I wonder exactly what it is about Christmas that makes it such an effective setting for onscreen romance. Is it just the festive atmosphere in general? Or is it something more subconscious to do with giving and receiving? Whatever the reason, Christmas and rom-coms go together like…well, Christmas and rom-coms! The latest entry into the genre is Something From Tiffany’s.
Like many examples of the genre, Something From Tiffany’s isn’t about revolutionizing the plot, it’s about interesting details adding up to a satisfying resolution. That’s what viewers receive, for the most part.
You can probably tell from the title that this story is set in New York City and the famous jewelry store plays a part in the action. A 2011 novel by Melissa Hill is actually the basis for the script, despite how much the premise sounds like it was created by committee. You could probably take a guess at the general plot points here and not be far off. However, the success of a romantic comedy lies in other things. Something From Tiffany’s accomplishes those things at a level that’s usually decent or better, particularly the happy ending.
“I love that something beautiful always comes out of the mess.”
Two men are buying Christmas gifts for their girlfriends at Tiffany’s. One is an engagement ring, the other a pair of earrings. Widower Ethan (Kendrick Sampson) is the guy with the ring, in town for a Christmas vacation. He and his daughter see the guy with the earrings, Gary (Ray Nicholson), get hit by a cab. Yes, their bags accidentally get switched. And yes, Gary’s girlfriend Rachel (played by Zoey Deutch) is supposed to really be with Ethan. Because that’s the way rom-coms work!
Rachel is a baker with a successful shop, and we know that Gary is not the right guy for her when he bumps into Ethan’s daughter while leaving Tiffany’s without apologizing. Meanwhile, Ethan’s girlfriend, Vanessa (Shay Mitchell) doesn’t like New York. And he wants to move there. That tells us all we need to know about that relationship. At the same time, when Rachel and Ethan spend time together, smiles are had. We all know what that means.
On the other end of the story spectrum, the situation involving the ring and earring slip-up, and how that works itself out, is convoluted and stretches believability. First, Gary’s memory isn’t in the best shape after getting hit by a cab, but he just decides to basically keep the ring he didn’t pay for when he realizes what happened? And Ethan is so chill that he barely puts up a fuss to get it back?
“The risk of love is loss, right?”
What DOES deserve a fuss is the cast here. They all inhabit their roles well, in an appealing way or not as the story demands. For example, Vanessa is not great but not evil either, while Gary is just…UGH in the end. The interaction between Rachel and Ethan is the real sweet spot of this film. Deutch and Sampson have nice chemistry, and, let’s face it, a rom-com kinda falls apart if that’s not in place.
Furthermore, the story establishes the attraction between them but is careful not to let them become cheaters. This is important as well — the audience needs to root for the central couple. When they do, the payoff of the happy ending will impact the way it’s supposed to.
I liked the finale better than any other part of this film. They really got the get-together moment right. Even better, we get a happy and fluffy epilogue set a year later. We get to see the couple we’ve invested our emotions into in the middle of a fulfilling relationship! More movies and TV shows should do this! We the people want it!
We would also like the story details to be stronger leading up to the resolution than they are in this film, but at least the running time is brisk and efficient. It’s less than an hour and a half, and that ending finishes everything off with a chef’s kiss. At this time of year, when you want this type of story, well, that’s a feat that shouldn’t be sneered at. Something From Tiffany’s is not a bad choice to hit that holiday romantic comedy spot.
3 1/2 stars out of 5
Something From Tiffany’s is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.