Over here at Pedestrian.TV we’ve all taken one for the proverbial team and subjecting ourselves to watching a range of cheesy Christmas movies available on Netflix this year. It goes without saying that such an undertaking is destined to challenge even the most festive of individuals – I identify on the merrier end of the spectrum – but here we go.
First thing’s first, I was rather late to put my name down on the movie sign-up list. By the time I got to it, there with only two film options left to choose from. Given how average some Christmas movies can be, my expectations of the remaining movies were exceptionally low. The only thing left to do at this point was pick the film which looked slightly less shit.
The synopsis for (the spectacularly average sounding) Angel of Christmas goes like this:
“While researching a family heirloom, a jilted news staffer uncovers the
ornament’s magical past and meets someone special, perhaps not by
Can confirm, this is what happens. The synopsis doesn’t, however, do justice to how much cheesy goodness awaits you in the subsequent 88 minutes.
The film opens in black and white, showing some random Ryan Gosling-type fellow walking into a Broadway show called ‘The Christmas Surprise’, starring one Jessica Rose, in New York City.
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Jessica Rose is gonna be a pretty major part of the story.
Then, the throwback hottie proceeds to go backstage and present this Jessica babe with a huge (and horrendously tacky) angel. Not surprisingly, Jessica doesn’t want his junk and gives it back to him.
LOOK AT THE FUCKING SIZE OF IT.
He’s actually shocked she doesn’t want it – clearly never been told the truth in his life – and proceeds to leave looking all downtrodden for his desperately shite gift-giving skills. Might I add this whole scene takes place without any dialogue, because apparently the first scene wasn’t seen as important enough to bother scripting (?!).
Next minute, we’re brought forward to present day, where we meet Susan Nicholas – the type of woman who orders multigrain, gluten-free bagel with exactly one table spoon of lite cream cheese, and hides behind newspapers in an attempt to play hard to get:
You don’t want to be Susan. But I’m sorry to tell you that this is your protagonist, folks.
As for her demeanour, she’s somewhere between Blake Lively circa Gossip Girl and that mum in 17 Again. The main thing you need to know about Susan is just how much she hates Christmas. Even down to laughing at her own shitty joke at the coffee shop where she sarcastically asks the poor barista if the ‘Christmas Blend’ is “made by elves…”. Yup, this chick’s going straight to hell.
Just like any cliché holiday movie, the love interest has to be introduced within precisely 0.5 seconds and, whaddaya know, an inoffensive looking dude behind Susan suddenly starts chatting to her. His pick up line of choice? “wow I didn’t know anyone read papers anymore, how old school.”
Oh, and he’s an artist apparently – if the paint smudges across his face and hair were too subtle for you.
In response, Susan explains that she works for a newspaper and needs to keep the industry going (fair enough). He mentions how he gets most of his news online and she proceeds to slag off any and every digital publisher
because of their ‘inferior’ form of journalism. Um, okay mate.
After grabbing her morning coffee, Susan wanders up to work where she’s genuinely stunned that her editor didn’t like her piece on ‘dog weddings’. Yes, this is the same woman who, no less than two minutes ago, was berating the world of soft news. Reluctant to give her a second chance, the editor then asks Susan to write a fuck-off massive feature for the Christmas Day paper. Like, as if, but whatever.
Keen to now find a feature idea, Susan visits her ‘rents, who suggest she investigates the ‘family angel’ that apparently “brings people together”. As you likely guessed, it’s that same huge garish angel from earlier that, up close, bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Courtney Love:
Coincidence? I think not.
The story goes that Susan’s great, great grandfather made the angel for a Broadway actress he fell in love with (and now the entire intro shiz makes sense). The old pa is also from a small town called Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – I #can’t.
After deciding she has zero better ideas, and her best mate whispers solid advice like “you’ve got to think outside the box, sister”, Susan (AKA Suzie Q) then reconsiders writing about the angel. The clincher? When the angel suddenly turns the TV on to play a nativity scene. Rather than freaking out over this supernatural happening, she simply says “ok, you win”.
I feel like now is the prime time to remind you just how vexing Susan is as a person. For starters, she sits like this at her desk:
Second, she makes piss-poor lists like this:
Oh, now we get to meet the office wanker called Derek (classic wanker name), who hates Crimmus just as much as Susan and he tries to ask her out. But she says ‘no’ – Susan’s first half-decent decision.
Like, I already hate this guy, so props for this casting.
What follows is a series of desperately unlikely events, whereby Susan keeps running into that artist from the coffee shop, called Brady. First at a gallery exhibition – which just so happens to be the gallery he’s working at – and then again outside a random shop front.
Can we take a second to talk about the fact this guy is never allowed to be seen without first being splattered with paint?
WE GET IT. HE PAINTS.
Anywayyy, when perfectly-nice Brady then asks her out on a date, she declines because “I don’t trust artsy types” and “‘Relax’ isn’t a word on my schedule right now” – both excuses literally nobody in the history of mankind has ever used to turn down a date.
Oh, and whenever old mate Derek enters the scene, the magical angel does something to fuck it up, like magically throw stuff off tables (with the help of some very sketchy graphics). But, being the total prick that she is, Susan is more interested in the office fuckboi than the artist.
After literally a gazillion ‘signs’ from the angel, Susan decides to go on a date with the artist, who then decides he’s on a quest to ‘get her Christmas spirit back’. Cue the cliche ice skating where she can’t skate, she falls, he catches him blah blah blah.
I hate it.
Next time she runs into Derek, Susan (read: the angel) accidentally spills coffee onto his crisp suit and he cracks THE SHITS. So even Susan, who can’t really take a hint, decides that maybe Derek ain’t the lad for her and decides to upgrade Brady to potential boyfriend material, and concedes she’ll allow him to help her get her Xmas spirit back.
As part of her story research, Susan then hits up her Grandad’s place for info about the angel’s past, where her Gramp’s uncovered a huge blue print of a cottage made by his father(?) – AKA throwback Gosling – for the actress.
THIS is throwback great Gramps/Gosling btw.
But, no matter how many questions Susan asks, nobody knows who this famous actress’ name. Regardless of the angel and grand cabin plans, it turns out she decline’s vintage Gos’ hand in marriage. DEVO.
Holiday/life/romance cynic Susan keeps poking holes in her Gramp’s story when he tells her, “If you want to believe you have to take a leap. Look too close and the magic’s gone.” …… Wow that could not be truer than with this movie.
One unnecessarily complicated search later, Susan and Brady uncover that the actress is one ‘lavender eyed’ Jessica Rose (the lass from the intro credits). As far as I’m concerned, this is a shameless Elizabeth Taylor reference that they’ve straight-up stolen.
As you can probs tell, Susan and Brady are getting pretty close now. Heck, he’s even got her singing bloody Christmas carols:
Side note: a really interesting twist in this movie would be if she ends up going for the office asshole. Right?
After the carols, they go and find a Christmas tree and, just like Susan’s family, Brady’s says his fam have a tradition of only putting Xmas trees outside “so they can look up to God.”
But rather than question whether, perhaps, they’re distant cousins, they decide to MAKE THE FUCK OUT instead.
Holy fuck. INCEST WAS NOT A PLOT TWIST I SAW COMING. I shit you not. They’re getting ~frisky~ and haven’t even bothered to check if they’re related. That’s just plain irresponsible, guys, not to mention gross. Not cool
Brady then reveals he’s got an offer to open a studio in LA with a mate and, rather than try to talk him out of it, Susan congratulates him and says he should put his career first. Like, over her, especially because they’re so new.
This is Susan’s second not-shit judgement call. She’s trying to do the decent thing but Brady takes offence at this and they end up going on a Ross and Rachel-style ‘break’. BOOOOOOO.
When Susan’s mate asked then her at the office Christmas party why she’s not seeing Brady anymore, Susan tells her what happened. ‘Who wouldn’t want a guy who puts her first?’ asks the mate, before she responds, ‘It’s too much, too fast and I don’t trust it’.
FAIR. I have legit been in this exact same decision and I think I’m coming around to Team Susan after all.
But, just when she starts acting like a normal person, shit kick Derek comes up and asks her to dance. AND SHE AGREES. Two seconds later and they’re almost kissing (WHAT) before that bloody angel has to intervene (AGAIN) by causing a power outage.
The next day, she wakes up in bed and a huge painting-shaped parcel is delivered to Susan’s apartment. I’ll give you one guess what it is: a painting from Brady.
Check out this masterpiece, folks:
LOOOOOOOOL. This is a cute gesture, in theory, but don’t quit the day job, Brady.
Keen to rekindle their relationship, Susan then tries to call him but he’s out of town at his family’s very own cabin.
What does she do? She jumps in the car, Christmas blend coffee in hand, and miraculously finds the cabin Brady’s staying in, knowing only the vague direction of the place. Of course, Brady’s bloody shooketh to see her there. But, before long, they’re inside, patch things up and all is well.
The only thing left to do now is write the end of her hefty newspaper feature about the angel, which she now has an ending for.
As she’s rattling around the big vintage desk in Brady’s cabin, some old letters fall out, addressed to his great
aunt Mabel McNut – what a name.
Not surprisingly, each letter is from a small town called Bethla-fucking-hem, and written by Susan’s great great Gramps.
Mabel, it seems, changed her name to Jessica Rose, and the pair had an amicable split..
“Maybe the reason our great grandparents couldn’t get together is so we could.” Ugh, vom. But I guess that clears up the whole incest thing. So that’s a pretty happy, and legal, ending.
Susan now finishes her article, sends it in and yes, it lands the front page, but you already knew that.
In short, this movie might be shit for a LOT of reasons but, if you persevere, it’s actually kinda wholesome in the end.
I’m not proud of myself for saying this, and I definitely wouldn’t suggest watching it if you’re keen for an enthralling watch, but it does the job of instilling the Christmas spirit despite even the most average of beginnings.
All images: Courtesy of Netflix.