After all the movies about gingerbread, reconnecting with your roots, and even dancing, Lifetime’s Wrapped Up in Love – part of It’s a Wonderful Lifetime – has one final reminder not to lose sight of what’s important this holiday season. It isn’t food or decorations. It isn’t even making everything “perfect” for the people around you. The most important thing to remember during the holiday season is love and kindness. It’s helping those who need it.
Wrapped Up in Love is the final move in Lifetime’s slate of holiday films this year. The film stars Brittany Bristow as Ashley Mackenzie and Oliver Renaud as Ben. The two are in a friendly competition to help bolster sales at Ben’s father’s store over the holidays. But while Christmas has always been Ashley’s domain, Ben gives her a run for her money, unwittingly stealing her thunder. As Ashely struggled with the changes he brings into her life, her situation becomes even more complicated when she starts having feelings for her would-be rival.
As Christmas movies go, this last movie in Lifetime’s 2022 holiday slate is serviceable if somewhat unremarkable. They film almost sets up an enemies-to-lovers dynamic but never quite gets there. Mostly because Ashley and Ben seem to also have a “love at first sight” meet-cute. At least, I assume it’s meant to be love at first sight. Their wide-eyed expressions could equally be interpreted as “I’ve just met you and think you might be a serial killer.” (Which would also be on brand in a weird way for the Lifetime network.)
“Misunderstandings that could be cleared up with a single conversation between literally any two characters” is often a trope of movies in general – let alone cheesy Christmas ones. But it’s particularly true of Wrapped Up in Love, when Ashley overhears a conversation that leaves her convinced that she’s about to lose out on her coveted promotion in favor of a Ben. And a hefty dose of nepotism.
As it turns out, things aren’t entirely what they seem. Naturally. But the misunderstanding is enough to send Ashley straight to the store’s competitor, accepting a job there. At various points from then until the film’s climax, this understanding could be cleared up by Ashley talking to Ben. Or her boss. Or her friend Andie (Tara Joshi). Even her brother Cliff (Matt Wells). Instead, she resolves to leave without having a single conversation with her supposedly beloved boss. And even when Andie and Cliff there’s been a misunderstanding, she’s going to leave because of it, and she has no intention of clearing the air with Ben first, they…say nothing. They don’t even attempt a simple, “Hey, uh…there’s something you should probably know first…”
Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, I hope Ashley is then able to spend the rest of her career at the store, because she appears to leave her would-be new employer equally in the lurch. But that’s never mentioned again, so one could equally imagine the would-be new employer is struck by a meteor and no longer in need of her services.
Ultimately, Wrapped Up in Love has a nice message about helping those in need over the holidays. And – perhaps unwittingly – a message about the importance of communication. Any kind of communication. With pretty much anyone. It isn’t the most memorable of movies, but it’s a feel-good Christmas movie. Set at Christmas. About Christmassy things. So if that’s the kind of thing you like – and, honestly, why else would you be here? – there are certainly worse ways to wrap up the holiday season.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Wrapped Up in Love? Share with us in the comments below!