“Consider this a warning ladies. you are entering a world of hurt you know nothing about. This isn’t just some game for bored housewives. This is baking. And you’re rolling with the big boys now.”
Sisters Kim and Gina must find a way to save the family bakery, which is in jeopardy of closing by Christmas Eve. Their best option to raise the money: winning the Dessert Grand Prix, an annual reality competition show on television.
To win, the sisters will have to unite their talents and come up with the best tasting cupcakes they can to wow the judges. It’s the UPtv movie, “Christmas Cupcakes” (2019 – well, technically it’s from 2018, but those of us in the the U.S. didn’t get to see it then).
Our Review: Christmas Cupcakes
“Christmas Cupcakes” is largely built around the dessert competition, which essentially is a satire of “MasterChef” and other similar reality cooking shows. But it’s not a full-out parody movie (like “A Christmas Movie Christmas”, a movie we absolutely love).
However, at times you could almost forget you were watching a Christmas movie. It honestly could have happened at any time of the year.
The romance between Gina (Cindy Busby) and Nick (Corey Loranger) is basically a paint-by-numbers B-story. All we really know is wants a food truck and we liked that he made her an old school holiday mix-tape CD.
Everything else is either family drama – mostly involving sisters Gina and Kim (Erin Karpluk), preparing for the competition, the competition, and celebrating after the competition. Oh, and with multiple montages thrown in.
There are lots of funny moments, many of them in the scenes featuring Andrew (Kristian Bruun) and the TV show judges (one of whom is clearly a parody of the Most Interesting Man in the World).
The Nice List
Our Favorite Scene (You Might Cry!)
When Gina visits the bread lady’s house. You might cry when the bread lady talks about her late husband.
“Sometimes the best things in life are right under your nose, but you never realize it,” the bread lady says. “I used to make this every morning for my husband. Now he’s gone. Your bread keep him alive here,” she says indicating her heart.
Andrew is amazingly funny in “Christmas Cupcakes”. He has so many funny lines.
In addition to the quote that opens this review, and another below in the movie reference section, one of our favorites was when he explain his history with Gina: “Our souls intertwined on a celestial plane.”
This was part of one of the best scenes of the movie, when the sisters go “undercover” at Andrew’s bakery (Bake It Til You Make It). Kim goes all out, putting on a black wig and trench coat, and has a ridiculousl funny backstory for her character, Crazy Liz.
We really liked that Gina and Kim didn’t win the competition. It was a rare surprising moment watching a Christmas movie. The heroes always win, right? RIGHT?
Even though the competition didn’t work, they still got the miracle they needed, just not in the form they were expecting.
It’s a Miracle Christmas Movie Reference
Andrew hilariously uses two Christmas movies to help describe his cupcake creation:
“It’s sort of like if ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street had a baby, but that baby was a cupcake. That’s what it’s like.”
The Naughty List
In the opening scene, the video footage of the sisters as kids is in the wrong aspect format. And it’s also not standard definition.
There’s a weird day to night transition that we’re still confused about. When Gina meets Nick to eventually go ice skating, we initially thought this was a new day. It looked like sunrise, there were chirping birds, and Nick gave her a coffee.
But then Gina and Nick went into a building (presumably to ice skate) and next thing we know, they are suddenly ice skating outside and it’s nighttime. We are still confused what happened here.
And why did they go into the building only to go outside to skate? How long were they in that building? Did they go into another ice skating dimension?
The WORST List
Gina’s Childish Behavior
OK, we gave her a pass when she tossed flour in her sister’s face and stormed out.
But later, Gina storms off again after her family tells her they didn’t like her latest cupcake creation.
Her behavior in the movie at times is ridiculous and childish for a 30-something-year-old. We wanted to like her, but she made it hard to feel bad for her. Poor Kim probably should have been the one crying in her car!
Would Gina prefer her family lied and they failed miserably at the competition? Time for an ego check!
Needs More Christmas!
“Christmas Cupcakes” wasn’t particularly Christmasy.
They could have used Christmas music in the generic scenes of contest. But didn’t.
All the baking could have been more Christmas themed. It wasn’t.
The only Christmasy activities: they made gingerbread cookies and went ice skating. That’s it. No tree decorating or any other traditions that are pretty much expected in Christmas movies.
Too Many Montages
We counted four. That’s about three montages too many.
At Mario and his stereotypical-o Italiano accent-o.
If You Liked “Christmas Cupcakes” You Should Watch
- The Sweetest Christmas
- Christmas in Love
- Christmas in Tennessee
“Christmas Cupcakes” is a heaping helping of satire, with a little bit of drama and romance on the side. In a Christmas movie, however, Christmas is supposed to be the star. Here, it’s more of an afterthought. So we can’t rate it any higher than a 6.