A December Bride (DVD)

It’s only the day after Christmas, so the month of Christmas themed reviews continues here on the blog.  I watch Christmas movies all year round, ya’ll, and I watched this one in October.  It stars Daniel Lissing, who also stars in the Hallmark TV series, When Calls the Heart, and Jessica Lowndes, who I’ve never seen in anything before (and don’t really care to see in anything more unless she’s in another Hallmark movie with Luke Macfarlane or Daniel Lissing).  This movie has a surprisingly messy storyline for a Hallmark movie, although the ensuing melodrama is right up Hallmark’s alley.

Layla’s cousin, Jessica, is marrying Layla’s ex-fiancé, Jack, who left Layla (Lowndes) for his soon-to-be-wife (you read that right; I said it was messy).  When Layla’s date for the wedding falls through, she reluctantly accepts Seth’s offer to accompany her to what will be a fraught emotional occasion for her.  Also Seth (Lissing) is the man who introduced the happy couple, subsequently torpedoing Layla’s lifelong dream of being a December bride.  Unfortunately at the reception Seth lets his mouth run away with him (or maybe it’s wishful thinking on his part) when he blurts out that he and Layla are actually engaged to the shock and surprise of all of Layla’s family and friends who had no idea Layla had a “boyfriend.”

Soon Layla’s and Seth’s charade spirals out of control as they agree to continue the farce long enough for Layla to decorate Seth’s house for the holiday home tour and hopefully land her dream job as a home stager and decorator for some big-to-do real estate broker (or some such) that every interior decorator in town wants to work for.   Layla and Seth’s friends and family celebrate the faux couple’s sham engagement and Layla’s family is especially happy she’s gotten a second chance at love and happiness, while Seth and Layla feel increasingly conflicted (and backed into a corner) about their charade.  As Layla decorates Seth’s house for the tour, the two friends grow closer while Layla worries about being hurt in love again.  When it’s revealed that Seth has harbored feelings for Layla for far longer than he previously let on, it becomes clear that their faux relationship has re-awakened and deepened those feelings.  As the tour approaches and Seth and Layla plan how to stage their “break-up,” it’s clear that Seth is especially reluctant and sad to follow through with their plan to end their relationship.  The question is, will Layla admit she has feelings for Seth and take a risk for love again before it’s too late?

Some thoughts I had:

Aunt Lorraine is excessively pushy and meddles way too much.  I mean, I understand she wants Layla to bury the hatchet with Jessica (Lorraine’s daughter) a.k.a. Layla’s cousin who stole her fiancé and is now married to the man, but not much time has passed and the wedding added to the awkwardness between the cousins as well as dredged up negative emotions for Layla.

Jessica is awfully pushy as far as making Layla bury the hatchet.  Stealing (and marrying) your cousin’s (who is your bff and like a sister to you) fiancé is a pretty big betrayal, and I don’t know how you go back to the pre-betrayal/fiancé-stealing iteration of your friendship.  Seems like some boundaries with a healthy amount of distance are in order.

I don’t know, but Layla’s mother’s wedding gown looks unusually modern–and new–for a garment that’s supposed to be, like, 30 years old.

[Spoiler alert, but not really because we all know how Hallmark movies end] Layla’s red earrings are a surprisingly unexpected and bold choice to wear with her wedding gown.

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