to open our eyes to the world that is going on around us. We’re learning to look up.
And yet in the same breathe, we’ve learned to follow our dreams a little more. We’ve learned to see that if we want to build a certain life, we need to just do it, and not wait for certain things to fall into place. BUT David, he’s not realizing that. He’s telling himself that he needs to live up to the worlds expectations and pressures.
David crosses paths with Anji again (because they accidentally switched bags on the bus) hiring her to help find the perfect present. There is a part of me that wants to like David and then there is the reality that I don’t at this point in the movie. He’s dismissive and it feels like he’s looking down on Anji, as if what she does is easy.
He seems especially annoyed when she asks a lot of questions – ones that he doesn’t seem to have any answers to. It’s showing that he doesn’t know his girlfriend at all and personally, I think that is what bothers him the most. He becomes defensive when he can’t answer what should be simple questions. Favorite book? Favorite movie? Favorite color?
He knows none of the answers.
Granted, Anji is wearing her disappointment with his lack of his knowledge. She’s wearing all over her face her shock and her wonder how David can think that this is an important relationship when he doesn’t know the basics.
The two embark on a day to find the perfect present, when they don’t even know what perfect is. The two run into Charlotte and her Mom, while shopping, and tries to cover it up. It leads them to a Christmas market, and David still doesn’t know why they are there.
At this point, one has to wonder how much more David needs to see that he’s in a relationship that he doesn’t want to be in and is just existing through life. He’s having the best day, though he doesn’t see it, because he’s LIVING.
Sure, he’s scared that he’s making mistakes. Sure, he’s scared of making waves in a new job and with a new boss. But he’s going to have to if he wants to move forward. Especially after he falls in a lake and misses the important meeting.
But Anji, she’s not willing to settle for him missing a meeting while trying to do the right thing. She devises a plan to get him in the same room with the man he’s supposed to pitch to, but even that goes wrong. Everything is going wrong, but something is going right.
These two are finding hope in each other.
They are getting to know each other and themselves. Sometimes it takes just a little bit of time to get to know someone, sometimes it take a lifetime. But again, even as all the things are going wrong, they are finding the right in being there for each other.
And hey, that’s not such a bad thing.
Eventually these two are going to find their way to each other, because that is what happens in life and in movies.
I liked Jolly Good Christmas, because it was good. It was thoughtful. It was an escape. That’s the best part of movies, when you can escape life and just be happy.
Now off to planning my trip to Europe for next Christmas.