“It’s important to find someone who makes you laugh, and who can take care of you, and who will let you take care of them.”
Nick, a businessman, hires single mom Abbey to decorate his estate during the holiday season. At first, he’s a distant and focused only on work.
But as Nick and Abbey get to know each other, Nick starts to open up. Will he be able to focus less on work and become open to love? It’s the 2019 Hallmark movie, “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses”.
’Twas “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses”
Essentially, what you get here is the classic tale:
Girl (Abbey) meets boy (Nick). Boy is distant and a workaholic. Imperious even. But he’s also easily made jealous – especially by doctors who work at children’s hospitals.
Boy starts to change after knowing girl for a ridiculously short amount of time. The boy goes shopping with the girl, sends her a nutcracker, and even shares Christmas memories with her in a boathouse.
But the girl convinces herself she can’t date someone she works for, even after she ends up under mistletoe with him on a couple of occasions.
So the girl decides to go on a date with another boy (Dr. Mike). But the first boy finds out about the girl’s date with Dr. Mike, gets jealous (again), and shows up at the same restaurant where they’re having dinner – even going so far to join them and make it all super awkward.
Boy and girl audition a band, dance, and reminisce about yelling at each other – and everything seems to be going so well that she shares her Christmas wishes with him.
But then a big merger the boy has been working almost falls through and he decides he can’t have any more distractions. Never ever again. Ever. Because, priorities.
At the big gala, the girl gets told, in error, by someone that the woman Nick works with, Kate, is going to “propose” to Nick on Christmas Eve. So the girl runs. (This is only after the jealous boy stared creepily at the girl dancing with Dr. Mike during the gala, which made Dr. Mike finally realize he had no shot with the girl, because he wasn’t creepy, possessive, or unhealthy enough.)
But Kate’s proposal is that she wants to be CFO of Sinclair Enterprises so he can have more time to pursue Abbey.
So, naturally, the boy finds some violinists hanging around on Christmas Eve, as they are. Nick makes them part of a grand gesture outside of the girl’s house, in which he confesses he has realized there is more to life than work and all he wants for Christmas is the girl. They kiss, it snows, and now she says she has everything she asked for for Christmas.
Our Review: “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses”
First off, there are zero mistletoe kisses in this movie. That should tell you this movie has some severe issues.
As for Christmas wishes, Abbey says she wants the following:
- For max to be happy and safe. He seemed pretty happy and safe the entire time. In fact, he was one of the few highlights of the movie. She gets this, technically, but this is a very low bar to cross.
- For this gala to go off without a hitch. She gets this, as long as you don’t consider the cliched Christmas movie mixup and all the drama that followed a “hitch.”
- A crystal ball to tell her whether this whole decorating thing is something she should be doing or she’s just wasting her time. She does not get this.
- Snow on Christmas Eve. She gets this.
So 2 out of 4 – 3 of 4 if we’re being generous. Notice she didn’t wish for a man or love – most definitely Nick was not among her wishes.
Much of the film is about the struggle between prioritizing relationships and family over work. But it’s all done in the most generic way possible – there’s not much of a story. What we have here is basically just another “Christmas party planning” movie.
So much of the dialogue felt forced. And, like many of the lesser Hallmark Christmas movies, the pace was super slow until the end – where it suddenly moved way too fast.
Also, when your two favorite characters are in supporting roles, you have a problem.
Dr. Mike was a far more compelling character than Nick. Making matters worse: it felt like Abbey was using Dr. Mike to make Nick jealous. And neither of them had any game – Mike tells Abbey “If you ever want to grab dinner, I eat” so later, Abbey attempts to ask him out by asking, “Do you… still… eat?”
And Max, our token adorable kid, was adorable.
Jill Wagner, as always, was great. But she just didn’t have much of a story to work with here.
As for the rest? Let’s break it down, CMG style.
The Nice List
Our Favorite Scene
The scene in the boathouse was probably the best. This is where Abbey talks about magical snow is and how she loves when it snow on Christmas Eve – and they share some of their Christmas memories.
It Looks Really Christmasy
The Christmas decorations are really nice everywhere in the film, including at the fully decorated estate for the gala. There was also the tree lighting, even if it was a tad underwhelming.
It was also nice how, as part of the estate design, Abbey pulled in Nick’s childhood memory of the Christmas carolers, adding those old pictures and the hat.
All the Who’s Down in Whoville
Did you catch that reference to the Christmas special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”?
At the antique store, Abbey ask Nick why he’s so “Grinchy”, and he responds by making a joke (according to Abbey) about all the “Whos down in Whoville” (to us it just seemed like a reference, not a joke).
The Naughty List
The “meet cute” of “Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses” is literally Nick running into Abbey on the street before the tree lighting. They exchange some vanilla-flavored holiday banter and that’s it.
This will easily go down as one of the least interesting “meet cutes” we’ve seen. Nothing cute here.
It was disappointing. None of the details from earlier in the film were paid off in the end.
For example, the violinists weren’t playing Abbey’s favorite carol, which she mentioned earlier!
They did nothing with the hockey rink Max said he wanted (Nick could have said he was drawing up plans for it).
Or he could have found a Grinch costume laying around with the violinists – and showed up in it to add some much-needed humor to the proceedings.
Bottom line: we were wishing for more. We kind of felt like Abbey, after Max told her Nick was outside: a loud sigh combined with a look of disappointment.
The WORST List
A Very Mixed Up Christmas Proposal
The whole misunderstanding with Kate and the proposal was lazy.
Kate never felt like a romantic rival. Abbey never seemed jealous of Kate.
It was just an easy way to set up the “grand gesture.”
More ’50 Shades’ Vibes?
Like in “A Merry Christmas Match”, we’ve got another rich, possessive leading man. He gets super jealous way too fast. He bounces between being distant and overly attached.
Nick, as a character, is also inconsistent. He can’t have any distractions, except for the multiple things he wants to distract him.
When Abbey chooses to decorate the estate, rather than be with her child – at one point she risks missing his pageant entirely.
You’ll Yell at TV…
When she uses Dr. Mike. Poor Dr. Mike!
If You Liked This, You Might Like These Better…
- Christmas at Pemberley Manor
- 12 Gifts of Christmas
- Coming Home for Christmas
Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses
“Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses” is entirely watchable. It just isn’t particularly good. Or interesting. Or memorable. We were wishing this movie would be good, because we’re big Jill Wagner fans. But that’s one wish we didn’t get this year.