Do towns that celebrate Christmas 24/7/365 really exist outside of movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas, part of It’s a Wonderful Lifetime? I suspect they don’t. Sure, there are undoubtedly towns that have Christmas-themed stores that run year-round. But I can’t imagine the entire town gets in on the action, with local bakeries serving eggnog in July. I’d say maybe I’m wrong about that, but actually…I’ll come back to that in a minute.
Whether they actually exist, the town in Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas goes all-in on the holidays. To its credit, the movie does try to explain why the entire town has an obsession with pine trees, gingerbread, and nutcrackers. (They even have a Nutcracker museum, which is something I must admit I would totally visit.) I don’t think an explanation is really necessary. An entire town loves Christmas. Sure. I’m there. I don’t really need that much of an explanation when the entire point of the movie is to get a pretty weather forecaster and a hot morning show host together.
Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas tells the story of Bridget Torres (Valery M. Ortiz) – the weather forecaster in question. When she’s asked to host the “snow-cast” at the annual Christmas Eve festival in the Christmas-loving town of Leavenworth, Washington. However, it turns out she’s not hosting the snow-cast alone, when her trip is crashed by the most popular morning talk show hosts from her network. Sparks fly between Bridget and host/native-Leavenworthian Drake Kincaid (Brandon Quinn) as they’re forced to work together. There are the usual meet-cutes and misunderstandings – in this case, related to the fact Bridget had applied for a co-host slot, but (she believes) Drake rejected her application.
The resolution to the job-related misunderstanding is perhaps a little silly. The writers do explain why he didn’t tell her the truth about her career rejection earlier. But it feels just a little flimsy. Oh, well. It’s a conundrum with cheesy Christmas movies that you need to have some sort of drama that 1) must be resolved neatly in an hour and a half, and 2) can’t make either party to the core romance look that bad. A lot of the resolutions are going to feel a little flimsy.
So maybe Drake could have told Bridget the truth at the time she was turned down for the job. He didn’t, and I’m willing to accept that she never really gave him a chance to do so thereafter. Instead, she exercised a little bit of “professional avoidance” — avoiding Drake whenever possible, and being completely professional when forced to interact with him. Bridget’s level of utmost professionalism is both refreshing and frustrating throughout Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas. Of course, Bridget’s an adult, so you don’t really want her to sink to childish tactics. It’s nice to see an enemies-to-lovers relationship that doesn’t involve petty bickering.
At the same time, I occasionally wanted to scream that she was a little too determined to remain professional. The snow-cast was supposed to be her gig, but Drake’s co-host Tatum (Sarah Jane Morris) takes over and makes her a footnote in her own broadcast. Instead of pushing the issue and fighting for her shot, she simply agrees to make the best of the hand she’s dealt. Yes, professionalism is important. But so is advocating for yourself.
It’s a minor quibble since it’s a Lifetime Christmas movie, which means everything is going to end up okay in the end. Bridget doesn’t really need to advocate for herself to have her happy ending. And even Tatum, the “villain” of the movie, atones for her actions in the end. Granted, her actions weren’t that bad. Although I kept expecting her to sabotage Bridget’s broadcast, all she really did was take over the snow-cast and spill the beans about the cause for her rival’s move to the evening show. She’s a little petty and a little jealous, but she realizes she was wrong and makes her apologies, and all is well.
It’s honestly as nice that the movie avoided petty bickering between Bridget and Tatum as it was that they didn’t resort to petty bickering between Bridget and Drake. Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas is a cheesy holiday movie, and it understands its assignment. We’re not here to delve into heavy-hitting drama and angst. We’re here to binge on gingerbread cookies while we watch two pretty people fall in love against the backdrop of Christmas. We want something sweet and lighthearted, and this movie delivers.
And this is probably a good time to return to my original question. Do towns that celebrate Christmas 24/7/365 really exist? I don’t know. But Leavenworth, Washington certainly does. As does its Nutcracker museum, with over 900 Nutcrackers on display! I don’t know if they serve eggnog in July, but now I desperately want to find out. I guess I know the next city on my vacation wishlist!
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas? Share with us in the comments below!
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